Welcome to Rule 34, a series in which Motherboard’s Samantha Cole lovingly explores the highly specific fetishes that can be found on the web.
Jeweler and sculptor Amanda Booth opened a package of bottled semen first thing in the morning. It was a mistake she’d only make once.
“Fresh samples are one thing, but when they’ve been in the mail for a little bit, I mean… it smells like semen, you know what I mean?” Booth said. Clients commission “jizzy jewelry” (her term), and send samples of cum to her workshop to be dehydrated, powdered, and incorporated into wearable clay beads or trinkets. “We process them at the end of the day, otherwise we’re sitting in the smell all day and it’s just… We did it in the morning one day and it was just like, ‘No, I’m never doing that again.’”
Booth started her jewelry business in 2021, and makes wearable sculptures and trinkets out of people’s bodily fluids and ashes: breastmilk, cremated remains of loved ones or pets, fur and locks of hair. After someone commented on one of her TikTok videos asking if she’d ever considered incorporating “man juices,” Booth made a half-joking Facebook post about “jizzy jewelry,” and started receiving actual, serious orders for it.
She tested the process with her husband Jesse Mullin first, to figure out how much cum would be needed to work into a sculpture (“at least a teaspoon” of liquid makes for the right clay-to-cum ratio, she determined, but more is better) and whether the polymer clay would hold up to oven baking. “It turned out fantastic,” she said. She posted a TikTok about making her first jizzy pieces last month, and that video went viral. People have been blowing up her DMs since, she said.
For a lot of Booth’s customers, it’s a kink thing. One of Booth’s clients, who asked to remain anonymous, told me that she and her long-term partner are “loosely part of the BDSM community” and have bracelets that act as “collars,” or pieces of jewelry that typically symbolize a consensually possessive relationship. “After researching further into the Jizzy Jewelry shop, we both thought it would be the ultimate ‘you are mine’ type ‘collar’… It would be our little secret and inside joke.”
Espy, another client, told me that she and her husband commissioned a simple “pearl” pendant, because they wanted something that symbolizes the dominant and submissive aspect of their relationship. Collecting the sample was the trickiest part, she said. “We ended up opting to have my husband use a condom, and then cut the end off of the condom, to deposit the sample in a specimen tube. We then sealed the tube with electrical tape around the cap, and vacuum sealed it before placing it in a padded envelope, to be mailed.”
“My partner loves to say things like ‘you’re gonna be wearing my nut on your finger’ and ‘they’re in your dms but that’s my nut on her hand’”
Several of Booths’ clients I spoke to said they ordered jizzy jewelry as gifts to surprise their partners. Kurt Duran told me his wife Staci saw Booth’s shop on TikTok and sent it to him; with a vasectomy scheduled soon, he asked her if she wanted one of these pieces with his swimmers in it. (Another man, facing an imminent vasectomy, had a similar idea in 2019 and commissioned a ring with his sperm inside for his wife from a freelance gig-finder website.) Staci said yes, and he placed an order for a ring as a gift for her birthday.
Again, sample collection was the standout experience of the process. “Not going to lie, getting the sample into the jar was quite difficult haha,” Duran told me in an email. “It took us having sex twice and two solo masturbations to have enough sample to ship out. It might have been more than she needed but we wanted to make sure she had enough to work with.”
Jenna Schatzman said she’s currently pregnant and her partner is “always down for anything,” so when she suggested turning his semen into a ring, he said sure. “He was immediately intrigued and thought it would be such a fun way to have something I could wear that is almost as a reminder of our love and sex life before the baby came and also to remind us of what got us here in the first place ;)” she told me in an email. “My partner loves to say things like ‘you’re gonna be wearing my nut on your finger’ and ‘they’re in your dms but that’s my nut on her hand,’ he thinks it’s the coolest and sexiest thing I’ve done besides carrying his child.” Romance!
For Kaelyn McLaughlin, wearing her partner’s cum in ring and necklace form represents the opposite: She has polycystic ovary syndrome, which can cause infertility. “I’m not sure what exactly drove me to wanting the jizzy jewelry, other than having my other half with me always,” she said. But they haven’t done the “cumming into a mail-safe container” step of commissioning, yet. “I’m pretty sure my other half thought I was joking until I told him I paid for the pieces. His response was ‘what now? I gotta masturbate into a cup?’” she said. “He’s a good sport though.”
It is legal to mail semen, even internationally; Booth is based in Canada, and most of her clients are in the US. She only asks that people seal the stuff up in a container that won’t spill and double bag it just in case. Brie Horton, who ordered a ring and necklace to keep a part of her husband with her all the time—and because “it would be funny to tell people he gave me a pearl necklace”—said that everything was simple enough until they got to the collection. “I got a collect cup and asked my fiance to do his part,” she said. “Poor guy was so nervous because he has never jizzed in a cup so I started the process with getting him all hot and bothered, but after that he got it done.”
Cumming into a container came a lot easier to others. “The process was for a lack of better words… fun!” Krizma, who ordered a bass fish sculpture with her husband’s father’s ashes, a piece incorporating breast milk, and a thumb ring and bracelet with her husband’s cum from Booth, told me. “I can tell you, we have a lot of sex already but when you are trying to make your significant other put sperm into something so you can send it off to be sculpted, that’s a whole other level of sex and intimacy. You know how when you’re trying to have a baby and you guys are screwing like you’ve got a point to prove?… you’re on a mission! That’s kind of how this felt. We are always looking for new and exciting things to add to our sex life, and this was our next experiment!”
Despite the apparent demand, semen jewelry is still a fairly niche trend among memorial keepsake jewelers. I was able to find one other shop owner, Victoria Rudkin of Cumbria Life Casting, who takes semen jewelry commissions as part of her lineup. Rudkin told me that her shop has offered semen jewelry since launching four years ago, in response to customers asking for it.
“It’s a very niche part of our business and we still get a lot of negative feedback about this which is saddening as we’ve found that the reasons behind semen jewelry are usually quite emotional,” Rudkin said. “We’ve made these pieces for people going through gender reassignment, fertility treatment and cancer treatment and the finished piece can bring comfort in difficult circumstances. On occasion people may just wish to order one of our pieces as a celebration of their fertility and love to another which is also a beautiful, joyful reason and so it’s important to remember that although it’s not everyone’s cup of tea, there is usually a sentiment behind these pieces that it’s not our place to judge.”
Cum has captured people’s imaginations for hundreds of thousands of years. Some credit it for superhuman powers, even today, and factions of the semen-obsessed guard its perceived purity with blind fervor. At least one person out there claims to be so into it, they snort it. Maybe future historians will study this moment in time, when we started tokenizing semen into talismans and amulets, and in their hindsight ascribe some deeper meaning to this growing trend. But for the people anxiously waiting for their semen to come back in the mail in literal pearl necklace form, the desire seems simple enough.
“Nothing says commitment and love like LITERALLY carrying their love with you,” Krizma said. “It’s strange but it is a very intimate and sentimental thing to get. Imagine loving a person so much that you feel as though you wouldn’t function without them around… So heck to the YESS if I had an opportunity to have jewelry made out of his sperm, I was 100 percent going to take it!! We don’t have a sweet story like some may have. But, we thought this was a super unique thing that we could do. I mean, you only live once right?”