Valium, Sex, and Vasectomies: One Man’s Post-Op Sexual Journey

 

The decision may be the hardest part, but abstaining from sex right afterwards proves equally difficult for Maui Holcomb

The day of my vasectomy, I had a hop in my step, gliding down the fourth floor hallway of the Alameda Medical Building. Assorted doctors’ offices appeared on either side at regular intervals and faded away in my wake. I smiled at each, pleased with their existence. Valium will do that.

My wife steered my arm as I swayed around the corner, and we turned into Dr. Z’s office. So bright and cheerful. Real orchids springing from a ceramic vase, a “Best of LA – Physicians” plaque on display.

Popped the pill before leaving the house twenty minutes earlier. Started to feel spacey after we dropped the kids off, the radio fading in and out, the car expanding in every direction, but the drug swooped upon me immediately upon stepping to the pavement.

The parking garage walls swung away and wheeled back before I caught myself on the door. Outside the structure a pleasant breeze tickled my hair and the bright April sun toasted my face as we walked to the building.

“You feel it?” Carol asked with a sidelong glance.

“Yup.” I grinned and drank in her wry blue eyes and cascading locks and nearly missed the step to the curb.

“Whoa, watch out hon.”

Inside, I rocked on my heels as the elevator zoomed up four floors.

They schedule these particular procedures for the hour prior to normal business, to minimize embarrassment when the patient leaves with an ice pack clutched to his crotch. The Valium had eliminated all anxiety and awkwardness by this point, which was good, since Teresa the nurse would be assisting with her dimpled smile and shimmering black hair. She grinned as my wife helped me onto the examination table, then handed me a gown. They both seemed to be smiling at a private joke.

“Put this on, Max, but tie it with the opening in front,” went Teresa. “I’ll be back with the doctor.”

My wife followed her out after giving me a peck. “Good luck.”

Peeling off my clothes was the most natural thing to do in the world. I folded them and placed them on a chair. The clock on the wall ticked, and the gown’s fabric tugged at my arm hair. Shaved off all my pubes in the shower before leaving, and, why yes, it was mildly arousing.

 ♦◊♦

“The main thing to think about,” Dr. Z had said when I first consulted him about this, “is if, God forbid, something should happen to the girls, would you and Carol want to start over, have another child. It’s very difficult to reverse a vasectomy. Possible, but I don’t want you to think about it that way. Think about it as permanent.”

I had nodded and glanced out the window at a squirrel in the tree.

“Oh, I see,” I said. “Well, the thing is, I can’t see ever wanting to go through all that again. The diapers and the baby food and the teething and all that. Two times is enough.”

Dr. Z nodded. The nicest doctor on earth, mid-forties, Filipino, he trained first as a nurse to enhance his bedside manner and then served his residency in the Navy. Been my doctor about 15 years, since I was around 23, 24, and always a nice successful contrast to the clouded misdirection of my twenties and thirties, but I guess he learned in school not to rub it in. Trim and mild-mannered, he looked down and made a notation in his ever-present laptop as imagined what it would be like to suddenly lose my daughters.

 ♦◊♦

It hadn’t taken long to decide. We’d talked about adopting if there was ever an if. We’d gone through the post-childbirth, busy-life doldrums, but lately things had improved, and more transient methods of prevention no longer satisfied. She was sick of the pill, I of condoms, so once I came to terms with fear of the knife I was back in this room, in my gown, not a care in my head.

This time the squirrel appeared to be out, but its impressive digs made me smile through my Valium haze. They didn’t keep me waiting. Dr. Z knocked and stepped in. Teresa followed him in, mask dangling around her neck and hair pulled back.

“Feel okay?” said the doctor, smiling. “Valium working?” He didn’t look up, using his stylus on the computer screen.

“Oh yeah,” I said. “Feel great.”

“Good,” he looked up then and winked. “Lie back. I’m going to open your gown.”

No prob. Go right ahead. An intricate pattern of intersecting lines snaked across the ceiling tiles and instrumental jazz filtered out of the ceiling. I vaguely recognized that Teresa was preparing a syringe with her gloved hands.

“First we’ll administer some anesthetic,” said Dr. Z. “This will sting.”

A sharp pain sliced into my scrotum, and I gritted my teeth and turned my head to the wall opposite the window, where a watercolor of a sparrow on a branch held my attention. Four brown brush strokes, some red dots for berries and a blue-gray splash perched on the end. The doctor straightened up, and the pain eased away.

“Okay, now we’ll just let that settle in for a minute.”

