This paper presents a theoretical model derived from a grounded theory analysis of interviews with 19 men who had had a vasectomy three years previously. The aim was to track men's experience of vasectomy through decision making, surgery and adjustment and to develop a model to shed light on the process. Early studies of vasectomy had suggested that men adopt more stereotypically masculine behaviours after vasectomy and their authors had conjectured that these were compensatory for a diminished sense of masculinity. Interesting findings from the present study suggest that, for these participants at least, vasectomy often enhanced their sense of masculinity. Surgery was sometimes construed as a “bloodbath” heroically endured and part of the construction of a valued identity of a “family man”. Peer pressure, particularly in the workplace, appeared to be a powerful motivator when making the decision to be sterilized and the authors suggest that vasectomy can be a passport to membership of a socially valued group.