back to article Think tank rages at NHS' £700 bill for fertility clinic porn

A right-leaning Health think tank has condemned the NHS for spending £700 a year on porn to assist male visitors to fertility clinics to produce samples. called for an immediate ban on the provision of such material, and suggested if men can't produce samples by willpower alone that they should produce their …


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  1. justanotheruser

    bloody think tanks

    The think tank probably costs more to run than the 700 quid they're in such a froth about. I know which I think should go first.

    1. Lionel Baden

      ahh true

      but they have a very valid point that there is so much free porn around why pay for it ??

    2. Anonymous Coward

      "...I know which I think should go first."

      Or did you mean 'come first'?

      It seems Julia Manning isn't much of an Optimist after all, unless I need my third eye tested. I wonder if this bit of policy research cost less than £50,000, or more?..."saw ye comin" as the saying goes.

  2. Dick Emery
    Paris Hilton

    All they need... a glory hole and a milking machine (I have such a smutty mind).

  3. Liam Johnson


    I am shocked that the NHS is spending so much money on smut when they have hundreds of young nurses freely available. Shorter skirts would obviously cost less too.

    Sorry, what was that? You mean the problem has nothing to do with the money. Oh, I see. As an optometrist, she is obviously worried about all those poor men going blind.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Who runs these stupid "thinktanks"?

    This is ridiculous, it costs much more to test failed samples and rebooking appointments due to "willpower fail". Men are naturally strongly driven by visual stimulus, no way around that.

    The mags provided are so toned now already that any celebrity mag or even the Sun looks more pornographic. Also I wouldn't touch them for fear of running into sticky pages (yuck!)

    Finally, while initial samples can be provided from home, the fertilisation itself needs it fresh from the donor.

    I guess the only solution that pleases everyone is to just get free Wifi into the clinics, and say it's for family planning research :-)

  5. Anonymous Coward

    "Manning [...] is a member of the College of Optomerists."

    Well, surely he should be in favour!

    1. Simon 26
      Thumb Up

      She should be happy...

      ... to have so many men strumming up business.

  6. Red Bren

    Julia Manning is a member of the College of Optometrists

    Is she worried that the clinics' patients will go blind?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Porn doesn't demean women...

    "encourages an unhealthy attitude towards women in general, demeans female NHS workers"

    Porn doesn't demean women, men do. Women might hate to be objectified, but lets face it, that is how guys think. We are hard-wired and visually stimulated and from the onset of puberty we wish to have sex with any and every attractive female we see.

    1. Guido Esperanto


      .... and from the onset of puberty we wish to have sex with any and every female we see.

      /fixed it for you.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    £700 ? it's a bargain

    have you seen some of those old boots that pass for nurses these days?

    no wonder the customers need <ahem> stimulation

  9. bolccg

    Good grief

    Do they really have nothing better to complain about in the NHS?

    Also, insert obligatory joke about optometrists benefiting from people masturbating more...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Eye sight issue?

    I can see why a member of the College of Optometrists might consider this a problem. But it is just a rumour that it affects your eye sight.

    Ooo yes while I remember 'Think of the .....

  11. tigoda

    or . .

    take your own smut in with you maybe?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    give me a break!

    i've actually recently started donating to a clinic as i responded to an advert and thought it would be a nice thing to do and help people - unlike popular media steerotypes you don't get paid (its against the law) - you can only claim tiny travel expenses - actually less than I lose by not working AND I have to go every week for half a year - its the most unsexy environment i've ever been in - cubicles squidged up against cyro tanks - they do provided magazines and I assume that even these will be a bit boring after 6 months.... hardly much to ask is it???

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You need something to look at,

    trying to get turned on infront of one of those nurses is like trying to crack one out in front of Yoda

  14. Peter Kay

    20 quid?!

    They're seriously complaining about twenty quids worth of porn mags, which at today's prices probably buys you 3-4 of them?!

    It's got to be the most economic method out there - the Internet may have free porn, but then there has to be something to display it on. Paper doesn't require much maintenance..

    It does sound like they're busy trying to justify their existance or pursuing their own agenda...

    Just looked at their website and this is indeed the case - they're a group of anti porn campaigners amongst other things. This is nothing to do with the expenses of a fertility clinic.

    Next time, el Reg, how about denying these puritans the oxygen they desire..

    1. Liam Johnson

      probably buys you 3-4 of them

      With wipe clean reusable versions probably cost more...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The loony right

    I bet the Daily Fail doesn't print it in outraged tones.

