Nowhere Girl

Virginity and the hymen

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Nowhere Girl

First, I believe that there are two different aspects which don't necessarily go hand in hand: "anatomical virginity" and "biographical virginity". In some cultures it is/was relatively common for women to have premarital sex in a way which wouldn't damage the vaginal corona, particularly anal sex. Of course, I don't think that counts as "biographical virginity" anymore. And, on the other hand, it is not impossible for the vaginal corona to be damaged during some non-sexual activities, even intense body stretching, so it's possible to be a biographical virgin without being an anatomical virgin.

Men don't have any physical sign of having or not having sexual experience, which means that they can only lose biographical virginity. Well, it's slightly different with anal sex - but there's no membrane there and if a person has anal sex, than stops and has it again after several years, it will probably be physically as difficult.

 

I don't mind debunking myths, however "let's look at the concept of virginity critically" should never be understood as "you are wrong / brainwashed / a bad person if you consider virginity important for yourself".

A full membrane covering the vaginal opening is extremely rare, but the vaginal corona does exist. I have never had any form of partnered sex and don't intend to, but I pleasure myself and, due to frustration with underwhelming orgasms, wanted to try G-spot stimulation. And one finger can go in, but it hurts - not much, but it's definitely umcomfortable and not to the slightest extent pleasant. And when I put a finger in the opening, I can feel quite a thick membrane around my finger. So I know it does exist and I know that I would prefer not to rupture it. It's not even about anatomical virginity as a concept, but it would probably hurt and even bleed. I'm at an age (close to 40) when it already gets difficult. I'll rather try anal stimulation of G-spot.

 

Btw: I really like the new name and for me it goes quite conversely to saying that "virginity doesn't exist!". The new name is something which gives this little piece a self-contained meaning. Notice that the name "vaginal corona" doesn't even linguistically refer to virginity. (In Polish the word "hymen" is sometimes used, but the most common name can be literally translated as "virginal membrane". Yes, I definitely prefer to adapt it as "korona waginalna".) It sounds "regal" and to me it feels like it's finally a name which appreciates this little piece. And remember that it was only valued in cultures which treated women like commodities anyway, where a young woman's value was about her hymen and her dowry and she usually required extreme rebellion - sometimes to the point of escaping and potentially paying for it with her life - to be able to fully reject marriage and sex. (Being sex-averse, I feel unable not to consider such extreme scenarioes. Glory to the rebels!) The name "vaginal corona" is much better. I prefer feminist criticism to acknowledge that a woman's value is not about her virginity, but that it's also not wrong to value virginity - perhaps even more if a woman has no intention of "giving it away" and so it becomes a physical sign or her sexual non-conformism.

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Anthracite_Impreza
10 hours ago, borkfork said:

The most important of these is the notion that a person’s vaginal opening is covered by a membrane that ruptures with, or is "broken" by, vaginal sex. This is incorrect. 

There is no such membrane.

I would've thought this be obvious, otherwise where would menstrual blood go? I'll now leave you all with that lovely image as I bound away gleefully.

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Rin the Cat
On 8/23/2018 at 11:05 AM, Anthracite_Impreza said:

I would've thought this be obvious, otherwise where would menstrual blood go? I'll now leave you all with that lovely image as I bound away gleefully.

This seriously concerned me when I was a teenage virgin who hadn't gotten their period yet. :lol:

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FictoVore.
On 8/24/2018 at 4:05 AM, Anthracite_Impreza said:
On 8/23/2018 at 6:02 PM, borkfork said:

There is no such membrane.


I would've thought this be obvious, otherwise where would menstrual blood go? I'll now leave you all with that lovely image as I bound away gleefully.

It's odd because I researched it thoroughly a while back, and found that the hymen (when still intact) has holes in it that allow period blood through, however some women have to have surgery to open it because it's too thick to allow blood through :o ..There are often tiny flaps of skin inside a woman's vaginal opening which are the remnants of the hymen, though for most women these days it is torn due to physical activity (like, it slowly opens) from a very young age, so only the flap things inside the vaginal opening are left. Due to low physical activity levels of women in the 'old days' this membrane would often still be intact, causing bleeding when it tore open upon vaginal penetration (hence why you read about the blood in almost every old text of a woman having sex for the first time. It wasn't something imaginary, it was a *huge* part of first-time sex for almost all women back in the day).

