My best friend’s husband had a vasectomy last week. It’s become quite popular within my circle of acquaintances, which makes me realise I must now be middle-aged. It used to be tattoos and piercings – now it’s all tummy tucks and sterilisation. A vasectomy seems to be quite the in thing among responsible men nowadays. I did wonder about getting my husband one for his birthday but the gift card rack in WHSmith was sadly lacking. This is clearly an oversight. It would make a far more thoughtful present than Ferrari driving or a hot air balloon ride, and you could follow it up with a hernia op voucher for Christmas.
My friend Kate (she whose husband went under the knife) confided that she would not immediately be emptying the loft of the ten year old baby paraphernalia stashed within its gunnels. The doctor had explained it would take approximately thirty six ejaculations before the procedure could be confirmed a success, and suggested they come back in six weeks for a test. “Six weeks?” Kate exclaimed (having done some fast mental arithmetic) “Should we not pencil something in for next year instead?” Her husband, barely able to conceal his delight, patted her on the hand and nobly informed the doctor they would do their utmost to comply.
Whilst poor Kate viewed the prospect of daily shenanigans as frankly exhausting, her mate bounded out of the doctor’s office like a Lab off the leash, anxious to get started. This well documented disparity between men and women has absolutely nothing to do with sexual appetite and everything to do with time. Women are simply too busy. If you were to search my diary for a slice of time in which to engage in rampant bedroom action (and I wouldn’t recommend it – it’s desperately dull reading), you won’t find a single gap.
Assuming I sleep for eight hours each night (this is hugely optimistic, given the yo-yo-like characteristics of my children, but I live in hope) I am left with sixteen hours in which to find time for a bit of marital hokey pokey. You might think that’s quite a lot, but take out of that the ten hours my husband is out at work (and I’m told they take a dim view of sexual activity in the workplace) and it leaves me with just six. Just six hours for a bit of how’s your father, whilst leaving time for life’s other demands. It’s not a lot really, when you think about it. And of course there are the children to manage. Left to their own devices they have a tendency to self-destruct and besides, I do rather like to play with the children when they get home from school. It makes me feel like a real parent. So that’s another three hours spent supervising infants, when I suppose I could be tying my husband to the bed-posts and licking whipped cream from his navel. Although frankly that’s not going to help with the diet. Food – yet another demand on my time. By the time I’ve cooked a meal, dished up, eaten it and cleared it away, we can easily take away another hour from the day. I’m down to two hours and that’s before I’ve spent an hour cleaning out the chickens and checking each one over for mysterious poultry disease (not a task generally recommended to get you in the mood for romance, in case you were wondering. At least, it doesn’t do it for me – I can’t vouch for the chickens). Of course my mother will ring, so that’s at least another half an hour half listening to tales from the village, whilst tidying the playroom and kicking toy cars out from under the sofa. That reminds me – I’ve forgotten the school run. That’s ten minutes each way, assuming I’ve remembered to de-ice the car while I drink my tea, and I don’t get stuck behind a tractor.
That leaves me with precisely ten minutes to get to heaven and back. Oh, it’s hardly worth it, is it?