How to Store Sperm in 4 Steps – Just in Case

164 Comments


Save the swimmies! (Photo: futurowoman)

I never thought I’d visit a sperm bank.

Perhaps it was flipping a motorcycle at 90 mph on Infineon Raceway.
Perhaps it was tearing my Achilles tendon in jiu-jitsu practice, then getting thrown on my head.
Maybe having my scuba mask fill with blood at 120 feet underwater in Belize?

That could have done it.

Or perhaps is was just crossing the 30-year age threshold and having friends who didn’t make it. 9/11, suicide, accidents — bad things happen to good people.

I came to realize in 2007: it’s really not that hard to die. And that’s when I started thinking about storing my genetic material.

Yes, my little swimmies.

In this post I’ll talk about the process, how I did it, and why it’s cheap insurance in an unpredictable world. I’ll also throw in some curious details (sexy time!) just for entertainment…

The Reasons to Store Sperm

Doing the research, the pros far outweighed the cons:

1) Men are becoming progressively infertile. Go munch on some soy for a mouthful of phytoestrogens, or just stick with preservatives. It’s hard to avoid testicle-unfriendly food and toxins. Talk to endocrinologists who do clinical meta-analysis and get your sperm count measured. It is probably less than your dad’s. Real-world Children of Men (for men) in full effect.

2) There are many medical conditions and procedures — cancer treatment, for example — that can render men infertile.

3) People who “know” they don’t want kids change their minds. A lot. Just look at the number of vasectomy reversal procedures. And no, these procedures do not work well. Failure rates are high.

4) Above all: Why not do it? If you can afford it, it just seems like a no-brainer for bloodline and peace of mind. The potential downside of doing it (cost) is recoverable; the potential downside of not doing it is irreversible.

I’m not a king looking to spread my seed across an empire, but part of me does want to leave a legacy in the form of a child. Call me old-fashioned. I want momma Ferriss to be grandmamma Ferriss at some point, even if I get hit by a cement truck or nailed by blue ice from an airplane.

Think it’s easy to get someone pregnant? Sometimes. Most of the time, after looking at the numbers, it seems surprisingly hit-or-miss.

Does this mean I wouldn’t adopt? Not at all. Several aunts and uncles have adopted, and it’s a beautiful thing. I just also want to have children who share my DNA. I see no reason not to ensure both can happen.

Is this ego-driven? On some level, of course. But so is owning a home or having a decent car, wearing clothing besides what will keep you warm and eating food besides what will keep you alive. Humans are ego-driven with anything past the base necessities for survival.

Sperm Storage – The Steps in Brief

1) Find a sperm storage facility. Google “sperm storage”, “sperm bank”, or “sperm donor” along with your state or city.

2) Make an initial appointment and get tested for infectious diseases.

Most reputable locations will require testing for common STDs prior to storage. I was tested for:

HIV 1 & 2
HTLV-I & II
RPR (for Syphilis, Al Capone’s farewell song)
HCV (for Hepatitis C)
HBsAG and HBcAB (for Hepatitis B)

It’s a romantic first date. And, yes, I cleared like a Mormon taking a drug test.

Cost of initial consult: $100-150
Cost of STD lab panel: $150-200

3) Warm up your wrists and get busy. Six sessions per kid.

Think it’s “one shot, one kill”, macho man? Think again. You’re no Peter North, and even if you were, 50%+ of your sperm count is annihilated from the freezing process.

You should make six sperm deposits for each child you’d like to have. It can take inseminations over eight months for a woman to get pregnant, although in vitro fertilization (IVF) ups the chances somewhat at much higher cost, generally $9,000-12,000 per attempt.

Oh, and forget about abstaining for long periods of time, oddly enough.

For best results in storage/fertilization/impregnation, abstain from ejaculation for at least 48 hours but no more than four days before each session. More than four days and dead sperm cells begin to accumulate and cause trouble, as you need a certain ratio of live sperm to dead sperm per 1 cc (cubic centimeter) of volume. I scheduled one deposit every fourth morning a la: Monday 10am, Friday 10am, Tuesday 10am.

Cost per sample frozen: $150-200 (x 6 = $900 – $1,200 per potential kid)

4) Store all the suspended swimmies somewhere safe.

This will usually be handled by the facility that did the initial freezing. This is also where the credit card comes out.

Cost per year: $300 – 600 (often for all samples)

The E-mail You Need to Read (and Perhaps Replicate)

After my first storage session, I sent the following e-mail to my brother and a number of my closest friends. All names have been changed, but it covers some very possible challenges and necessary sleight-of-hand:

Subject: Critical and Serious E-mail from Tim Ferriss – Please Save

Hello Bill, Bob, Dave, Lisa, and Sarah,

So, after reading “The Last Lecture” and realizing that I have a fairly high-risk lifestyle with motorcycle accidents, jiu-jitsu and all else, I’ve decided to store sperm for potential future use, should something terrible happen to me.

Here’s the situation:

-Beginning today and over several months, I will make approx. 6 deposits at http://www.donationfacility.com.  I am not donating, just storing for worst-case scenarios.
-For a bunch of legal reasons, I had to designate a “partner,” who is the only person with access to the stored samples if something bad happens [Single males are generally unable to store for later use or “just in case”].  I chose Lisa, since she is A) female, and B) easier to reach than Sarah [who’s overseas] via phone.