 

Anyway the reason I say it's odd is because all the above info I've shared seems perfectly reasonable (to me anyway, I mean, I know I've seen those little flaps inside vaginas. I don't mean labia, I mean actually inside the vaginal opening there are these tiny little 'chunks' of skin) ..So when I people stating vehemently that such a membrane does not and has never existed, I'm like ''Damn, I wish I had the energy to actually research this. Is all the old research I did completely wrong and it just never existed, or is this just some new thing that people (doctors etc) are saying without actually have done proper research themselves?'' ...But yeah, I don't have the energy 😛

 

...Okay so I quickly googled Hymen remnants, here's the first article I stumbled across

 

Quote

 

So what exactly are hymenal remnants? The hymen is a natural area of tissue that is present at the opening of the vaginal canal in women. It is normally broken during loss of virginity, use of tampons or masturbation. Often, after the hymen breaks, there are still remnants of the hymen present inside the opening of the vagina.

The hymenal remnants or hymenal tags as they are sometimes referred to are typically asymptomatic however some patients may notice protrusion of the tissue at the opening of the vagina or may even have some discomfort if the tissue becomes inflamed or irritated. The presence of the tissue itself is not dangerous and fairly common, it does not pose a health risk if left in place. If patients are bothered by the excess or protruding tissue, a small in-office procedure can be performed to remove the redundant tissue.

 

https://www.austinlabiaplasty.com/news/what-are-hymenal-remnants/

 

And here (this is super interesting)

 

 

Quote

 

Hymenectomy

The hymen used to be thought of as the barrier to a woman’s virginity. But it’s a myth that’s been debunked for decades now. The hymen is just a thin, superficial layer of webbed tissue that stretches across the opening of the vagina. Usually, there’s room enough in the spaces of the web to allow menstrual blood to flow and to insert a tampon.

Additionally, if a woman is lubricated enough, she can have sexual intercourse and not break her hymen because it’s meant to move with pressure; otherwise, menstrual blood wouldn’t be able to flow. On top of that, any number of occurrences can damage or break the hymen:

  • Putting in a tampon
  • Riding a bicycle
  • A wide range of sports
  • A pelvic exam (which doesn’t ordinarily break the hymen, but it could)

A hymenectomy is a surgical procedure that’s performed specifically to remove the hymen artificially. There are a number of reasons that a young woman may have her hymen removed, including:

  • To decrease discomfort during sex
  • If there is an absence of normal menstruation, called amenorrhea
  • Severe abdominal pain during a period

 

  • Quote

     

    A condition called a microperforate hymen occurs when your hymen is rigid and stretches all the way across your vaginal opening with only a tiny hole in the center. This condition causes your period to last much longer than the normal four to seven days because the blood flows in such a small stream. You also may have difficulty inserting a tampon. If the extra thick hymen doesn’t spontaneously rupture from inserting a tampon or break painfully the first time you have sex, a hymenectomy can form a more normal hymen, one with a larger opening.

    Another condition is called an imperforate hymen. This condition refers to a hymen that has no opening at all and stretches completely across the vaginal opening. This is sometimes noticed at birth and can be removed early, but you may not notice it until you get your first period. Even normal mucus won’t be able to drain, which is why you need to have your hymen removed.

    A septate hymen is one with a band of tissue running horizontally down the center of your vagina. This can interfere with successful tampon use. If you insert a tampon, you’ll find it difficult to remove once it’s full of blood. You can have a total or partial septate hymen surgery to create a more normal vaginal opening or wait until the first time you have sex, at which point it will tear, albeit painfully.

     

    DRAWN IMAGES OF HYMENS, DO NOT LOOK IF YOU DON'T LIKE ANATOMICAL IMAGES OF GENITALS

Spoiler

hymenectomy

 

That's all from https://www.obgynecologistnyc.com/procedures/hymenectomy/

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Anthracite_Impreza

@FictoVore. I have never looked at my own or anyone else's flues, nor can I bear to look at any flue diagrams, so I will take your word for it while pretending none of that exists.

