Jon of All Trades

Thankfully, this is not part of the test.

“Welp, I’m heading in here to masturbate,” said no one, ever.

Yet, you might as well declare that when you get your sperm tested. It’s a wholly unique exercise that I’m happy to demystify for you since the majority of what I read online wasn’t helpful in the least. So, if you ever have to get your sperm tested, are concerned about it for any reason, are merely curious, are just plain ol’ pervy and want to read this secretly, or are bored off your ass at work and this is the last stop before you’ve exercised all your usual bookmarks, welcome.

Here’s what it’s like to go through a sperm test.

First things first, when you set up your appointment, the person on the other end tells you to be abstinent for 2-5 days. When it comes to self-abuse, depending on who you are, that’s a fairly wide spread. It might behoove you to ask what’s ideal. Having a specific number in mind would have been helpful as I ended up doing the whole 5 days.

I scheduled my appointment for 8:30 in the morning because apparently the morning is when all of these tests happen. I’m generally not accustomed to punching the clown that early (seeing as I’m usually at work, which should relieve anyone I work with who happens to be reading this, which I hope is no one), so that’s sort of a curveball right there.

The night before the test I was sort of anxious about it. Having never had to jerk off on command, or with stakes, I worried about getting stage fright. So I Googled “sperm test experience” and read through a couple of accounts from men that were sort of helpful, and several from men’s partners on mommy forums that were extraordinarily unhelpful. A universal theme emerged though. Apparently in most of the experiences, the selection of smut was either woefully outdated or limited.

To prepare for this, I packed my own filth in the form of some DVDs and my laptop. I had no idea what I was getting into, so I thought it important to be prepared. I don’t usually pack porn DVDs in my work bag, but that certainly brightens up your evening routine with weirdness. I must make sure not to bring them into the office and leave them in the car when I actually get to work, I thought. That’s a sexual harassment claim just waiting to happen if I drop my bag at any point and Kayden’s Krossfire with the blond, topless, big-titted chick on the cover spills out.

The morning of the test, it was cold. As I drove to the office, I began to think about my hands. Holding onto my leather steering wheel was turning them into icicles. Cold hands aren’t exactly conducive to self love, so my thoughts immediately turned to washing them as soon as I got there.

I pulled up, there was valet parking (I know… what?), and I piled into the elevator. My hands were still freezing and I began to get nervous. When the door opened for my floor, I found the bathroom and warmed my hands up with the warm water. That made me feel a tad better, but my heart was racing. I said hello to the receptionist, she looked up my name, and I thought how strange it must be for her to meet someone, check her electronic appointment system, look back at that person and know they’re there to get into a tug of war with Cyclops. I’m sure you get desensitized to that, but what a mind trip.

I sat down and waited for my name to be called. I was tempted to check work email, but I knew that would take me totally out of the game, so I went on Facebook instead. Before it could even finish loading, the lab tech or nurse or whoever she was called my name and escorted me to the back.

I immediately put her on the defensive (which I didn’t realize until replaying this in my head later) with this sentence: “I have sort of a weird question for you.” She looked dismayed and weary by that construction. I can only imagine what she thought I would ask. I’m certain it wasn’t this: “Do I tip that valet guy downstairs?”

“Oh. OH. Actually I have no idea. I think some people do, but I don’t think you have to. Ask the receptionist. She’d probably know. Obviously, we don’t get to use the valet parking, so I’m not really sure.”

That broke the tension nicely. I walked into the room and to my left was a sink and a counter with a phone on it. To the right, a small table with a magazine rack filled with several adult magazines and an assortment of DVDs in paper sleeves. Next to the table, a comfy chair with a sanitary pad on it, a small cup, and a towelette. I thought the towelette was a charming and courteous touch for use afterward. It made me smile. On the wall opposite the chair, a small flatscreen TV with a built-in DVD player.

The lab tech instructed me to read the directions that were laminated on the counter, fill out a label for the cup, and call her when I was finished. None of the phone’s extensions were labeled, but one button had a big red box around it with arrows all pointing to it. She informed me she would be the one to answer the phone, and when I was finished, she would come and collect the sample. She closed the door and left.

