A 29-year-old virgin is pregnant with her first child. No, this isn't one of those things where someone reclaims their virginity -- she has genuinely never had sex in any form.
A number of people are asking how, exactly, this came to be.
Even more are asking why.
The how is fairly obvious:
Lauren, who hails from a fairly conservative Manitoba community, found a fertility clinic and a sperm donor.
It was a little trickier than just that, however.
"I was born with hypopituitarism, which means my pituitary gland is not formed properly. It doesn’t send the right hormonal messages to the other glands in the body, like the adrenaline gland or the ovaries."
That meant that she started puberty late. It also meant that she faced some obstacles when it came to fertility.
"The hardest thing was probably getting pregnant," Lauren the 29-year-old virgin tells VICE.
"Initially my endocrinologist said it won’t happen, that I’ll need to get an egg donor and spend tens of thousands of dollars on IVF. I felt really shut down."
Eventually, though, she had success using a sperm donor from the fertility clinic. Unlike most she didn't try the "old fashioned way" of getting pregnant first, but she had her reasons.
For starters, she says that dating is ... the worst.
"People say horrible stuff. I remember when I had an online dating profile the first comment I got was ‘Do you want to come sit on my face?’ For one, does that actually work on anyone? And two, no thank you. People like that turn me away."
You gotta respect people's boundaries, folks. Just because you would love a direct message (or maybe an unsolicited nude) doesn't mean that various strangers are up for that as an icebreaker.
Lauren, who is due in June, talks about how she's toyed with the idea of sex, despite not being super interested in dating.
"Since I’ve been pregnant there have been a few times where I’ve felt like maybe it would be nice to have someone for that -- to go out and have sex..."
Not with anyone specific, mind you.
"Sometimes, out of curiosity, I think maybe I could try a random hookup, but that feeling very quickly passes -- I realize I’m not acting like myself."
hey, some folks aren't big on hookup culture.
"The best possible situation would be with someone I’ve known for awhile. No dinner or anything like that. I’d be strictly seeing what this sex thing is all about."
A lot of people try things like that. Maybe she'd be into it or maybe she wouldn't. But it doesn't sound like she's planning on trying it.
"I feel like I would chicken out if there was a big lead-up to it. I’m a fairly anxious person, so I feel like going out to dinner with someone, I would either try to find reasons why I don’t like this person, or try to talk myself out of it."
We'd never tell anyone else what to label themselves, but we can't help but notice that some of what this woman describes sounds like what you'd expect to hear from someone on the asexual spectrum.
Your typical asexual may not particularly desire sex. Some have sex drives, which may strike them as a cosmic joke. Others do not.
She says that she has engaged in kissing, much to her chagrin.
"I’ve been kissed, very awkwardly. It’s not something I want to relive."
Her interviewer asks her about masturbation, and got a similar answer.
"I tried it, and I didn’t really like it. Never did it again."
Some people can't fathom someone not being interested in sex. Even more people can wrap their heads around finding dating and hookups both equally troublesome, but can't imagine life without masturbation.
If you're wondering if her virginity is religiously motivated at this point, Lauren says that you couldn't be further off.
"I make jokes about it but basically this is me giving a middle finger to the people who told me I couldn’t do it because I’m not married yet."
It sounds like some people in her life have some very traditional views of how and when you're supposed to have a child.
"It’s the opposite of a religious reason. If you’re telling me I can’t do this, I’m going to do it anyway."
So, if we're reading that correctly, she may come from one of those religious communities where they'd rather someone have a shotgun wedding than not get married and have a traditional family at all.
Hey, good for Lauren for living life by her own terms. As fertility technology improves, people can be awarded greater independence with their reproductive choices.