sex

More men are getting vasectomies to carry the burden of contraception.

Men are getting vasectomies to help share the burden of contraception. And they are documenting them. Only yesterday Australian Comedian Dave Hughes took to Instagram to share his snip photos.

The author of this post Clint Geagan is a stay-at-home father of four, an author and blogger. This is his account of his vasectomy which he wrote about to much acclaim……

I’m reading through the vasectomy information pack emailed to me from Dr Demediuk’s clinic, and I’m skirting over a series of phrases that scream out joyously in large red and blue font: So Easy. No scalpel. No stitches. No general anaesthetic. No sedation. No hassles. And by the time I’ve finished reading through the first page I’m almost bursting with vasectomy excitement.

‘Tania, I can do this!’ I yell from the kitchen table.

There’s the sound of Tania’s fast-stepping coming down the hall. ‘Are you mental? The kids are sleeping.’

Author, Clint Greagen with his family.

I leap towards her and take her by the shoulders. ‘I’m reading the vasectomy information pack . . . and it’s really good,’ I say in a strained whisper. ‘I’m going to do it, you see? Tomorrow I’m getting it done. Think of this – after tomorrow you can have sex with me whenever you want . . . all the time. You can just come home, clear the bench with a sweep of your arm and throw me upon it wantonly . . . don’t even have to ask.’

She looks at me through a series of slow blinks and then says, deadpan, ‘You’re hurting me.’

After I release her I rebuild her smile by maintaining eye contact and moonwalking to the kitchen table. She shakes her head and moseys back down the hall.

This sudden enthusiasm I feel to be sterilised is unexpected but welcome. The apprehension I’ve carried with me for the past year has been overwhelmed by the hype of Dr Snip’s vasectomy information pack pitch. I continue scrolling through the document, skimming most of it to avoid any info that might kill my mood, when suddenly I happen upon a curious glossy pic. At first I’m not sure what I’m seeing.

My mind plays a crazy, involuntary image association game, and I’m thinking of the Muppet Gonzo in albino form – eyeball free – singing a song of loneliness. Then I see the sadness of octopus tentacles drying on an ocean pier. It’s not until I read the instructions above the picture that I realise I am looking at shaved male genitalia:

At home on the morning of surgery completely shave the scrotum as shown in the photograph.

Oh shit.

~~

Considering that my appointment with the good doctor is tomorrow at midday, and that my morning will be taken up by nappy changing and the making of breakfasts and school lunches and all that jazz, I reason that it will be safer to shave the most sensitive and vulnerable area of myself the night before, while the kids are all asleep.

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At my feet, in the bath, are the longer pubes I clippered off scattered around much shorter pubes trapped in blotches of Brut 33 shaving cream. It’s not a pretty scene and I make a mental note to describe it to Tania as witnessing the aftermath of a cream pie fight between Paul Hogan and Karl Stefanovic.

I was not prepared for the amount of effort involved in making that area bereft of hair. For the past forty-five minutes I’ve been a human question mark – head arched as close as possible to balls – lathering and shaving and stretching my scrotum out like funny putty in an attempt to render it as smooth and shiny as possible.

Listen to Clint's interview about his vastectomy here:

Every time I wiped the area down I found more hair, and there were several frustrating minutes when I sat on the edge of the bath, consumed with rage, thinking the task impossible. But then I thought of all the people on Facebook and Twitter who had sent me supportive comments like, ‘Don’t be a wus’ and ‘Man Up’ and ‘Don’t be a fucken wus’ and ‘Man the fuck up’, and I found a way to rise above my doubts, achieve my hairless goal and learn something vital about my personality: I am not a quitter (while others are watching).

After a final inspection that just about puts my back out, I call to Tania.

She opens the sliding door to find her partner of fifteen-plus years standing legs apart, knees slightly bent, hips thrust forward.

‘Ta-dah! The fireplace finally matches the mantelpiece!’

She stumbles in laughing and gets down for a closer look.

‘How’s it feel?’ she asks.

‘Stings a bit.’

She studies it for a while longer, turning her head from side to side, which for some reason makes me put my hands behind my back and avoid her gaze.

‘It looks cute,’ she says.

