The Saga of the iSperm | HumorOutcasts

The Saga of the iSperm

June 25, 2014

So, here’s the scene: Little girls setting the table. Twenty-something girls making matzo balls. Fifty/sixty-something women chopping apples, peeling potatoes and frying onions. And an eighty-something woman, the matriarch of this family, supervising the activities. Nothing unusual about this scenario. We’ve been doing this for years.

And as we’ve been doing for years, we’re talking about men, love and sex. I mean, what else do women talk about while cooking?

But what makes this conversation different from ones we’ve had on other nights is the focus of the discussion. Usually my mom, our matriarch, holds the wisdom and doles out the advice. This time, the expression on her face informs me that she’s totally dumbfounded and must feel like she’s walked onto the set of a sci-fi movie. Because we are talking about using an iPhone for birth control.

Yes, you heard correctly. As we all know, the iPhone may be called a ‘phone’ but using it for that old fashioned form of communication is as out-dated as Morse code.

My mother’s eyes get wide and she shakes her head as she listens. Birth control itself was not around in her younger days, let alone using a phone to tell you when your egg is ready for a sperm.

But that’s what is happening today. There are dozens of iPhone apps used by thousands of young women (including those in our family) to assist in getting pregnant (or not.) In addition, you need never be surprised by your period again. And if your period should catch you by surprise, you can use an app to locate the nearest pharmacy.

By recording the first day of your period, there is an app which keeps track of your cycle and then notifies you of your ovulation day. With just a touch of the screen, you can view your most fertile days, color coded, of course. If you do not want to get pregnant, you avoid having sex on green days. If in fact, you do want a baby and your icon is red, you use your iPhone to immediately contact the father-to-be, find a suitable location and position (your iPhone can help with this too) and go at it!

As we talk, the twenty-something guys walk through the kitchen. One of them is playing a chess game on his iPhone, the other is watching a YouTube video. At least, that’s what they say. I can’t help but wonder if they are searching for some app that will tell them something about their sperm.

Later that evening while lying in bed, I start thinking about my days of trying to conceive. I remember cornering my husband in the bathroom of his workplace, because I just knew that the time was right. I did get pregnant, so obviously we did fine without an iPhone.

Meanwhile, my mom is probably thinking about the good old days when using a diaphragm was a modern invention.

As for the twenty-something couples, I’m hoping they have turned off their iPhones and are enjoying each other’s company. The way it should be.

And the little girls, well, I imagine they are dreaming of the day when they will have their very own iPhones.

By then, who knows what kind of apps may be available? Perhaps one to distinguish the sex of the sperm, their speed per second – or, good lord,  even a GPS system to guide them to their destination.

Janie Emaus

Janie believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again. She is proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year. To learn more about Janie and her books and blogs visit her website

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61 Responses to The Saga of the iSperm

  1. June 28, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I read somewhere that there’s an app that measures how well your sexual performance was. Now apps for birth control, baby gender prediction, and the list goes on….what’s next? I wish they had an app for picking a great husband. It would have helped me out many years ago!

    • June 29, 2014 at 1:49 am

      An app like that could make fortunes!

  2. Kathy Minicozzi
    June 27, 2014 at 6:27 pm

    Good Catholic girls of my generation weren’t even supposed to have dirty fantasies, let alone actually think about birth control.

    • June 27, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      Ah, yes. I’ve met many good Catholic girls in my lifetime.

  3. Natoli
    June 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    In my family it woulda been meatballs and sausage for lasagna.

    I’m afraid Janie you are a bit behinds the times though… All the modern women in my family today would be in the same room TEXTING each other!

    • June 29, 2014 at 1:48 am

      Hi Natoli – Well, we do that too, but it’s hard to text and cook at the same time!

  4. June 27, 2014 at 12:18 am

    well, on the other end of the birth spectrum…today we were wandering around a cemetery looking for a relative’s grave, and I said I wish we had a GPS app that would tell us where to go. we all decided there would be money in it…but of course, none of us want to do it.

