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11/10/2006

Focus groups flatly rejected "precisely-timed-intercourse-moon"

If most Americans believe, as Ali Domar asserts, that the number one reason for infertility is stress, then it's no wonder a weird little trend has emerged: the conceptionmoon, a vacation expressly planned to result in pregnancy.  (The term, coined by the world-class think tank, BabyCenter, follows, of course, on "honeymoon," which dates back to the 16th century, and "babymoon," a trip taken by parents-to-be before the birth of their child, whose arrival will immediately invalidate their passports, restrict their movements to a five-mile radius around their home, and make them long for the happy day when they can fork over great handfuls of cash to have their child terrified by Goofy getting it on.)

A conceptionmoon, a BabyCenter survey found, is typically taken by couples in their thirties with one or more children already, and who have been trying to conceive for an average of eight months.  According to their survey, 1 in 10 respondents have taken such a trip; of those who have, 40% got pregnant.  The average cost of a couple's conceptionmoon is about $1,700 — a bargain, according to the Baltimore Sun: "It sounds like an extravagance until you put it up against the cost of fertility treatments."

So I guess all those people who tell infertile people to relax and take a vacation are right after all.  Are you furiously flinging your clothes into a suitcase now?  Yes?  Well, may I recommend a trip to the Bahamas?  Don't laugh.  Couples' massages, aromatherapy, and "an age-old Caribbean fertility concoction" — no, not rum — really work!  Even a desperate couple who'd been trying for two months miraculously managed to conceive when they visited a beachfront resort as a last resort.

Postcard These vacations are organized around a heretofore mysterious principle: If you want to get pregnant, you should probably at least consider having some sex now and then.  The marketing angle is that you should go places conducive to doing so.  Busy couples today, say the trendspotters, have difficulty finding time to reconnect, to re-establish intimacy, to rekindle the romance — to hit it scorpion-style, if you will, which is apparently impossible within the confines of a respectable American home, what with all those pesky local sodomy laws.  And there are also those who want a nice story to tell their children about where they were conceived.  No, I am not making this up [video].  After all, how can any kid feel special unless her parents name her after the cruise ship on which she was begotten?  (I think Lusitania is a lovely name for a girl, don't you?)

This trend, such as it is — quintessentially and embarrassingly American, an expensive purpose-driven vacation because we're just so very busy — is obviously irrelevant to infertiles.  (Where do we go to conceive?  The Motel 6 in Stirrupville, USA.)  But it is hard not to resent the reinforcement-by-marketing of one of the most irritating misconceptions people have about infertility.  Harder still when for 40% of the people who try it, it actually seems to work.

A wave of the Magic Fingers to Gina, Jenna, and Jen, who e-mailed about this.

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