‘Cute?’ I say. ‘Like a twelve-year-old boy’s?’

When she laughs and leaves the room, closing the door behind her, I look at myself in the mirror. I am a large-ish white man, tinged red with effort, bald now at both ends. My penis and scrotum look frightened and cold, and for a moment I toy with the idea of searching through the toy room for a little shirt and jacket. But I resist.

Tomorrow I will take these strange but wonderful appendages and place them directly in harm’s way. There will be puncturing and cutting, stitching and searing, but through it all I will remember another piece of information I retained from the vasectomy information package – you will not be sterile immediately; for most it takes a minimum of 14 ejaculations over 8 weeks – and even though this is clearly not enough ejaculations to get excited about, I’m pretty sure that I can get the good doctor onside. It won’t take more than a quiet word and a nod to bring a personal note home for Tania: To ensure the success of the procedure, Clint will require a minimum of 140 ejaculations over a period of 8 weeks, with only 40 of those being self-administered.

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Oh man. The enthusiasm is back. I can do this!

V-Day

I’m sitting in Dr D’s office – just across from the great man himself – as Tyson and Maki ignore the bunch of assorted toys on the floor and instead open and close cupboards filled with all kinds of dangerous medical equipment.

Dr D is cracking genital jokes at the same time that he’s passing on important medical information about my vasectomy. He’s funny and easygoing and likable, and in different circumstances we would be going blow-for-blow in a friendly dick-humour fight, but right now I am just too mentally scattered to even crack a smile. I can feel my bald scrotum constricting and relaxing rapidly like a frightened, hyperventilating dog in a veterinarian’s waiting room.

Watch Clint get his vasectomy below. Post continues after video. 

The bravado of yesterday has left me. I am nervous and on edge and in no way capable of being myself.

I’m about to ask if I can make a phone call, or request a last meal, when Dr D gives me a smile and a nod, telling me that a nurse will be in shortly to prep me for surgery. As soon as the door shuts behind him, the receptionist, Jayne, opens it again to tell me she can look after Tyson and Maki while the tubes they once swam through are being forever severed. It’s a pause-able moment – both sweet and bizarre – and one that will stay with me forever.

~~

Susan the nurse is attractive, which only serves to amp-up my jitter-meter because during my formative years I had several secret ‘nurse fantasies’ that involved me lying on a bed and having my privates inspected. That is about to happen, but shortly after that my vas deferens will be torn from the safety of the scrotum and snipped in half, and the two ends will be seared shut and shoved back inside. It kind of ruins it for me.

Reservoir Dad.

‘Take off all the clothes from your lower half and jump on the bed,’ she says with a smile. ‘There’s a sheet to cover yourself with.’

While she has me in her sights I’m nodding nonchalantly and shrugging my shoulders as if I am completely comfortable being nude around strange women, but once she draws the curtains I fumble my way out of my pants and jocks while swallowing a whimper and dive under the sheet like a five-year-old fleeing from the darkness in the cupboard. As I hear Maki crying down the hall, my stress levels creep even higher.

‘It’s your special day!’ Susan says after bursting through the curtains.

‘Yes,’ I say.

‘So what do you want to watch?’ she asks, gesturing to the TV in the corner of the room. ‘The cricket?’

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‘Oh, I’m easy,’ I say, thinking of making a joke about bats and balls. ‘Maki’s pretty worked up. It doesn’t sound like he’s going to settle down. I hope Jayne’s okay.’

Susan ducks off and returns a minute later to place a huffing and sniffing Maki on my chest. It occurs to me that I am now as close to the ultimate female birthing experience as I’ll ever get: lying on a hospital bed, my lower body exposed, about to be surgically violated, with a baby lying on my chest. There are emotions forming that will never find the right expression. I am vulnerable and at the mercy of others. I love my baby so much and don’t want him to cry. There are so many unknowns: Will I get haemorrhoids? Will my genitals look the same after the operation? Will Tania still be attracted to me? I can’t do this! I think I want an epidural . . .

Susan and I entertain Maki until Dr D walks in, and then Maki is handed back to Jayne – who really deserves as much praise for her efforts as anyone in this strange happening – and he starts crying for me immediately.

