TMI and Israelis

I hate sperm. It’s gooy and gross. After sex, I don’t want to cuddle or spoon. I want to wash that crap off me.

In Israel, men are way too obsessed with their sperm. My (Israeli American) husband and I often argue about this. In Israel, there is a thing called “sperm stealing.” When I first heard this phrase, I pictured a woman dressed as a ninja sneaking into a man’s bedroom to manually stimulate him for the purpose of collecting his sperm. Not too terribly unlike this woman from Clerks:

Maybe later she would write a ransom note: if you ever want to see your sperm again, bring me 1,00,000 shekles. Or maybe it was more like this joke I once heard:

A man and a woman get in an elevator. The man holds the door open for the woman and asks her what floor.

“Two. There’s a blood bank there. They pay $10 for a pint of blood.”

The man presses two for her and five for himself.

“What’s on the fifth floor?” she asks.

“A sperm bank. They pay $100 for half a cup of sperm.”

The next day the same man and woman are getting into the elevator. The man asks the woman, “what floor?”

She mumbles with her mouth full, then indicates with all her fingers “five.”

Yeah, you kind of have to tell his joke in person. But even then, it’s not much funnier.

But neither of these things is sperm stealing in Israel. Sperm stealing is carrying an accidental pregnancy to term or lying to your significant other other about using birth control. Let that sink in: they call it theft. There’s no sense of “well, once you throw it out, you lose any property interest in it.” My husband and I argue over a man’s right to his sperm after he ejaculates.

A while ago, my husband told me the story of an Israeli married couple who froze zygotes while the woman was going through some sort of health problems. They divorced. The ex-wife wanted a baby (she couldn’t use her own eggs anymore). After back and forth with the court, she was eventually allowed to use the babysicles to have a baby.

When my husband first told me this story, it was still at the point where one of the intermediate courts told her no, she couldn’t use the babysicles. They would have to be destroyed. Interesting that what Fundamentalist Christian Americans call life, Israelis considered a property interest.

More recently he told me about a woman in Israel who bought sperm from a sperm bank. She used some and froze the rest, wanting to save it for later so her kid would have a biological sibling. The sperm donor, who had nothing to do with the kid, had a religious experience and decided that he wanted to un-donate his sperm. And a court agreed that he could. They let him take back his sperm. The court said this isn’t a contract case, but that the guy has a right to not have little assholes running around. And the woman didn’t even get a refund. (That, I think, is really sperm stealing.)

I can only conclude that Israelis are way too interesting in the disgusting crap that comes out of their bodies. This is my only explanation for why my husband wanted to take a picture of the exceptionally large booger that I blew out of my nose the other day.

boogerYou can’t even see all of it. Half of it is cut off because we were laughing so hard we couldn’t keep the camera/tissue still.


About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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22 Responses to TMI and Israelis

  1. Raunak says:

    hahahahahahahahahaha….yuckily hilarious ๐Ÿ™‚
    “After sex, I donโ€™t want to cuddle or spoon”…i think most men would want more women to feel that way…
    I can’t scroll back to your post coz I can’t stand seeing that image again ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. jhubner73 says:

    Probably one of the most bizarre posts I’ve read in some time.

    Sperm burglars.

  3. Heather says:

    Oh my goodness, I can’t stop laughing. HAHAHAHA!

  4. Piper George says:

    Sperm stealing is carrying an accidental pregnancy to term or lying to your significant other other about using birth control. Let that sink in: they call it theft.

    I am sympathetic to the man’s point of view when it comes to this, although not sure I would call it stealing, since they willing gave it to you!
    Lying about birth control – well that is sperm stealing! This happened to my friend – he supports the child and has been a good father to her, but ultimately he had no choice, he did everything he was meant to in checking they were safe, he had protection with him and was told he didn’t need to use it.

    • emmawolf says:

      The man’s willingness to give it away is not dependent on the woman’s unknown state of mind. In both situations, he gave it away willingly. Birth control is the responsibility of both parties. It’s deceit, sure, but to label it “sperm stealing” is ridiculous.

      • Piper George says:

        What is the difference between deceit and stealing, in this instance. The man has come with birth control, they discussed it as adults should, agreed control was in place. The woman deliberately lied in order to get his sperm. In this particular case he had no reason to distrust her – it was not a casual acquaintance but a long term friend and occasional partner.
        If someone deliberately lied to you in order to get your money (eg a ‘buy the Brooklyn Bridge scam’) and you gave it to them willingly, you would consider it theft. Or fraud maybe.

        • emmawolf says:

          “Or fraud maybe.”

