I was shopping for groceries at Safeway when I took a wrong turn and
ended up in the baby food aisle. That's where I found my lesbian friend
Monica; she was staring wistfully at tiny jars of puréed asparagus.
"What's up with you?" I asked. "Is your clock ticking?"
"Rachel and I want to have babies," she replied. "We want to start a
"Both of you? At the same time?" I mused. "Wow! Heteros can't do
"No," Monica corrected me, "I'm first, because I'm older. Rachel will
wait two years. But we are in the mood. Absolutely."
"Adoption is out?" I asked. "You could get a Chinese girl, like
"That's a generous act, but we want to be pregnant."
"No," she corrected me again, "we want to know exactly what we're
getting. Plus we want to tell our children who their father is."
"So some guy-friend will masturbate in an empty mayonnaise jar,
Rachel will slurp it up in a turkey baster and squirt it inside you?"
Monica paused before asking in a soft voice: "Do you know any men
who would like to be donors?"
"Some gay guy?" I replied. "Like Bruce, my racquetball partner?"
"No, no, no!" Monica corrected me, for the third time. "We asked our
gay friends already -- it's impossible. They're too promiscuous. We don't
want to take chances."
"A lesbian nightmare," I gasped. "First time sperm gets inside you, and
it's poisonous. Ironic."
"Exactly," she agreed.
"So you want a monogamous Jewish guy."
"Wrong again," she retorted.
"What? You're Jews. Rachel teaches Hebrew, for Chrissakes."
"It's better to mix up the gene pool. There's Tay-Sachs disease, plus
"A goy. Wow, this opens it up."
"We also want someone who won't try to get custody or see the child too
often. He has to understand that it's our child, not his."
"A deadbeat dad. That should be easy!"
"Not really. You'd be surprised."
"He must impregnate both of us, so our children will be
"Fascinating. Of course."
"And then, well, this is embarrassing ..."
"It's so 'lookist.'"
"We want someone tall and skinny to balance out our roundness."
I stared down at her. I'm 6-3 and 159 pounds.
"M-M-Monica," I stammered, "I'm perfect!"
I felt vulnerable and naughty, like I was coming on to her.
"Really?" she gushed. "What about Carol? She'd let you?"
"Maybe. I'll ask her."
"I'll ask Rachel. She likes you. We're ready to move on this."
"I'll start eating pumpkin seeds!"
"I'm ovulating in two weeks!"
I continued shopping then, super-conscientiously, to butter up my wife,
Carol. Later, as I unpacked her favorites (huge seedless grapes, Manhattan
clam chowder, pygmy carrots), I casually mentioned the unusual proposition.
"You want to do it?" she exclaimed,
"Maybe," I shrugged. "Seems like a nice thing, you know, to help them
Truth is, I desperately wanted to impregnate Monica. The situation
seemed perfect: I could breed without financial or emotional cost. My
lineage would be reared at a distance, by doting lesbians. Excellent. I
began thinking, maybe there's more -- maybe I can get all the lesbians in the world
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
"What about me?" bellowed my wife. "You'd rather get her pregnant, is
For five years, Carol and I have been discussing parenthood -- discussing, but procrastinating. Carol's excuse is her skyrocketing career;
my reasons involve sloth, fear and an immaturity that is apparently chronic,
since I am 45 years old.
"If Monica has your kid, I get one too," she continued.
"OK," I mumbled, "but I thought you wanted to adopt?"
"No! I'd worry that you'd love Monica's child more than ours if you were
only related to hers."
"Golly, I wouldn't do that. Carol, if you're gonna freak out
about this, maybe I shouldn't. I just thought, hey, this is the
politically correct, gay-friendly thing to do, right?"
I had her there and I knew it. Carol is an ex-LIC (Lesbian In
College) herself, with three Sapphic trysts under her belt: a poli-sci professor, a
linguistics classmate and a drummer. She's still dyke-identified,
embarrassed about her hetero marriage. Ideologically, she has to do anything
to assist her lesbian friends, including loaning out her husband's gonads.
Her face was rippling with confusion.
"Will they sue us for child support?" she asked.
"No way. We'll sign preconception papers in front of a lawyer. They
want me to send birthday cards, that's all. Visitation rights will be
completely controlled by them."
"I don't know. I'm worried."
"Carol, it has to be OK with you. Otherwise it's off."
She paced the room like a lawyer, looking for loopholes.
Monica telephoned early that night. "Rachel's ecstatic," she chirped. "Green light on this end. How's Carol?"
"Weird," I whispered. "Uptight."
"Oh dear." Monica paused. "Let me talk to her."
"Uh, why? I mean of course, sure."
