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Fantasies, Expiration Dates, and the Vasectomy

I’m happily married to an amazing dude and we have three wonderful kids.  After much discussion, we’ve determined that our family is complete, and that him getting a vasectomy is the best thing for us to do. My husband is completely on board logically, but the thought of getting a vasectomy makes him squeamish and nauseous (which I can understand).

He’s also the type of guy who does things right away if he wants to do them, but keeps on putting off tasks that he doesn’t want to deal with (guess which category this falls into?). I don’t want to nag at him until he does it, but it needs to get done. I’m sure this is a common situation, but I’m not sure what to do. Can you shed some light on this from the dude’s perspective, and help me help him to follow through with this?

In other words, he’s a guy. Your husband’s reaction is somewhat predictable. Any male, faced with the you-got-chocolate-in-my-peanut-butter combo of surgery (sharp things) with his most special place (his junk) is naturally going to shrink from the concept. Makes me squeamish just reading about it.

Beyond that, he could also be reacting to the idea that he’s making an irreversible decision. He may not be commitment-averse — heck, he got married! — but he could be thrown by the idea that he can no longer reproduce, that it fundamentally makes him less of a man, or that it limits his options somehow. He might also worry about the potential physiological effects, like a reduced sex drive, which is highly unlikely since vasectomies do not impact hormone or semen production (fun fact: sperm makes up only 2% of seminal fluid!) Perhaps he needs to be assured that vasectomies are reversible (WARNING: link contains cringe-inducing diagrams of the mommy-daddy buttons), and that he can always restore his ability to expand your family to a full hockey team.

Have you guys done all of your homework, and had discussions with your healthcare provider? Sounds like any trepidation he might have related to chest-thumping manhood or permanent eunuch status could easily be allayed by some Q&A with a doctor or a couple of Google searches.

That said, you guys should probably talk about concrete next steps for your family planning out loud. If this is something you both agreed to, set some milestones for executing (YIKES!) on it. Including openly discussing his hesitance and ensuring he’s completely comfortable with the idea. Heck, if he’s a college basketball fan, it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.

I love my husband, and we’re ridiculously compatible. My crazy matches his crazy. But there’s one thing that’s been bothering me: in the five years we’ve been together, he’s never shared a fantasy or suggested anything new in bed. Any bedroom “innovations” have come from me. I’ve tried to make him feel more comfortable in any way I can — by talking about my own fantasies, by telling him I’m open to new things, by asking him before/during/after sex and while drunk and sober. Nothin’. He just says he can’t think of anything. He’s got some other sexual quirks (can only orgasm in missionary position, takes a long time to orgasm) but those don’t really bother me.

What’s going on? Is he too afraid to talk? Or could he really, truly not have anything to share?

First of all, I wouldn’t view your guy’s propensity to nut in missionary as a “quirk” as much as a “proclivity.” Everyone’s got their happy place. For example, I usually can’t climax unless I’m wearing lederhosen. My wife, too.

But we need some more intel here. How does he react when you guys do it your way? Is he into it? Is he reluctant? Embarrassed or excited? One partner’s “innovations” could be another’s taboos. Some people just don’t react well to ping pong balls.

On the other hand, his “thing” might actually be you taking the reins and acting on your fantasies. Don’t sell yourself short: your creativity could be so mind-blowing that it’s overwhelming his more mundane sexy librarian fantasy. (My sexy librarian fantasy is scorching, mainly because it involves the Library of Congress. And Mila Kunis.)

Or, he could have elaborate fantasies that might be reserved for his private time. Fantasies that he might feel are too base for acting out with you, since you’re his wife. He might be shy or ashamed of some of his fantasies. Some people might get revved up about DVDA porn, but there’s no way that’s gonna besmirch the marital bed. Plus: the logistics! He might fear that you’ll think of him as a perv, which is exactly what you’re looking for.

Let’s face it, sometimes this stuff just feels weird to talk about. Sex is really fun when it’s spontaneous, or on the 50-yard-line. So perhaps you can coax something out of him more naturally during foreplay. What’s his favorite movie? “So, do you like it when I talk like Alabama Worley? You’re so cool! Oh, look, a phone booth!”

Else, it’s possible that his favorite flavor really is just vanilla. Nothing wrong with that if both of your toes are curling.

