People Are Using This Sex Toy To Get Pregnant

Photographed By Lauren Perlstein.
Back in 2011, Stephanie Berman wanted to get her wife pregnant, but she was dismayed by the available techniques. "The only options other than going to a doctor’s office would be with a turkey baster or a needle-less syringe," Berman shares. "We started using those types of things and quickly realized it was as awful as it sounds. There is nothing romantic or sexy and fun about trying to impregnate your wife with a turkey baster!" Having worked in women's reproductive health for 11 years, Berman was convinced that there had to be a better way, and what's more, that she could design it. After much research, prototyping, and engineering, Berman developed the Semenette, an ejaculating dildo attached to a pump. It can be used solo or with a partner (and a harness, if you so choose) — to conceive, for pleasure, or both. Stephanie's baby daughter, Isabella, born in March 2014, is a testament to the Semenette's efficacy. Not only woman-woman couples but also the FTM transgender community (and cis men with sexual dysfunction or disabilities) are now turning to the Semenette to aid in conception; others are turned on by the sensation of ejaculation that the Semenette provides. To better meet these groups' needs, Berman has launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for the Semenette 2.0. We spoke with her on the power of her sex toy to create pleasure and families — no turkey baster or doctor's visit required. How did you decide to develop the Semenette?
"I’m certainly not a doctor by any means, but I have a [background] in women’s reproductive health and have a lot of experience in helping couples go through trials and tribulations of trying to get pregnant in the more medical sense — anything from embryo-transfer catheters to basically assisting doctors with reproductive technology. I’ve seen a lot of couples go through months and months of trying and being unsuccessful. [I've seen] the emotional toll it can take on people, not to mention the financial burden. "When my wife and I wanted to start a family, we thought about our options and weren’t necessarily happy with any of them. I started thinking, what if I could recreate the technology that a turkey baster would provide, but in the form of a sex toy? That would be the perfect scenario — it would not only allow both partners to be really involved in the process, but it would allow for privacy and authenticity and intimacy. About six months and a couple prototypes later, I had an actual, real working product."
Photo: Courtesy Of The Semenette.
Who has been most interested in the Semenette?
"There are so many communities that the toy is applicable for and beneficial for. For example, the trans community has been [hugely supportive] with erectile dysfunction...even heterosexual couples [enjoy the sensation]. At the end of the day, this is a pleasure product; it’s a product that can provide pleasure for an individual or for a couple. The BDSM, kink, and pegging communities have all been great supporters of mine." How is version two going to differ from the first?
"I went with realistic colors to start with, just because those are generally well-received in the sex toy market, [but] mostly lesbians wanted something that was not realistic. So, we’ve got different color options. We’re also going to be doing a softer silicone blend, to make the toy as pleasurable as possible. And different sizes. I went originally with a pretty average size, [but] some people want larger, wider, thicker...some people have asked for a larger bulb so they can squirt more." If you don't want to use semen, what should you put inside the toy?
"You can definitely get creative with this. I’ve had people use this at bachelorette parties, and they put alcohol in it! You have to take into consideration what you’ll be introducing into the body. A lot of people will use lubricants. There’s one called Spunk Lube; it’s very similar in look and feel to semen. There are actually a lot of recipes on the Internet for homemade fake semen, which I have tried to make — [they use ingredients like] yogurt and corn starch. It sort of depends on what your desires are, but the most common things in there are probably lubricant or other stuff that's okay to be put on or in the body."

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