The Family Jewels: To Cut or Cover?
“OK, Honey, I’m pulling the goalie. The IUD is out. Your turn to think about contraception.”
Gees, now what? Quick, go through the list in your head. Withdrawal? Abstinence? Rhythm method? Not likely. Really boils down to vasectomy or condoms. Cut it or cover it.
Handling Old Faithful
Gees, condoms?!? Believe it or not, the oldest known condoms were made of fish intestine and were found in the depths of Dudley Castle in England and date to 1640! In the 19th century, they were called “French Preventatives.” I bet that the first thing that comes to your mind though is Steve Carell’s bedroom brawl with condoms in The 40 Year Old Virgin. Or, the embarrassing father-son bedside talk in American Pie with Jason Biggs and Gene Levy. Sooo high school.
Matter of fact, vasectomy has an equally illustrious past. It began in in earnest in American psychiatric hospitals and asylums over a century ago to control unintended population growth. In the roaring 1920’s, vasectomy was one way to achieve “male rejuvenation,” and the holy grail of perpetual youth. Much later, in the 1980s, vasectomy was featured in the flop film Vasectomy, A Delicate Matter, as Paul Sorvino is served ice-cold water on his privates in bed by his wife and mother of his 8 kids, to kindly let him know that things have to change.
Apples & Bananas
So which evil is the lesser evil? I figure it’s best to compare their stats mano e mano, as you would with cars or baseball teams:
Feature Condoms Vasectomy
How effective? Good (2-5% failure) Great (<1% failure)
Ease of use? Constant bother Tough at first; no sweat later
Time investment? Constant bother 1 hr + 2 day recovery
Get the Sensation? Latex All’s good
Reversibility? Extremely high Very high
Connotation? High School Responsible partner
Safe sex? Yes No
Ok, it’s true that condoms are neat little pocket soldiers that can be called to duty as needed to serve their masters. But a well done No Scalpel vasectomy… now that is a thing of beauty, a silent, constant and faithful guard, and always at the ready to avoid life’s unhappy returns.