I’m emailing the five of you because, if something happens to me, I kindly ask all of you to consider female candidates for receiving the samples.  I’d be thrilled if this were Lisa or Sarah, but I certainly wouldn’t expect this.  I’d just want you all to decide together if someone is someone I would approve of or not as the shepherd and missus for my sole progeny.  Bill [my brother] has veto and executive power in the case consensus isn’t reached.  6 deposits gets you 2 impregnation attempts monthly for three months, which is good for one woman only, so please choose wisely if it comes to it.  I would ideally want the resulting child to know my family and spend regular time with them, assuming my family feels the same way.

Again for a host of nonsense FDA and legal reasons, Lisa as “partner” is the only one who can get the samples.  [Storage facility] could help her do procedures on herself with the samples, but if it were for someone else, she’d need to get the samples and you’d all need to figure the rest out.  Sperm only survives for a few hours without freezing, so it would be quite the adventure.

I don’t expect anything to happen to me, of course, but I view this as the ultimate life-insurance policy.  Momma Ferriss wants grandkids, so it’s a relatively cheap way to ensure that happens, no matter what :)

Please ask any questions you might have, and please save this e-mail somewhere safe.  Good idea to print it as well.

Mahalo and see you all soon!

Tim

I would be hoping for quite the opposite, whether I play that role or a surrogate mother’s husband does. This entire process is damage control for a worst-case scenario: something catastrophic happening to me.

Sexy Time Details

So, cover the baby’s ears. I’m going to tell you something stunning and disgusting. Something you probably don’t want to hear. Ready? Most guys like pornography. And Santa Clause doesn’t exist. I’m sorry.

Here’s how the storage facility website sells the “donation” process:

“He [the donor/storer] is then shown to a private room where he can collect his specimen in a provided sterile cup.”

About as sexy as lethal injection, right?

Well, upon arrival, there were surprises in store. I was led to a cornucopia of porn DVDs around a secret corner. Right in front of a bunch of female lab technicians looking awkward. There was something for everyone in this motley selection. Norwegian juggler fetish? It would’ve been there. No expense was spared in covering all bases.

I grabbed a few titles (I’ll spare you the names) and headed to a small white room with a sliding door. I followed the lead of a quiet male Asian assistant in a white lab coat. He looked at his feet and departed with “please wash your hands when you finish.” I didn’t expect a call the next day.

The den of clinical sin was about the size of a hotel bathroom, with a paper-sheet-covered cot on the floor (yeah, baby!), a metal chair, a 13″ TV/DVD combo on a small stool, and a stack of magazines suspiciously adhered to one another.

So, I sat down, still quite content and ready to do my duty. A minute of “I can’t believe people want me to do this” and on goes the DVD. Then… my brain got sodomized.

See, I live in San Francisco, and — well — there are a lot of “alternative” sexual orientations. It also happens, sad times for Tim Ferriss, that Mr. Clean-Your-Hands was not good at matching DVDs to their cases.

I had already come to the realization that this room, with paper sheets in all their glory, had been used by hundreds of other donors. That alone required me to enter a state of focus reserved for Olympians and Iron Chef competitors. Then, I turn on the DVD and see two hairy boys doing something resembling wrestling. But not wrestling.

Second DVD, same story. Third time was the charm, but I was already supressing so many images and realities that it was like bending a spoon with my mind to get done what every guy has mastered by age 12.

Ah, Mr. Wash-Your-Hands. We will meet again, and I shall give you a judo chop.

Mentally prepare, gentlemen. It won’t be as easy as you think. These are tough, dangerous times. Good times to save your swimmies as cheap insurance.

And don’t forget to wash your hands.

Other posts on physical optimation and body games:
How to Lose 20 lbs. of Fat in 30 Days… Without Doing Any Exercise
From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks
The Science of Fat-Loss: Why a Calorie Isn’t Always a Calorie
Real Life Extension: Caloric Restriction or Intermittent Fasting?

###

Odds and Ends:

Timothy Ferriss vs. Gary Vaynerchuk – Two Approaches to Successful Blogging

Posted on: November 20, 2008.

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Comment Rules: Remember what Fonzie was like? Cool. That’s how we’re gonna be — cool. Critical is fine, but if you’re rude, we’ll delete your stuff. Please do not put your URL in the comment text and please use your PERSONAL name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun and thanks for adding to the conversation! (Thanks to Brian Oberkirch for the inspiration)

164 comments on “How to Store Sperm in 4 Steps – Just in Case

  1. I kept thinking, “Man, is this going to show up in the new edition of the 4 Hour Work Week? Forget sex with the wife, be more efficient with your time and tell her to use the frozen stuff!”

    But, no pitch on that front and for that I am thankful. Tim, this was useful and hilarious. Thank you.

    Like

  2. Dude… where is your blog heading? Saving your sperm?! ;) On a serious note, I might be practically infertile myself, lol. I’ll spare you the details, as well, but my swimmies might not be swimming much. I’m gonna go ahead and get checked up. I’ll report back. Or not. :P

    Like

  3. Ahem…now I have stopped chuckling at the pickle you must have been in, I do hope that men reading this in Australia will consider donating their sperm.

    We in Australia have some issue with our men not wanting to give back, and so we outsource our sperm donations to somewhere like Norway (yep great working holiday for those guys).

    Same as above but FREE and the country needs you!

    Like

  4. Very funny article Tim. Personally though, I don’t think it should be used if you die. Fair enough if you have some non-lethal accident and loose the use of your wedding tackle then it’s handy to have the spare stuff on ice.

