I'm Child-Free and Just Had My Tubes Tied — And It's the Most Sexually Empowering Thing I've Ever Done

Sterilization is sexy.
Publish date:
August 30, 2016
pregnancy, sterilization, women who don't want kids, Tubes Tied

As I write this, it's been a week since I got my tubes tied. And it's probably the most freeing thing I've ever done.

If there's one thing that, as women, we're socialized to be scared of, it's unwanted pregnancies. We literally have TV shows that shame teenagers for getting pregnant. "Getting pregnant can ruin your life," we hear. "You won't be able to pursue your dreams. What will you do if you have a child to take care of?" Especially when you're single or unmarried, it seems that everyone tells us not to get pregnant — or, more precisely, to avoid sex so we won't get pregnant. Unless pregnancy is what we want, of course, and that it's with our husband. (Because heaven forbid a single woman might want a child without a man around. THE HORROR.)

Do you wonder now why I've wanted to get sterilized for years?

I like sex. I love sex. I never have enough of it. I have multiple partners (at the best of times), and I get different things from each of them. I love the intimacy and the pleasure and the way it makes me feel connected to something bigger than myself. I like how it's playful and full of giggles and yeses, how it brings out what we've repressed for so long, how it makes us aware of our bodies like nothing else does. If you know how to set it up right, I'm literally insatiable when it comes to sexy times.

But I've never been able to fully indulge simply because of the risk of unwanted pregnancy. Even with the pill, there's still a risk — what happens if you miss a dose or two? Even with the handy cycle apps that tell you when you're ovulating so you can take extra precautions, getting pregnant from a night of fun was still a very present danger for me, and a constant reminder of the consequences of being a woman who likes sex.

Contraception is a really important part of a woman's sexual life. For me, the pill just wasn't enough anymore. The risks of taking it (or another hormonal method) until menopause outweighed its benefits. I am a bad candidate for both IUS and IUDs. And since I'm old enough to know that I don't ever want children, all the temporary contraception alternatives just didn't do it for me. I needed a permanent solution.

I needed my tubes tied.

And now, liberated from the constant anxiety of possible unwanted pregnancy, I can now fully enjoy every moment of sexy fun I have with my partners. I can forget about it forever. There's no more need to worry about unintended consequences, about freaking out over a late period, about getting an abortion should the whole pregnancy thing happen. The weight is off my shoulders, and I feel a whole different kind of sexy. And that's an amazing thing.

Getting sterilized fully freed me from the cultural shame surrounding female sexuality. I've never really been ashamed of my desires, but there was still this nugget of "don't get pregnant when you're single, everyone will think you're a slut" kind of message still bouncing around the less rational parts of my mind. The messages we keep receiving about female sexuality are all around how dangerous and shameful and consequence-laden it is, how it should be reserved for monogamous relationship, how women can't sleep around seeking pleasure, because that would be bad!

Except it isn't. And getting sterilized has literally made my sex life exclusively about pleasure. And that, for those who would want to control women's sex lives, is mightily scary.

That brings me to the more political reasons why getting my tubes tied was an important victory for me: It's an eminently feminist and empowering thing to do. It's about choosing what happens to my body and having full control over it. It's about enforcing my choice to avoid motherhood and to spend the rest of my life on the things that really matter to me. It's about resisting the narrative that sex = children, that womanhood MUST include motherhood to be fully valid. Getting sterilized was my way to call bullshit on that narrative, and to make the choices that are right for me.

But mostly, it's about having lots of fun sex with the people I care about and desire. I will still use protection against STIs, of course, because my health and that of my partners is important. But when it comes to the biggest consequence of all, the conception of another human being, there are no worries anymore. It can't happen again. Ever. And if I eventually decide to have barrier-free sex with a man, it will be a choice free from the fear of unwanted pregnancies.

Because sex for fun is a lot more fun when there's no need to worry about offspring. At least for me.