A modern sultan boasts his virtual harem

In the age of the Reproductive Revolution, it’s an antiquated approach, but it works. An American named “Joe” claimed on British television that he has had 150 children scattered all over the world conceived through natural sex. “It’s more than the average person but there are people who have more. There’s some sultans out there who have more,” he told The Sun.

Lesbians, singles or women with infertile partners contact him by Facebook or email and ask for his services. "I started donating sperm in 2008 and have fathered on average 10 children per year. I have always said I wouldn't father more than 2500 but that would technically be impossible unless I live until the age of 250. I aim to donate my sperm for as long as it works which could be until I'm in my 90s."

This, apparently, is not all that unusual. Tom, a 40-year-old man in Britain has also appeared on television to admit that he has fathered 42 children with women he doesn’t know, although his technique is to give his clients a vial of fresh sperm. He advertised his services online after learning about shortages at sperm banks.

Inadvertent incest is an issue, he admits. But he has a solution. “We have a Facebook group that the people I’ve helped are in. I’ve also created anonymous ways for them to be able to check if a person might be a half-sibling, using encryption.”

Even though frozen, disease-tested sperm is available through fertility clinics, it appears that some women prefer methods which are just a bit more traditional to conceive children. Perhaps the real reproductive revolution is not novel technology, but changing social mores.

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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