The Toxic Swamp of Masculinity: An Oral History of my Vasectomy
Me, after two Valium and gauze applied no place a man ever expects to have gauze applied.
Anyone who has read this blog, or my Facebook feed, or either of my two novels knows that I did not take to fatherhood easily. In fact, with the first two, I took to it VERY poorly at first. So at a certain point, Becky and I began discussing permanent ways to keep our physical love alive without adding any further…souvenirs, if you will.
Once I began researching vasectomies, I was shocked at the toxic swamp of masculine bullshit out there regarding this procedure. So much chest pounding and ponytail dragging about how men were made to procreate and changing that changes a man.
So. Much. Bullshit.
I’ve talked here quite a bit as well about my many, many problems with the modern ideas of masculinity and this stuff just re-enforced all of those feelings. One of the first times I remember being exposed to these ideas, was in an episode of HOME IMPROVEMENT where Tim is in the Urologist’s office talking about this and explaining that his stuff down there was like an amusement park and he didn’t want any of the rides messed with. Barf.
You know what’s masculine? Admitting when you’re tapped out as a father. Admitting that some of the sexual problems you’ve had in the past have nothing to do with the pipes, but are mental blocks due to pregnancy fears. For crying out loud, I managed to stay a virgin until I was 25 almost solely due to the fear of an accidental pregnancy throwing a wrench into my dreams (I realize that just drips with patriarchal stink, but that was the world I knew then). What’s masculine is wanting to use my limited resources, both mentally and financially, to give the three kids I already have the best life possible and the most time with them I can. And wanting to spend more time alone with my wife, who I adore to no end and don’t get to spend enough time with.
I love the kids I have and would not change how my life has turned out so far, but that doesn’t mean I need to keep pushing my luck and not take the proper steps to make it happen. So early this morning I bundled up, drove out to GameStop, waited in line for an hour and a half to get the new NES Classic Edition game system, and then drove out to the doctor’s office and got the old snip and tug done.
So far everything seems to be recovering fine, and as far as I can tell, my masculinity remains intact. Updates to come if that changes, of course…
Update: Over on Facebook, someone asked me about the procedure itself and, since I hope some day in the future this post is found by someone looking for info and acts as a buffer between the wall of masculine BS, I thought I’d add my comments here as well.
So the procedure itself was really easy. I had no anxiety because I’ve been ready for it for a while. I had the no scalpel version, which I strongly recommend. Honestly, shaving me for the procedure took the most time. The nurse went crazy.
I have an incredibly low tolerance for pain and I barely noticed the procedure. I was also doped up, so go for that option as well if offered. After that, it’s been OK. Pretty achy, but our youngest has a fondness for kicking me hard down there when I’m holding her, so it’s not a unique feeling.
I slept a lot and felt pretty drained. Today I was feeling okay until I decided to run an errand to get a new cable box and feel like every cell between by legs revolted at once with pitchforks and flame throwers. So sleep a lot, stay in bed, and you should be good.