Adult Sex Ed

Snip, Snip: Why He Got a Vasectomy & What it Was Like

This is a guest post by my lover, Parrot. I knew he’d be the best writer in the world to give a first-person account of what it’s like to get a vasectomy. What I didn’t count on was reading in words why he did it. If you’ve ever considered getting or have had fears or doubts about having this procedure, this is a must-read. -Ms.Quote

As I write this, I am feeling a dull (but manageable) ache in my groin. I’ve put a bag of frozen peas on it.

Did I get into a bar fight with people who fight dirty? No; I have just returned from a minor—but very important—fifteen minute surgical procedure, a bilateral vasectomy (I can’t imagine that anyone would have a UNIlateral vasectomy; most of us have two vas deferentia to carry those little swimmers into our seminal fluid).

You may have two questions about this: what was it like? And why did I choose to go under the knife at this point in my life? Settle in, kids, and I’ll tell you.

I first had to sit through a 45 minute seminar about vasectomies. I got that out of the way a couple of months ago. I was in the company of eight thirty-something men, all trying not to look nervous. The medical tech who ran the class said he had participated in over 5,000 procedures. That is a LOT of scrota!

Then I had to meet with a urologist, who went over the same information I had gotten in the class and had me sign a consent form. I called my HMO’s appointment line and got a date six weeks away. It seems they do these things in batches and run a sort of assembly line. There were four other men besides me today waiting for their procedures. No one said a lot.

They gave me a hospital gown, nice little booties, a party hat, and a big plastic bag for my stuff. They wrapped me in nice warm blankets. They let me keep my phone to amuse myself while I was waiting.

After 30 minutes or so, the surgeon, an attractive Asian woman in her thirties, came to see me. She checked out my equipment, making sure she would be able to reach my vas deferentia easily. If this were a porn movie, this would have been perfect lead-in to the Action, but she was very professional and thorough in her examination.

Finally they rolled me down the hallway into the procedure room. The surgeon and her two assistants went though their checklist, speaking in efficient, telegraphic terms—almost a code. She looked at me closely and decided I needed more of a trim than I had already given myself. She gave me a sort of pubic Mohawk with a very noisy electric clipper. Then her assistants swabbed me with Betadyne and draped me.

“You’re going to feel a little pinch,” she said, as she injected the lidocaine. Why do they always say “pinch?” Why not say, “I’m going to jab you with this 6” needle now”? That would be Truth-In-Surgery.

I was numb within 30 seconds. She made a small incision, extracted and cut the vas deferens, then zapped the cut ends with the cauterizer. There was a tiny puff of smoke.

“There’s one,” she said, then numbed my left side. The second snip and cauterization took no more than 30 seconds.

“All done,” she said, and nodded to her assistant, who cleaned off the Betadyne and applied some ointment to the incisions. There were no sutures. They wheeled me back into the recovery area, took my blood pressure and handed me the plastic bag with my clothes. Another woman gave me post-op instructions after I had gotten dressed.

The entire procedure, from checking in to being back in my car, took less than 90 minutes. I will probably not even need to take Tylenol.

In two months or a little less, I will bring a sample to the lab to make sure there are no sneaky little swimmers. They tell me it takes two clear tests to be absolutely certain.

Why did I put myself through this?

To be honest, it was a very easy decision. First, my lover can’t tolerate the normal methods of female contraception, so the responsibility has fallen to me. We are both monogamous, so it is a matter of birth control rather than sexual health. We have relied on a variety of condoms, most recently a brand that she reviewed on her blog. As condoms go, the Crowns are as close to nothing as you can get.

But even though we have a rich, rewarding and adventuresome sex life, even with “close-to-nothing” condoms, there is always that interruption, that break in the action that slows our rhythm. Don’t get me wrong: even having to stop to “dress for the occasion,” sex between the two of us is spectacular. But what about the freedom of not having to stop? Or that sublime experience waking one’s lover in the middle of the night and making sleepy, familiar love? The simple process of tearing open that little foil package, then rolling it on the right way makes that experience a lot less attainable—not to mention the necessity of discarding the used item. You get the idea.

For me, though, there is something besides this “mechanical” issue.

My lover and I first connected nearly 18 years ago, for one idyllic weekend. Even though we tried to stay connected afterward, the realities of distance and real life got in the way. We lost touch—until 18 months ago, when she reached out to me. The intervening years simply melted away and we rediscovered the magic that so enthralled us before. We each experienced a deeper, richer and more mature love, a willingness to share ourselves with each other in ways we never had with any other person.

I say, “I love you” often, and she knows I mean it. I try to show her my love—as she does for me—in tangible ways: sending flowers for no particular reason, writing passionate stories for and about her and about us (she is indeed my Erato, my muse). But these things are all ephemeral.

What better demonstration of love could I devise than to change myself for her, for us? Part of me would like to present this surgery as a painful ordeal. Suffering for my lady would make me seem so…noble. But it was quick, simple and relatively painless. And as I lay on that table being cut, snipped and cauterized, I had her image in my mind’s eye. And I smiled to think of what this will mean to both of us—permanently.

Since he wrote this post just hours after his procedure, Parrot had a relatively pain-free recovery. He spent the first few days taking it easy and took a week off from the gym and running and avoided strenuous activity. The only discomfort he had for a few days was some itching at the incisions. I am still overwhelmed that he did this on both of our behalfs out of love.