I am fascinated by the reproductive system, this miraculous collaborative anatomy that sparks eternal Life when a male and female make Love. I am also intrigued by the emotional, psychological and spiritual features of this most wondrous system.
Why do we make the choices we do around reproduction? What perspectives are born of our own traumas, fears, and needs for control, and what alternatives are there?
In a culture obsessed with controlling birth - essentially violating the natural physiology and impulse of the body's created order - what do we stand to lose?
These are questions I rarely see raised in a culture that promotes birth control options that often end up inducing further, unanticipated bodily harm. I have a lot speculative reasons why this is, maybe I'll talk about it one day.
This book Vasectomy: The Cruelest Cut of All by Dr. Brad Bowens is one example of an excellent book that likely remains largely unread; in an age of so much common sense why do research? When deep emotion and trauma are involved, this response is understandable. My concern, however, is what further trauma does vasectomy unwittingly induce?
Heaping trauma on trauma does not deliver us from our fears.
I just spent the last hour reading about the incredible anatomy of the male reproductive system. It explodes the mind to examine the perfection of this one small system; it is so pristine and generous in its labour. Like The Little Engine that Could, sperm continue to produce, never quitting, because... LIFE!!!!!
Regardless of where cutting off the Life Force leaves us emotionally, psychologically or spiritually, we must examine why we live in a medical culture that affirms vasectomy as a safe option for birth control, when it is questionable at best. When the negative effects of vasectomy often only begin to be experienced 5-7 years after the procedure, we may miss the association. What is vasectomy doing to our men, their virility, their power, their own innate life force?
"Vasectomy is a "safe and simple procedure" according to many in the medical profession. While the simple part might be accurate, the safe part is definitely not. The cruelest cut of all frequently produces lifelong pain, often worsened by sexual activity, arising months or year after the procedure. Too ashamed to speak up many men suffer in silence unless the pain is severe... With vasectomy labeled as a "safe and simple procedure" by the medical community, men and their spouses are being grossly misled.
Post-Vasectomy Pain Syndrome (PVPS) truly represents the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and the concern of physicians and researchers as to why this supposedly rare complication occurs is incredibly misdirected, because the theoretical and practical foundation supporting vasectomy is hopelessly flawed. Take a pump and a balloon. As the balloon fills you reduce the pumping pressure and then stop. Now pump up another balloon and do not stop. A young child will predict what will happen - pressure will build and the balloon will burst."- Vasectomy: The Cruelest Cut of All
What are the consequences for cauterizing our flesh, or short-circuiting systems that are not extraneous or optional but are fundamentally integrated with the wellness and wholeness and purpose of our being?
I am thinking about these things on a quiet winter afternoon, tucked in by the fireside, surrounded by my tribe of boys and men and wondering about a world that would seek to separate them from their own virility.
I share these reflections not as an platform for judgment, but as an opportunity for reflection. We have all made mistakes; we are all growing; and I believe healing is available for every trauma ever experienced. Yet, unless we are willing to stare down some of our most basic cultural assumptions and narratives regarding reproduction, how can we begin to elevate beyond the patterns and dysfunctions of our current time?
The words of Mark Twain come to mind:
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect)."