    If you die and one of your friends does go ahead and make your baby, you are leaving that kid without a father from the very start. Secondly, you are not going to be there to have any input in the kids upbringing, nor are you going to be there to protect your own child. Do you really want to do that to your own kid?

    If I were doing this I’d be writing into my will that if I remove myself from the gene pool then the frozen samples should die with me.

    Like

  5. You had Tweeted recently about the topic for a new men’s magazine (not porn) column…? THIS type of adventure might be just the folly to capture our ADD-addled attention. “Awkward Moments in a 21st Century Life…” or some such.

    In 15 years or so, you can write about your vasectomy. I’m sure that experience will be one to remember, too…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I went and did the deed… (they called it the green room at the clinic I went to), got the results back and discovered I had no sperm. So they did a bunch of tests on me, then operated. Turns out I just had a broken pipe! Apart from having both my testicles cut open and going through incredible pain (stitches and loose skin don’t go together well) – I came out with 12 straws now in cryogenic storage! Wifey and I now doing IVF – we have our 4th transfer tomorrow… fingers crossed.

    @Alison – I live in Australia too – I believe it’s more to do with laws/politics/fear of having to pay maintenance, etc, rather than men not wanting to give back.

    Like

  7. Hey Tim,

    You did it again! Applying the 80/20 rule to the world of sperm (donation)- nice work! I did have a bit of trouble NOT making the mental pictures throughout a few parts of this post- but I’m OK now. Kim’s still laughing:)

    P.S. Any musts while we’re in Buenos Aires this week?

    Best,
    Rob

    Like

  8. Tim,

    While this is all very informative, I wish that people could set aside their egos long enough to realize that there are huge numbers of children out there in need of adoption.

    You can leave your legacy with a child you raise just as well as you can with one who shares your biology. Thousands do it each year. Going through all the discomfort, cost, and everything else associated with IVF just because you’re certain that your seed is better really does a disservice to children the world over in need of homes.

    I have several friends who tried IVF for a while and gave up and adopted who say that they couldn’t be happier and that they wish they had saved the IVF money for college funds, etc.

    Saving your sperm is about ego, not practicality. Give an unwanted child a chance at a happy life and you’ll be just as fulfilled as a father.

    Just my $0.02.

    Like

    • My boyfriend, who has a child from a previous marriage and is significantly older than myself, is reluctant to get a vasectomy because while he doesn’t want another child, he doesn’t want me to want a child and not be able to have one. I don’t believe it matters. I’d rather adopt a child and make that child know that they are wanted and loved by me, rather than have a child just to pass on my genes.
      And then there’s also embryo adoption, which I’ve been looking into. It’s a fascinating concept and we would pretty much get the best of both worlds, which we would not be eligible for(at least not in Canada), because he does have a child already.

      Like

      • Joanne, I don’t understand the logic behind some of your sentences.

        “…boyfriend is reluctant to have a vasectomy, because he doesn’t want another child.”

        I don’t understand. Wouldn’t not wanting another child not not be reason to have a child? (note the double negative)

        Like

      • Shaun, i think you may have missed something. She said, “… is reluctant to get a vasectomy because, WHILE he doesn’t want to have another child, he doesn’t want me to want a child…” I added the comma but the “while” makes all the difference, just lettin’ you know ;)

        Like

  9. What your post inspires me: Get a life !!
    I know, it’s funny to say that to Tim Ferriss but man… what’s wrong with you ? Forget MommaFerriss, find yourself a nice girl who wants kids too and just do it the old way. Or don’t have kids. What’s the use of “having” kids if you don’t raise them ?
    just my 2 cents

    Like

  10. I’ve been thinking about storing my eggs: I’m at the peak of my fertility and not nearly ready for having kids. I don’t want to be 35 and desperate to conceive.
    Maybe a surrogate can help me have kids later, if I take up precautions now.

    It’s seems like a silly, chuckling subject but when looked at closely, it’s a very important one.

    Like

  11. Bravo Tim!

    You have taken two very important steps in what I call The Power of Mortality™. You’ve: a) realized and accepted that you are mortal and that no one owes you a certain amount of time on this planet; and b) you’ve taken some concrete action to address that reality. And to have come to this realization at the age of 30 is fantastic, because that’s when you have a much wider range of options available when it comes to choosing the life you really want. But, of course, I would expect nothing less from the master of conscious lifestyle design! Keep up the great work!

    Like

  12. Boy can I relate to this post. :-)

    Before getting a vasectomy I got my little guys frozen in facilities in two different cities (extra backups are always a good thing!).

    So far I don’t want any kids while I’m alive (I need my time/money/attention for other things), but I wouldn’t mind leaving part of my inheritance to kids that are born after I’m gone. Also the samples could be useful for future medical treatments.

    Your e-mail helps solve a problem that I was trying to address in a complicated will. Thanks!

    Like

  13. Genious article!
    I think this should be taken more serious than most people do, and maybe it`s a good thing to act on it and actually “insure” your kids future.

    I think eating as much food as possible without chemicals and pesticides will make us keep our fertility a littlebit longer. *At least I hope!*

    Norwegian Juggler fetish? That was insulting! haha

    Reply to Allison Reynolds: Are you(Australian people) really outsourcing your sperm donations to here(Norway)?

    Bendik.

