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Dry sex that isn't dry at all.

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Turquoise asks:

I've never really had sexual intercourse, and hence I would say my hymen is still in tact. But the other day my partner and I had dry sex, unclothed, and he might have had his pre-cum on my vaginal area. So is there a chance I could get pregnant, even though i'm still really a virgin?

Heather Corinna replies:

The state of the hymen does not change risks of pregnancy in any way, nor does the hymen -- or not having had sexual intercourse before -- act as any kind of birth control.

If you're at least in puberty, and you're menstruating, then already, it's a given that your hymen at least has micro-perforations which allow your menses to come through. Those small openings are MORE than large enough for something as fluid as semen and as small as sperm to get through. Too, the hymen, for most women, erodes over time, without without sexual activity. Due to vaginal fluids, including menses, hormonal changes, general physical activity, and yep, genital sex (and not just intercourse), your hymen gradually wears away over time. If you really want to know what the state of yours is, you can ask a gynecologist to let you know, or even just look for yourself with a hand mirror: the hymen, when it is fully or partially present, is right up front at the vaginal opening where you can see it, it's not deep inside the vagina.

"Dry" sex really isn't "dry sex" anymore once body fluids come into the equation. When we're talking about dry sex, we're talking about genital humping or grinding where the people involved ARE clothed and where fluids are not exchanged. If you were both nude, and he was rubbing or grining his penis against your vulva and/or vaginal opening, that was no longer dry -- that's basically what lives between dry sex and intercourse -- and risks exist with that activity that do not exist with actually dry sex: risks of pregnancy, risks of sexually transmitted infections.

Pre-ejaculate can present pregnancy risks, but the risk is substantially smaller than the risk of pregnancy with a full ejaculation. But if you did have direct genital contact with his body fluids and want to play it as safe as you can, you might consider emergency contraception. I'd also advise that you consider getting tests for sexually transmitted infections in the next month.

Too, sounds like it's time to both inform yourself a bit better and have a talk with your partner about the risks you may be taking. If you do not wish to become pregnant, it's vital that if you're going to be having direct genital-to-genital contact that you only do so while using a reliable method of birth control. if you do not wish to contract an STI (sexually trnsmitted infection), it's vital you start practicing safer sex. And the easiest way to do BOTH is to start using condoms, for every incident like this or other genital sex: condoms provide BOTH effective birth control and STI protection.

And if you don't feel ready for any of that at all -- or your boyfriend won't cooperate with all of that -- then it's time to take a step back, really think about what you want and what you're ready for, and then set some limits and boundaries with your partner accordingly. If neither one of you really feels like you know what you're doing here, what your risks are, or how to play it safe, I'd strongly advise you hold off on any of this at least until you both have more of that information -- it's so important to only be making sexual choices when we really understand what those choices entail, what risks we might be taking, and how to manage those risks.

So, I'm going to load you up with some pages to get you started with that information. I've got you covered when it comes to getting more savvy about your anatomy, seeing what your risks are, learning ways to manage those risks, help in determining your sexual readiness, what your boyfriend should be bringing to the table, the works.

Take a look at them, get a better idea of what's up with all of this, and then make whatever limits and choices are the best ones for you.

written 11 Oct 2007 . updated 11 Oct 2007

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