In Wednesday's post I made reference to a medical procedure known as a vasectomy. Only later did it occur to me there may be some young guns on this site that have no clear clue as to what a vasectomy even is. No surprise, really, considering it does involve the sticking of needles and a few other instruments into the male junk, and that's nothing that anybody wants to talk about aside from those wacky modern primitives with pin cushion fetishes. However, it has become an increasingly popular topic of late with stories from ex-procreative journalists that have gone there and back and lived to happily jack off about it—Chris Nieratko being the most recent (check out his article here) and Greg E. Boy much less recent (check out his articles here and here). But if you're feeling brave and have time to span, cuddle up and spoon with my overtly verbose experience of yore*...
the vasectomy: or, how I learned to stop worrying and love the procedure
Ever since my son was born in 2002, I’ve found myself leading two separate lives and it really has become some Clark Kent shit. Each and every morning I wake up with one side of my brain firmly rooted in that of being a fully functional and responsible parent, while the other hemisphere idly waits in the wings to rot on whatever project Dickhouse Entertainment may have going on in the 9-to-5 working sense. Then, when the whistle blows at occupational day’s end, I hurdle the cranial fence once more to reassume my mild-mannered parental disposition—talk about a razor’s edge.
But a few years back, in my so-called “normal” life, worlds collided. You see, ever since jackass the movie we’d had this idea in the creative hopper for Steve-O that involved his getting a vasectomy and going straight to a strip club afterward for a raw workout (he’d come up with the idea, I believe, while on Love Line with Dr. Drew), but we’d never committed to shooting it. While dropping off my son at school one morning, though, I learned that several of the other kids’ dads were getting vasectomies. Normally I’m not one for recreational small talk, but it sure was nice to finally have something of a more socially acceptable nature to discuss with them, as opposed to say my usual conversational stoppers like having watched a drunken midget peeing in the unsuspecting mouth of a stone cold sober midget dominatrix.
My wife had been not so subtly pushing me to consider this procedure soon after our son turned four, but I’d never much cared for doctors, much less volunteering to slap my penis before one on a cutting board. From a young age we males are brought up to treat our respective kingdoms with utmost respect and the very idea of a blade going anywhere remotely near this region goes against the very core of our being. However, all the other dads were doing it … so what the hell. I really had come to the conclusion that I was over and done with being a reproductive risk just waiting for a narrow window of inopportunity to open. I’d already managed to produce one kid that I’m perfectly happy with, and you never really know which side of the genetic coin these things will land. I mean, the odds are 50/50 that you could wind up with a Danger Ehren, so if you’ve already dodged one bullet why chance a second round? So after listening to all the other dads talk so candidly about their new non-reproductive capabilities, I decided to cast the seminal content of my testes to the wind, too.
But first let’s talk a bit about the medical procedure itself, because I honestly had no idea what all it entailed before arriving at that decision. Seriously, the first time I heard the word “vasectomy” it brought to mind visions of chopping off your penis and throwing it out the window of a very, very tall building. Obviously this isn’t something that meets with AMA approval, but what does is a simple outpatient procedure that involves the severing of the vas deferens that run from the testicles up into the seminal vesicles [see diagram above].
Apparently, or so I soon learned with great interest, 97% of the seminal load—the mass transit fluid system—hails from this port of call found just under the bladder by the prostate. This means that all the baby-making junk produced in the testicles only accounts for 3% of the overall content. So a doctor simply pokes some holes into the ball bag, separates the vas, and, in most genial cases, applies a titanium clip to each duct with a clean snip and suture. No, the testicles don’t just fall to the bottom of the scrotum to roll around in “free ball” fashion; they’re still held firmly in place by the spermatic cords that house other shit (nerves, arteries, etc.) in addition to the vas. As for the sperm, it’s still produced in the testes, but I guess it eventually gets bored or goes MIA with nowhere functional to party. Meanwhile, up in the seminal vesicles, the ejaculatory buses still run at a moment’s notice, albeit without any of the screaming children aboard.
Since three of the dads had already put their manhood under the very same doctor’s knife—all with good results and no real horror stories to speak of—I took their referral and booked an appointment. One guy did, however, have a very sound piece of advice when I asked if there was anything at all I should be aware of.
“Shave,” he said with utmost seriousness. “Whatever you do, shave before you go in.”
“What, you mean like my…,” I asked with utmost open-endedness.