    Like

  14. Tim – love your blog but this article is TMI…

    It’s your body and life and you can do what you want and I’m not going to tell you what to do. However, you are going to create a child and have no part in raising it whatsoever. Things happen and sometimes parents have to raise a child by themselves but purposely planning for that to happen just so your DNA can be passed down – I think that’s irresponsible.

    Like

  15. Hi All,

    A few very important points:

    Does this mean I wouldn’t adopt? Not at all. Several aunts and uncles have adopted, and it’s a beautiful thing. I just also want to have children who share my DNA. I see no reason not to ensure both can happen.

    Is this ego-driven? On some level, of course. But so is owning a home or having a decent car, wearing clothing besides what will keep you warm and eating food besides what will keep you alive. Humans are ego-driven with anything past the base necessities for survival.

    Please note I am also not asking that a child be raised without a father.

    I would be hoping for quite the opposite, whether I play that role or a surrogate mother’s husband does. This entire process is damage control for a worst-case scenario: something catastrophic happening to me.

    Hope that helps!

    Tim

    Like

  16. Your sexy details was HILARIOUS (still laughing)

    I wonder if you plan to pick some of your posts and put it in a book anytime in the future? Well, if not, now it’s an idea. Think about how many people who read The 4HWW; definitely a lot more than the number of subscribers to your blog (I assume) – a book would reach many more.

    Thx for the inspiration, again.

    Enjoy Mexico. Go dive at Santa Rosa Wall – BEAUTIFUL!

    Tobias

    Like

  17. Very thought-provoking and funny post, Tim.

    I think what’s worth noting for readers who might be lambasting you about this whole concept, is that it also provides you with an insurance policy should you not die, but find yourself unable to have children for some reason later in life.

    Get ‘em while they’re good, is how I read it.
    Talk about a candid. . .laying-it-on-the-line post!

    Like

  18. ROTFL

    I think you may actually have too much time on your hands (dont forget to wash them though).

    I struggle with having a business on auto-pilot and often not having to work more than a few hours per day. Next time I am bored I will consider making a donation. Either that or I will take up pilates or something more socially acceptable.

    Like

  19. Hey Tim,

    Funny post!

    Why bother getting your hands dirty? The king of leverage could have outsourced the labor (and had a better time)! HA!

    Charlie

    Like

  20. I am going to have to do this.

    Just one thing, there needs to be a quest involved. In order to eliminate unworthy recipients, I will create a series of quests that qualify the winner of my genetics. Basically, these quests will simulate what they would have to put up as if I were still alive. No easy feat.

    Like

  21. Hola Tim y Buenos dias.

    I did in vitro fertlization awhile back, I get you from a female perspective. It’s a awesome experience and the outcome is a blessing. Leave your legacy as you wish, I know I did with no regrets. Pass along your gifts, those children will be loved regardless. Embrace your decision, you’re an awesome father already.

    Adios!

    – Dinastia

    Like

  22. Dave Allen is right: storage often indicates a deferred decision.

    Are thoughts of mortality and legacy leading you to aspire to family? Then start a family. Sperm storage just defers a hard decision.

    Like

  23. Hilarious article. Don’t watch much tv, but have stumbled on BBC America show – Couping – incredible dialog and funniest thing I have seen on TV since early days of Seinfeld.

    Anwyay, within the last three weeks, they had an episode on this – the guy going to the clinic, didn’t have porn he liked, texted friend to bring porn and pillow from home, etc etc. hilarious. If you haven’t seen it you should, they have them on BBC America on Demand, given your post this is a must see.

    If this post had been a month ago, I would have said the writers stole your story!

    Like

  24. I guess it’s nature versus nurture, because passing on my DNA would be useless if I wasn’t around to impart wisdom and compassion on the youngster growing up.

    Maybe they’ll have your DNA and look like you, but who’s to say what the prospective fill-in parents would teach the child?

    DNA plays a small role compared to TLC.

    I think this makes you the Burt Reynolds character from the movie ‘Paternity’, look it up.

    Like

  25. Follow-up thought to myself.

    If you’re goofy enough to off yourself early by whatever means, maybe nature is saying ‘We don’t want your stuff’…
    Crashing a motorcycle, scuba diving, other less adventurous personal choices, I think that is the definition of Darwin’s idea…

    Like

  26. There are more sides to this than have been explained. Let me start with the possibility of someone raising your child whom does like that he/she is not theirs. There may even be some resentment by the father. Life is not meant to be fool-proof but I respect your opinion. Some things are meant to be done by nature not a lab.

    …… Oh why did you wait so long to post this?

    Cheers

    Jose

    Like

  27. This conjured Austin Powers scenes to mind… Seriously, though, fertility is a fascinating subject. The more conscious options, the better, I believe.

    @Iva – Let us know if you go through with freezing your eggs. I don’t think it’s as much fun as finding a little clinical seclusion with porn in hand. As far as I know, it requires a lot of hormonal injections to prep for ‘harvesting’ the eggs – which was enough to scare me off when I was looking into being a donor. I’m not scared of needles, but I don’t find the concept adequately compelling to subject my body to the largely unknown long-term effects of the hormones. I’m very confident in my own fertility – but even if I weren’t, since I’m a sucker for any baby I wouldn’t be too hung up on having my own.

    Like

  28. Swimmies?! Rofl thats an incredible term.

    While I do not personally understand the appeal of this activity, I give you props for having the courage to write about it.

    I think this is more evidence that you write with the genuine intention to share your ideas, as opposed to writing purely out of ego.

