The FDA is cracking down on a San Francisco man who gives away his spooj on the internet to people he meets through his website. So far, Trent Arsenault has helped 14 couples get pregnant. But not all of them are aware that Arsenault is turning his "donations" into a torrent of amateur porn.
Scrawny 37-year-old tech worker Trent Arsenault was thrust into the spotlight after the FDA ordered him to shut down his one-man sperm bank because he's not following proper procedure. He landed on CNN, ABC News, Newsweek and more. Tapping into the Occupy Wall Street zeitgeist, he said part of his goal was to help the 99 percent who can't afford to visit a pricey sperm bank.
Last month, Arsenault's attorneys filed a brief to throw out the order, arguing his personal sexual practices shouldn't be regulated by the government. Arsenault's cause has since been embraced by an astonishing spectrum of political and cultural crusaders. The Huffington Post drooled (ahem) over Arsenault's locally-sourced, organic sperm: "We can't think of a better biological father than Trent Arsenault. Would you really rather trust some no-name who came in a cup for $50?" Right-wingers frothed over another case of government over-reaching. Daddy bloggers just want to let the guy breed.
But all the reports about Arsenault, not to mention his own website, leave out one fairly important fact. A longtime acquaintance of Arsenault's pointed out to us that Arsenault is extremely fond of posting explicit videos and pictures of his sperm donations on the web.
Aresnault's two Xtube accounts (NSFW and NSFW) feature more than 100 videos of him masturbating into sterile collection cups, using unusual aids like a water polo ball and frozen packs of organic blueberries. (Trent exclusively drinks blueberry smoothies for breakfast and dinner to boost his sperm count.) Trent's something of a celebrity on Xtube: his videos have racked up a cumulative 3 million views. Even our slutty, NSFW friends over at Fleshbot took a shine to him.
In a phone interview today, Arsenault explained that he considers himself a "donorsexual."
"100% of my sexual energy is devoted to being a sperm donor," he said. "Having those videos helps my sex drive... which is critical to being a guy with a 200 sperm count able to help three childless couples in one month get pregnant."
Arsenault also has a pair of picture sites. Trentnude.com is down for maintenance, but Google's cache shows it featured dozens of nude pictures including an entire gallery (NSFW) called "small penis." (Disheartening news for any Trent Jrs out there.) Then there's the gallery of Trent masturbating in an airplane lavatory, captioned with "Snakes on a Plane" jokes. Trendude.com is an underwear modeling site where the most-popular gallery has over 400,000 views.
Arsenault admits that not all of the couples who have become pregnant with his children are aware of his x-rated activities. He doesn't take pains to hide it—his Xtube site links back to his official donor page—but he doesn't actively inform couples, either.
"I don't make a point of trying to advertise that to women or couples because some people don't care to see," Arsenault said. He doesn't feel like he's deceiving his clientele, because the couples who have learned of his porn sites have been supportive. Some, he said, have even learned of him first through his adult work.
Our tipster was appalled that Arsenault hasn't been informing potential parents about his sex sites. "They need to know the whole story," they said.
But Trent obscures more than his porn sites in his donor material. His website boasts that he attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. What he leaves out is that he dropped out after about half a year in a rather bizarre fashion: by suddenly running away, hitchhiking to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and turning himself into the military prison there.
Arsenault says he was fed up with "bullying" superiors at the academy after he complained about the treatment of women there.
"I said OK, I'm just going to turn myself into prison and the government can imprison me for going AWOL," he said. (Instead, they put him on a plane back to Annapolis.)
Our source also said Arsenault was urged to seek psychological help during his time at Annapolis—Arsenault denies this, saying he only had a brief, standard mental exam when he was discharged.
Now, there's nothing wrong with shooting a bunch videos of yourself masturbating and uploading them to the internet, if that's your thing. But we do understand why a potential parent would want to be aware that half of their kids' genes are coming from a man with an apparently compulsive need to expose himself to strangers. Not to mention his odd past. Trent's elaborate official site is a masterpiece of marketing, presenting a picture of a squeaky-clean, all-American sailor which the media has been happy to reproduce. Consumers should know that Trent has another side.
So go ahead and have Trent's kid. He seems fit and genetically solid, if pretty strange. But it's worth remembering that the first stage of your child's conception might be forever memorialized as jack-off material for internet strangers.