Extra Virgin :: A Common Misconception

Throughout history, people have linked a woman’s hymen with her virginity. Here’s the idea :: a hymen covers the opening of a woman’s vagina until a penis breaks it open during her first intercourse. Commonly, the sign of a broken hymen was bleeding. In fact, in Deuteronomy 22, there is a law that mentions “proof of a woman’s virginity” being the bloody cloth on which a newlywed couple first had sex (Deuteronomy 22:13-20). Sometimes, the hymen is crudely referred to as a woman’s “cherry” and when a man has sex with her, breaking her hymen, it’s referred to as “popping her cherry”. This obviously sounds awful and violent, but it doesn’t have to be like this.

It’s strange that this idea still persists because actually, every woman’s hymen is different. For some women, it’s the shape of a crescent, just covering a small part of the opening. For others, it covers the entire opening except for a small slit. It can be thick or thin, big or small. Some women’s hymens completely cover their vagina, preventing them from being able to have their periods and so they have surgery to remove it. But it’s important to realize that everyone’s hymen is different. 

Also, you don’t have to have sex to stretch or tear your hymen. It can happen with simple things like tampon usage, gymnastics or horse-back-riding.

Obviously, if your hymen only covers part of your vagina, it would be easy for your husband’s penis to enter your vagina and would not cause any discomfort or bleeding, even if you are a virgin. For others, you will need to stretch your hymen in order to make an opening big enough for a penis (or even a tampon). If your hymen is thick and you don’t stretch it out, and you and your husband just decide to push through it on your wedding night, it will rip your hymen. This will cause a lot of pain, bleeding and discomfort. 

There are two things to remember about your hymen ::

  1. It’s important to know what your hymen looks like. (Take a peek yourself by standing over a mirror or ask your OB/GYN during your next appointment.)
  2. There are simple, easy ways to stretch your hymen without tearing it. (Ask your doctor, read a book about preparing for sex, or shoot me an email and I’d be glad to talk about it :)
(Top photo by Antonio Ponte)

Posted by Aanna on Monday, October 6th, 2014

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