    Like

  29. Bravo Tim. Wish I had read advice like this about 16 years ago, before my journey of 4 kids & insane amounts of child support had started.

    This is a post that should be ready by all men… I’m certain Dick Masterson would approve too.

    Like

  30. Hey Tim,

    Good for you. I do, however, hope that you stay alive and healthy, producing a family the more natural (and fun) way.

    I wish it were as easy for women to have that insurance. Just step into a room with some romance novels and pictures of Johnny Depp to rub out some eggs.

    Well, we’ll hope for the best for all of us. :)

    ~Erin

    Like

  31. Interesting article, but I don’t see the point of storing “DNA” in case I die. I’m sure there will be plenty of other men alive to father more children, so why would I care about them being born with my genes if I’m not around?

    Like

  32. Funny post. But on a serious note there is a really good book and a very scary book called “Hormone Deception” -by Lindsey Berkson that talks a lot about the chemical problems in the food supply that are screwing up fertility. I think this lady interviewed about every scientist in the world who works on these problems. If you want kids in the future it will make you get serious about eating as much organic food as you can get. Plus, many people underestimate how important fat is to hormone production. All your sex hormones that you need to make a baby and be a Viagra-free man in the future are made from cholesterol. Enjoy your eggs a little more.

    Like

  33. Funny stuff Tim. I know what you mean about all the “High Risk” behaviours.. but that’s part of what makes Life fun!

    I myself am the end of my genetic line. Lucked out with all the “it’s okay, I can’t get pregnants”, had the Vasectomy a couple years back, and have zero intention of reversing it. Although I understand if people change their minds.. not my choice tho.

    Like

  34. Tim,

    This was an interesting read to say the least – hillarious (just what I needed for the end of my workday)! Good for you, but I hope you’ll never have to use your stash!

    Take care,
    Jen Z

    Like

  35. gotta agree with Keskiya here…

    Love reading your stuff, but that letter you sent to everyone – if I got a letter like that, I think id purposely flush your wrigglers if you keeled over just to ensure another ego doesn’t appear that large in the world again. Love reading your work – but lets not flatter yourself that simply your seed + anything = eternal God.

    Nature vs Nurture buddy!

    Like

  36. Hilarious story Tim!
    Great topic, not every one would have the balls to talk about it :D
    You raised a great point that never crossed my mind (I’m on 21) but that definitely got me thinking given that I’m writing this with my laptop on my laps…. definitely won’t help my sperm count!
    Cheers

    Like

  37. I laughed so hard I slightly wet my pants! :) You never cease to amaze me… in more and more delightful ways.

    I wrote about this very subject in my book “Every Single Girl’s Guide to Her Future Husband’s Last Divorce”. I also think it’s a good idea for guys who favor the “catch and release” program of dating to freeze their sperm and have a vasectomy as a form of Gold Digger Insurance. :)

    Like

  38. Hi Tim,

    I am a regular reader of your blog (have read your book 4HWW as week) I am your big fan and your like my role model.

    While I will hat off you for talking about such personal and sensitive issue, I have different perspective about storing your sperm. The point is, why not get married and have “natural” kids? What if there would be some biological disorder in your stored-sperm born kid?

    Muhammad Fayyaz

    Like

  39. Tim,

    Why resort to children as a method of immortality? Sign up to be cryopreserved. It’s not even all that expensive. I’m with Alcor Life Extension Foundation and pay $97.63 monthly for the chance to be revived in the future.

    There are a lot of myths out there, take a look at the FAQ on Alcor’s website before you pass any judgments.

    Like

  40. I can’t be the only one seriously disgusted by this post.

    It’s not even the egotism of storing your sperm “for posterity.” Whatever, you’re ponying up the money, etc…

    What really disturbed me is your emailing your female friend to say, “Oh, btw, I designated you as my partner! In the event of my death, feel free to have my babies!… but don’t feel obligated.”

    Yeah, like you’re doing her a real favor… seems like you’re guilting her into spreading your genes around.

    Like

  41. Ah hilarious, Tim. I laughed so much that I had to explain your scenario to my roommate… The Last Lecture is a great book. Randy was an amazing guy who left an incredible legacy for his children. Talk about courageous! His wife is so brave as well.

    I can totally understand your POV as my mom has been reminding me since ohhh age 12 or so that I am her only chance at grandma-hood. Wonderful! You should see her face light up whenever I date someone.

    Anyhow, I had friends who couldn’t have kids and it turns out that the husband just had one extra artery going down to, well his little swimmies (that weren’t swimming so well). One zap later (to singe the artery) left him completely fertile again and baby #2 is due in January. :)

    Soak up some sun for me in Mexico.

    Like

  42. Somehow I don’t see Randy Pausch applauding the possibility of you leaving your future kids fatherless from the get-go.

    Also, way to alienate us childfree people. As for vasectomy reversal procedures, maybe men should stop giving in to baby-rabid new girlfriends/wives.

    Like

  43. Great post Tim !! As usual you have an excellent sense of humor. Thank goodness I’m alone at the office, I was laughing out loud … Mind you, now every time I see your picture or read your book, I’m going to have an image of you in a white room with “something” in your hands … Ah !! I am going to have to find that section of the brain and erase that image … ha ha ha
    Take care

    Like

  44. Thank you for being so alpha about the whole thing. Excellent post.

    This totally fits into the FHWW lifestyle it think. Too many peoples are working so much they don’t even have time to think about what is important…Life.

    Rock it brotha’.