    • June 27, 2014 at 10:54 am

      There might already be such an app. If not, there will be.

  5. June 26, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I’m amazed by how many apps are available for so many reasons. I had no clue that this one existed.

    • June 26, 2014 at 9:23 pm

      There are actually several of this type on the market. A new world, for sure!

  6. June 26, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Janie, this is hilarious and the app sounds like something from Saturday Night Live. I’m a gramma of two little boys…better tell my daughter about this cuz I so want a granddaughter. Still chuckling…

    • June 26, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      I’m not sure it an predict the sex. But I’m sure that app is coming!

  7. Helene Cohen Bludman
    June 26, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    Ha! And here I thought I was well-informed and in the know. But no!

    • June 26, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Helene – You are in the know. But I’m glad I could teach you something new.

  8. June 26, 2014 at 6:02 pm

    Brilliant. There’s really nothing I can think of adding.

    • June 26, 2014 at 9:21 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Rayne. It sure is a crazy world these days!

  9. June 26, 2014 at 2:26 pm

    Wow, I feel like such a relic of the past!! My mother thought it was amazing that my sisters and I could buy tests to predict ovulation, an App!!! Perhaps the next step is to replace the whole thing with an App!! (Gosh I hope not!!) Great post!

    • June 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      I hope not, too! Thanks for your comment.

  10. June 26, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    My baby shop closed its doors almost 14 years ago. The goods were quality, but the passion for dirty diapers and projectile vomiting was long gone…this is a piece of technology that I won’t be participating in. Just point me to the app that feeds me stream of Starbucks, sushi, and the occasional kamikaze, and I am so in!

    • June 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm

      I need an app that will point me to a cool spot, whenever I get a hotflash.

  11. June 26, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    It’s amazing how technology has taken over every aspect of our lives! Still laughing at the idea of a GPS pointing them in the right direction!

    • June 26, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      It is a funny concept, isn’t it? I wish I could draw!

  12. June 26, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Using an iphone for birth control sounds like a good way to get pregnant! Ah, technology, the uses it is put to!

    • June 26, 2014 at 9:35 pm

      Well, I wouldn’t rely on it!

  13. Nick Genovese
    June 26, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    ISperm. What a great idea. I think this would make great scene material in a romance novel, especially in the YA category. Have characters that are wanting to know if this is the time to do it or not the time to do it. It works both ways. Here’s an example. Girl calls boy friend and says we have to postpone our date tonight because my I Phone app tells me today is the day for me to get pregnant. Don’t want to take any chances. LOL

    • June 26, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Okay, Nick. I’m on it. I do think it’s a great idea!

  14. June 26, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Ha! I got pregnant folding my husband’s underwear 🙂 There’s an app for everything, isn’t there!

    • June 26, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      LOL! Everything. I swear. It’s pretty fascinating, if you ask me.

  15. June 26, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I like the idea of this. I struggled with infertility. Something that would help would have been a relief.

    • June 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      I think a lot of women feel the way you do. It may seems strange, but hey, life in this century is getting more techie everyday.

  16. June 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

    When I read the title of this post I was sure you were going to tell us how you would physically use an iPhone during sexual intercourse. I don’t know what I was expecting, however I’ve been reading your posts for months now and well…. My mind went to the far reaches of imagining you advising to use it as a vibrator because there’s an app that makes the phone jiggle around WAY more than just “putting your phone on vibrate” and then, I don’t know, I thought you’d think of something!
    Doesn’t mean I was disappointed in your post. I love your family stories.

    • June 26, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      I can see why you thought that, Patti! You’ve given me a great idea for another post. And thanks so much for being such a loyal follower.

      • June 26, 2014 at 11:37 pm

        You’re very welcome. It’s always a surprise what you come up with next!

  17. June 26, 2014 at 11:10 am

    Isn’t it so hard to believe we ever got by in life without iPhones and everything else? I must say, I am so happy to have them, but I can’t even begin to imagine what will one day take their place!

