Noilly Prattle: Good (Cyber) Samaritans… or

Friday, February 28, 2014

Good (Cyber) Samaritans… or

Whoever said masturbation was “wasting your seed”?

This has got to be the ultimate in virtual reality -- getting pregnant through the Internet.
Saw a fascinating program on NHK (Japan’s national broadcasting company), or, rather, my wife saw the program and told me about it. The program interviewed men who freely donate their sperm to women who are interested in having a baby without the fuss and bother of going through the usual channels. The men claim they do it because they want to help women. The women are motivated by the desire for a child but are facing their ticking biological clock and don’t want to get involved with a man, at least not on a ‘til-death-do-us-part basis.

            The procedure here in Japan, according to the NHK program, is for the men to advertise their “wares” on a website. They can list their desirable qualities such as age, health, physical appearance, work, education, etc. If they’ve been in the game for a while, they may have a chart of their “accomplishments”—how many women have accepted their donation and how many have resulted in pregnancies. Some even have a pretty impressive list of their “children”.

            Here is an example of an offer of sperm donation by a young man in the Tampa, Florida area.  I should qualify this link, though. This guy offers only N.I. (natural insemination), so he may just be looking for an easy one night stand

            Once a woman is sufficiently impressed with his resume she will contact him through his website and arrange a meeting, usually in a coffee shop for a little face time to appraise his qualities and decide if she wants to accept his sperm. Incidentally, the only money involved in this transaction is that the woman pays for the coffee. If, after a little casual conversation and shrewd visual appraisal, she decides to accept, he goes off to a nearby toilet and deposits his sperm into a suitable receptacle, returns to the coffee shop (or, if he uses the coffee shop toilet, back to the table) and hands over the precious container to the woman. They shake hands (?), say goodbye, and she goes home and gets out the syringe and deposits the sperm into the appropriate place. If all goes well, out pops a little Hiroshi or Naomi nine months later. If the pair had such an agreement, she may contact him online and report the success of the mission and he can add another notch to his belt.

The program and a discussion between my wife and me (not without a lot of ribald joking) got me curious as to why men would freely donate their sperm. I speculated they must get some kind of personal male stud satisfaction in having bred a lot of children. It’s almost a perfect situation for a man; he can brag about his amazing potency and escape any of the responsibility for actually raising children. As for the women, my wife speculated that they are approaching the limits of their biological clock, are probably successful career women, want the experience of having and raising a child and don’t want to bother living with a man. One child is enough I suppose.

But why take the risks on unprotected meetings with strangers in coffee shops and sperm not certified safe by medical professionals, etc.? Well, in Japan the restrictions on who can access a legitimate sperm bank are highly restrictive. Unmarried women can’t use them. Sperm banks in, say the US, are not perhaps so restrictive, but enormously expensive--$42,000 a pop—and no guarantees.

One anonymous sperm donor I found on the web talked about his motivation:

D says when he hit age 45 after one marriage and a handful of failed relationships, he realized he had no prospects of having children with anyone soon. So he decided to become a sperm donor.
"People would say, 'You are out of your mind, forget about it. Get married. Have your own life and have your own children.' Well, I have been looking for a wife for the last 12 years and have been unsuccessful.
So this is a different type of way for me to produce some children," he says.

            Hmmm. Maybe I should go to into the business, too…and be a Good Samaritan.

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