  16. Tony Green


    If they're getting it from the likes of WH Smith's, it's just jazz mags, not full-blown (oo-er-missus) porn.

    Mind you, asking them to jack-off into a jar hardly seems to be [treating them] "with dignity and respect".

  17. Peter 2

    "donaters" ?

    I think you mean "donors"... you w*nker! (<- which is meant in the spirit of the article!)

    On a similar note - I take it that the members of this so-called "think" tank spent a massive amount of time going around the clinics to thoroughly investigate the pornography on offer.

  18. GottaBeKidding

    I would like to have a discussion with this woman.

    I have just talked to a "researcher" at 2020. This report was unfunded - Essentially, all it encompasses is a single freedom of information request followed by an opinion piece.

    I have taken part in fertility treatment myself. I feel that the authors of this report have no respect for me as a person. Putting me into a room with 4 blank walls and the sounds of ill people round me is _not_ a place where I personally can perform 'easily'. This is even worse than asking a woman to relax while this ice cold speculum is inserted.

    Also, the suggestion that this can be done "at home" is stupid. The _reason_ for these "samples" is not so the doctor can have a good peer at it. It's so that the sample can be used to inseminate an egg.

    The egg or the sperm are not of good quality - Otherwise the patient would not be there.

    I would suggest that the report author sticks to eyes in the future. Or gets some more input from both the patients and the practitioners of a field before sticking her oar in.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton


    Having had the dubious honour of partaking in such an exercise (though not at an NHS facility) I have to say that the option of 'help' was much appreciated. What may not be taken into consideration is the already humiliating act of having to do a private thing in a public place, especially since most people in the building know what "that room" is for.

    In my (very limited) experience the pr0n option is offered, not mandatory, and if someone can close their eyes and bash one out with all the distractions already offered by aiming in a cup then more power to you. I found it a lot easier with the playboy spread of Kim Kardashian near by.

    And for all the millions that the NHS does waste, I'd think this would be

    a) peanuts

    b) actually useful

    Laughably I bet more than the 21 sterling lost to WH Smiths on this front is stolen from petty cash in respective clinics on a far more frequent basis. Though the several thousands spent on a viewing suite does seem excessive...

    All of this sidesteps the arguements employed about how pr0n supposedly degrades women, leads to addiction (?) etc. These arguements may have merit to someone sat at home in front of the deepest darkest corners of the net, but for someone that needs to actually produce something in a less than comfortable environment I'd think there was a sufficent counter point.

    If someone was that opposed to that content they would not use it at the clinic, and if they were quite partial to naked women then I suspect they could do a lot better than finding an excuse to have a quick shifty down at their nearest NHS facility that offered it.

    AC, obvously. And Paris, because I bet she'd be quite useful on this front. Cheaper too?

  20. Code Monkey

    Won't somebody think of the children?

    So donors bat one off at home and bring it in themselves?

    Public transport filled with men carrying jars of their own jizz. Won't somebody think of the children?

    1. bluesxman

      @ Code Monkey

      "Won't somebody think of the children?"

      Engaging in that sort of behaviour while "preparing" your donation is likely to be frowned upon by most sections of society.

  21. No, I will not fix your computer


    Seriously... lol

    The NHS offers one free cycle of IVF when couples have problems conceiving, that's £3,500 each time, so a total of £700 is so little that it's irrelevant.

    There is a serious lack of donated sperm in the UK, partly because of tracable paternity, but also because it's seen as seedy (see what I did there?), taking grot out of the suites will hit this even further.

    Then let's think about ethics and "degrading women", that is just crap, the porn industry is full of exploiters and the exploited, lack of regulation and protection for the men and women in the porn industry is the problem, and we don't want to approach it because it's "dirty", sex is great, porn is great, and (in my experience) many women love porn (although usually involving a bit more plot and the occasional man, but each to their own, Nancy Friday ladies?).

    1. alphaxion


      I also notice they don't consider the possibility that the donor may be gay, in which case, is it still degrading women? Is this a "tree falling in the woods" thing?

      The best description of porn I've ever heard was "It's the stripping away of the porn stars own sexuality for the enjoyment of the viewer".

      Also, the material is damaging to men? Citation please!! If anything, there's more evidence pointing to porn having therapeutic benefits for its users such as reduced incidence of violent sex crimes.

      Puritans in modern day clothing, you'd have thought we'd have gotten over this hate of other people enjoying themselves. I bet they're anti-alcohol too!

  22. Anonymous Coward

    Easy solution

    Require all clinics to label the sperm as "produced using porn" if it was.

