Be warned this will not be everyone’s cup of tea. It is my humorous attempt but true story of what men face when they must go into a fertility clinic and produce a sample. It is written tongue and cheek so if you are easily offended by any kind of reference to “self-love” please stop. If you are open-minded and brave well….read on:) This is an excerpt form my book “The Longest Love Letter”
The Great Masturbation Story
I like to think God is a woman. I have this theory because if God made us in his or her image then God must be a she. I would expect God to be smart, strong, and compassionate. In most cases this description fits a woman more than a man. But sometimes I witness things in life that tells me maybe God is a man because in many ways man has it easier than women. Men rarely suffer from body image issues, in some countries and faiths they do not even consider women to be equals to men, men don’t go through the pain of birthing a child, and when it come to the biggest thing men have to do when it comes to the Process it ends out being something they have done since they were old enough to figure it out: masturbate. It really is not fair. Women have to be knocked out on medication, legs in stirrups, and have people use tools to go inside their body to pull out eggs while a man goes into a room for five minutes, loves himself and he is done. Maybe God is a woman and when it come to the Process she figures that she will just have men do what they do best: love themselves.
When it comes to masturbation and the Process, there is so much more involved than one would think. You are given the option to give your sample at the hospital or produce a sample at home and drive like a maniac to get it to the doctor’s office within thirty minutes. I found it best to do it in the doctor’s office but it was still uncomfortable. When I was in the main waiting room I loved to see the expressions on the men’s face as they came into the clinic with their little brown bag of seminal samples in a cup. These would be fathers would look a little embarrassed and were always in a rush to leave. I did this part of the Process at home once and I was lucky I did not get a ticket going to the facility. While waiting in the in the reception area I was constantly checking my watch because they had to get the sample in a certain time frame and I was paranoid they would make me wait too long and the sample would be useless and it would throw the cycle off and your Mom would have to start over with her shots.
When we were at the Jones, one of my best friends from works son was the tech I had to see to give my sample. I remember the first time I went to visit my friend’s son at the Jones I felt so funny handing by sample to a man that looked exactly like a good friend of mine that was one twisted but lovable individual. The Jones had a quiet room for the men. You were sent into the room and directed to a selection of men’s magazines for inspiration. There was even a table that they set out for you that were just the right height so you could use both hands and not have to balance a magazine while showing yourself how much you love yourself. I would never touch the magazines. The thought that these magazines were used several times a day for inspiration by several other men made my germ fearing brain go into overdrive. I thought the women in these magazines were dirty girls because they inspired so many men. I have issues, I know.
The other funny thing about this aspect of the Process is that you are given instructions on what to do. They tell you what to clean, how to clean, what to use, what not to use, and how to tie your shoes. Something that most boys discover in the bathtub when they a barely old enough to color within the lines becomes a rigorous controlled procedure. It is dangerous too; they give you a cup with sharp edges to produce the sample in. After you follow all the instructions, avoid the germ covered magazines, and get near the end of the moment you have to have the wherewithal to not cut yourself on these edges while aiming your little sample maker into the cup. Hang in there this part of the ride is almost over.
After leaving your Grandma Janet with the thought that the last person I saw before making a sample for this final IVF was her, I was making small talk with the tech as she took me to the room to fill out paperwork, get my cup, and prepare to play the one man band. The last thing this girl said to me when I walked into the room was, “after you knock this out place you cup here, I will be waiting”. She actually said knock this out. The New Hope naughty room was a little bit swankier than the Jones self love lounge. The New Hope was a little more intimate. I saw the magazines neatly placed in a rack. I noticed a popular model on the cover of one of the magazines and an odd thought crossed my mind. If I used that magazine and her as the inspiration to make the sample and a pregnancy successfully occurs can I bring a lawsuit against that model for child support? There was a radio in the room with a CD player. CD’s will be unheard of by the time you are old enough to read this. I figured the radio was there to drown out the ambient noise of the nurses and techs hustling through the halls of the New Hope. I looked to see what CD was in the player and I nearly fell out of the chair. The CD was the soundtrack to Rocky. I could not get out of my mind the idea of some guy in the naughty room doing his thing while the theme to Rocky was dancing through the air. Just before I did my part I knocked on the wall to remind your Grandma Janet know I was there.
Life is full of irony and this is not an exception. It is actually downright unfair that men get off so easy compared to women when it comes to the Process. Maybe God is a man and is looking after His own or maybe God is a women and figures she will just leave the men to do the easy work so they don’t write long whining chapters about having to masturbate. The fact that God is even mentioned in this chapter will bother many but God gave me this sense of humor so therefore God must have a sense of humor as well. This sense of humor good or bad has got me through life’s tough spots and the Process was no exception.