The Semenette is a sex toy that can help LGBT couples conceive

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Holding baby hand

Forget the turkey baster.

This article contains sexually explicit content.

Back in 2011, Samantha* (name has been changed), a teacher, decided she wanted to start a family with her wife of six years. But unlike most lesbians hoping to get pregnant with their partners, Samantha didn’t want to go the traditional artificial insemination route. She says she wanted to make a baby with her partner the old-fashioned way, in a setting that was a bit more “romantic” than a doctor’s office.

“We wanted it to be a shared experience that both people could be a part of,” Samantha says. “The thought of going to a doctors office and laying on a table and having them insert semen into me felt too medical.”

Samantha had also heard that having an orgasm increased the likelihood of her conceiving, which made her want to steer clear of the turkey baster even more. “There is no way [an orgasm] would have been a possibility if we used a turkey baster or a needless syringe, because those methods are so messy,” she says.

So instead of booking an appointment with a fertility specialist and braving the turkey baster, Samantha consulted her friend Stephanie Berman, who happened to be working on a prototype of an insemination tool for same-sex couples. Berman let Samantha and her wife try out the prototype, and the moment they found out Samantha was ovulating, they lit some candles, put on some music, and tried it out for the first (and only) time. Nine months later, Samantha and her wife welcomed their first child.

Samantha and her wife are one of what Berman estimates are 10 to 15 couples who have conceived children using the Semenette, a sex toy that doubles as a home insemination product and sex toy for same-sex couples. Currently fundraising on Indiegogo until March 30, the Semenette is essentially a squirting dildo that’s equipped to expel fluid, so same-sex couples can use it to emulate the traditional conception process and get pregnant at home.

For same-sex couples looking to conceive, the insemination process is often invasive and time-consuming, usually taking place in a sterilized, clinical setting. (It’s also costly, averaging somewhere between $300 and $700 per cycle.) But the Semenette allows same-sex couples to conceive during sexual intercourse, just like “you’re no different than any other couple trying to conceive,” says Samantha.

A former sales manager for a reproductive health company, Berman started developing the Semenette back in 2011, while she was trying to conceive a child with her own partner. (She ultimately ended up conceiving her first child, Isabella, whom she calls “her ultimate success story,” using the Semenette.) The toy was borne from her own frustrations with the traditional artificial insemination process, which she describes as “a very National Geographic-type experience.”

“Imagine your partner waiting to be injected with a turkey baster full of sperm,” Berman told the Daily Dot. “It doesn’t allow for any pleasure or sexiness. I wondered what I could create to make this process more intimate and romantic and pleasurable.”

So Berman started designing the Semenette, a 100 percent silicone dildo with a small hole at the end that allows for expulsion of fluids. (Even if you’re not trying to get pregnant, Berman says on the Semenette’s Indiegogo that you can fill the Semenette with lubricants, water, and “homemade fake cum,” which you can make with, among other things, water, corn starch, and yogurt.)

Essentially, the Semenette consists of a dildo, a medical-grade silicone tube, and a small bulb. (The Semenette is also compatible with most harnesses, so it can be used during strap-on play during intercourse.) To use the device, you thread the tube through the dildo, placing a plug on one end and the bulb on the other. The bulb allows you to draw in the liquid, as well as release it when it’s time to ejaculate.

Which leads to the ultimate question about the Semenette: Exactly how much fluid does it squirt, and how similar is the force of the emission generated to that of a biological male orgasm? “It depends on the liquid you’re using,” says Berman. “With water, it’ll get a good distance. That thing’ll squirt right across the room. Whereas if you’re using liquid that’s more viscous or thicker, it’ll mimic the ejaculation as it would in real life.” So probably have a towel close by, just in case.

The Semenette isn’t the only ejaculating dildo on the market. If you search for such products on Amazon, you’ll find similarly eruptive novelty products, such as the Deep Dickin Derek Ejaculating Dildo and Doc Johnson’s “Realistic Squirt Cock” which comes with a free bottle of “Splooge Juice.” But as Berman points out, most of these products are not built to facilitate actual conception.

“The [squirting dildos] that I know of are typically modeled after a porn star’s penis, so they’re very novelty,” she says. “Mine is much more high-end. It’s an overall higher quality product that provides a better experience.”

Berman says while the Semenette is effective, it is not a medical device. (She doesn’t want to market it as such, or else she’ll have to get FDA approval, which the Semenette does not currently have.) She sees the toy as having “two sides”: “The sensitive, romantic side,” stemming from its origins having a child with her wife, and its function as a straight-up squirting dildo sex toy.  

That’s why Berman is launching the Indiegogo campaign. Although she’s only raised $915 of her $50,000 goal so far, she wants to revamp the Semenette to appeal to a wider audience of kinksters who have expressed interest in the product, such as cum fetishists and female dominants who want to ejaculate on their partners. In addition to providing aesthetic changes, such as offering a wider range of colors and sizes, she’ll also be adding a bigger bulb. “The gay community has asked for a larger bulb so they can squirt a larger amount of fluid,” she says. Trans people and members of the “pegging” (or women having strap-on sex with male submissive partners) community have also expressed strong interest.

Although the Semenette has reached a wider audience than Berman originally anticipated, she still hasn’t lost sight of its intended purpose: to help her and her wife build their own family. Samantha feels the same way. That’s why she says she and her wife continue to use the Semenette, without its tubing, even though they’re not currently trying to get pregnant. “It is a nice addition to our toy selection,” she says. Plus, it “reminds us of how we made our family.” 

Photo via storyvillegirl/Flickr (CC BY SA 2.0)

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