Steve – Donated 1978

Name: Steve

Donated: 1978 (at age 28)

Where donated: Wiston’s clinic in Brighton

My donor journey was anything but altruistic. It was financially driven, pure and simple. Newly arrived in Brighton, and the proud possessor of a mortgage, I decided it was time to go back to university as a mature student of 28. Suddenly there was a gaping hole in our finances and penny counting became a daily routine.

Then along came the ubiquitous friend of a friend – “You could try being a sperm donor”. A little research revealed that the weekly £8 to be earned would more or less double our food budget. It was a no-brainer.

At the clinic, I was given the choice – “We need a sample to test. You can do it here,” (Didn’t fancy that. I felt guilty even under the gaze of the half dozen others in the waiting room) “Or, if you can get here within 20 minutes, you can do it at home.” That was for me. Only two miles between home and clinic. The mighty Morris Traveller would cover that in no time. I grabbed my kit and sidled out, confidently thinking of all the fish fingers and quality baked beans we’d soon be adding to our diet.

Came the day, came the donor. I zipped up, checked my watch and leapt into the car. Five minutes of starter-motor grinding later, with sweat dripping off my brow, I bowed to the inevitable. I was going to have to do the two miles on foot or be living on gruel for the indefinite future. Not a fan of jogging, I set off with an impending sense of dread, especially as it dawned on me that practically the whole journey was uphill.

To cut a long story short, I made it. Not wafting in with the imperious ‘I can now make babies’ smugness that I’d envisioned, but stumbling and tripping over my own feet. Under the gaze of a dozen or so pairs of interrogative eyes, I staggered to the receptionist’s desk, puffed and gasped for several seconds as the sweat poured from my face and nearly crumbled as my legs gave way. At last, after I finally got my breath back and the receptionist had begun to tap her finger, I thrust out the arm clutching the little white bag and it’s miracle contents and came out with the immortal line:

“I’ve done it.”

It got easier after that. Twice a week for six months, and the car never failed to start again. Then, an upturn in our finances meant a surge in our social life. This involved rather a lot of Guinness. I was called into the headmistress’s office (well, the same receptionist).

“Mr *****, the regular tests have shown a steep drop in the motility of your sperm. We have no further use for your services”.

And that was it. Was it the beer, or did it drop anyway? I’ve never had it checked properly since, though it did function in the more common way. I just like to say I got a dishonourable discharge.

Now, of course, I’m far more aware of the repercussions of my actions. I would love to make contact with anybody who benefited from my fickle young behaviour. Whether they would feel the same way about me is something else entirely. I just hope they inherited my sense of curiosity.






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