I took off my coat and set my bag down. Instructions. First, thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water. Second, thoroughly wash your penis with the towelette. Third, warm the cup to body temperature. Fourth, obtain a semen sample by masturbating (Quick aside: How the hell else was I going to get it?) and deposit into the cup. Finally, apply the label to the cup and call the lab tech. Simple enough.

So I wash my hands and the water is great. Now to the dong. I grab the towelette and pull my drawers down. Hey… I didn’t need to bring my own filth. I might not even need theirs. This towelette is doing the trick just fine. Not bad.

I head over to the chair, pop in one of the DVDs, and open up a recent edition of Hustler while I warm the cup in my hand.

Larry Flynt approves of the reading material

Christ, Hustler… I hadn’t looked at a Hustler in probably a decade. It doesn’t seem nearly as trashy as it used to, but the Internet by comparison has rendered basically everything ever, not nearly as trashy as it used to be.

I pick a scene and get on with it. Thanks to the forced 5-day abstinence (which is a bit longer than normal for me) and the heightened anticipation of the whole situation working in tandem, the big finish arrives relatively quickly as I’m faced with a sudden and sort of harrowing decision point. Where do I position this cup?

Do I lean back and shoot upward like a Patriot missile and catch it with the cup on my belly? Should I suddenly leap up and bend over forward to aim it down into the cup nail gun style? Or should I just lean forward slightly and try to aim that way? I spend a bit too much time racked with indecision, so it becomes Option C by default.

I do a pretty good job catching my boys only missing a brief portion at the very get-go. Your enjoyment is sort of hampered by your concentration in trying not to miss this small receptacle, which I guess is fine, if a bit disorienting. Usually it just sort of flies wherever it will. I don’t recall ever having to aim this precisely before.

I put the lid on, apply the label, pull my pants up and re-wash my hands. I know time is of the essence with this, so I do all of this quickly and press the red-encircled button for the lab tech. She answers, I tell her I’m done, and she tells me to just open the door and she’ll come get it. I do and she does.

As I leave, I bid her adieu and head out on my way. The receptionist isn’t much help on the valet question (“some people tip, others don’t” – thanks), but I opt not to since I can see my car not 20 yards from the entrance. I get my keys and leave. This was not nearly as traumatic or weird as I thought it would be.

As I reflect on the experience, here’s what I think might be helpful for anyone about to experience this themselves:

1. Just relax. The professional, clinical mentality of everyone working at a clinic such as this is appreciated. No one is there to make you feel weird or awkward. Just do your thing as you always do, and you’ll be fine.

2. I suspect most places keep a decent stash of porn these days. In addition to the latest edition of Playboy, several copies of Hustler and a bunch of Hustler branded DVDs, there was one DVD in its plastic case. It was called “Spanish Harlem Booty” and featured huge cocked black dudes giving it to thick Latina and black women. It’s not in anyone’s best interest to have inadequate stimulation.

3. That said, bring a back-up plan just in case. That’s just good life advice. A back-up plan is especially necessary if you have narrow tastes or a special trigger. The stuff this clinic had was fairly straightforward filth, and I suspect that’s true of most places.

4. No one gives a shit why you’re there, meaning you don’t have to feel self-conscious. At this point, it’s like any other job for these people. They probably aren’t even really thinking about it. Unless the thought of them thinking about you giving yourself the old rub and tug does it for you, in which case, they are totally picturing you in there, you naughty boy.

5. Again, just relax. You aren’t the first, you won’t be the last. And this is probably the best type of medical test you’ll ever get to do. At the very least, think of it the way I did which is reflected in the Tweet I made shortly after it was over:

I should start every morning with porn. Yep.

Good luck, and I hope everything comes out okay.

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4 Comments

  1. Naomi June 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

    This is hilarious! We went through this about 9 years ago. I had to laugh at my husband, because MY end of the bargain was a fairly terrifying and somewhat painful fertility test, and HIS end of the bargain was… well, you know.

    Of course, the result of all that is an amazing child who’s turning eight next week, so it’s all worth it.

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