Friday, 4 January 2013

A Sperm Party?

Masturbation is normally a solitary activity, unless you're gay or have an understanding girlfriend. But not tonight...

I'm on the tube on the way home from the first ever London Sperm Bank donor Christmas party and, I feel, it was a huge success. Hangovers not withstanding of course! There was a large turnout of both donors and London Sperm Bank & London Women's Clinic staff at a pub local to the LSB, and it ran well over its allotted time, with Toyin leaving a group of 'hard core' donors and staff behind when she headed "home". 

Being a sperm donor was a solitary activity until tonight.  Sure I met Toyin, Natalie and, occasionally, Amber, but it generally didn't involve any other donors.  So it was nice to meet others who have been, or are going through, the process, each of whom has their own reason for becoming a donor and who has their own story to tell about their donation journey. 

All in all tonight was enjoyable: I had a few beers, chatted to quite a few people and had the obligatory junk food dinner on the way home.  But as with all of my previous trips to do donations, I came away from the experience with my mind whiring.  Talking to the donors was interesting but really their stories were variations of my own.  The staff, however, were fascinating.

All of the staff were interesting, from their funny stories about donors, to the reasons why they did their jobs.  But I found chatting to a lady whose job it is to help the recipients of our donations through the process the most interesting.  She turned up late, complained about having to catch up with the others, and then proceeded to tell me, over the better part of a bottle of wine, about the lives of the ladies (and couples) who we donors help to enrich.

I wrote before about a lesbian couple I stalked through the halls of the London Women's Clinic, and how great I felt about how some day a similar couple would be recipients of one of my donations.  And what this lady, between mouthfuls of wine, told me once again validated this feeling: from stories of same sex couples who've deliberated long and hard about wanting to accept donor sperm, to straight couples who have tried everything else, to single women who, for whatever reason, don't have a partner and need the help of a donor.

People of all walks of life need the help of sperm donors and it's a wonderful feeling to know I'll be helping them.

The feeling of community tonight was overwhelming: lab staff recognised donors; Toyin announced everyone as they arrived (by name not by donor number); there were hugs; jokes about Natalie having to inspect the provided LSB porn; discussions of where people were going on holiday; etc.  It was like a work Christmas party, but with people who have given up their time to enrich the lives of others, rather than staff bitching about their boss and complaining about the drinks budget.

And a highlight was a donor being told that there'd been confirmation today that he'd had a live birth of twins: everyone gave him a cheer and he left the pub with a huge smile on his face.

That'll be me soon hopefully.  Meanwhile I have the warm glow of knowing I'm helping others.  Well, maybe once the hangover has gone.

Written by a London Sperm Bank Donor