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Getting ready for sex: a vasectomy-1969 (25-26)

Age 12: no kids for me

Sometime in my twelfth year on this earth (1956-57), I noticed that my parents worked so hard. And they had no free time and no free money. I thought to myself, “If they didn’t have three kids, they would have a lot of free time and free money.” I decided that I would not have kids.

I told everybody about this decision. My parents were rather non-committal about my declaration. But almost all the other adults said, “You’ll change your mind.” As I got older, I felt no inclination to change my mind. The freedom and options associated with not having children felt great.

Crossing the Rubicon

By age 25 I had only had sex twice in my life, once when I was 19 when a married woman seduced me. Even though I was very nervous, I was quite willing. And then one more time more recently in the past half year. However, I was getting more hopeful that I would get a girlfriend before too long who was willing to have a lot of sex with me. I wanted to be ready when that happened.

I really like kids

I’d always liked children, even more than many parents seemed to. I enjoy spending time with children, usually for one to two hours. Then “bye bye.” For example, when I was attending NC State College in Raleigh, North Carolina, there were no kids in my college environment. When I discovered I was missing that, I went out into the surrounding neighborhood to find kids playing in their yards. I would join them to have fun together. The kids loved this. Note: later I got a report back through the Dean of Students that at least one neighborhood family, the parents, were not comfortable with my behavior...shades of “stranger, danger.” 

Costs and benefits (for me)

I think it’s great that some other people are happy to pay the costs for the benefits of having kids. But, for me, the costs occur as much more than the benefits. Unlike many, I’m not aware of any desire to “have myself live after me” by raising a child or for there to be children in the world who have my genes.

Avoiding the one-way baby street

Since I knew that someday I would get a girlfriend where we would have a lot of sex, I decided it was time to get a vasectomy. My mother always said that if a woman got pregnant, it was just as much the man’s responsibility as it was the woman’s. Even though there was the birth control pill and other forms of less reliable birth control, I never wanted to take the chance that a woman might say to me, “I have your child.” That was too big of a one-way street to take the risk of going down.

What if I change my mind?

Getting a vasectomy I also saw as a one-way street. Even though I had been unwavering in not wanting children since I was twelve, I knew it was still possible that I might change my mind. Even then, I thought, I was sure that I could use another man’s semen, most likely through a sperm bank, that would be better than mine. If you’re going to raise a child, why not have the best sperm, and eggs for that matter?! I know my attitude is not common. Most people seem to be attached to their children passing down their genes, “as nature intended.” Genghis Khan certainly was. Eight percent of people in China are estimated to be carrying some of his genes.

Cutting to the chase

I found a urologist who did vasectomies and made an appointment with him. When talking with him about my decision, he asked me, already knowing I wasn’t married, “Does your girlfriend feel okay about you getting this operation?” I was concerned that if I said I didn’t have a girlfriend or if I let out that I had never had a girlfriend, he might refuse to give me the vasectomy. I reassured him that I had talked it over with my girlfriend and she was happy about the idea.

Lying to the doctor and then lying on my back

Lying on my back with a local anesthesia, I was surprised at how the doctor casually chatted with me as he performed the operation. “Can he really do a good job while also chatting with me?” I asked myself. When it was over, he gave me a vial containing a preservative liquid with two small snippets that he had cut from the bilateral vas deferens ducts. 

Confirming the results

For a week after the operation I walked a bit bow-legged to reduce any discomfort I felt from the operation. Two weeks after the operation I delivered to the doctor a sample of my ejaculate that I obtained from masturbating. He phoned me a few days later to let me know that there were no spermatozoa in the ejaculate, just pure prostate fluid. Yes!

Asking for an affidavit that I passed the safety inspection

I didn’t necessarily expect a prospective girlfriend to believe me if I told her I had a vasectomy. Therefore, I asked the doctor if he would write for me a to-whom-it-may-concern letter where he confirmed the operation and the results of the sperm test. He did. That letter later came in handy a few times.


What my parents said

Later I told both my mother and father about the operation. My mother was fine about it. My father was a bit like, “Why did you do that, son?”

My investment and foresight pays off!

At about 3.00am on New Years Day, 1971, less than a year later, I started making out with Nancy, 24 years old, on the sofa in my apartment in Elmhurst, Queens. We had just met earlier that night at a New Years Eve party in the Bronx. She interrupted our excited foreplay to say, “I don’t have any protection.” I knew she meant birth-control protection. I replied, “I have a vasectomy.” She responded with “That’s great!” and we continued to make out and go all the way. Somehow it didn’t require that I show her the affidavit letter from the doctor. Later in our relationship she told me that just by the way I said, “I have a vasectomy,” she knew it was true.

Best bang for the buck 

The $150 I paid for that vasectomy was the best investment, the most bang for the buck, that I’ve made in my entire life.

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