Here’s one you haven’t heard but will probably show up as a movie next summer: A man in Europe has sperm so strong that he’s given life to over 100 babies (106, to be approximate, and that’s only a rough estimate). And unlike other men who just donate their sperm in a cup, Ed Houben’s been doing it the old-fashioned way, even sleeping with the wives of men who can’t have children for physiological reasons. It’s not an easy job, but someone’s got to do it. And that someone is a 46-year-old man who used to have very little sex.
GQ profiled Houben, and it’s an interesting primer if you’re trying to get into the baby-making business yourself. Houben didn’t just start advertising sex for babies, though; he used to donate his sperm just like most other guys. But then something important happened: Houben, who’d realized that having a family was just not for him, also decided that donating was just too impersonal. So he started making house calls, according to GQ. That’s right, he just showed up to people’s houses and handed over the contents of his testicles. This went on until an artist and her husband asked him to help them conceive through intercourse. And that threesome (the husband was present and Houben’s totally chill with that kind of thing) changed everything.
After that, Ed had no problem if husbands wanted to be on hand while he slept with their wives. Not that he would limit himself to married heterosexual couples—there were hundreds of single, gay, and otherwise ambiguously attached women who required his services, too. But there was something edifying about this married couple in particular, something that made sense that hadn’t before: In allowing him to have sex with their wives, the men, too, were on a journey, one as private as their wives’. And in this strange, dichotomous act of largesse and cuckolding, Ed himself might save them from self-recrimination and ego free fall. By sharing his seed with their wives just so, in the ovulation go-zone, he might provide them with the greatest gift of all—a no-strings-attached baby—and in so doing complete their family with the final puzzle piece. What he least expected in return was gratitude, but that’s just what he got.
Since then, Houben’s been referred to as ‘Europe’s Most Virile Man’ by The BBC and is reverently referred to as ‘The Babymaker’ by those in the know. And while he used to have sex only once every ten years or so, he’s now very busy filling orders for women and couples trying to conceive. What’s his secret? Well, it’s certainly not his looks:
Nevertheless, he’s quick to describe himself as a “truly ugly fat guy with glasses.” An endomorphic bachelor with a somewhat block-shaped head and lower grill of uneven teeth, he lives in a five-room apartment, grad-school humble but relatively roomy by Dutch standards, from which his mother comes and goes, often cooking and cleaning for him. He doesn’t own a car; rather, he bikes everywhere, no matter what the weather.
Guy lives with his mom and is helping people birth babies? How did no one else know this was a viable career choice?
You can read all about Houben’s exploits here. Just be warned, it’s not all glitz and glamour. Houben still has a day job.