“Oh, okay,” my lips formed words with no real effort.

The doctor asked a couple of small talk questions about Teresa’s weekend plans. I studied the bird and avoided looking down my body. The drug dulled the distress of my crotch being exposed to these two, but no need to push it.

Then he turned from the clock and reached down. She did something down there, too, holding a scalpel or my cock or something.

“Feel that?” he asked.

A small pressure, heavy and distant.

“Hurt at all?”

I shook my head no, examining the ceiling pattern again, permitting my mind to coast on waves unconcern.

“Good. I’ll make the incision. Let me know if you feel any pain.”

There ensued a few minutes of tugging and pushing, which he narrated.

“Pulling out the vas deferens on the right side…snipping a piece out…tying the ends off…Now the other side…”

Teresa smiled with encouragement when I forgot and caught her eye. Then she turned back to my split-open ball sac.

“Okay, that’s it,” he said eventually. “Now we’ll put a bandage on. No stitches necessary. The great thing about the scrotum is it shrinks right up and heals itself, if you just leave it alone.”

He demonstrated these remarkable scrotal properties with his blood-tipped hands, eyes sparkling.

Teresa packed ice around my lacerated privates.

“Hold that there for the next few hours,” said the doctor, pulling off his gloves. “Rest, take the pain medication, come back on Monday, and we’ll check it out, okay?”

♦◊♦

The Valium faded away as we drove and discomfort took over. My head and my crotch throbbed in turn. LA’s spring became cold and gray.

At home I struggled up the stairs and climbed into bed, gulping pills. I lay there with my legs spread wide as the slowly melting ice pooled around my ass. When the kids got home they giggled and ran away when I described in broad terms what had been done to me.

Later, she had regrets; we worried that the tied-off tubes would break free, but the pain dissipated after a bit, so… A few more days of that and, sure enough, had to try to screw.

By Monday the pain had receded and I could move around a bit more. Doc removed the bandage and approved of my progress.

“So, no intercourse for a week,” he said. “Then keep track of ejaculations. Continue using birth control. After about ten ejaculations, any remaining sperm should be cleared out.”

To be positive of that, I’d have to get a sperm count done at St. Joseph’s Hospital across the street. If it came back zero, all would be good. Simple enough.

Except lemme tellya, fellas, if you want to turn your wife on, get yourself fixed. Something about ensuring that you’ll never have a child with another woman seems to really light the spark. And when you’re married with kids, it’s hard to pass up any opportunity, even if all you can do is satisfy her.

So “no intercourse for a week” proved to be a bit of a challenge. She was a minx, prowling up in her tight jeans, lips parted, sliding her hand down my ass. What could I do? As long as I didn’t actually set things flowing down there, should be cool, right?  The wound had closed, but getting hard hurt like hell! All that blood pumping around, throbbing against tender places.

“Does it hurt,” she panted.

“Naw.”

I kept one hand down there, trying to keep it still and blunt the pain, while I worked her over with the rest of me. But couldn’t resist pressing a bit against the mattress. FUCK! I groaned.

“Sorry,” she gasped, arching her back.

Later, she had regrets; we worried that the tied-off tubes would break free, but the pain dissipated after a bit, so… A few more days of that and, sure enough, had to try to screw. It had been ALMOST a week, after all. At climax pain crested over me and I kind of choked it off. Snapped off the rubber and pressed both arms between my legs.

Not sure if technically I had “ejaculated”. Scene: repeat, for several days—she wanted it, my mind agreed, body hesitated, but it got easier, and we knocked off the required number of discharges. Figured that should do it, even if the first few had been pinched off.

♦◊♦

Dr. Z didn’t seem surprised when I called. He said I could do the deed at the hospital but most patients preferred the comfort of their home.

“Get the sample to the lab within one hour. Otherwise it’s useless. When you check in, show them the cup and they’ll speed you through the paperwork.”

So, after the morning traffic died down, I took care of business, this time angling into the wide plastic jar the nurse had given me. Screwed down the lid. We were about thirty minutes from St. Joe’s, so I should be fine as long as traffic was cool.

Which it was not. The Hollywood Freeway crawled along, so I took the first exit and used the surface streets, my jizz stuffed in my pocket to keep it warm. I stressed mile after mile, at each intersection, watching the clock, and finally turned east on Alameda and made it to the hospital. An attendant handed me a ticket, and my semen and I dropped into the underground parking garage.

