Sperm Wars

The infantry attacked on the left flank and were repelled by heavy artillery; however, small, individual platoons continued to infiltrate through hidden rifts and arroyos. On the right flank a major calvary attack wrought havoc on the defending troops and, although suffering catastrophic destruction, opened a path for foot troops to exploit. Bodies were piling up, requiring urgent removal to avoid pestilence. A sudden counterattack by allied forces pressed the aggressor back from the main battlefield. Fighting was brutal. Millions died. But a shining champion strode through the carnage, slipped up an unprotected path, and captured the flag.

Who knew sex was so exciting?

Two conclusions I gathered from Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles by Robin Baker were how difficult it is to actually impregnate a woman and, how difficult it is to guarantee not impregnating a woman. Add in a third party (or fourth or …) and there are so many variables possible hidden inside the magic of a woman’s body that only strict scientific testing can verify parentage, and even then the truth is that testing can only verify non-parentage.

Different Types of Spwerm

This was my one complaint against Baker’s book: it relies on the existence of multiple sexual partners to make all the interesting an erudite biological detail significant. How many pages of intriguing text with sperm and mucous and eggs and reverse thrusters and elongating cervixes are blown away by simply restricting sexual congress to a single, presumably special individual?

But the prime mover in this sexual narrative of sperm wars is actually focused on promoting the broadcasting of the most advantageous DNA. Baker even suggests (more than once) that multiple sex partners, including extramarital affairs, is a good option for improving the gene pool, for women, and for preserving the chain of DNA through wide-spread insemenation, for men.

Some of Baker’s conclusions are counterintuitive but his logic is very convincing. For instance, a man masturbating in the shower increases the chances of successful insemenation. It has to do with the freshness of the sperm and it is a concern of both the male and the female. Fact is, females store sperm in their bodies and thus the problem of paternity when there are multiple partners.

In A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson suggests that the human body can be seen as the vehicle which all the microbes living in our guts use to provide mobility and ready access to much needed fuel. Add the biological details of Sperm Wars to this picture and there’s an awful lot going on that strongly suggests there is nothing divine about the human body.

Did you know that in a fairly recent study, 44% of men couldn’t find a woman’s clitoris and an astounding number of men couldn’t even correctly locate a woman’s vagina? I’d like to imagine that these percentages reflect the perspicacity of the Republican base but there is no evidence of that.

2 thoughts on “Sperm Wars

  1. It reads much like Woody Allen’s movie Everything You Wanted to Know About Sex. I immediately pictured the scene with Allen and others all dressed in white waiting to parachute into enemy territory.


    1. Hmmm … does your comment date you? How are you with snake bites?

      When I was quite young, Woody Allen was Art Linkletter’s version of the much later Jackie, the Joke Man, Martling. Do you remember Allen’s starving artist antics in his first movie, What’s New Pussycat? (the hard boiled egg?).

      Note to self: Would Victor Shakapopulis have been far funnier seen in a movie theater or was there adequate compensation provided by the back seat of a ’51 Chevvy?


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