The Vasectomy Project is encouraging men to join forces and take responsibly for family planning. This is an opportunity to bring people together to talk about our collective responsibility while offering men a concrete way to contribute towards a solution by having a vasectomy.
As Jonathan Stack points out, “The biggest challenge always to increasing men’s acceptance of vasectomies is overcoming our fears about our own sexuality.”
Question: What do you call a man who uses withdrawal as birth control? (answer at end).
We can do this! We can actually get men to join our effort to create a more sustainable relationship to nature by having a vasectomy. Even our women will be cheering us on. And it’s happening; more responses, more groups supporting our cause, more doctors eager to learn about Doug’s vasectomy techniques and more people wanting good things for our future. The whole thing will work … as long as we can prove to the world that vasectomies actually improve our sex life, not destroy it.
Statement of fact. There are a lot of good reasons to get a vasectomy, many of which have been discussed in earlier writings, but the honest truth is none of them would even be an option for me if it messed with my sex life. Bottom line, if faced to choose between a diminished sex life and the chance to save the planet for future generations, I must admit my quick answer is, can we discuss this later?
And I’m not alone. I’d imagine Doug wouldn’t have found 100 clients, let alone 30,000, if the procedure messed with our manhood. Guys just don’t want to go from alpha male to alpha light or from alpha light to just pure ‘light’. We may not be having any sex at all, but we don’t ever want to lose our capacity to have sex. It just doesn’t cut it for us and guess what, call it projection, but I think women feel similarly.
Let’s be honest. The biggest challenge always to increasing men’s acceptance of vasectomies is overcoming our fears about our own sexuality … and women’s fears as well. The truth is, women have enormous influence over a man’s decision to get a vasectomy. If women encouraged men to get one and, having done so, affirmed that their man’s energy did not diminish, there’d be a lot more of them. Women run this part of the world (and increasingly the rest of it as well).
I know this may reflect poorly on my definition of virility and might even put into question the sincerity of my commitment to the cause, but I don’t see it that way. A person’s sex life is sacred. And whatever definition you give to it or importance you place on it, lessening its value, is not a good idea. Sure some people think about it more often than others, but even if it’s not once every 9 seconds, it’s certainly a lot. And in communities where jobs are scarce, life is tough and entertainment is rare, it’s even a bigger deal. No, we shouldn’t diminish our sex life, we need to figure out how to make it better. And vasectomies can do that.
Number one, all the worries are gone. No more asking yourself did the condom hold or did you pull out on time? No, you’ll never have to have that horrible conversation about an unintended pregnancy where you discover you’ve lost complete control over the biggest decision a person can make. Sex, without fear of pregnancy, is fantastic.
I imagine nothing could be more exciting than to have sex knowing that you’re hoping to get pregnant. I never had that experience. Even the people I know who did want to get their women pregnant would have had that experience only a few times, or having failed to succeed in getting pregnant, probably stopped enjoying the sex and started feeling the pressure. The guys ask themselves, am I shooting blanks? The women, am I barren? Either way, it must suck.
The truth is, I’ve only met one person in my entire life who actually said the sex gets better when the commitment to have a child is part of the equation. Her name is Rachel Scott.
I met Rachel in the early stages of this project. While Doug was committed to lowering population one vasectomy at a time, Rachel saw things differently. At her home in Florida, Rachel told me the story of how her husband had a dream the night before he was scheduled to get his vasectomy. In the dream, God came with a big sword ready to wield it on his private parts. He woke in a sweat and together they prayed and decided not to go through with the procedure.Rachel had at least 3 more children, 8 in total.
After the interview, Rachel and her family prayed that I wouldn’t get a vasectomy. No, I didn’t fulfill her prayers (February, 2012 was when I had my vasectomy), I was definitely attracted by her statement, “it’s terrible to worry about protection when you’re having sex! Protection is the opposite of intimacy and intimacy is the key to great sex!” This might work in happily married households, but unfortunately, this failure to “protect” results in 50% of pregnancies being unintended. I know this doesn’t mean the babies aren’t dearly loved, but it surely adds a lot of people to the population and often stress to the families.
Point of fact, Rachel is the author of the book Birthing God’s Fearless Warriors. She’s part of the Quiverful movement that believes that it’s God’s will to have big families and that vasectomy is the equivalent of abortion and maybe even worse in so far as one destroys a single fetus while the other takes out an entire army of potential life. Their thinking is that when the final battle of good and evil takes places around the time of God’s return, the good side, hers, will need more soldiers. Rachel also insisted that population was not a problem. Her explanation for this perspective was all the green space she sees below while flying in the US.
Personally, I don’t think making babies as a way to have a bigger army in the future is the right choice and I’m not sure that we can actually judge the planet’s carrying capacity from 35,000 feet up.
On the other hand, I actually believed her about the intimacy and great sex part. And the good thing about a vasectomy is you feel like you don’t have to worry about being “fertile.” So it has all the benefits and none of the drawbacks … unless of course, it turns out you do want more kids. In which case, there’s always the possibility of a reversal. That’s another story and not mine.
One very important thing for men to do if you choose to get a vasectomy. Let your wife and girlfriends know beforehand. While it’s your choice to not have children, it should be theirs as well.
Oh, and here’s a little hint, if you’re married and thinking that some day you might end up sleeping with another woman and you want to get a vasectomy to make sure you can’t get her pregnant, don’t wait until your wife passes through menopause. At that point she’ll have to wonder why.
We want you to join in a new conversation about over-population and over-consumption, by asking men to take a very personal action to change the world. For weekly updates and announcements, please subscribe to our Campaign News.