I do my best to ignore my need to soothe and protect him by focusing on Dr D, and I ask, ‘So, have you had a vasectomy?’

‘God no,’ he says.

I let out a casual chuckle while thinking, What the fuck does he mean by ‘God no’?

When he throws the sheet off and exposes me, his expression reminds me of someone who is looking for their wallet or car keys. I almost expect him to grab my balls and say, ‘Oh, here they are,’ and walk out the door with them.

Susan wanders over to stand on the other side of me (and disappointingly shows no sign of awe) as Dr D paints some medical concoction all over my penis and testicles, and then I remember that just last night, before sleep, I thought of an embarrassing possibility and blurted out to Tania, ‘What if I get an erection while they’re preparing the area down there?’ but I know now that there is no chance of that happening. My privates are moving under the weight of the brush like lethargic, tusk-less miniature walruses lolling in the sun after an exhausting swim.

To distract myself I decide to ask Dr D and Susan some questions.

‘Hey,’ I say. ‘After you inject my scrotum with anaesthetic, will I be able to tell when I need a piss?’

‘No,’ Dr D says. ‘You’ll probably wet yourself on the way home.’

Susan laughs. ‘You should only ever believe half of what he says.’

‘Half,’ I repeat with a chuckle, and then it occurs to me that I should video this so people can see that even though Dr D is a professional with more than thirty years of medical experience, he is also a nutbar – a lovable and jovial one, the very best kind.

Comedian Dave Hughes also documented his vastectomy journey yesterday - take a look through the gallery:

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I watch as he prepares a syringe to administer the anaesthetic and I ask a few more questions, and then I realise that I can’t hear Maki crying anymore and, as bizarre as it may seem, I start to feel a buzz of excitement because I like things that are a bit crazy – and look around, there’s some crazy shit happening right here!

Dr D points the needle that is about to be injected into my scrotum straight up and pushes out a few air bubbles. To distract myself from the fact that it is about to be aimed directly at me, I ask if I can video them while they work. Dr D has no problem with that at all, so I hold up my iPhone and press record.

I ask my first question just as I’m being skewered. My high-pitched ‘Is sperm nutritional?’ leads to some dangerous jolts of laughter, and suddenly we’re into it. Although Dr D, Susan and I have never met before, we soon find that we’re huddled around my balls, conversing and joking and ribbing each other like old friends around a campfire.

~~

I’ve just left the offices of the venerable Dr D, holding Maki in one arm and a bag of post-vasectomy information in the other, while Tyson runs ahead along the footpath. I feel two things in particular: a semi-revulsion at how my vas deferens looked poking from the puncture wound in my otherwise aesthetically pleasing scrotum and a vague sense of relief.

I’m congratulating myself on my bravery to not only be surgically violated in my most private area but to also interview the Dr and his assistant while it was happening, when Tyson trips over and screams his way into a face plant on the pavement.

It’s when I yell ‘Tys!’ that I first become aware of a dull ache in my groin. But I only appreciate the intensity of it when Tyson – a wailing quasi-human hell-bent on returning to the safety of his most constant protector – charges me with arms out wide to perform his second face plant in a minute, this time dead centre on my genitals. My upper body snaps over on him like a mouse trap.

I drop the bag but thankfully not Maki, and it’s as I’m rubbing Tyson’s head and blinking the shock-tears from my eyes that I manage to find a positive. At least it’s over – the months of trepidation, the dozen tactics of avoidance.

I just have to take a semen sample to the pathologist to make sure I am void of swimmers, then sexual utopia awaits me and Tania!

As I’m driving back with my legs spread from driver’s side door to centre console, I look at myself in the rear-vision mirror and imagine Tania and I having wanton and risk-free sex several times a day for the rest of our lives – like fluffy white bunnies covered in sawdust inside a display tank at the local pet shop. I am overwhelmed by a sense of finality.

I glance over my shoulder at a now-smiling Tyson and a wide-eyed Maki, and say in an emotion-choked whisper, ‘It’s over boys. The vasectomy is over.’

This is an excerpt from the book Reservoir Dad by Clint Greagen. You can get your copy from Amazon and Booktopia. Clint Greagen blogs at Reservoir Dad. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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