It’s like everything they told us in ninth grade sex ed was entirely wrong. They complicated our already complicated feelings toward sex by alluding to all of the different things a person could do to or with another person that felt good, but that only one of those things could get you pregnant—“penetrative intercourse” as your gym coach/awkward sex ed teacher so romantically put it. And if you went to a parochial school, you might have also gotten the caveat that that one, pregnancy-causing thing was only to be done when you were married and wouldn’t mind getting pregnant, because it was definitely going to get you pregnant.
But then you get out into the real world and find out that there are actually other ways to get pregnant thanks to the miracles of modern science. Artificial insemination, in which donated or selected sperm is implanted in a woman’s uterus and then nature takes over, is a very common and wonderful way for a woman to become pregnant. A 29-year-old woman from Canada, identified only as “Lauren” in her story for Vice, did that. The interesting thing is that she’s still a virgin—she grew up in a religious community in Manitoba and decided that while she wasn’t ready for sex, she was very much ready for motherhood. Sex and pregnancy don’t have to be mutually exclusive, you know.
Lauren just isn’t into sex. She says she’s had boyfriends and went on dates and stuff, but just wasn’t feeling it. She says she’s done some kissing but that it was awkward and “not something I want to relive.” It all came down to finding a way to be a mother without having to do all of the usual stuff that leads to motherhood. “This is me basically giving a middle finger to the people who told me I couldn’t do it because I’m not married yet. 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.” And she did—she went to a fertility clinic, did the treatments, and now she’s expecting. She’s also “expecting”…to remain a virgin for the foreseeable future.
Lauren has a message for all of the “non-virgins out there”:
The more you know yourself, the more you’re going to be comfortable with the choices you make. I know what I’m comfortable with, I know what I want. I think people always say to take time to love yourself. It sounds so friggin’ cliche, but that’s the best thing you can do. Once you know what you want, who the hell cares what others think?