Couple who have never had sex buys 'fake baby' to practice being parents

They have been living together without sex for a decade but now they are ready to become parents.

Erica and Gareth Davies have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for a decade.

Erica, 33, suffers from a severe sex phobia which makes her sick at the just the mere thought of sleeping with anyone.

Despite this, Gareth, 35, has stood by her; He did not run away as one would expect with most men when he found out about Erica's fear of sex even early on in their relationship.

He told the Mirror, “I love Erica for the person she is. Her not wanting to have sex doesn’t overly bother me. I admit, I do get ­frustrated because I find her attractive and I would sometimes like to take it further. But we have a very special relationship and have been together longer than most couples. We are very close.”

Living with Sex Phobia

Erica admits she had just one sexual relationship, when she was 19. They had sex once but Erica revealed that she "hated it".

She says, “He wasn’t very caring so maybe that had something to do with it. But since then the thought of making love has made me feel physically sick and I’ve developed a phobia about it.”

They were only dating for a few months when they decided to move in together. Erica said, “It was nice to share a home together and do things as a couple. We had separate bedrooms from the start. He’s never hassled me or tried it on, he’s just content we have each other. He has made me very happy. I’ve never been worried he will stray – he’s very loyal and not just after one thing.

She adds, "Over the years we have loved and supported each other but we decided not to get married because we think it is just a bit of paper. But I have changed my surname by deed pole to Davies to show my commitment to him.”

They have come to point, though, where they want to be parents. So, Erica has begun the process of trying to get pregnant to 'artificial insemination'.

READ: The Risks of Artificial Insemination

Starting a family...

Starting a Family

Even before this process proves to be successful, Erica and Gareth have started their own family. Gareth recently purchased a £230 silicone reborn doll for Erica.

They named him Joshua and they treat him as if he were their real son. Caring for him has helped prepare them for the future when, they hope, they'll be able to become 'real parents'.

So far, they have spent hundreds of pounds shopping for baby essentials. They even take him out to the park and shops proudly as if he were a real baby.

“Gareth bought me Joshua because he knew how much I wanted to be a mom," said Erica. "I felt upset when I saw women with babies and longed for my own. Joshua is so lifelike I treat him like an actual baby, changing his nappy and feeding him with a bottle. He fills the gap I feel have in my life but hopefully we will have a baby of our own soon through artificial insemination."

Erica told the Mirror, “People might think it’s strange that we don’t have sex but we are like any other couple who love each other. We just don’t share a bed. The thought of it makes me feel sick and Gareth isn’t like most men. It doesn’t bother him that we don’t have a physical relationship. We have cuddles and kisses but it will never go any further."

When she stumbled upon Reborn Babies on the internet, she was instantly interested.  "I would feel so sad and jealous when I saw other women with babies," she said. "When I saw the Reborn Babies I just thought they were amazing and looked so realistic. I read about how they helped women like me who for one reason or another couldn’t have children. I showed Gareth and he said he would buy me one and I chose a boy baby from the internet who cost £230.”

Soon, Joshua was delivered to the couple’s house in Wales and Erica instantly fell in love. She says he felt like her own son.

Gareth said, “I know people find it strange we have a doll as a son but Joshua comforts Erica and I understand that completely. I buy him clothes and treat him like my son."

Erica added, “We bought Joshua to see what it was like to have a baby and now feel ready to take the next step. We have been trying artificial insemination at home with a turkey baster. Fingers crossed it will work soon. I want a girl because we already have a boy, but Joshua will still very much be my baby even when I become a real mom – I could never be parted from him. If it doesn’t work we would start looking into adoption.”

Gareth, remains patient and understanding but he is looking forward to becoming a 'real dad' soon. He says, “Like any man I’m disappointed we don’t have a sexual relationship. But we are very happy, have our own little family with Joshua and will hopefully have a real baby one day.”

If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Philippines!