Jump or Step Back: The Vasectomy Files 6

Jonathan Stack explains, “There is a world of new things to try and new ways of trying them and being open to a more spiritual relationship with my own sexuality, one not driven strictly by biology, is exciting.”

Just back from Australia and on my way to Haiti. My life is nothing if not a moveable feast. Either motivated by the desire to make a difference in the world or simply the power of desire, I continue along the “vasectomy trail.” While my parents, children, girlfriend and friends support my mission to have a vasectomy, there are those who practically beg me not to go through with it. I am at a precipice. Jump or step back.

So much of life comes down to sex and the deep pleasure and sense of power it gives us. Yes, of course, combining sex with love is the highest expression of our sexuality, but the truth is you can have great sex without being in a great relationship. On the other hand, you probably wonʼt have a great relationship without great or at least very good sex. And except in a few cases, you wonʼt have any relationship or at best, a very short one, if you have no sex at all. Thatʼs called “friends and family” and there are benefits, but not the physical kind.

Some of us live in pursuit of an orgasm because there is nothing quite like that moment of ecstatic pleasure (way better than a good sneeze for anyone who has forgotten). Sharing an orgasm simultaneously with someone adds enormous pleasure to both. Doing it alone has its time and place (none better than adolescence or on a lonely road trip). Some wonʼt have sex unless they find the perfect partner. Sometimes itʼs all about unleashing our inner animal in the moment. For many, itʼs the closest we come to knowing of Godʼs existence. For a few, the choice not to have “sex” is how we serve God.

Iʼm not one of those people.

Until I became a teenager, I donʼt recall having a conscious relationship with my sexuality, but once I did, it was as though nothing else mattered. A dance with delight and the adventure of the unknown, it made everything I cared about better. A political cause I believed in, was supported with much more passion when I met a hot woman who felt similarly. School, not somewhere I thrived, was exciting with the right classmate. In the presence of a possible “conquest”, I jumped higher, I ran faster and I talked louder. Always, a good conversation got much more “significant” when combined with the chance, no matter how slim, that the dayʼs final thoughts might be expressed in bed.

My 20ʼs, an era of great conquest, risk and experimentation, became my 30ʼs and 40ʼs, a period of parenthood, seriousness, monogamy, serial monogamy and not so much monogamy and a sense that perhaps, I should try something different. My 50ʼs arrived with the growing knowledge that I did not want to have more babies, to create unintended life, to be tied to someone I did not love nor be responsible for another child.

And yet, while this is what my mind continues to say, my body still clamors for something else. It doesnʼt care about limiting the number of sperm that ejaculate or how often or where or how far. It certainly doesnʼt want to wear a condom (kind of like taking a shower with an umbrella). My body offers me great orgasms. In exchange it only wants the chance, even if itʼs one in a hundred million, to find an egg to fertilize. No, my body wants to do the same thing life has been doing since the beginning of time. It wants to make more life.

And in a nutshell, itʼs why our mission to lower population carries with it an almost certain degree of failure. I mean (this is my body speaking) are you seriously asking me to sacrifice any percentage of my pleasure or power, no matter how small, no matter how little the risk, because there are too many people on this planet? Or an even more abstract idea: future generations will benefit because I sacrifice the power to procreate. The rational and the spiritual parts of me clamor, “Do the right thing.” My body says, “just do it.”

Getting older and losing the part of us that defines our youth is scary. I know Iʼm not the “man” I was in my 20s. My body does not recover so quickly and great sex is often a prelude to “good night.” So why would I risk damaging what is already a losing battle? Even friends who know me well, have advocated against it. One wrote me after the latest webisode (yes, some of you read and respond… thank you!) begging me to reconsider.

So I explained:

1: The psychological benefit of not worrying about impregnating anyone is more valuable than the extra 5% of semen you lose after the vasectomy. Being in control is beautiful.

2: Losing a little sex drive, in my case, would not be the worst thing in the world. A more conscious approach to life would benefit everyone.

3: More importantly, I have a chance to try something different. The sex doesnʼt have to get worse… there is a world of new things to try and new ways of trying them and being open to a more spiritual relationship with my own sexuality, one not driven strictly by biology, is exciting.

So as you can see … I have joined the V team and put my money where my mouth is. Bottom line, Doug is a great vasectomist and any pain that worried me beforehand is a distant memory.

As for the sex … itʼs still amazing.

Ep.6_JS & Doug_05

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About Jonathan Stack

Jonathan Stack is a two time Oscar nominated and Sundance Grand Jury Prize winning documentary filmmaker. While the stories he tells have been many of the major problems on the planet; including death row in Louisiana, child soldiers in Liberia and war zones everywhere, he now thinks he should be funnier. This is his first attempt. You can find him at http://thevasectomist.net, or on Twitter @jstack08.


  1. Hey Jonathan, I only just stumbled across your adventure today–wow! Here I was thinking I was the only guy in the world willing to put his balls on the line for Mother Earth (and my partner). Here in Ireland, NOBODY talks about this. Too much Catholic guilt I guess.. Best of luck and I look forward to tuning into your adventures with Dr Doug.

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