    • June 26, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Me either. I was just thinking about this the other day and trying to imagine what could be next.

  18. June 26, 2014 at 11:00 am

    All i could think of is that a zillion Catholic families who never had an Iphone can attest to the imperfection of that app. But the concept is so 21st century!

    • June 26, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Just imagine the lawsuits of the future.

  19. Vicki Batman
    June 26, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Hi, Janie and am holding my ribs cause of laughing. However, at the last get together, we talked mah jong. lol

    • June 26, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Oh yeah. We talk about Mah Jong, too. My mom has tried to teach everyone, but she has no patience. I’m guessing there is an app for that, too! Patience, that is.

  20. Kate Willoughby (@Kate_Willoughby)
    June 26, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Is it bad of me to be glad I have no need for a cycle tracking app?

    • June 26, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      Not at all! I need one track my Hot Flashes. Like a warning signal, so that if I’m talking to someone important, I can excuse myself.

  21. Marie Miller
    June 25, 2014 at 10:07 pm

    iPhone to predict everything about having a baby??? There will probably be an app telling you the right position to do it. And sonograms using the iPhone??? Well….. Technology is sure crazy so don’t be surprised at what the latest apps are on the iPhone 6 due out in Sept.
    Cheers everyone!

    • June 26, 2014 at 11:11 pm

      I’m curious as to what’s next? Maybe apps to just do all our work for us, while we text each other!

  22. June 25, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    Is it bad that part of me wants to get this app just so I can know when not to get pregnant? Or maybe I could just use it to lie to my husband and tell him I’m in the fertile moments when I’m really not.

    Either way….

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:23 pm

      Not bad at all, Lisa. I’d like my daughter to use it for that same reason. I love my grandkids. But I’m done!

  23. June 25, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Wow! Technology never ceases to amaze me! I’m not quite sure if an iphone could track my very unusual body and it’s strange schedule though. Thank heavens I’m too old for that! Great article!

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      You’ve got me curious about your body. I’d like an app to cool me down during a hot flash!

  24. June 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Loved reading this! You *always* write such wonderful family stories and bring a smile to my face. Since I’m surrounded by boys in my family, you can imagine the topics that go on here. 😉 Too funny about all the apps – I had no idea. What’s happened to spontaneity?

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:25 pm

      Don’t worry Robin. Soon there will a “spontaneity” app!

      • June 26, 2014 at 1:07 pm

        I thought you just clamped the i-phone between your knees for”no” and left it in the bathroom for “yes”.

        • June 26, 2014 at 11:14 pm

          LOL!!! You cracked me up.

  25. June 25, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Wow! It’s amazing the things these things will do. One day you be able to text #boy or #girl and one will be delived to your house seg up free of charge.

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

      Like the stork? LOL!

  26. June 25, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Wow, that’s wild! Technology never fails to fascinate me; especially that our kids are growing up with things that we never fathomed and that they take for granted. I wouldn’t be surprised now if there were a sperm GPS someday. You’d better patent that idea before somebody steals it Janie. 😉

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      Can you just imagine the look on the patent lawyer’s face?

  27. June 25, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    You are so right, Janie. The younger generation would be lost without their phones. How did we survive, they must be thinking!

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:27 pm

      I know that’s what my grandkids think. What do you mean, you didn’t have a phone. How did know what was going on in the world?

  28. June 25, 2014 at 8:35 pm

    This is great. I can totally picture the scene in the kitchen. It’s like that every holiday with my family too.

    Technology is pretty crazy, right? What ever happened to doing it the old fashion way?

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:28 pm

      Well, so far “doing it” is still app-free. But who knows what the future brings. I never expected all the technology we have today.

  29. June 25, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Wow! I didn’t even know this app existed! I think you’re right—-pretty soon they’ll be able to predict the sex of your baby because the phones will enable you to perform in-home sonograms by putting the phone up to your belly!!!

    • June 25, 2014 at 10:29 pm

      I’m pretty sure that’s next, Marcia. Along with who knows what else!

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