To Snip or Not to Snip

Many fathers in their late thirties like me (I’m not 40 yet!) are thinking about getting vasectomies.  Many already have.  This information is exchanged in traditionally subtle, gruff acknowledgement between two men and goes something like this,

“You guys havin’ any more kids?”

“No, definitely not.  Not going to happen,” he replies with a quick glance downward and perhaps an infinitesimal jab of his finger toward the nether regions.

“Oh, yeah?  Me, too.  No more kids here, either.”

Sometimes, if given ample space and time and a level of comfort with old friends, men ask questions about the procedure like, does it hurt?  Does it have any affect on your sex life?  Does anything look different?

Let’s go through the pros and cons of this biological decision, and just to come clean, this author is definitely not having any more kids.

There are many reasons men resist getting a vasectomy and the idea of pain in our reproductive organ is probably the number one reason on the list.  It is extremely difficult for a man to go out and seek pain in this area of his body, our whole lives have been spent trying to protect it.  Men are more willing to hurt, maim and even kill another man in myriad ways rather than give him a stiff kick to the balls.  It is an unwritten yet inviolable code among men across cultures and societies that we shall not harm one another’s sex organs.  Now in the case of a vasectomy, the medical community, and our wives, are asking us to willingly strap ourselves down and invite a stranger in doctor’s garb to make an incision into our scrotum.  No wonder men have a hard time with this decision.

A deeper psychological reason men have against vasectomies is that they believe it somehow robs them of their masculinity.  In the sense of virility this is most certainly the case and it is clearly the point of the operation.  The thinking goes that if we cannot impregnate women anymore that makes us less of a man.  I beg to differ.  I would argue that having more and more kids makes us less manly and more domesticated as our parental responsibilities increase exponentially with each new addition to the brood.  How manly is it to be at the grocery store with five kids hanging off your grocery cart?  Abandoning all your children like an overpaid football star is the other alternative but what kind of a real man does that?  I am pretty comfortable in the fact that my manhood does not rest on my ability to spew out egg seeking sperm.

Another reason men I’ve talked to resist vasectomies is they wonder what would happen if their wife died? (God forbid, they always say, looking around to see if their wife is within earshot)  What if they get remarried and their new super model wife, who is otherwise beyond reproach, wants to have their child?  I suppose this is a valid concern as we cannot predict the future but the truth is that just because one’s wife dies doesn’t mean the responsibility of the kids passes on to someone else.  Now the widowed father has to raise his kids all on his own and is a single parent – isn’t this all the more reason to prevent any more kids from stepping forth?  The point is that you are not getting a vasectomy to placate your wife, you are getting it because you don’t want any more kids.  You will still have the same amount of kids you had even if your wife dies.  In fact it may be the best excuse available to turn down your new wife’s request to have another kid.  Who wants another kid?  We’ve already determined that you’ve had enough.

Thinking rationally, there are many good reasons to go through with a vasectomy.  The number one good reason is an obvious one – you won’t have any more kids!  Kids are annoying, expensive and take up way too much of our time.  Once you have one kid you quickly realize this.  Even hanging out with small kids that aren’t yours can be very instructive in this lesson.  A number of my single friends have cited babysitting my kids as an excellent means of reinforcing their ideas about contraception.  But let’s assume you already have one kid, maybe you have another kid to keep the first one company or maybe you and your wife just slipped up and she’s knocked up again.  Now that’s two.  You have officially replaced you and your wife on this Earth, your biological job of reproduction is over, you’ve done well.  Now if you slip up again, you are officially adding to the already over populated Earth.  Yes, every parent thinks that the world should have more of their offspring to set things right for the future but the truth of the matter is that there are already too many people here on Earth and soon we’re going to run out of resources.  Now it’s time to think about stopping it up.  If not for your sanity at being a parent to more than two or three children, then do it for the Earth.

Many men just leave it their wives to take care of the birth control but we really need to think about giving them a break.  Besides the fact of female contraceptives being much more dangerous than a vasectomy, it’s about time we did our part.  If you think about it, most women have been taking care of our contraceptive needs since college or before.  Birth control is something that most women have thought about a lot longer than most men for the simple fact that they are the ones getting pregnant and getting stuck with the babies.  A man can always up and leave during a pregnancy and sadly many men do just that.  Women then bear the burden of the pregnancy and the birth alone and this is why women have taken their own forms of birth control or insisted on condoms for us since we became sexually active.  Maybe it’s time that men did a bit of the work now that we have approached middle age and take it upon ourselves to practice birth control.  Your woman will love you for it, isn’t that reason enough?

One great and indisputable benefit of having a vasectomy is that you will never be asked to wear a condom again.  Need I say more?  I recall a comic saying that having sex with a condom is like eating ice cream with a balloon stretched over your tongue and I do not disagree.  I repeat, no more condoms!

Another ancillary benefit to a vasectomy is that you can get a few days off from the family.  This is not guilt ridden time that you stopped off for on the way home from work or the kind of time to yourself and your buddies that you’ll have to make up for a thousand fold to your wife at a future date.  Your wife and/or girlfriend will be happy to give you your space alone.  Statistics show that most vasectomies take place during March when college basketball offers men a chance to sit around for days and nights in front of the boob tube watching sports.  We’ve learned!  Wives will wait on their husbands and adjust their pillows and make fancy drinks when one has voluntarily taken one for the team and gotten snipped.  Maybe you don’t like basketball, then you can plan your vasectomy for some other multi-day sports event you’d like to watch uninterrupted and without any guilt to be laid at your feet.  Or perhaps there is some annual event at the in-laws house that you detest?  Well, it just so happens that the only appointment available for your vasectomy just happens to be the same weekend as that dreaded event… voila!  Now you don’t have to go.

For all these reasons and more I would recommend all fathers with more than one child should think about having a vasectomy.   I’ve already made my decision, so if you’ve come looking for answers, by all means, snip away!


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