    The all the right-wing nutters can ask for porn-free sperm.

    As none will be available, that particular strain of DNA will die out.

    Problem Solved.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Against the clock!

    The suggestion to produce a sample at home does not take into account that there is only a half hour window to catch you breath, get to the clinic whilst keeping keeping sample warm (under an armpit is the recommended method) and hand it over to the right person. Almost impossible unless you happen to live in the same street.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    It can require "help"....

    Speaking from first hand experience I can say that providing a "sample" (in my case for fertility reasons) in a hostpital is not as easy as you'd hope . You get shown into a typical sterile white hospital room, with a little bed (some one elses pubes on the cover) and big sign over the sink saying "Please wash yourself before producing your sample". Kind of puts you off.

    In this case there was magazines for assistance but they were from the 60's and 70's. On the plus point you get to put your sample through a little window when done and the get the hell out of there. I shudder at the memory :)

  25. SirTainleyBarking

    Stupid W**kers

    This is really trolling for column inches isn't it?

    Julia Manning really needs to get her head out of her backside.

    Men go there to blow their beans. Either for medical investigations or to help infertile couples. It is all very well saying bring in something you made earlier, but what she fails to mention that once its left the body, the product in question has a very short shelf life if not stored correctly, so if the samples aren't box fresh more money will be wasted in retests and time.

    If she's so concerned prehaps she ought to help out, though from observing her picture she looks like that would be beneath her.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    So let me get this strait

    Those men get to look at smut magasines to get themselves off in a situation that is

    1: Not exactly inspiring

    2: Stressfull.

    And this "think tank" would rather they just use imagination? Because it's otherwise damaging to the image of the female staff? So instead of thinking about the cleavage of the receptionist, who'd probably rather they didn't while doing that, they think about the naked woman who actually got payed to serve that very purpose. And that's bad?

    Sorry, i don't get it.

  27. Anonymous Coward

    Manning has no Idea!

    As somebody who has had to go through fertility treatment and had to produce samples I have to Julia Manning has no idea what she is talking about.

    In my experience having no visual assistance was unthinkable as the room and conditions used were not conducive in those circumstances. Being able to produce on demand with no assistance is a very difficult thing to do in this environment. The knowleadge that this could be the difference between you and you partner having a family is a very stressfull position to be in.

    Also most, if not all, fertility clinics require samples as fresh as possible to increase the chance of successfull fertilisation. Cracking one off at home and traveling some distance to the clinic would not be acceptable.

    I say that this is money well spent. If anybody object to the material then it can be removed and replaced for the next person.

    I imagine that Manning, and her partner, have never had call to use the services of a fertility clinic and has no idea what it is like for the patients.

    Perhaps she should talk to a few before spouting off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Second all of the above

      My wife and I have also been in this situation, and to be fair I found the simple existence of a drawer marked 'magazines' in the sample room to be hilarious. It was needed though, since the (female) nurse who showed me into the room had a moustache.

      The only thing that degrades women in this context is her utter stupidity.

      We now have to go private (NHS IVF cycle didn't work), and I'm wondering whether the quality of the pr0n will improve!

  28. min


    ..writing reports condemning the objectification of females by misfiring men is what 'stimulates' Julia Manning.

    but i think her views are just bullshit and she needs to re-focus her mind on eye-dentifying more fruitful uses of her copious free time. this will then maximeyes her positive exposure and make us suspicious readers less suspicious of whether she'd fail an eyeQ test or not. if she reads something like Hello! or Ok! then she'll realise that most media objectifies females (and males too, come to think of it) by making them sPex symbols. so pron really aint that bad.

    i think this person is just straining to make a spectacle of herself with her ultra conservative leanings.

    bit warm for a coat, isn't it?

  29. G2

    ancient tech

    wtf, nobody uses p2p networking over there? There's not a single mention of torrents or p2p networking being used for porn entertainment in the article :p

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Confirms my understanding of how useful Think Tanks are.

    They can be put back on the shelf next to the chocolate teapot.

  31. Anonymous Coward


    they're jerking off into a pot in a hospital toilet. how much dignity can they lose?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    potentially harmful to the men exposed to the material

    If porn was harmful, I for one would have been stone dead long ago.

    1. sT0rNG b4R3 duRiD


      You're not dead but you're posting in this forum. Porn must be harmful :P

  33. Kevin 43

    Can't they use..

    .. the stuff they produced in house?

  34. Lloyd
    Thumb Down

    Has anyone from the "think tank" ever bought porn???