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  45. This is great. I’m just wondering if you were thinking of telling all of us about this while you were doing it… Brings new meaning to loving your fans, darling.

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  46. Tim:

    1) This was one of your most hilarious post! The pictorical precision of your words, esp. in the second part, made my day. =)

    2) You’re damn courageous to expose yourself that much and with such lightness, so naturally. Thumbs up. You’ve dismythified the process, and probably helped many for whom the issue was a taboo or simply hadn’t realized the option existed.

    3) Man, you’re more paranoid than I thought! But (a) as former Intel’s CEO Andrew Grove used to say: “Only the Paranoid Survive”, and (b) you’re a structured, results-oriented paranoid who knows precisely what you’re doing and why, so… thumbs up!

    4) Finally, now commenting on some of the writters above who frowned on your not adopting or not starting a family right away, or called your attitude ego-driven: it *is* ego-driven.

    So what? Shouldn’t it be? It’s your life, your swimmies. You do with them whatever you want, whenever you want, for whatever reason you want. Period. But I guess you know that. =)

    Cheers, friend.
    André Branco

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  47. Tim, what disturbs me about your desire for a woman to bear your child after you die is that it does not consider how a child might feel to come into the world under those circumstances.

    For one thing, the child is being denied the possibility of knowing his/her biological father. Even if the child is raised by an adoptive father, he/she is likely to experience that lack of connection to you, Tim, as a loss, possibly profound. The fact that you planned and intended for him/her to experience that loss would be even harder to take. That the loss was to serve your desire to leave a biological legacy … that makes it even worse.

    Plus there’s the pressure of having your life “created” to carry on the legacy of your biological parent. It’s hard enough to fulfill one’s own purposes, but to know that you exist because your grandmother wanted a grandchild? Because your father wanted a part of him to carry on after his catastrophic death?

    I have no problem storing sperm in the event of infertility if you want to use it for IVF with your partner. But for a child born after your death? That just strikes me as selfish–and you don’t even reap the benefits, because you’re dead.

    I’m an adoptive parent, which is why I’ve thought a lot about how kids are affected by their loss of connection to biological parents. It’s a trauma I would never intentionally wish on a child. Yes, everything might work out fine, but is that a risk you want to take? The pay-off doesn’t seem worth it.

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  48. “It’s your life, your swimmies. You do with them whatever you want, whenever you want, for whatever reason you want. Period. But I guess you know that.”

    But that’s just the point … it’s not his life. It’s his CHILD’S life.

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  49. Not sure whether to thank you or slap you. Interesting topic, although my past experience has told me that making babies is actually WAY too easy (insert ad for condoms). I guess I should consider myself lucky, looking at the odds.
    I do agree that in most cases, people are driven by their ego.
    Great comments and very entertaining.
    Mahalos

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  50. I like the idea! It accentuates our own sense of mortality. Makes us want to go out and do things – life’s too short to be dying, it’s to be lived. I once told a friend that my idea of the ‘meaning of life’ is to create life, in that way I can ensure life goes on with my descendants and knowing I have a part in preserving life – helping it continue. I believe you’re doing what is needed to help your ‘life’ continue in your legacy.

    I wonder if the storage facilities worry about who pays their bills if the clients die. I mean if you pass on, you can’t exactly keep paying the facility to store your swimmies (I prefer the term ‘geneseeds’).

    But heavens forbid! Don’t want your blog to discontinue anytime soon. Looking forward to blogs on your Mexico adventures.

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  51. Whilst I am completely morally opposed to anything that results in a baby besides actual sex (survival of the fittest mean that no Tim = no baby Tim’s), that was definitely one of your more amusing blog posts.

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  52. Wow Tim. I’ve been telling my mom about your blog for months. Imagine our surprise when I bring up the site and….SHAZAM! Sperm donation takes top billing. She was on her second glass of wine so it worked out okay.

    Do you think that a possible side-effect of the 4HWW is having the time to think about every bad thing that could befall your poor swimmers? I seem to only think about famine, flood, slipping in the shower, etc. when I’m on vacation or in the throes of a rare afternoon nap. Twelve-hour work days and acid reflux don’t really inspire musings on how precious (and fragile) life is.

    Here’s to worrying more about my eggs and less about those pesky TPS reports…

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  53. ROFL. Seriously. ROFL. You want to know danger. Raise a child! I lauph in the face of your silly motorcycles and jiu jitsu! Children are waaaay more dangerous.

    Oh and when me and the missus had to go have the little swimmer check, I touched nothing in that damned room but the cup and the door. Then I went home and took a “crying game” shower.

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  54. Too funny “You’re no Peter North”…Seriously LMAO.

    The ultimate comfort challenges:

    -Blogging about self-love.
    -Parading around a clinic with lots of female workers (some of them presumably hot) and then walking in “the room” and trying to focus. I’m guessing it was even more difficult to exit the room?

    Geez, I used to get a little embarrassed getting drug tested on-site at a previous employer.

    To everyone freaking out about your decision. I assume you have discussed this somewhat with your female friends before just springing the email on them and there are probably contingencies.

    The readers don’t have to agree with it. I would say Tim’s ultimate backup plan is not as twisted, selfish or egotistical as some “guy” getting pregnant and then trying to explain that to his kids later on in life.

    “Look kids, you were all over the tabloids and TV because I was a woman, started to live life as a man, and then had children as a man, something scientifically impossible, have a great time at school today!”

