He would show up twice a month at the clinic, “producing” in “the production room” to fill a cup for cash. Leave it on the table.’ ”The more he donated, the more he desired some intimacy from the process. And after years of donating sperm the “normal” way (sterile room, cup, cash), he and some women looking to get pregnant for free began cutting out the middlemen and getting it done as nature prefers it (sex! Today, Houben has over a hundred children—and Ed the Babymaker is in greater demand than ever.We imagine you have some questions A little while back, a woman—an ovulating professor from Germany—arrived in Maastricht, the Netherlands, to a neighborhood just beyond the city center, on the other side of the Maas River.He wasn't a virgin, but the that had come his way were, frankly, as rare as dogs in space.In fact, it had been ten years since his last encounter, though he claimed not to miss it, the sex that is, busy as he was with his job, volunteering for the national guard, and war re-enactments that a man of his ilk and interests can get sucked into. Convinced that having a family might not be in the cards for him, Ed Houben (pronounced who-been) decided to become a sperm donor.
She parked her car at a distance from her destination so as not to be recognized (she knows quite a few professors in Maastricht), and was briskly moving down the sidewalk toward the apartment of Ed Houben, when she got caught behind a father walking his little boy at dusk.The father and son drifted past the square, but when they came upon Ed's apartment, the father pointed a finger in the dark, and the boy looked up to the third floor, where a star-shaped lantern was lit in a window.Later, when he heard the story from the ovulating professor, the Babymaker himself was delighted, for not everyone accepts what he does, and so he spends a lot of time explaining the wherefores and what-hows of his avocation, often with a startling dose of Dutch honesty.But this boy and his father—what a small victory for Ed: a world in which the Babymaker lives just down the block and no one bats an eye or blushes, no one utters a condemning word, knowing he's there, ever ready.
The first time Ed Houben slept with another man's wife was in Amsterdam.
It was 13 years ago, Ed was 32, feeling unattractive, convinced no woman would ever consider having sex with him again.