    It's bloody expensive, it's not like popping out and buying a DVD of Flash Gordon from a petrol station forecourt for £2.99, some of the more specialised material is £50 a pop, ummm apparently.

    I obviously wouldn't know myself, I download mine.

  35. Jason Rivers
    Thumb Up


    nuff said!

  36. Anonymous John

    The NHS can't win, can it?

    Spend $7.5K for a special room in Liverpool and the Taxpayers Alliance whines.$hs_trust/

    Spend less than a tenth of the amount for the rest of the UK, and someone else whines.

  37. This post has been deleted by its author

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FOI requests

    So have sent out Freedom of Information requests to 160 NHS Trusts, which probably cost at least £50 per Trust to respond to. Therefore this organisation have cost the NHS at least £8,000 so that they can get indignant about the NHS spending £700. If this is an issue about wasting money then organisations such as this should be made to pay the full cost of supplying the information they want sending to them.

  39. FoolD

    Self-righteous puritan ahoy!

    After reading her article it is clear that this woman is living in her own puritanical world and trying to force that vision upon the rest us, like it or not.

    She see's no distinction between soft porn and obscene publications and so thinks all porn should be illegal. She has no problem classifying the sample rooms as a "workplace" and thinks it should be treated the same as a cafe or ward - ignoring the fact that they will be empty except for the male producing a sample.

    Her next step would probably be to ban the simple physical act of masterbating in the "workplace" altogether and go for a more sterile, invasive approach to obtaining samples - probably peformed by robots so as not to adversely affect the 'dignity' of any female nurses nearby by exposing them to nudity.

    The fact that such a self-righteous puritan as this is in such a well placed think-tank in the 1st place should be a dire warning to us all...

    Think-tanks .. quangos .. lobbyists .. shelters for busy bodies and loons. Those are what should be outlawed.

  40. Tigra 07

    A missed point

    "the practice of providing smut in clinics as an unacceptable use of public funds which encourages an unhealthy attitude towards women in general,"

    Even the gay mags?

    I'd also like to pointo out that the women's porn mags offer an unrealistic expectation of men.

    On every single page a man is doing the cleaning or the washing up

  41. Anonymous Coward


    More Tory stooges demonising public services. They are vermin.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Beware .. of Trolls

      Surely all politically biased think-tanks or quangos are full of self-serving, hypocritical vermin.

      No need to single out Tory ones.

  42. Cunningly Linguistic
    Jobs Horns

    It could have been worse...

    ...they could have been infected with Apple fever and issued a porn-laden iPad for every wanker who comes through the door.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I remember...

    ...the last time I had to give a sample. The nurse sent me into a room with some porn and told me to have a quick think-tank into a plastic cup.

  44. Just Thinking

    Top citations

    Has anyone noticed the sources cited to back up this "research".

    There is no reason patients can't produce the specimin at home and bring it in - that is proven to be true in absolutely every case because ONE patient was apparently told he could do that once.

    Most of the other sources are from comment pieces in magazines and newspapers. The Guardian Life and Style section? FFS

    There is one authoratative quote from the NHS itself which backs up the claim that ... 77% of the NHS workforce is female. WTF difference does that make, would it alter the argument in any way if only 23% were female? That is the only fact in the report which is backed up by a reliable source, and it isn't even relevant.

    1. Goat Jam

      Oh Dear

      "77% of the NHS workforce is female."

      That would appear to be a prima facie case of anti-male sexism in the hiring practices of the NHS. I think some group that is interested in promoting equality should do a bit more research on this.

      1. Sarah Bee (Written by Reg staff)

        Re: Oh Dear

        Well, that's that then.

        Check on the rates of who applies for these jobs and all the other relevant data you will need to support your hypothesis, and then prepare your report on the scandal. Have it on my desk by Monday.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Right Wing Think Tanks

    Right-wing think tanks probably get off on their own mental masturbation and don't see the need for anything else

  46. Intractable Potsherd

    This is on page 2 of the comments, so won't get read

    Did no-one else notice this comment: "For the NHS to unnecessarily introduce addictive material ... to patients during their treatment beggars belief." Leaving aside the [big] questions about who decides that it is unnecessary (as several posters have stated, it damn well is necessary), whether pornography is addictive, is this stupid woman giving us an insight into future health policy? Are we going to see other "addictive" treatments removed from NHS treatment - pain killers and antidepressants are two that spring to mind - because they cost much more than £700?

    Julia Manning is a total arse - has she spent any time in US politics?