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  55. Hi Tim,

    I won’t lie this article is a bit weird for me. I’m Mr.Ego, empire builder and still PUBLISHING the idea that I want 2 people to dedicate their lives to raising my DNA after I pass just so my legacy continues is a bit intense. Nevertheless I have nothing but respect for you throwing this out there.

    One point you didn’t touch on that hits close to home for me. As a younger guy not looking for kids soon, the ideas of the old snip snip to insure no accidents in the meantime with frozen spermies as a backup is great, I think.

    Dan.

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  56. As a Tim Ferriss virgin, I was rather overwhelmed to find ‘little swimmies’ attached to my inbox. Thank you Tim…a fresh perspective on entrepreneurial activity! Anything for the girls next time?

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  57. Very funny post and nicely written :)

    Can’t believe you talk about that on your blog (as it is very private) but i love the email you did. Very precise and sharp.

    See ya in the freezer !

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  58. Some of us already have walking, talking legacies. They seem to be much more fun than paying a $600/year freezer bill.

    Damn kids are fun… Maybe you should just have one,… well some day.

    Nate

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  59. What an excellent idea. I was married and at 17 while pregnant. I proceeded to have four children in four years the last being twins. I’m still married to their father and have two wonderful grandchildren with one on the way.

    As difficult as it was to gain ground financially and to learn how to be a good parent I have no regrets. My life couldn’t be any richer.

    Blessings to you and I look forward to hearing about your children in the future.

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  60. (Full Disclosure here…I’m 37, married, had a vasectomy 2 years ago, I have no kids, and I didn’t bank any sperm)

    I laugh when I think about how other people fear death and fear “not leaving a legacy”. There is no rational reason to think that your mind will survive the death of your body. We will all die, and it will almost certainly be what the Buddhists describe as Nirvana…nothingness…non-existence…the Great Void. Just without that reincarnation stuff.

    I don’t wish to die, but I accept death as natural and final.

    So what if your DNA doesn’t get xeroxed, Tim? There are 6 billion humans (and counting) on Planet Earth. If a million here or a million there die out, humanity will still keep chugging along.

    Plus, your love for risky behavior will probably get passed down to your progeny as well…but I don’t think that’s so bad…we need artists and daredevils as well as accountants.

    I think folks that are wishing and longing for heaven are just being wimpy. Accept what you can learn about reality through reason and make each day count.

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  61. Such dedication! Thanks to Ms. WOWISMe Adryenn Ashley for sharing this blog on Facebook. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to stay focused in that room where so many….well nevermind. I think you covered that enough already. I would like to get in touch with the Sperm Banks of the world to sell them some special men’s maturbatory toys. Sounds like the perfect strategic alliance. Any contacts from you fans would be very appreciated. Blissfully, Chrystal

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  62. Hey Tim,

    I just got my Donor’s Choose thing! Thank you so much.

    I used to be a teacher and have friends and currently in the profession. It’s a big deal, and I appreciate your commitment to it.

    hugs

    Erin

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  63. @Tim

    “I’ve came to realize in 2007…”

    That’s not proper grammar, but considering the subject matter, all is forgiven.

    Jerry: I hear that all the time.
    Elaine: What?
    Jerry: That I’m gay. People think I’m gay.
    Elaine: People ask me that about you all the time.
    Jerry: Yeah, because I’m thin, I’m single, and I’m neat.
    George Costanza: Guess that leaves me in the clear..

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  64. Sperm-> Eggs-> Infant-> Babies-> Kids-> Teens-> Adults-> Leaders—-Movements for Mankind,

    Tim, you are onto something.

    It all has to start somewhere.
    And a sperm bank is a perfect place to start.!!!

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  65. Tim,

    This is off topic, aside from the word, donor. . .but I wanted to thank you for the $150 Donor’s Choose gift card I received yesterday, and let you know that I just used it to support a cause near and dear to my heart (and apparently yours as I read recently). . .drumming! Actually, last year I donated my Tama 6 piece kit. . .rack and all. . .to Chicago non-profit: Rock for Kids. It was an awesome thing for me to help in such a way, for a group that does such great things here locally.

    Here is the link to the Donors Choose project I supported through your generosity:

    http://www.donorschoose.org/donors/proposal.html?id=223506

    Also, I’ve gotta’ say, that what strikes me as among the most important lessons in your book, and what is often missed by reviewers and 4HWW detractors, is that in streamlining and dreamlining our lives, we’re often able to actually do more for the OTHER people in our lives and in our communities then we can do if we merely follow what appear to be societal norms. It’s not about selfishness or ego, it’s about doing what we love, and helping others to do what they love.

    Those in the know are acutely aware that GIVING is, indeed, better than getting, and the tremendous feeling of joy and satisfaction one experiences when giving to those who need our help, is among the best feelings in the world hands down. And. . .wow. . .what an emotional feeling that can be!

    Reading through the projects on DonorsChoose, I was really moved reading the stories of teachers whose lives revolve around helping kids every day. What a treasure. Even if we don’t have the money to donate to such causes, becoming aware of the need is almost as important and brings us one step closer to understanding there is a world outside our own, where people crave the experience that is life as deeply as we do.

    Thank you so much for allowing me and others to participate in this wonderful opportunity. I look forward to giving in the future as well.

    Warmest Regards,
    Doc

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  66. Hi Friends and Amigos,

    Greetings from Mexico! Thanks for all the create comments, including some very well-analyzed criticisms. Just a few things:

    1) You guys are freaking hysterical. Read some of the above comments if you haven’t. People think I’m nuts over here breaking into maniacal laughter reading your stuff.