Okay, quick question! I hadn’t thought that this was a thing until recently (is it a thing, Married Dude?). I admit it was because I was spying on A Dude’s fingers, wondering if maybe he might be available and was under the impression that he was until a few people mentioned that he is married. So what’s your take on wearing rings? Wear one? If no, hate jewelry or counter-cultural statement?

This one hits a little close to home for me, since I’m on my second wedding ring. No, still on my first wife, it’s just that my first wedding ring fell victim to the Bermuda Triangle.

I hadn’t been married long, but I felt so incredibly naked without it that I rushed out to replace it the first chance I got. It meant that much to me, physically and emotionally. I definitely sweat losing another one.

I’m kind of a Ring Guy. I’ve always been cool wearing a bit of jewelry, but I stop at pinky rings (just haven’t found the right one for me yet). Some people aren’t, and that doesn’t make them any less committed to their marriage. They just don’t feel comfortable wearing rings or jewelry for whatever reason. Ultimately, it’s up to them and their spouse as to how much meaning a hunk of metal has for their relationship. As long as they aren’t being dirtbags about it and showing tan line on their ring finger at the strip club.

That said, I’m somewhat of a traditionalist. I’m happily married, and not shy about it. I like what the ring symbolizes. Plus, you know, I’ve got to do all I can to keep the ladies off me.

I’m going to try to keep this as concise as possible. I’ve been dating a great guy for about two years. I could say lots of good things about him, but above all else, he is my best friend, and I have a lot of love and respect for him. I want him in my life, but ack, I’m so confused.

We recently had this conversation where he told me that he basically knows that at some point in the future (although not, apparently, the near future?) we will break up for at least some period of time, as he has never really been single before (he was in a long-term thing before me, also) and wants to have that experience of being alone. Which is fine, I can understand that. I’ve done casual dating, I’ve been single for a while, all of those things are valuable learning experiences. But I also feel kind of weird about it? All of a sudden I am very aware that our relationship has an expiration date, and I guess I feel a little cheated, because hey, I’m awesome, and I think I deserve to be with somebody where eventually taking our relationship to the next level (i.e., living together, etc.) could at least be on the table.

I’m a pretty open-minded person, and I try to live in the moment, but it’s not easy when the person you’re with basically tells you that your relationship has no future. Just as a note, this is not the first time where I’ve felt like I’m the only “adult” (not that being in your early twenties is all that grown-up, but still) person in our relationship. He can be very immature and irresponsible, rarely admits to ever being wrong or apologizes for things, and is insecure about stuff within our relationship, which definitely sometimes causes strain between us. Do you think I should stay with this person? Am I asking too much of my early twentysomething guy? Shed some light on the male mind for me, A Dude.

I’m completely sympathetic to the notion that you now feel like your relationship has an expiration date. What do you do with milk once you realize it’s reached its expiration date? You either chug it, give it to the cat, or pour it down the sink. Unfortunately, it sounds like things have already gone sour.

Frankly, it’s unfair of him to dictate the terms of your relationship. He’s being a selfish prick and keeping his options open. Sure, maybe the guy isn’t ready to settle down and needs to play the field for a while, but for God’s sake don’t say that out loud if it’s not during The Breakup Talk. Who does that? What good does it do to know this now? “Hey, just FYI, your car’s brakes are going to fail sometime in the next 100 miles. Could be in the parking lot of the Piggly Wiggly, could be on Mulholland Drive. Good luck!”

I believe you know where I’m going with this, and you sound like you know the answer as well. You’re looking for things that this guy just cannot deliver: a future, maturity, responsibility, and a partner who can hold up his end of the relationship. Instead, all you’re waiting for is for the other shoe to drop. How romantic.

My advice is to take the wheel. Ask him what the hell the two of you are doing if you have no future together. Killing time until he’s ready to go out to stud? Not cool. There are no guarantees that some so-called sabbatical might cure his (wander)lust, and there’s no reason for you to wait around like a sailor’s wife to see if he comes back to port. You know you deserve better, so you should probably get on with finding it. You don’t want to be someone else’s opening act.

Previously: Locks, Ships, and the Sexless Non-Marriage.

A Married Dude is one of several rotating married dudes who don’t claim to know everything about marriage. Do you have any questions for A Married Dude? (300-word max, please.)

Photo by Patsy Michaud, via Shutterstock

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