Reluctantly, I handed the receiver to Carol. I walked down the hall but crept back, stealthily. I crouched in the next room,
eavesdropping, of course. I had to. It's been a long time since two women
fought over me -- maybe another lifetime.
Their conversation was absolutely appalling, worse than anything I
imagined. Instead of a cat fight, they spent the next two hours chatting
amiably, laughing uproariously on numerous occasions. No evil brawls, no
sobs or tears -- they were snickering! I was crushed. My wife was
lesbian bonding with the rival womb. I hated them both!
With extended coos and giggles, Carol finally said goodbye.
"What was that about?" I snarled, emerging from the shadows.
"Oh," she answered, laconically, "they want us to come over for
dinner on Thursday."
"Why were you laughing? What's so funny?"
"Nothing," she said. "Seriously."
The meal was organic pasta and vegetables, and more wine than I should
have drunk. I thought everybody would be tense but me, but the inverse was
The first hour was conversational "foreplay": chit-chat minutia about
miscellaneous female things. I could have been a place mat. I had nothing to
say. This didn't bother me, though -- I reassured myself that the two hopeful
receptacles of my miracle goo were just softening up Carol so they could get
what they needed.
Finally, Rachel sighed and announced, "Well, Carol, this is great fun,
but I suppose it's time for us to discuss the possibility of using your
husband for our babies. Monica and I are deeply appreciative of your
generosity in even considering this. We want to listen now to all your
hesitations regarding this situation and we, of course, have our own
Beaming with self-possession, Carol dived skillfully into the ensuing
three hours of convoluted "processing." Once again, I was completely lost.
The myriad questions and analyses and sharing of feelings was an alien
tongue to me. Sure, I occasionally leaped in with a filthy joke; they
acknowledged this with patient smiles before returning to the mysterious
depths of their trialogue.
Three hours of processing! Laborious questions like: "Carol, how would
you feel about Hank's feelings if he wanted to spend time with our child,
against our wishes?" Followed by the reverse: "Carol, how would you feel about Hank's feelings if he didn't want to spend time with our child, when we wanted him
There were, I believe, only three questions directed at me. Even then,
my answers were immediately deemed invalid if Carol refused to back them up.
Monica: "Hank, how would you feel if your sperm was unable to get one of
us pregnant after repeated attempts for, say, six cycles of ovulation?"
Hank: "That won't happen. Hey, two women had to get abortions after one
night with me. I'm potent for sure, ha ha!"
Carol: "Truth is, Hank is very sensitive about all of his sexual
inadequacies, although, of course, he lives in denial of this. Furthermore,
despite his boasts about past exploits, I can testify that he produces very
small volumes of the needed ingredient. He will be depressed about failure to
attain conception immediately, but I will keep his spirits up with B
vitamins and I'll make sure he doesn't quit this job, like he's quit so many others."
After three hours of interrogation, it became clear that I had failed but Carol had succeeded, and that was all that mattered.
Monica and Rachel were rapturous with delight; they hugged my wife and
told her they "really wanted her to be part of the event."
"Of course," she replied. "As you wish."
"What's going on?" I asked, for the hundredth time.
"She's going to assist you," replied Monica. "Together the two of you
will ... extract the sperm."
"I can do it myself," I growled. "God, it's easier that way."
There was an awkward pause. Finally Rachel spoke up. "Please, Hank, try to understand. Monica and I are not comfortable with this if Carol
isn't an essential contributor. We insist."
"OK, OK," I muttered.
"I'm Auntie Handjob," joked Carol.
Monica and Rachel howled with laughter. Nothing, it seemed
to them, could be more hysterical than acts of hetero sex.
"What's my name?" I asked petulantly. "I want a nickname too."
"Hmmm," thought Monica, "how about Uncle Seed?"
"But it's not funny enough," I whined, "and besides, I'm
the daddy, not an uncle."
"Oh no," grumbled Monica. "Carol, what do you think?"
"Well," she replied, "I think 'Uncle Seed' is just perfect."
"Great," crowed Rachel. "I'm glad that's settled."
The rest of the evening was occupied with logistics -- Rachel and Monica
would pay for my physical exam, my blood test, my sperm analysis and the
lawyer's fees to draw up the contract between us. They promised there would also be more discussions to air out any new feelings any of us might have.
Looking back on the proceedings, I have to admit that I had hoped for a bit of phallic worship. Instead, it felt more like two farmers were borrowing a shovel from Carol. But I realize that every question, every
precaution, every decision that Monica and Rachel made was well-considered
and justified. Our arrangement
may seem eccentric to some, but to us it makes perfect sense: We're helping two women who
want to be parents.
By late December,
the four of us, as a team, are going to be doing some serious baby-making.
Happy Hanuka, Rachel and Monica! I hope my polliwogs
swim straight and true!