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Telecaster68

This doesn't quite follow. Unless this person is saying it's possible to have had PIV sex and still be a virgin, it simply does have a 'hard' meaning: if you've had PIV sex, you're not a virgin. You cannot 'decide' you're a virgin if you've had PIV sex.

 

You can debate whether oral or anal penetration counts, but some elements being a matter of opinion doesn't make the whole definition subjective. In common usage, outside of the academic sex discourse, virginity means not having had PIV sex.

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Telecaster68

PIV is an objective, physical event involving two people. It's not a social construct. Whether it's happening for them first time to one of them is also an objective fact. It's not a social construct either. 

 

I agree that whole social capital and moral connotations the word has acquired over the centuries it has been used to mean 'having had PIV sex' aren't helpful, but better to address those than try to redefine a word into meaninglessness. That just makes the people insisting you can have PIV and still be a virgin look silly and weaken their underlying point. 

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Nowhere Girl

Not exactly. "-ectomy" signifies surgical removal of something. Such as an orchiectomy ir removal of the testicles and vitrectomy is an ophthalmological surgery which includes removal of the vitreous (though it's usually not the goal, the goal is to enable access to the posterior pole of the eyeball and so pars plana vitrectomy is used in conditions such as retinal detachment*).

 

*I'm not a doctor, but my mom is an ophthalmologist, more precisely a specialist in retinal diseases, who has performed a lot of vitrectomies. Her specialisation, in turn, enabled me to become a translator of also medical texts. Here's a little presentation summary I translated for her:

Spoiler

In a few years the 50th anniversary of vitrectomy will be celebrated. Evolution of pars plana vitrectomy in that period has been so great that it can be called a true revolution. The gauge of instruments, illuminating systems, materials used to improve tissue visualisation and types of tamponade have undergone extreme changes.

We present videos showing atypical situations, in which procedures deviate from the scheme used in routine vitrectomy. It proves that vitreoretinal procedures are still a challenge for development of new solutions and use of some atypical surgical “tricks”.

 

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FictoVore.
Posted (edited)

Wait ...are you saying that breast reduction surgery doesn't actually ensure that breasts actually exist, because it's only a procedure..or what? 😕 I'm confused by why you have an issue with those links being about surgery instead of 'university' links (which are likely to be written by a 20 year old with very little actual life experience).

 

The fact is, hymens (a membrane of skin over the vaginal entrance) exist. There are remnants left around a woman's vagina even into adulthood and after a lot of sex, and childbirth etc. Some hymens are too thick to allow blood through, causing issues menstruating, leading to the need for a surgical procedure to remove/alter an actual part of the body. That's why i linked to sites about surgeries, because if surgery exists for a certain part of the body then that part of the body exists, surely?

 

The reason I shared the drawn images of hymens was because I don't think it would be appropriate to show actual photos of genitals on AVEN? I found actual images of the hymen flaps, thick hymens etc, even how hymens look in a baby compared to an adult, but yeah.. there is a line one should be careful about crossing on AVEN when it comes to actual photographs.

 

There is a huge difference between a hymen and virginity though. One can't start trying to insist society escape from a word that describes an actual body part just because one's ideas about virginity are very different from traditionally held ideas about said thing. The idea that hymens are directly linked with virginity is definitely a myth in this day and age, because many women only have hymen remnants by the time they actually have sex. But hymens are an actual thing and can cause women a lot of embarrassment (because the flaps are sometimes very visible) and can cause pain and discomfort too when they're too thick. So it seems wrong to deny their existence?

 

What I'm saying is, a membrane of skin inside the vagina (which is often called a hymen) does exist. No that doesn't have anything to do with virginity these days. Just as a woman who can orgasm vaginally isn't any more mature than a woman who can only orgasm clitorally (which was another myth from back in the day - thank you Fraud). 

