How To: Provide A Sample (In 15 Short Steps!)
This is a trigger warning. Human bodies are gross. If that’s is a problem, can I recommend looking elsewhere on the site?
Seven weeks ago, I got a vasectomy. On Tuesday, I had to provide the sample that ended up proving my sterility. This is how that went:
1. After you get a vasectomy, the doctor will explain the procedure that you’ll undertake six weeks later, and essentially, you’ll spend absolutely no time considering it because at that precise moment, your balls hurt. Mine did anyway. So when the doctor said, “And you’ll provide an emission, and then you’ll have to get it across town to the Center For Reproductive Medicine within a half hour…” I didn’t think about the ramifications of that. I just thought, “I want to go home.”
2. But seven weeks passed – with wondrous complications, in my case – and now I wanted the entire process to be finished with. Which meant I need to jerk off into a small plastic vial. Not small. You know. Average. Whatever. It’s fine.
3. I chose the coldest day in the last six trillion years to provide my sample. I did this because I am dumb, but again, when you’ve had knives near your gentlemen’s region, you want to know if the experience has been truly worth it. Anyway, there isn’t much time to deliver the specimen to the people that need to get it. That sounds gross. A bunch of stuff had to happen at once. That’s my point.
4. Because it was so cold, I started the car so it would be warm. Things have to be warm, not just because being cold sucks, but because the specimen has to be warm. Like, it can’t get cold. So I start the car and have it warming up. Then I go back inside and put on all of the clothing imaginable. Gotta be warm. Compression shirt, woolen shirt, sweatshirt, longjohns, heavy sweatpants. But I’ve gotta produce the actual sample, so I trudge upstairs in all of this gear. I’m sweating immediately.
5. Ever had to orgasm? Absolutely had to? Right then? Takes more effort than I’d realized. Coupled with the extra clothes to keep warm, the situation also continued to get sweatier. I’m now staring at the genuine possibility of arriving at the facility a sweaty, disgusting mess, which will I’m sure not be weird in the slightest. Considering these scenarios incidentally? Considering the possibility of a sweaty, out-of-breath me stumbling into the facility, “I got it! Take it! YOU HAVE TO TAKE THIS!” They don’t make the orgasm-into-a-vial-job any easier.
6. Did I mention that there’s “A room here where you can provide the specimen, sir?” Because that’s what I’d been told on the phone. I don’t know, I guess it’s just me, and maybe I’m a real square, but the idea of showing up at a place and going, “Show me to the Jerkin It Room please!” creeps me out. Legitimately terrifies me. I guess I have more in common with social conservatives than I’d realized.
7. You reach the point of providing the sample and you’ve got to get it into the vial. This is so much sexy. The working, the aiming, the focusing, the coupling of all of that with what once used to be a pleasurable experience. And then, the realization: that’s all there is? I did all this for that?
8. Once the specimen is in the vial, the countdown is on, as is the need to keep this vial warm. So the vial goes up under the compression shirt. And now I’m headed downstairs, sperm sample strapped to my stomach. I head out the door into the cold and realize that I’ve forgotten the brown paper bag I’m planning to put the sample in before handing it over. Not the actual sample. The vial. Anyway, back into the house, back up the stairs, back for the brown paper bag, because I’m sure there’s nothing strange about walking into the Center For Reproductive Medicine with my little brown paper bag. Average. Whatever. It’s fine. I imagine people driving by the facility going, “That man has a little brown paper bag that he’s carrying delicately into the facility. There definitely isn’t a sperm sample in there!”
9. Funny Story: I’d originally been headed toward the wrong facility. In fact, I’d stopped by a different one a day earlier trying to figure out where I was supposed to be going. The very much older folks behind the place that I did stop looked at me quizzically as I explained that I’d had a vasectomy and that it had been six weeks and that, “I’m just trying to figure out where I’m supposed to be coming?” And obviously I meant the location, but that’s not really what I said, is it? Anyway, that was the wrong place. The fact that it was a church should have given it away.
10. Now I’m driving across town with this sample strapped to my belly. There’s no traffic, so I make it, but when I’m almost there, I pass in traffic a friend of mine, and I think, “I should slow down and wave,” but then I don’t, because as soon as we rolled down our windows to chat, I would have had to shout, “DAMMIT, I’VE GOT A SEMEN SAMPLE STRAPPED TO MY CHEST, STOP TALKING TO ME, I’VE GOTTA GO!”
11. I head inside and there is a woman at the counter and I stammer as I try to explain why I’m there. She is bored of course. This isn’t weird. This is her work. So she takes my name and information and asks me to sit down before they call me back and I think, “Oh god. Do they think I’m here for the room? Because I’m not. I’m not here for the room. Please not the room.”
12. How do you walk out off that room and look anybody in the eye? They know what you’ve done. You know what you’ve done. Everybody knows the score. But I bet nobody goes, “Way to beat off just now five feet away from me!” Which is good. Because they shouldn’t say that. That wouldn’t be professional at all.
13. I am called back and fortunately, no room. I hand over the bag. I’m asked to fill out some paperwork, including a questionnaire about how I’ve taken care of business. This is apparently because men routinely screw this up. They have their wives (or husbands, maybe?) help them. “Honey! Help me produce this sample!” They have sex and withdraw. They ejaculate into a condom. Anyway, I’m asked things like how I ejaculated. Any assistance risks the presence of sexy contaminants. All of this is giving me the heebie-jeebies. Anyway, the instructions are clear: go masturbate by yourself. How can anybody botch that? Then, more questions, including one asking where exactly you orgasmed. The possible answers are: In The Room (nope!), At Home (yep!), At A Hotel (?), or Somewhere Else.
14. What’s that third option? At a hotel? What does that mean? Do people get hotel rooms just for providing semen samples? How does that work? Does insurance pay? Do you just pay for the time? “I need your best suite, but for like, ten minutes, tops! Please put a mint on the pillow anyway.” And that fourth one? Somewhere Else? Am I supposed to write down, “I was just out in the parking lot. Is that not okay?” Needless to say, I fill out my paperwork and leave, hopeful never to return. I’m told, “You’ll hear from us in a few days.”
15. So I went home. Two hours later, the doctor sent me a message telling me my sperm was non-motile and that this was consistent with a successful vasectomy and that I could now trust its effectiveness. So here’s to sterility, and all that comes with it. Get it? It’s a sperm joke!