  47. asiaseen

    For those who think

    NHS nurses in short skirts would be helpful:

  48. SirTainleyBarking
    Paris Hilton

    I suppose the question to ask Ms Manning is this:

    Can she rub one out on demand in a public place with only minimal privacy, and provide the evidence afterwards to a member of the opposite sex who she is not in a close relationship to?

    If she can, it probably explains a lot of what comes out of her office.

    Oh and googling this story, and the comments on other fora, especially abroad, I believe the general reaction to her comments is ridicule.

    Paris? Well....[rest of this answer deleted after legal advice] ;p

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. JaitcH

    Samples by willpower!

    This must be the politically correct phrase for masturbation.

    For Roman Catholics it must mean growing hair on their palms.

  51. This post has been deleted by its author

  52. Jonski

    "so it's not possible to calculate the return on investment"

    Would that be in Pounds Sterling, or litres?

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its disgraceful

    I think its absolutely outrageous that the NHS are condoning porn in this way.

    66 % of porn performers have herpes, a non-curable disease. 70% of sexually transmitted infections in the porn industry occur in females. 75%-90% of porn performers are prostituted women. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, and HIV. Its filth and should be banned.

    Its not the money that's important here, its the fact that the NHS are condoning it.

    Most porn performers have been abused and have no respect for themselves, and many go on to regret it or even commit suicide.

    1. SirTainleyBarking

      Its Disgraceful all right

      I'd like to know where you get your statistics from, and a single issue website from a NGO is not an unbiased source

    2. david wilson

      @AC (unsurprisingly)

      >>"70% of sexually transmitted infections in the porn industry occur in females. 75%-90% of porn performers are prostituted women."

      So you reckon that men in the porn industry are somewhere between significantly more likely and massively more likely to have STDs than women?

      We desperately need to protect those poor men from themselves.

      Surely, the obvious solution is to make it an all-woman industry?

      >>"Its not the money that's important here, its the fact that the NHS are condoning it."

      I'm sure there would be some repressed souls out there who would find the idea of people jerking off offensive, wherever they did it, and whatever reason they were doing it for.

      The simple solution for such people is to mind their own damn business, and not go around desperately trying to ferret out the next thing to be offended by.

    3. Red Bren
      Paris Hilton

      Interesting stats, any sources?

      "66 % of porn performers have herpes"

      The occurance of herpes in the wider (American) population is estimated as 80%, so being a porn performer puts you in a lower risk group! (Ref -

      "70% of sexually transmitted infections in the porn industry occur in females. 75%-90% of porn performers are prostituted women."

      Taken together, those two statistics could suggest that female porn performers are spreading STDs amongst themselves. Or that despite making up the vast majority of porn performers, women are less likely to suffer infection. But 90%? Does that take into account gay porn, porn created for a female audience, celebrity home movies or some of the one-to-many type scenes depicted?

      "Its filth and should be banned"

      I would suggest this line betrays your true feelings about people getting pleasure from porn, rather than concern for the welfare of the performers. There's a market and people willing to supply. As long as it's consensual and no one gets (badly) hurt, what is the problem?

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    I am in favor of banning the use of pr0n in fertility clinics altogether.

    Donatees should at least be required to pose for pix and if no donor picks 'em

    natural selection should be allowed to take its course.


  55. Witty username

    Thanks American culture!

    "is potentially harmful to the men exposed to the material"

    Violence, Gore, Torture, guns = Good, wholesome american values


    Glad to see we have adpoted the american school of thought.

    also i read somewhere (citation needed because im lazy and forgetful) that certain porn..people (creators? manafacturers? producers?) donate magazines et al to hospitals for their fertility spank banks.

  56. gandalfcn Silver badge

    The PRC way

    They have a much better system in China - pretty young nurses do it for you :)

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Get the wife to give the guy a hand...

    - or on second thoughts: is the sample still viable if mixed with her saliva?

  58. Fred Mbogo
    Paris Hilton

    Wasn't Ms. Titmuss available?

    See, I've even found a job that they could do!

    Paris, because she would certainly not mind obtaining my sample.

  59. bazza Silver badge

    Only £700????????

    That's a bit tight fisted of them isn't it?

    (bit late on parade with that one, but better late than never...)

  60. Lamont Cranston

    Producing with "willpower alone" isn't that hard,

    provided that your still allowed to use your hands. But, if it's a fertility clinic, surely its clients are couples trying to conceive, so why make it a solo endeavour?

  61. chris 130

    A Playboy subscription does not cost £700

    and a dirty DVD is £22.50

    so how many did the silly buggers buy?

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