    2) I fully intend on getting married and having kids if I’m alive. This is a given for me. This post relates to my current in-progress thinking about insurance for worst-case scenarios.

    3) Eric and Doc, and all DonorsChoose recipients: you guys deserve it! Thank you all for participating and helping to make the world a better place.

    4) To some who said I should get comfortable with death — I am very comfortable with death. This is part of the reason I’m willing to plan for it. More than almost anyone I know, I’m ready to leave this earth tomorrow if that is what’s in the cards. Read “Musashi” by Yoshikawa for a great philosophical introduction to comfort with death. “Letters from a Stoic” by Seneca is also outstanding.

    Hasta la proxima! Que tengan muy buenas noches, chicos…

    Tim

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  67. Yikes! Hey Tim, very informative post. However, I’m with the TMI camp on this one. Glad you have a plan, but some things are best kept at home. I spent 7 years trying to have my daughter for a variety of reasons that I won’t comment on (again, TMI). I’m so thankful my husband and I are both here to raise her. It’s something I would NEVER be comfortable delegating to friends or relatives, no matter how close they are. And believe me, I understand where you are coming from re: your high-risk lifestyle and wanting some insurance. When you’ve been on this earth 15 years longer (that’s my demographic) I’m sure you’ll understand where I’m coming from. Always a pleasure when you stir up the controversy!

    Best,
    Mary

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  68. You had me in stitches. I have not laughed this hard in a very long time. You are indeed one of the most quirky men on the planet!!! Why not just find a girl, settle down, produce offspring?
    Mia

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  69. Here is an alternative, very low-cost plan:

    1) Make virtual donations to a sperm bank online in Second Life.

    2) Have Google Alerts track your death. Upon finding the search string “YOUR NAME passed away” (etc.), Google Alerts sends an email to your Virtual Assistant notifying VA of said event.

    3) Upon verification of your demise, VA impregnates herself with your cybersperm or finds an appropriate host.

    For those of us on a budget . . . .
    :-)

    David Fideler

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  70. I understand Tim’s inclination to do this. However, it seems as though Tim is nominating a woman whom he is not together with? Or do I have this fact wrong?

    I always get this impression that Mr. Ferriss is perhaps slightly promiscuous. Always a mood dampener, especially when I’ve read his book and he seemed like such a role model….not that he seeked to be a role model in the areas of love and intimacy, but I’d prefer to be reading a book by a man whom I like and agree with.

    But who is “Lisa”??? And why just nominate her? So are you saying that “Lisa” will just have your children if “worst case scenario” DOES happen? Do you even LOVE her? This part of the story didn’t make sense to me, perhaps I need a few loose ends tied….

    On another note, The book is fantastic!!

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  71. Fine. I am not the one to write stuff on blogs, but this post did it for me.

    Tim – I agree to have your babies, in case your friends/family decide not to impregnate themselves with your frozen sperm after you die.

    4HWWK changed my life when I read it a year ago, and I would like to show my appreciation. Your genes deserve to propagate through our universe.

    I also think this is a much more generous “Thank you” than just saying “thanks for another hilarious post.” Especially since, as some readers mentioned, this post was not all that funny.

    Well, I am glad that I am able to help you out. Your legacy WILL go on!

    P.S. Please hold off on writing up the legal documents since I might have to clear this with my husband and the other kids. I am sure they will not mind, but you never know… people can be weird sometimes.

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  72. Funny how even on a post like this, people can be so judgemental and opinionated!
    Live and let live…a friend of mine recently had to use donor sperm and it wasn’t cheap!!! But it was necessary for them, and now they are expecting their first child. Had Tim’s sperm been “up for grabs” I would have told her to check it out! :)

    Hilarious post, a little TMI, but at least you have come clean (no pun intended) on how you spend 2 hours of your 4HWW. Not that you are selling it, but I’ve heard of people putting themselves through medical school by donating sperm!

    I hope this doesn’t turn into your follow up book “How to earn a living working with your hands and doing what you LOVE only ONE hour a day” Included would be a guidebook of best “donation locations” and how to stagger your donations sites so you could make daily deposits! ha ha

    On a different note, thoughts become things, so I hope you visualize yourself happily married with children instead of dead!

    Kids are WAY more fun than motorcycles! ;)

    Be Well!

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  73. This post does bring out some opinions doesn’t it??

    Renee, I’m really not sure which blissful world/universe you’re living in but people have children ALL THE TIME with someone they do not love/are not permanently associated with. I would google some statistics but it would most likely completely depress me. I find that far more selfish than Tim waiting for the right person and in the meantime using an “insurance policy” in case he comes to some sort of ill fated end.

    I’m guessing Lisa is already a sister in law or a dear friend of the family. She probably already has her own children that Tim spends time with. Its not like he picked some random woman off the street (let me know at any time if I’m wrong :). Its the same as having a will that delegates who your children will go to in case you die. The only difference is that Tim’s kids aren’t technically alive yet.

    I would be happy to raise my friends children for them if they came to some sort of unfortunate accident. I even volunteered myself when they were in the process of writing their wills.

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  74. Oh and this process can be done without IVF. If anyone saw the 20/20 interview with the first “man” to have a baby, they defrosted the sperm and used a basic syringe to insert the sperm at home. Now that sounds like fun!

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