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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » More on hymens

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Author Topic: More on hymens
Executive Director & Founder
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This post at OBOS may (hopefully) be reruns for anyone who has been here for a while, but I know enough of you have concerns and questions -- and some still have pretty unrealistic ideas -- about hymens, so I figured a rerun wouldn't be a bad thing: [Smile]

First off, contrary to what girls are often led to believe, “the hymen is not a flat piece of tissue covering the vagina, which is punctured during intercourse. If it were, girls would not be able to menstruate before they lose their virginity because there would be no outlet for menstrual blood,”

“Usually, the hymen looks like a fringe of tissue around the vaginal opening,” adds Roye. “It is not an intact piece of tissue draped across it. Some girls are born without a hymen, others have only a scanty fringe of tissue. Moreover, for all its fabled mystery, the hymen is just a body part.”

Furthermore, while hymens can be torn during sex or other physical activity, they don’t “break.” These torn areas can bleed, but it doesn’t always happen.

Some of Roye’s patients ask whether using tampons or riding a bicycle can affect their hymens (and their virginity), or if they are “de-virginized” if a partner inserts a finger into the vagina. Roye also deals with parents who ask her to determine if their daughters are virgins.

“Of course, in New York (and many states) teens have a right to confidential care so I cannot tell the mother anything unless the teen gives me permission to do so,” Roye writes. “But even if I am allowed to talk to the parent frankly, I often can’t give the yes-no answer they want. It is not so easy to tell whether a girl is a virgin, because hymens are so varied. If there is not much of a hymen I have no way of knowing what happened to it. Was it a boyfriend or a bicycle? Or, perhaps, this girl did not have much tissue there to begin with.”

On other note, you'll see a pretty disturbing thing at the top of that post: a way, apparently, to "fake" having a hymen and to fake bleeding from sex.

The value placed on virgin brides in some cultures led to much talk this year about “reconstructing” virginity (see: hymenoplasty) and the legal relevance of virginity (see: “essential quality” for marriage). So it seems only fitting that we should end with an inflated device designed to fake virginity by mimicking the “breaking” of the vaginal tissue known as the hymen.

According to the product description, once inserted the device “will expand a little and make you feel tight. When your lover penetrate [sic], it will ooze out a liquid that look [sic] like blood not too much but just the right amount. Add in a few moans and groans, you will pass through undetectable.”

What do y'all think of that? How do you think ideas about women's bodies and first-time sex feed this kind of thing, and how do you think that helps or hurts the way people think about women and sex?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Seriously, I think things have gotten way too far. I was shocked to hear about that device, I wasn't aware that something like that existed, but thinking about it I'm not that surprised considering how much emphasis on the hymen there is out there in some cultures.

Thing is though, that device doesn't even mimics a real hymen, this is just nowhere near a real hymen, not only this doesn't look like a real hymen at all but this doesn't act like an hymen either, it is only just based on a lot of false assumptions such as the hymen making the vagina feel tighter (or well all virgins being tight), first time sex always being associated with vaginal bleeding and pain, the hymen being totally intact before first-time sex and ''breaking'' during first-time sex and so on.

I feel disgusted personnally to be honest, I really have a problem with that because I feel that people who are into those devices are turned on by a women experiencing pain or discomfort(because people do often associate pain with ''breaking the hymen'' although there is no such thing as breaking the hymen unless we're talking about forcible sex). Also, when a vagina is ''really tight'', this very often won't be synonym with pleasure for the female partner so let's forget about the moans(but rather mostly discomfort or even pain because that means the women isn't aroused). It is mostly about pleasure for the male partner but again it's worth considering that a great caring partner wouldn't feel pleasure knowing their female partner is in pain. Sex really shouldn't be only about a partner but about the two of them both experiencing pleasure, hence me not being comfortable at all about it.

It just really doesn't make any sense to me.

[ 01-10-2009, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: cool87 ]

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This fake hymen thing seems to directly be a product of fasle assumtions about female virgins. It is sad that this divice, while encouraging these assumptions, will also probably help many women who would otherwise be persecuted for their lack of hymen, for whatever the reason.

*Hello Pussycat* -Peter O'Toole

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the importance people attach to hymens strikes me as really...surreal. I mean, it seems like such an weirdly academic point on which to build a cultural obsession: "we prefer this type of hymen." Um, who's looking? All the people I've met who were freaked out about cherry-popping didn't even know where a hymen was.

I don't even really know why people came up with the concept of virginity in the first place. I mean...yeah, sex is an important event, but why is it enough to schism people into the two heavy categories of virgin / not-virgin? There are any number of things I've done for the first time that nobody would use to encompass my entire identity in a single word. Example...the first time I read a novel from start to finish. Did I lose my "novel virginity"? Nobody would even think of that unless they were being deliberately facetious.

You've really gotta weep at the mentality of a person who thinks his sexual partner should be in PAIN so he can get off. And injured enough to bleed. Not even careless disregard for her pleasure...actually idealizing sexual injury. Sick.

Posts: 21 | From: guelph, ON | Registered: Dec 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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