There are a few methods for obtaining sperm.
My preferred choice was bumming sperm off one of the the million of hot gay boys I was acquainted with (but not too well acquainted with -- I didn’t want to co-parent with anyone, I just wanted a nice, casual transfer of fluids and a willingness to meet the kid when they turn 14 and start asking who their Dad is).
Sperm Banks were a popular, if expensive, option. Also, I could just have sex with some guy and get knocked up. Being mostly gay, I’ve barely had a one-night-stand with a strange man, but having watched many movies it seems like all I’d have to do is sit alone in a bar, perhaps in the flattering glow of a wall sconce, in a body-con dress, and a man would come to me.
As a female who often writes alone on bars, I know that there is something about a unaccompanied woman doing her own thing that fills a man with the need to impose himself upon her. Perhaps I could finally turn this annoyance to my advantage? Too bad the men who bothered me while I was out writing were always drunk and creepy.
Bernadine told me about a lesbian who had put an ad on Craig’s List and found a guy to fuck her every month until she got pregnant, which she did. She never even learned the guy’s name, or he hers. I felt relief knowing that if all else failed I could get pregnant on Craig’s List! Are there any needs which can’t be satisfied by Craig’s List?
Tali was horrified. “You can’t just go and have unsafe sex with a stranger!”
Safe Sex is so popular in queer communities that condoms get used on dildos, so as to not pass along a more benign yet irritating infection. I have even put condoms on my own phallus, if only to protect a date from the lint in my sex toy box. Dildos are lint magnets.
“You sort of need to have unsafe sex to get pregnant,” I explained gently to my friend, who perhaps had forgotten how babies were made. But lest I think this was a queer thing, I was swiftly scolded by my sister as well.
“You’re really not a straight girl,” she chided. “You never have unsafe sex with a guy.”
My confusion about who can actually get me pregnant -- I kept forgetting that my trans guy friends can’t knock me up, or that my trans female friends were donor options -- this showed me how not a straight girl I was. Being OK with having unsafe sex in order to get knocked up seemed like, duh. My friends insisted I should make any prospective donor get tested and show me the papers. This seemed like a lot of ask from a virtual stranger, impossible to ask from a one night stand.
It also triggered my mad impatience -- I had already waited way too long to do this, and it was going to take a while to find a donor, and then I was going to extend the process by making the person get tested and show me the proof? I doubted many guys looking to get laid on Craig’s List would sign up for it. I figured I could ask when they were last tested, how many people they’d slept with since then, and determine whether it was an acceptable risk or not. Providing everyone was telling the truth.
The Craig’s List option was second choice, after soliciting sperm from a friend but before going to a Sperm Bank, which seemed too expensive and sort of clinical. One batch of sperm was like $1,500!
“You’ve spent that much on a purse,” my sister scolded me.
True. But I had both a posh teaching job and a posh book advance when I bought that purse, neither of which I had now. And I didn’t have to go back to Barney’s every month and buy yet another Balenciaga bag because the pervious one hadn’t worked. It seemed likely that I wouldn’t get pregnant on the first try, and that Sperm Bank costs could quickly drain my savings.
Plus I hate paying for things I can get for free. Plus-plus, who were these sperm-donating guys? My crazy lesbian ex-girlfriend had tried to donate an egg and had lied through her teeth about everything, including her lesbianism. Some dudes desperate to jerk off for $100 will no doubt be lying about their alcoholic moms or their bi-polar dads. They might say they’re creative, but arranging a plate of nachos for their Super Bowl Party is as creative as it gets.
It was also harder to get pregnant from sperm bank sperm, it having been frozen and manhandled and whatnot. I wasn’t going down that money pit unless I had to, and with so much free sperm walking around it didn’t seem like I had to.
I started sending really awkward emails to fags. Dear X, Please understand that I understand that this is a crazy question to ask via email, but I want to have a baby and am daydreaming about cool dudes who have sperm and you are at the top of my list.
Dear Y, It would entail me coming over your house or vice verse, you jerking off in a cup, and some kind and not-queasy go-between ferrying the cup from you to me, where I turkey baster it into my VAGINA and make a baby!
Dear J, It was hard not to have baby daddy be the subject line but I fear I am scaring people with my perceived flipness about having a baby when indeed I am not flip about it at all. I just have an irrepressible sense of humor.
Dear X, Y & Z, I totally understand. Thanks so much for considering it!
I asked a incredibly beautiful performance artist -- last seen shoving a lit candle up his ass -- via Facebook, and asked many people in person, causing them to shift with discomfort and make self-deprecating jokes about their genes. Incidentally, many friends expressed concern about getting "good genes."
Good genes include tallness, a lack of alcoholism and no mental illness. Fair enough, but as a short alcoholic on Celexa, I felt like the kid is probably going to be a shrimpy and anxious with a predisposition to alcoholism; it’s just something I’ll have to watch for.
Also, if nearly everything is genetic, which I believe may be so, perhaps a desire for sobriety could also be passed along. With this in mind, I was actively seeking donors who were sober alcoholics, but not considering anyone presently a hot mess.
When my best friend Vinnie, who I met at age 15 sleeping out for Billy Idol tickets, said no, I had reached my end. Vinnie and all the fags I’d spoken to were held back by the fear that they would feel responsible for the child, no matter how much I let them off the hook. They’d feel like deadbeat dads, especially if they later got to enjoy some sort of friendship with this child whose livelihood they did not contribute to.
“But I don’t want your help!” I swore up and down. “We can put it in writing and have it notarized and everything!” No matter.
The reality of a child out there, walking around, gave most everyone a feeling, a feeling that if this were to happen they would have even more feelings, but what these feelings would feel like was quite unknown and so the whole thing seemed like a bad idea. I tried to have compassion for my sperm-hoarding friends and not resent them for, you know, spilling their seed all over town but refusing to give me a squirt.
Next Week: Sperm, sperm everywhere, but not a drop to inseminate with! Also, how to date when you’re trying to get pregnant.