“Yeah, your balls. Bic ’em. Trust me.”
This wasn’t exactly something I’d bargained for, but the one common denominator between all three guys’ experience was that the doctor was less than conscientious about his handling of the exterior landscaping while getting to the meat of the matter at hand. The last thing I wanted was Sweeney Todd whacking away at my weenie, but I’d also like to go through life and happily say that no other man has shaved my balls. So with grim determination and extreme care, I sat down on the toilet seat the morning of my procedure and splayed out my scrotum for at-home barbershop purposes. I know this is probably just another day at the office for many men working in the adult film industry, but I have to say I was extremely proud of my ability to perform this risky business without any wayward nicks or lacerations.
Entering into the doctor’s office that afternoon, I felt like a teenage soldier hopping off the helicopter and walking straight into the scary jungles of ‘Nam. My mind had long since disassociated itself from my body—a sensation that only made it slightly more bearable when the doctor yanked my cock ‘n’ balls up through the surgical spread and slathered ’em up with a cold Iodine-like gel while the nurse openly mused about what song was playing on the piped in Muzak—but jesus god did I snap back to the present when I caught a glimpse of the needle. Mind you, I’ve never had a problem with needles (I’ve got veins that a junkie would die for and can donate blood like a fucking champ), but this time it was different.
A local anesthetic is all that is required for the vasectomy procedure, however, this does involve two shots: one on either side of the penile base. I didn’t really feel the first but I sure as fuck felt the second. In a figurative world the doctor would’ve had to pry me off the ceiling with surgical pliers, but in reality the last thing I wanted to do was succumb to a spastic pelvic flinch with a stainless steel needle stuck deep in my garbage. I guess the doctor found it somewhat surprising when my teeth clenched and eyeballs popped in response to what was supposed to be a painless prick, so he hit the left side twice for good numbing measure. I bruised accordingly, but fortunately felt nothing beyond that for the duration of the procedure.
Ten minutes to an eternity later, the doctor wiped his hands, instructed the nurse to stick a needle in my butt, and then exited the room leaving me all alone on the table with my freshly-neutered balls clamped and exposed for all the gods and angels above to see. I can’t say I’ve ever felt so vulnerable before, but I guess this is just quibbling compared to the annual gynecological excavations endured by the feminine masses.
When the doctor returned, he removed the clamps and deemed the vasectomy a temporary success. I say temporary because even though the testes had been separated from the reproductive process there is still a fair amount of viable sperm all up in the water works. That said, I was instructed to ejaculate at least 20 times before coming in for a free evaluation of my seminal fluid, after which I’d have to pump out 20 more loads to get the official “all clear” signal. However, none of this jerking off business was to be done for a good week or so, and I for one did not have a problem with that. In fact, I spent the next three days in bed icing my balls and swallowing Hydrocodone with atomic clock precision.
Remember that idea of Steve-O’s that I’d mentioned about 47 paragraphs back? Well, for the longest time I’d always thought it would be funny to kick him in the balls immediately after he walked out of the doctor’s office. But after hobbling out of the building that afternoon with a jock strap gingerly cradling my own goods, I’ve since had a change of heart—kind of like how Johnny Knoxville felt about hitting people in the dick after dropping a motorbike on his own.
Are there any noticeable differences or drawbacks from a post-procedure perspective? None that I’ve encountered thus far, although I did, for a brief spell, suspect I’d lost a certain degree of sensation in my penis. Then again, I did have to pound out 40 ejaculations to clear the cache, so to speak, and I might’ve just traumatized my wiener a bit in the masturbatory process. Apparently it was just a momentary case of the “schoolboy blues,” because everything appears to be in working order now. I was never a distance shooter to begin with, and as far as I can tell the seminal fluid still comes sputtering out the same old way it always has. Best of all, I scored a solid zero on my first sperm test, which meant I didn’t have to break out the Bic for round two with the doctor and I can now enjoy unprotected sex with a clear and present peace of mind. How fucking great is that?
* If there weren't already enough paragraphs to choke an English Lit major, here's a ticky-tacky little addendum just to state this article first appeared on jackassworld.rip, circa 2008, with a 10-second (and frightfully up close) video clip that Ken Burnsed over a photo of my bruised, clipped and bald-ass scrotum. Sadly this photo was lost when some bastard ass dickhead nicked my 15" MacBook Pro in February 2010, otherwise I would have happily included it here for sacks and giggles.