The lobby elevator slid open to reveal a pristine white hallway with marble floors, the smell of antiseptic, and a framed print of Mary and Jesus on the opposite wall. The irony of bringing a sperm sample to a Catholic hospital, procured by spanking my meat and intended to confirm my successful birth control surgery, was not lost on me. I felt defensive before meeting a single person.

I waited like everyone else. When the woman called me and took my papers, she said, “Oh,” she glanced around my midsection. “Do you have the…”

“Yeah,” I said, tapping the bulge.

“Has it been an hour yet?” she asked, turning back to her screen.

“Nearly fifty minutes.”

She cleared her throat, tended to another patient, then collected my print out. “Alright, go straight down to the diagnostics lab,” she said, looking at my face for the first time.

I took off at a jog.

 ♦◊♦

That night, confident the test results were just a formality, we rode bareback for the first time since she went off the pill. Nice. Round two before the kids woke next day.

Then Dr. Z called with the results.

“Your count is too high.”

“What?”

“You’ve still got some sperm.”

The blood emptied from my face.

“How?”

“There’s a small possibility that the tubes reconnected. I’ve never seen it, but it can happen. I had the pieces we removed tested, and we did cut the right tubes. That can sometimes happen, too.”

“Uh huh”

Shit. To knock her up after all that…

“So, what now?”

“First, continue using birth control.”

“Uh huh.”

“Clear the tubes out with a few more ejaculations, and you’ll have to get retested. Hopefully you’ve just got some sperm still backed up in there.”

“But, well, we did it a LOT of times…”

“You’ll have to do it a few more times, I’m afraid.”

♦◊♦

This time I thought I’d better shoot the junk at the hospital, just to make sure. When the same woman asked if I had brought the sample I said no, so things weren’t so urgent, but she still seemed anxious to move me along.

It was your typical medical lab, except above a desk in the corner, there were photos and cards and children’s artwork stuck to the wall—a brown stick figure with a stethoscope clutching a smaller figure with yellow circular crayon scribbles on top and the words “THANKS YOU DR. G— FOR MAKE ME BETTER”—stuff like that.

A middle-aged Japanese woman in a lab coat and spectacles glanced up as I entered, rose from her stool, and indicated a wooden chair by the wall. I sat. She took my paperwork and began to unwrap a syringe.

“Uh…no, I’m not here to give blood.”

She peered down through her frames, first at the form and then at the empty plastic jar I held up.

“Oh,” she said, dropping the syringe on the counter and pulling off her latex gloves. She turned from me.

“You can go in there,” and indicated a door in the corner at right angles to the doorway I had just walked through. “Just put in the tray when you’re done.”

She pointed at a metal tray marked “Samples” and returned to her stool.

I entered the tiny bathroom. Looked around for some reading material. Nada. Just a filthy toilet and sink and little space to maneuver.

This was nothing like the masterbation scene from The Right Stuff, my first introduction to the craft.

♦◊♦

So there I am, jerking off in a cramped, filthy latrine with two flimsy doors separating me from the hallway on one side and the blood lab on the other. Hospital business going on nonstop, the P.A. system paging this doctor after that. The water running in the sink—she knows damn well why. Eyes clenched, images of legs, tits, middle-aged Japanese women flinging their lab coats aside. Getting there, almost there, almost there—Luke about to blow up the Death Star, Jordan pulling up with the clock at three, two, game on the line, the faucet whines, a cackle comes from behind me and…I nearly miss the cup at the last moment. No, got it. My head expands and I grab the edge of the sink.

I step out a minute later. The nurse barely looks up as I drop the jar in the tray, just nods and continues to type. I scoot out of there as fast as possible, adjusting my diminishing package as I jog to the shelter of the parking garage, feeling flushed and comfortably sterile.

—Photo by Orin Zebest/Flickr

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About Maui Holcomb

Maui Holcomb grew up in the Northwest and currently lives and writes in Burbank, California. He attended Pomona College in the 90's and toils in the lower echelons of the film industry attempting to make movies sound good. Previously published in Hobo Pancakes, Stirring, OneTitle, Specter, The Writing Disorder, and Crack the Spine, he spends his free time cleaning up after his wife and two daughters.

Comments

  1. Ted Newsom says:

    Sprightly written, fun and true, Maui.

    TV host Arthur Godfrey rather famously had a vasectomy. I have no idea why this information was public, but it was. Being interviewed as a guest on some tak show, Godfrey was asked how sex was after a vasectomy.

    He said, “Even better.”

  2. Funny bio:
    …he spends his free time cleaning up after his wife and two daughters.

    Oh, wait a minute!… it’s true! (Thanks, Max! Love, Carol)

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