There is nothing in the vagina that looks like a cherry. The hymen actually is barely even IN the vagina: when it is present or partially present it is JUST at the vaginal opening. In fact, if you sit with a handmirror and look at your vaginal opening, you can see the state of your hymen yourself, if it is still intact or, more likely if you are in your teens, partially intact. Basically, it's just a very thin membrane that may or may not partially cover the vaginal opening, or which may sit just around it.
Some women expoerience bleeding from first intercourse or penetration: others do not. For those who DO, that can be for several reasons: it can be from stretching of the hymen, but it can also be due to micro-tears from inadequate lubrication, inadequate sexual arousal, or a too-rough partner.
And whatever the state of the hymen, it can't offer any proof as to anyone's sexual habits. A severely torn hymen can certainly indicate sexual injury, but again, that's unlikely to happen save forced sex or sevre groin injury. The idea that the hymen can or cannot "prove" virginity is an old, outmoded myth.
Per sexual readiness, first of all, sounds like you haven't started going to the gynecologist each year yet, and that's a really smart prerequisite, both to know enough about your body to even assess your comfort with partnered sex AND to get in the habit of taking care of your sexual health as you'll need to in your life, especially when sexually active.
For more things that help determine readiness, take a look at this: Ready or Not? The Readiness Checklist.
(And FYI: please don't make new threads to continue a post: just hit "reply to post" when adding a new reply. Thanks!)
Editor & Founder
ST homepage • ST blog • about Heather & Scarleteen