A lady's man | 1, 2, 3

"I am an arrogant person," he admits in a thick accent during a phone interview. "I'm a very impatient person. It was tested the first time around when you asked, ‘What are you doing now?' I said, ‘Go to my Web site and read about it.' That's not nice necessarily. But I'm an honest person. Why should I pretend that I'm not arrogant when I am? The arrogance that I'm referring to is an intellectual arrogance. It is not just social arrogance by any means. It's related to my impatience. I don't like to spoon-feed people. I don't do it in my lectures. I don't do in my novels. I don't do it in my plays. This is a discussion we've had a number of times with an audience. Every one of my plays ends ambiguously. I feel very strongly that I should not provide answers. I should only ask the questions and make people think rather than brainwash them. I want people to think. If they don't, I get impatient."

Does your arrogance have anything to do with being Viennese?

"This Man's Pill: Reflections on the 50th Birthday of the Pill"

By Carl Djerassi

Oxford University Press
308 pages

[He laughs] If it is, I don't know. I think it has more to do with being Jewish.

Expound on your belief that young men should get vasectomies and thereafter totally separate sex from reproduction.

There are millions of men who have been vasectomized, but they are always middle-aged and already fathers. Young men do not have vasectomies. It has this image -- like it does something to your manhood. If you could have reversible vasectomy then of course it would be different, but we don't have reversible vasectomy yet. An alternative is to preserve one's sperm and then get sterilized. That's totality realistic because we know a great deal about sperm storage. It's very cheap. Vasectomy is very simple.

Aren't vasectomized men missing a profound sexual encounter if they don't have sex to conceive a child?

Every 24 hours there are 100 million acts of intercourse in the world. And these lead to about a million conceptions. Of a million, roughly half are unplanned. And 25 percent are unwanted. That is demonstrated quite easily because every 24 hours there are 150,000 abortions in the world. You see that a lot of pregnancies are completely unplanned. I myself had two children, and one was a complete accident. This was before the Pill existed. That was why I married my wife. Not that I did not love her, but I married her because she was pregnant. That was very common 50 years ago. My second child was a planned child in the context of "Let's have a second child." We didn't say, "Let's have it next month. Or half a year." So we didn't use contraception.

Wasn't it great having sex for both pleasure and reproduction?

In my case no. I never drew that distinction. I like sex, period. I don't need another excuse for it. I think people romanticize the act of conception. Obviously it means something to people, but generally it's a post-factor romanticization. If you have sex with one person once a month then you know exactly when pregnancy happened retrospectively. [Pause.] A mind-blowing orgasm. [Laughs.] Most people do not have the foggiest idea when they conceived. Great sex is based on what it is, the pleasure principle.

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