At least once every couple of days, someone posts or writes into Scarleteen reporting that vaginal entry -- usually intercourse or manual vaginal sex, and usually (but not always) with male partners -- is painful, uncomfortable, or unfulfilling for them. Whatever sort of vaginal entry we're talking about -- with fingers, a penis or a dildo, with partners of any gender -- not only doesn't have to be painful, it really shouldn't be. More than that, any kind of sex shouldn't be about a lack of pain, but about the presence of pleasure.
Hanne Blank is not a virgin. (She's almost 37 and she's been living with her life partner for nine years -- we just thought we'd get that out of the way.) But she is a historian, a writer, and an expert on virginity, having written the first-ever history of the subject, "Virgin: The Untouched History."
The more common meaning and implication of the term came to change around the 13th century and derived a sexual, sexist and moralistic meaning. With that change, the word now implied that staying a virgin until marriage guaranteed that a woman would uphold the family honor by passing from father to husband as an object that was owned -- her virginity, her own body, was a thing of value that would be owned by her father, until such time as ownership of her virginity, body and sexuality would be transferred to her husband.