Commentary on “The Baby Machine”

“The Baby Machine” is one seriously strange story. I admit it. I like to follow an idea to the end and see what weird place it takes me. This one definitely went off the beaten track.

Since learning about evolution in high school biology class many (many) years ago, I’ve thought it fascinating that evolution suggests that we should each strive to outcompete everyone else in having as many babies as possible. I’ve since learned that this is a serious oversimplification. Passing on our own genes doesn’t necessarily mean having our own babies (see Dawkins’ The Selfish Gene for a detailed explanation).

But in the modern urban environment, many women are rendered infertile by STDs. In that environment, a new niche may have emerged for a fertile woman to have as many babies as possible, adopting them out for other women to raise.

This is the story of a brilliant teenaged girl who decides to spend her life exploiting that niche. She pursues that end with single-minded, neurotic determination.

She blackmails her gay high school biology teacher into marrying her and arranging for a continuous stream of healthy young men to have sex with her until she is pregnant. The resultant babies are sold to well-to-do women who cannot have their own children.

I was intrigued by the likely outcome of that strategy. With a little thought, three aspects of her situation were obvious.

First, she wouldn’t have as much sex with as many partners as one might expect. For a couple of months every year, she has constant sex with a few young men. But as soon as she becomes pregnant, she stops for nine months. Most of the time, she’s only having sex with three or four different men a year. Over a lifetime, it adds up, but not to as high a number as a promiscuous women might attain.

Second, she could earn a lot of money. Not only can she sell her babies for a considerable sum, she can also demand that the adoptive parents support her during her pregnancy and pay her medical expenses. If that money is invested wisely over her lifetime, she can become wealthy.

Third, she would have a lot of spare time. Even when she’s having frequent sex, most of her day is free. And when she’s pregnant, she has almost all her time to spend as she wishes.

In my story, the protagonist, Mindy, is a genius and is surrounded by people who support her. This ensures that she becomes both wealthy and famous.

But in the end, she is faithful to her goal. She uses her wealth and fame to ensure that her genes are passed along to further generations.

This premise didn’t require any BDSM. I included a leather blindfold and, for one pregnancy, bondage, but that was completely gratuitous. I think it would have been a stronger story without the blindfold and bondage.

Despite the explicit descriptions of sex and the bondage elements, I doubt that many readers find this story particularly erotic. For that reason, I included a warning about the lack of sexual content to the blurb when I posted it. Many people read the story anyway. Thanks.

My biggest concern in this story is that Mindy is barely sixteen when she first has sex. She is, by far, the youngest sexually active girl that I’ve developed. I have no interest in pedophilia and do not want to write about it. But I had to make her no more than sixteen at the beginning of this story because the plot demanded it. I can only emphasize that Mindy is no Lolita. Sixteen is well beyond puberty. Mindy does not have sex until she is married. She has sex with boys who are no more than two years older than her. And she has sex solely to get pregnant. As well, the story follows her to menopause. This is clearly about a woman’s complete sexual history, not about sex with a child.

Partly, I wrote this story to give a bit of counterbalance to my stories that poked a bit of fun at Christian evangelism, “Betting on God”, and the Catholic church, “Bless Me Father, For I Have Sinned”. Although I am an atheist and am certain that the Law of Evolution holds, I happily acknowledge the folly of turning any scientific law into dogma.

This is an idea-driven tale but I like Mindy as a character. If she were a real person, I would want to be friends with her. I like her dedication to her cause. She’s my kind of girl.

Yours, Ashley

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About Ashley Zacharias

I'm a post-modern woman who lives a vanilla life and dreams about kinky adventure. I write BDSM pornography but have no interest in acting out my fantasies in real life. Find my work on SmashWords.com and Amazon.com
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4 Responses to Commentary on “The Baby Machine”

  1. Reader says:

    Wow, the impregnation theme…just couldn’t get into it. There was a lot of wrongness, and not in the usual good way. Of your stories, this is the only one that I didn’t read in a single sitting (or couldn’t wait to get back to ASAP). On a positive note, your skill and style and attention to detail glowed through your unusual subject.

    As a parent of several, I wonder if it occurred to you as you were writing that a true masochist would have raised the kids?

    • As a parent of three myself, I think that you are right that being a full-time parent is a rather masochistic activity. But I think that giving yourself just long enough to bond with each child before giving it away and never seeing it grow up would be at least as masochistic. I wonder if Mindy threw herself into science and business to take her mind off her lost children. I’ve never thought about that before and I’m not sure. Just because I create a character, doesn’t mean that I understand him or her completely.

  2. Tony says:

    Personally “The Baby Machine” was like watching a horrific crash featuring excessive mutilation in slow motion. You feel uncomfortable watching it happen but you are compelled to see the whole catastrophe through to its bitter end.

    My main criticism is that the ending, which while consistent with the story idea, seemed to have been contrived to provide a happy ending that didn’t fit with the uneasy feelings many of the previous chapters provided.

    I would have liked chapters that featured Russell and Dr. Petreric to flesh out those characters a little more.

    A strange and compelling little story

    • I’m glad that you liked my story. At least as well as you’d like watching a horrific crash in slow motion :-). Have you read Ballard’s novel, “Crash”? There is precedent for finding erotic content in such things :-).

      I enjoyed writing the story, but didn’t expect most people to like it as much as I did. It’s definitely outside the usual bounds of the genre. Any genre :-).

      I sometimes contrive happy endings. In “Riding the Devil’s Horse”, for example, I changed the ending to a happy one in response to a couple of beta readers. In the anthology, “A Bestiary of Unnatural Women”, I included both the “real” ending and the contrived one. But I didn’t see myself doing that in this case. Mindy was a genius with a strong will and a determination to get whatever she wanted. And she had a lot of time on her hands. It’s hard to imagine that she wouldn’t end up being successful at other things as long as it didn’t interere with her main priority: pregnancy. But maybe I’m wrong. I liked Mindy a lot so I don’t think that I could have written her with a tragic ending. Writers don’t always know as much about what they are writing as one might think. That’s why we need critics to tell us what we did 🙂

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