I recently ran across an interesting article on one of my favorite web sites, Cracked, that discusses “6 Terrifying Things Nobody Tells You About Donating Sperm.” Now, I’m a female bodied individual so I can only truly understand donating sperm to a certain extent. That said, I have several friends who have donated and an ex boyfriend who donated sperm throughout his undergraduate career (and now raises three children). And again, I’m biased and haven’t given donating sperm much thought, other than “It takes what, all of ten minutes? Decent money….”
Number 6 on the list isn’t so scary at all. It just mentions that most sperm banks prefer attractive people who are healthy, tall, and have at least a degree (Ivy League is extra credit!). Number 5 is a little scary to me, but only in the intrusion sense – sperm banks want to know as much as they can about you and your family history. They are painting a portrait of someone’s potential offspring, so if people are picking it out of a book, they might want to know as much information as possible. Cracked links to this site, which may help give you a better idea of what sperm banks are looking for – as well as about 50 conditions that disqualify you from donating (including ever having had a sexually transmitted infection, even if it was cured!)
The article also mentions the, um, ambiance of where a person makes their deposit. This gave me the slightest idea of pressure that someone may be under, as well as how the conditions around them can influence their feelings. I can’t imagine sitting in a doctor’s office, knowing that I have to give them my best swimmer’s – and the staff is just sitting outside, probably counting down the minutes til the weekend. Oh, and the first donation or two? You don’t get paid for – that’s probably one of the scariest things for me. You go through giving the staff information going back four generations, get interviewed, and then have to give them two deposits – and you’re still not getting paid. This is starting to sound like the most stressful job interview ever!
The last two points that the article makes reminded me of talking to friends who have donated sperm. Number 2 on the list has to do with limiting your extracurricular sperm donations – the banks want a large deposit, so you need to limit masturbating or having sex with ejaculating. Essentially, this is starting to sound like a full time job, and likely for not the same amount of pay. The last thing on the list is the one that I’ve always wondered the most about – what about all of the (potential) children you may have out there? For the guy I dated, he donated sperm about ten years before he ever had children (that he knew of). He would occasionally wonder if they would seek him out, and also (I found this to be an interesting facet of his personality) what their potential lives were like. He knew that he wouldn’t be a good parent at the time, but he did hope that if someone selected his sperm that the potential kids were raised in a good environment and happy.
What do you think? Is donating sperm really terrifying? Is it something that you’d do? If you donated, do you ever wonder about your potential children?
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