My six month long search for Mr Right has been a disaster. I found Mr Right, another volunteer on the Britain Stronger in Europe campaign, but as soon as he showed he was interested in me I went off him. Now of course as he is cold and distant from me I am crazy about him. The fact that he is twenty years younger than me and penniless has not dented my enthusiasm.
I decided earlier this year that, having recovered from all my longstanding mental health and addiction problems, I could now, for the first time in my life, contemplate having a baby. The search for Mr Right has run in parallel with the less ambitious aim of finding a sperm donor. Not that I am any less picky about finding a sperm donor than a boyfriend but at least the sperm donor does not need to understand my mental health problems. I was going to ask Mr Right but now uninterested to be my sperm donor as he is tall very good looking and highly intelligent. But as he is now ignoring my texts and phone calls that avenue is closed.
I have always viewed it as the great tragedy of my life that the men I was most interested in were not interested in me. I have now realised that this is because of me as I am only attracted to men who are dangerous or unavailable. The reason I pined after men like my friend Alex at Oxford who I was “in love with” for 15 years was because they didn’t like me. I know the reason for this – I am trying to “heal the wound” with my father who was dangerous and unavailable and rejected me as ugly as a child. But that doesn’t stop me repeating the pattern.
Similarly there was a man I know who was previously very promiscuous – a gambling addict who would steal his girlfriends’ cars and credit cards. When I thought I would relapse and it would ruin my life if I got involved with him I was completely obsessed with him. This was purely because of his danger factor as he is very odd looking like a scarecrow with an eating disorder and when I met him I didn’t fancy him at all. After years of avoiding him I needed some help with the idea I have had to help everyone who comes to a doctor in the UK with a mental health problem or addiction. I met him with trepidation thinking I might end up in bed with him but at least thinking he could be my sperm donor. However now he has reformed is monogamous and no longer dangerous I don’t fancy him at all. My therapist said I have to look at my own unavailability and unwillingness to get into a relationship.
Since I decided I wanted to keep my options open in terms of having a child I have viewed every man I vaguely fancy as a potential sperm donor. My therapist says this makes me a sperm burglar. I actually interviewed a potential sperm donor earlier this year (unbenknownst to him) but rejected him as he had a receding chin. Then when another unavailable and dangerous man (avoidant ex-drug dealer) wanted to move into my house I thought he could be my sperm donor. However I realised that coming up to someone at the end of a Shagger and Lurve Addicts Anonymous meeting and saying “will you be my sperm donor?” might not be viewed very well in the fellowship. I have now asked every man I actually know to be my sperm donor but they have said that any child of mine will end up in an asylum. I have asked my therapist if she has a discount rate for babies.
I have investigated all the options for getting a sperm donor from a UK sperm bank but all are completely unsuitable. Although you can get the educational background of the donor you cannot get a photograph. What happens if Quasimodo has slipped through the sperm bank’s net and the child comes out with a face that leads to a lifelong phobia of mirrors? After all I believed I was so ugly that I couldn’t go out in daylight as the sun would show everyone how ugly I was. I thought the Elephant man was Helen of Troy compared to me. No ships would be setting sail because of my face, they’d stay in port until they rusted away and got scrapped. I was informed by a fertility clinic that there is a sperm bank in California where they have film star lookalikes and you can simply go online and select your film star. Ben Affleck is the most popular. But I want a Hispanic looking donor and couldn’t think of a Hispanic film star I wanted to mate with. Anyway with the prevalence of plastic surgery in California god knows what they originally looked like. In any event you cannot get a photograph.
I interviewed an older mother who’d used a sperm donor for a feature I was doing on the record number of over 40 mothers in the UK. Although she was useless for the feature (as it turned out she’d had the child when she was 39) she did tell me that in Norway they had sperm banks where you could not only get a photo of the donor but an entire dating video. This is exactly like my scenario in my screen play the Fishtank Babies where the career woman goes to a sperm bank and surfs through all the videos.
I googled “Sperm bank Norway” but the only things that came up were sperm banks in Denmark that do not provide a photograph. I texted the lady who’d put me onto the Norweigan sperm banks but didn’t hear from her. I phoned the Norwegian Embassy in London with a desperate plea “I need to find out everything you know about Norwegian sperm banks.” I could almost hear the giggles coming down the phone. “Erm I’m not able to help you with that,” an information lady said. “But if you send an email our sperm specialist will get back to you.” I sent them an email titled “NORWEGIAN SPERM NOW.” I am still waiting to hear from them. In fact there has been a massive boom in the use of Scandinavian sperm in the UK which commentators have called “a second Viking invasion.”
I found a website SurrogateFinder.com where they did have a lot of pictures of the sperm donors.
A few were in the UK, most of them were in India. But when I was actually surfing the list of sperm donors, I realised I couldn’t do it. For a start I want a sperm donor who is highly intelligent which you cannot tell from a photograph. It is extremely expensive to contact the donors. The idea of having a child with a donor who I can’t even speak to is not possible. I may have to pay the hefty fee for contacting the donors.
But the advantage of proper sperm banks is that they vet the quality of the sperm so that only the healthiest, fittest and fastest get through. The Norwegian sperm banks guarantee that the sperm can swim at at least 50 miles per hour. If I just get the donor from what looks like an unregulated website the sperm may be slower than a donkey with arthritis. Or it may have a genetic disease. I have contacted surrogacy.Finder.com to find out if their screening procedures are more rigorous than simply asking “do you have a dick?”
Shopping for a man online hasn’t worked for me with the internet dating. I joined Elite Singles four months ago full of hope that I would meet Tarzan with a PhD and a penthouse in Mayfair. I got one message from a dwarf in a bedsit in arse end of the universe Slough. And despite receiving hundreds of messages I have yet to meet a man online who I actually fancy. This may simply be because they are actually available.
I have a final consultation with a fertility clinic next week to say whether it is too late for egg freezing. I’m hoping I can do that instead as my efforts to find a sperm donor in real life have been as unsuccessful as a polar bear trying to find an ice floe in the Sahara. However once the Norwegian embassy stops laughing at my request I am hoping to be put in touch with the nirvana of Norwegian sperm banks with their dating videos. I will introduce you to all my sperm suitors once I’ve whittled them down to 5.