          Bingo. I’m a criminal defense attorney. I take the meanings of these crimes very seriously. (Even when discussing non-crimes among friends. I know it can come across as pedantic, but this is who I am. Law school broke me and made me unable to have a normal conversation.)

          But why I think it’s not theft is because I don’t think the man has a property interest in it. Like if someone takes my garbage, I don’t think I can bust them for theft. (I could be wrong. I haven’t really explored theft of garbage cases. Identity theft is coming to mind, but that is more what you do with what you take from the garbage then the document itself that was stolen from the trash.)

          I’m not unsympathetic to the situation of your friend, but sperm stealing is the stupidest term I have heard in my life. Call it fraud, lying, deceit, or whatever, but I don’t think men have a property right to their sperm after they ejaculate.

          The hypothetical you propose is different because of the property interest. You are describing theft by deception. But again, it hinges on the property interest. I have a property interest in my money. I don’t have a property interest in a crap I took in a toilet.

          • Piper George says:

            Pedantic is fine. I’m not taking a firm stance on one side or the other. Just interested in the discussion.
            So, where would you stand when a man has given his sperm to a bank, but in 10 years a child comes looking for him. Does he have a responsibility to the child as a biological father, although he gave the sperm away and had no interest in it there after?
            Or a woman who donated an egg to another couple but might then change her mind and demand rights as the biological mother.
            It’s probably going off topic, but I am curious as to where a biological parents responsibility ends, it’s a topic that comes up again and again.

        • emmawolf says:

          “Pedantic is fine.”

          *phew* I hate being an asshole, but I know it happens sometimes.

          I think a sperm bank scenario or a woman donating eggs is very different from an “oopsing” scenario. (Or at least, it should be.) There, all parties know that the parties seeking the sperm or the egg want to grow it into a child on their own with no further obligation from the donor.

          Sometimes biology sucks. I remember having a conversation like this with a friend of mine in law school. We were talking about how it’s a woman’s choice whether or not to abort an unwanted pregnancy, and the man was stuck with that no matter what, and he even might have to pay child support. She kept on saying, well, it was the man’s choice to have unprotected sex (or sex) and that he had to live with the consequences. And to me, that sounded too much like the anti-abortion arguments. I think “sometimes biology sucks” is a poor reason for why the world works like this, but I can’t think of a better one. I think sometimes people suck and biology sucks and we can’t have laws to protect people from every situation. I tell my husband a lot, it’s not illegal to be an asshole.

          I have no answers to your good questions. What do you think?

          • Piper George says:

            it’s a tricky one. Re the situation you mention and child support for instance – if a couple have a one night stand, don’t see each other again for some time, the woman finds out she is pregnant and chooses to keep the child (or perhaps even does tell the man, and he is clear he wants nothing to do with the child) should he be accountable for child support for 18 years when he had no choice in the actual presence of the child. Or, if she kept the birth of the child secret and only tells him after years because she wants child support, should he be responsible for that child when the mother chose to deprive him of the child’s early years.
            I think sometimes it comes down to the intentions of the parties involved. If the mother intentionally practiced deceit to obtain the sperm, in order to then hold the father to ‘ransom’ for monetary support for the next 18 years, it is a theft. If the mother accidentally becomes pregnant and doesn’t expect support, it cannot be theft. Then again, if the accident happened whilst the parties were in a long term relationship, the father should still be held to some responsibility even though it was not intentional.
            Hmm – now, how long is a reasonable length of time to be considered a long term relationship . . .
            I am glad I am not a lawyer ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Laura says:

    Lol. The Israeli government actually recognizes sperm theft as a crime? That sounds like something from Dr. Strangelove, not something a 21st century government would recognize.

    • emmawolf says:

      No. I don’t think it’s recognized as a crime. I’m sorry I wasn’t clear. It’s just the bullshit name the culture calls “oopsing.”

      • Laura says:

        You never said anything about the Israeli government. That was my misunderstanding. Thanks for the clarification though. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • emmawolf says:

          This is going to turn into one of those “no, I was wrong,” conversations. I think my use (and Israeli culture’s use) of the term “theft” implies the government recognizing it as a crime. And this is pretty much the problem I have with it.

  6. Laura says:

    Also, just thought you might be amused to know that when I googled “sperm stealing Israel” after reading this post, your post came up second in the google search.

    Just so you know what your blog is associated with now, lol. (I’m just kidding) ๐Ÿ™‚

    People apparently get to my blog by googling “rapist custody rights,” haha.

    • emmawolf says:


      The other day I got a hit from a search something like do you really love god or are you a hypocrite. That was my favorite, but now I think I’d be most proud of anything to do with “sperm stealing.”

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