 

Oh also, a hymen in many cases is pretty fragile, breaks and tears easily, and doesn't actually grow back.. so again, not sure what we're trying to achieve by getting away from these facts? These facts are exactly why most girls don't even have a hymen by the time they have sex 😕

 

Wouldn't it be better to teach the truth about hymens in relation to virginity (they're usually gone by the time a girl has penetrative sex) than to say they're a myth or to try to get away from the word that names the membrane of skin in the vagina? I don't think denying a body part exists is a good way to spread education or awareness about a cause!

Edited by Skycaptain
removing quotes
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Telecaster68
Posted (edited)

I'm perfectly happy for anal and oral penetration to be debatable when it comes to whether they count.

 

What isn't debatable is that having PIV sex does count. Consent, pleasure, regret, guilt, etc. don't matter. The word means the act, not the associated emotions.

 

 

Edited by Skycaptain
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FictoVore.
Posted (edited)

I did actually (admittedly skim) read the link you posted (didn't watch the video), and while yes it can heal, it is also shredded in many cases and most women whose vaginas I have ever seen (real and even in porn) often have the little hymen flaps (remnants) visible in the opening. Meaning it was already 'broken' long ago and only the flaps are left. And the reason almost no one bleeds during first time sex isn't so much because the hymen is flexible (it is, but penises when erect are generally very, very big in comparison to the size of a vagina that hasn't been stretched yet and isn't aroused) but because the hymen is almost always already, well, gone...by the time a girl has sex. Only the flaps (remnants) are usually left these days by the time a girl is in her teens.

 

this is a very hotly debated topic so it stands to reason that not everyone will agree with the info! :o

 

I've been intentionally avoiding the actual virginity side (whether or not virginity is an actual thing I mean) of it so as not to upset you, but I thought the bit about hymens (being a medical thing and nothing to do with actual virginity these days) might be less heated? I just disagree with people trying to make hymens into something they're not.. it's like they're feeding into the very myths they're trying to escape from: that hymens are directly related to virginity. (I don't mean you personally, but I've seen this discussion many times before on AVEN and it's usually based on some article or another where someone is talking about the 'hymen myth' etc. The only myth is that hymens aren't directly related to virginity!!)

 

Oh and I think a lot of people would just read the parts you quoted in your opening post, assuming those were the most important parts that you wanted people to be aware of! 

Edited by Skycaptain
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Philip027

All I'm going to say here is that trying to tell people you're a "virgin" when you HAVE had direct sexual contact with another person, desired or not, especially if it was to the point where disease transmission would have been possible... is extremely misleading and potentially outright harmful to future partners.  Virginity is not about whether you desired/enjoyed the act.

 

Other than that, basically what Tele and Pan said, because I'm a lame pos(t)er.

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Nowhere Girl
1 hour ago, Telecaster68 said:

I'm perfectly happy for anal and oral penetration to be debatable when it comes to whether they count.

 

What isn't debatable is that having PIV sex does count. Consent, pleasure, regret, guilt, etc. don't matter. The word means the act, not the associated emotions.

I believe that oral and anal sex, and also "petting", counts too. However, I believe that consent should be debatable to some extent. I can imagine a survivor saying something like that to herself: "If not for this act, I would have still been a virgin and the only way I can come to terms with that is to consider myself virgin at heart".

Nobody should ever have unwanted sex.

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Philip027

In my opinion, that's placing virginity on a shiny pedestal, which I thought we were trying to avoid doing here.

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Telecaster68
24 minutes ago, Nowhere Girl said:

"If not for this act, I would have still been a virgin and the only way I can come to terms with that is to consider myself virgin at heart".

I can understand that, but it doesn't mean she's literally a virgin.

 

I was a late starter, sexually. My first substantial sexual activity was with an Italian girl in Paris when I was 21, and it was every bit as romantic as it sounds. We did everything except PIV, and for most purposes, it was losing my virginity; except that PIV didn't happen till a few weeks later, a drunken shag with a friend, which was pretty meh. I would never claim I literally lost my virginity in Paris though.

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Skycaptain

Simplyfing this whole debate. In some females the hymen gets broken prior to any sexual activity, some have a hymen break during their first insertion of something into their vagina, and some can have PIV or anythingIV without breaking their hymen. 

