I remember the afternoon well. I fidgeted quietly in the back room of my urologist‘s office, eyeing the surgical instruments. My feet were in stirrups. My testicles were in Europe. Hey, a man can dream. Being able to say “sorry, Doc, the fellas missed their flight so a manly pap smear will suffice” seemed like a far better idea at the time. But I was there for a purpose, and I needed to get through it.
Moments later, my quirky urologist entered the room complete with his go-to one liner: “This is very ballsy of you.” Feigning amusement, I nervously tilted back, prayed to as many gods that I could think of, in as many languages that one can mangle, questioned every decision I ever made – most importantly this very one, closed my eyes, invented a few new curse words and proceeded to sacrifice my boys at the altar of permanent birth control. My name is Mason Jamal, and I’m a vasectomy survivor. My T-shirt says so.
But for every man like myself, who has overcome the fear of severing ties with his otherwise irrepressible buddies, there are many more who rather ride a motorcycle down Mount Everest, blindfolded, doing 95 miles per hour in an ice storm.
Granted, the experience is not exactly a trip to the massage “parlor” (I hear things). But contrary to what many think, neither is it an act of genital jihad. The worse part, honestly, is the application of the local anesthesia. And by “application,” I mean having a needle inserted in each side of your scrotum for roughly two-to-three non-euphoric seconds. At that point, you’ll likely call upon the deities and, in desperation, even false prophets to deliver you from the hands of Lucifer. But miraculously, within seconds, the spirit of Satan descends from the body of your urologist, you feel no pain whatsoever, and that’s right, numb nuts, you’re all set to have your man-soda de-carbonated. Don’t worry. You’re good.
Truthfully, I’d do it again every five 10 years if I had to. For me, it’s worth the peace of mind to not worry about inadvertently resetting the clock on parenthood. My 16-year-old son has sufficiently quenched my thirst for fatherhood. I’m clear about that. I’m one and done, like Carmelo Anthony and Tracy McGrady in the playoffs.
Confession: If it existed, I’d belong to a Facebook group called “The 13 Black People Who Love Seinfeld.” I’d start it myself, but I’m too busy managing the group “The 11 Black People Who Think OJ Did It.” But I digress. There is a classic ‘Seinfeld’ episode where the George Costanza character learns that his girlfriend is pregnant and he proceeds to excitedly announce to the gang “I’m a father! I did it! My boys can swim!” See, this is the antithesis of where I’m at in my life. I don’t want my boys to swim. I don’t want them in the pool. No breaststroke, no backstroke, no dog paddling, no flotation devices, nothing. Up and out – adult swim is in permanent session. In fact, I need for them to have no athleticism whatsoever. I don’t want any prodigy-like sperm getting loose on a fast break, swinging for the fences or breaking free for a 90-yard kick-off return to the uterus. Hells to the no’s.
So if this is something you’re contemplating, continue to. If you decide against it, don’t let it be because of panic and angst. There is nothing to fear but fear itself and, sure, a needle with your scrotum’s name on it. But it’s worth it to ensure those little bastards come up missing like they’re in a witness protection program.
1.) Unless there are mitigating circumstances, if you haven’t had children yet, wait until you’re pushing 40. You never know when you might change your mind.
2.) If you’re married or involved in a long-term committed relationship, include your significant other in the decision process. She may want to keep the pulp in the orange juice. If so, you’ll to need sort this out.
3.) When and if you go through it, listen to the doctor. Don’t rush recovery (like I did). And definitely make sure you go back to get tested to ensure there is no sleeper cell ready to wreck your whole game.
Listen, this is just one man’s experience and thoughts on the matter. I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one at Black Voices. So for any specific details about the procedure, I suggest you make an appointment with Dr. Google or, better yet, see your personal physician.
My name is Mason Jamal, and I am NOT the father!
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