What is it like, giving a sperm sample during infertility treatments? The Modern Husband shares the male perspective.

The Modern Husband: My Experience Giving a Sperm Sample

In Fertility by The Modern Husband

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Your wife asks you to write about jerking off. More specifically, about the experience of giving a sperm sample for her IUI. In any case, accommodating her request, much like providing semen for the IUI, is accompanied by quite a bit of awkwardness. You decide to write in the 2nd person to distance yourself a bit in order to be able to write honestly about this subject.

The day requires an early rise – you need to be at the clinic at 7am. Your wife accompanies you as a show of support; she’s sweet, you think, one of the reasons you love her. You take the subway together, ride up the elevator, and enter the clinic, the whole time looking around nervously to make sure you don’t know anyone. Your wife signs you in.

The clock is ticking. Wait. You need a plan for how to get the sperm into the bottle without missing. Why are there no instructions?
The receptionists are all female. The other patients waiting as well. You wonder if everyone knows why you’re there. Is there any other reason for a male to be there? And if so, do they think about it, imagining you masturbating? And if so, it seems to be acceptable in society that guys masturbate, so is it a big deal? You don’t think it is – despite a bit of discomfort, you’re open to writing about it on a blog that anyone has access to. But what if a woman came into an office to masturbate – how would that be perceived? You feel that would be different. A couple come in. Is he there for the same reason? He doesn’t seem to show discomfort. Do you?

They call your name. That is, your first name and only the first initial of your last name – privacy concerns. The young lady from the reception walks you to a small room, explains that there are containers inside, on one of which you should stick a stamp she hands you, with your name and some additional information. There are also small tubes of lubricants (should you need them). Don’t forget to lock the door. As you close the door while she leaves, you can’t help but think how many guys jerk off to fantasies of the receptionists, as they are the last person they see before their confinement, and then you wonder if the receptionists have those same exact thoughts. No, you conclude, they just don’t understand how our minds work. You lock the door.

A man shares his awkward and funny experience giving a sperm sample at the fertility clinic You turn around and take in your surroundings. A small room, with a big blue chair covered with disposable paper, to provide a sense of sanitation. You understand that you are expected to be sitting down. You see baskets with containers, and other baskets with magazines. To your right is a very small and very old television set, with both a VCR(!) and DVD, and some movies garnered to pique your interest lying on a shelf below. The room also contains some necessities for after the act: a garbage can, a sink with soap, and paper towels. There is also a box with blue gloves, which you understand are for the orderlies that clean after. Taking a closer look at the surroundings, you see blotches of dried up goo, and you make a mental note to make sure you stay away from them.

There is already a container waiting for your use on the chair. You tear open the bag, and think for a second that perhaps you should have left it closed until a later point to prevent infections, but realize that’s dumb. You need to get into the mood. You walk over to the magazines and begin flipping. Some of the stuff is pretty disgusting, but right now nothing much does anything for you. You land on a magazine on motor boats – you get how some guys could get off on that, but it’s not your thing. You flip through another magazine, understand that’s not working, and put it down. You sit on the chair.

The clock is ticking. You try forcing yourself to fantasize. How long is this supposed to take? Do most guys come out in 5 minutes, or do they get stuck here for hours? Do some fail to accomplish the mission? You’re thinking about the wrong stuff again. Maybe you should try the videos. You get up, look at a couple of boxes, realize there’s a disc inside the DVD player, and press play. Will there be sound … you’re horrified for a second … then think, will it do anything for you if there’s no sound? … but then realize nothing is happening. You tinker with the TV and the player a bit until you decide it’s not worth it. You sit back down on the chair.

The clock is ticking. You try forcing yourself to fantasize. What are people in the waiting room thinking? Do they realize how long you’re gone? Did the other guy go in after you and already come out? Your mind is wondering again. Focus. Maybe you can call your wife in? Wouldn’t it be more natural if couples did this together? That’s what making babies is supposed to be about – togetherness – right? And you could use her help…

The clock is ticking. Wait. You need a plan for how to get the sperm into the bottle without missing. Why are there no instructions? Is this some intuitive knowledge that every guy is supposed to know? Or have our sexual experiences prepared us for knowing the right procedure for when to grab the container and how to position it accordingly? Well, apparently not everyone knows, hence the goo you see in certain places. You feel you have a plan for yourself.

The clock is ticking. You start thinking of your wife. You imagine her joining you here. Somehow, that feels like an appropriate fantasy for this purpose. Is that weird? Is that “cute”? Whatever, it’s working. You flow with it. It’s working. It’s really working. You grab the container. Yes, you got it all in! You’re satisfied with your performance.

You make yourself presentable, make sure no evidence is left behind, and step out to the lab. You present them with the container. How much spillage? You throw out a number of 10%, sounds right. They’re happy with that number. You walk back out to the reception area, where your wife is reading a magazine. You look around, but nobody is staring at you. The other guy hasn’t come back out yet. Good, it’s not only you…

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