Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Dear Diary.......

My sports club is currently enjoying a number of foreign visitors over for the olympics.  Last night, over my nth post-sport-beer, my conversation with a gay American couple shifted to that of male circumcision (don't ask me how we got onto it, I really have no idea).

There's been a lot of press recently over a German court banning any non-medically-necessary circumcision of children.  Well, 'a lot' may be an exaggeration but how often do we read about the actions of German courts in the Daily Mail?

So what has this got to do with sperm donation? Rights. I'll explain...

When you sign up as a donor there's a box asking if you want any restrictions placed on the use of your sperm.  That's really about it as far as donor rights go.  Sure I could ring up later having change my mind about the whole thing and they'll destroy my donations but I can't say 'ok sure you can have my sperm but I want you to dress any children conceived from it only in organic cotton and I want you to read them The Very Hungry Caterpillar twice weekly'.

And I certainly can't dictate that they are under no circumstances allowed to circumcise any male children.

This was my biggest sticking point in being a donor: the giving up of control and responsibility.  Basically, what happens when a product of my loins rocks up on my doorstep in 19 years time and I'm either disappointed in them or disagree with the way they've been brought up?

I understand enough about genetics to appreciate that despite whatever genetic advantages (or disadvantages) they may receive from me, they'll end up the way they'll end up.  But the parents are a different matter.  They're people I can disagree with and get angry about.  What if they raise my sperm-child to believe that spicy food is bad for you?  What if they never raise the child to see the wonder in the world around us or to encourage them to seek out every opportunity for growth and adventure?

And as a Humanist-cum-militant-atheist, I (very) briefly contemplating asking if I could put a restriction in dictating that only non-religious people could conceive using my sperm.  

Of course I realised it was futile to worry about what may be.  Sure I may end up being disappointed in them but what parent doesn't worry about this.  On the flip side the young adults that seek me out later may put me to shame having done, seen and achieved more than my feeble worries could ever imagine.

So I have no rights but what about influence?

As a donor I was encouraged to write a 'letter' to any children who want to know more about their donor, going into detail about my life, childhood, personality and so on.  I think it's probably the most difficult thing I've had to do since I left university! I wanted to write something that would inspire them to live life whilst giving a taste of what it is that is me and where any annoying personality traits they have may have come from.  Yet at the same time trying not to come across as too 'cringe' (and I couldn't help but fret about what Toyin would think typing up my letter!).

I have no idea if my letter will do any good or if anyone will read it or even understand it!  So now it's over to their parents...

Post written by a  current London Sperm Bank donor:  IT Consultant working in the city

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Dear Diary.....

This week I passed through the final check-point on my way to having my donations approved for consumption: a check-up and chat with a doctor upstairs from the London Sperm Bank (LSB) in the London's Women Clinic.

I felt a bit strange walking into the Women's Clinic, as I was seemingly the only man around.  I had an appointment and was supposed to be there but I felt like I was intruding somehow in the magic of child-making.  Did the ladies waiting with me really want to see me sitting there?  A donor! Get out!!  Get yourself back downstairs to your porn and jars and earn your keep...

I ended up stalking a cute lesbian couple from the downstairs waiting room up to the upstairs waiting room and it was lovely to see them supporting each other whilst they waited for a scan.  Neither was showing so it must be quite soon into the pregnancy and I couldn't help but feel a warm glow inside that someday one of my donations would be allowing something similar to happen.

The doctor appointment involved a chat to ensure I was of sound mind and knew what I was getting into and a poke around my genitals, although without the requisite cough.  I’m not sure why my genitals needed poking, as presumably the fact that I'm able to produce healthy donations would suggest everything was fine, but I duly dropped my pants and endured the poke before heading back down to the LSB to give another donation.

Dropping back down to the basement I couldn't help but compare the LSB with the London Women's Clinic.  

I like the London Sperm Bank, with its brightly painted rooms, but the contrast between the two made the LSB have a slightly seedy feel to it, almost like a bachelor pad: it's in a basement, there's a leather couch with a TV and the rooms where the deed is done have a selection of porn in them (split into straight and gay piles).

Whereas the London Women's Clinic had floral couches, high ceilings, copies of The Economist instead of porn and a lot of very expensive equipment.

It was like those times I've accidentally walked into the ladies changing rooms with that feeling of wrongness: oh this is nice... No wait hang-on, where's the smell of urine and sweat, oh hell I'm in the ladies... 

But the LSB feels a bit like home now, grubby porn and all, whereas the Women's Clinic was alien and clinical to me after spending so much time at the sperm bank.  From the presence of the nurses in their scrubs to the fact that the receptionist referred to me as Mr, it felt very business like, rather than the friendly smiles and banter downstairs.

I've realised recently that not only have I started getting quite emotionally invested in being a donor but that I'm actually enjoying the experience.  I feel good about it!  And not just because of the associated orgasms... I look forward to seeing Toyin and hearing her stories of men posting condoms through to them as prank 'donations' (They apparently didn't even tie a knot in it so it leaked out everywhere... vile!)

It's amazing how something that a few months ago felt awkward, uncomfortable and forced is transitioning into 'normal'.

Blog entry written by a London Sperm Bank Donor, an IT Consultant working in the city.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Dear Diary......

"Not tonight dear; I have a headache".  I never thought I'd utter those words but today, in a loose way, I did.  And I'm not quite sure how I feel about it...  Disappointment?  Shame?  Mock indifference?  All of the above most likely.

When it comes to ejaculation, I'm not the fastest boy on the block.  I've come to accept that it just takes me a while, and that sometimes things just don't go the way I want.   But apparently my brother is similar (yes, we're a sharing family) and Google returns pages of results with people who post comments asking about it, so it's not something that I'm alone in and it's something I've come to accept about myself.

Yet when I go to the sperm clinic to donate I can't help but fret about my performance.  When you arrive and sign in you're given your stats (your 'performance' if you like) from your last visit.  Usually with some muttered praise about how well you did, presumably so that your male ego feels large enough that you're encouraged to continue with the programme.  I suck it up of course: my heart swelling with pride at being told my numbers are 'really really good', grabbing the BIOHAZARD bag and going off to the booth to do Another Good Job.  

Last week though things didn't follow this pattern: I had a sample rejected.  Apparently my little swimmers were tired or something so when I arrived instead of numbers there was 'DISCARD' in the column.  It had been highlighted.  I presume to draw even more attention to my failure...  The occasional rejection is apparently normal; they say that most people have 3-4 donations rejected.  But I found it as some sort of affront to my masculinity: how dare they reject me!

And now this week things have reached a new low: I left the booth with an empty BIOHAZARD bag having given it my all and failed.  

As I said earlier, I'm quite used to not reaching climax.  But at the clinic there's paperwork: lines that need to be drawn through entries and so on.  And so I couldn't help but feel a bit of shame and inadequacy when I handed over the empty bag and scurried away.

I'm sure it must happen to others too but as men we don't like to talk about the bad sex.  Just the good sex.  And although my weekly relationship with a little plastic jar isn't actually sex, it's close enough that my ego can't tell the difference.

But next week is another week.  I'll catch up on some sleep and in a few weeks time this little episode will be forgotten.  The ladies at the London Sperm Bank have probably forgotten about it already.  They don't care how long I spend in the booth or what porn I look at.  Or even that I'm jacking off.  Just as long as everything is safe and legal they're happy.

Post written by London Sperm Bank Donor.  IT specialist