This says to me that an intact or broken hymen cannot be seen as defining virginity. 

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The Dryad

O.o

 

I read everything and learned a scary amount about my own body, what a day! This is probably why I can't do splits though 😕

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Anthracite_Impreza

@FictoVore. Since you've done so much research on this, you didn't perchance happen to discover why hymens exist did you? Biologically/evolutionarily? It seems a rather stupid body part to have if it just breaks and has no apparent purpose. I daren't look myself, genitals are one of my biggest "ick" things (I didn't even know AFABs had three holes until I was 17 or 18, and I have an A level in biology).

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RK800

It is important that in AFAB people the hymen erodes for many reasons. Mine was gone early from doing contortion stuff like splits. :P

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Anthracite_Impreza
4 minutes ago, RK800 said:

It is important that in AFAB people the hymen erodes for many reasons. Mine was gone early from doing contortion stuff like splits. :P

Did you feel it go? Is that a thing? *sits with legs crossed* 😐

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RK800
19 minutes ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

Did you feel it go? Is that a thing? *sits with legs crossed* 😐

Haha yes! Though I didn't really know what it was at the time, just felt like....have you ever sort of pulled a muscle when stretching? Kinda like that, figured I had just pushed myself a little to far (which I technically did, it would not have caused me discomfort if I hadn't decided to just suddenly try splits one day, I should have worked my way up a little more slowly). :lol:

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Anthracite_Impreza
2 minutes ago, RK800 said:

Haha yes! Though I didn't really know what it was at the time, just felt like....have you ever sort of pulled a muscle when stretching? Kinda like that, figured I had just pushed myself a little to far (which I technically did, it would not have caused me discomfort if I hadn't decided to just suddenly try splits one day, I should have worked my way up a little more slowly). :lol:

I've stretched muscles just existing before so yes 😐 Ouch...

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Skycaptain

new topic to split from one being removed

 

theme, is an intact hymen an integral part of virginity, and it's function

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Sally
3 hours ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

@FictoVore. Since you've done so much research on this, you didn't perchance happen to discover why hymens exist did you? Biologically/evolutionarily? It seems a rather stupid body part to have if it just breaks and has no apparent purpose. I daren't look myself, genitals are one of my biggest "ick" things (I didn't even know AFABs had three holes until I was 17 or 18, and I have an A level in biology).

Wisdom teeth are stupid body parts also; they just come in and go bad and have to be yanked out. Actually, teeth themselves are not a good design.  Nor is an appendix, or tonsils.  In fact, the whole human body could have MUCH better designed.  

 

I must admit that I thought that you broke the hymen when you shoved a tampon in or had sex, but I didn't connect that with the fact that obviously you menstruated before either of those happened.  I now feel very dumb.   

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FictoVore.
21 minutes ago, Sally said:

I must admit that I thought that you broke the hymen when you shoved a tampon in or had sex, but I didn't connect that with the fact that obviously you menstruated before either of those happened.  I now feel very dumb.   

Yes but there's holes in the membrane that can allow menstrual blood through without actually breaking or tearing the tissue. Go and shove a tampon up there though and it can break the membrane open, or stretch it, if that makes sense? So you weren't being dumb 😛

 

4 hours ago, Anthracite_Impreza said:

@FictoVore. Since you've done so much research on this, you didn't perchance happen to discover why hymens exist did you? Biologically/evolutionarily? It seems a rather stupid body part to have if it just breaks and has no apparent purpose. I daren't look myself, genitals are one of my biggest "ick" things (I didn't even know AFABs had three holes until I was 17 or 18, and I have an A level in biology).

When we grow in the womb, both males and females start with the same, er 'bits'.. I'd wonder if the hymen could just be like, a remnant from where it was all closed up, before it separated into either a scrotum or a vaginal canal depending on the chromosomes present? There is probably research out there on it but I'm trying to clean my kitchen and don't want to get distracted researching hymens!

 

4 hours ago, RK800 said:

It is important that in AFAB people the hymen erodes for many reasons. Mine was gone early from doing contortion stuff like splits. :P

3 hours ago, RK800 said:

Haha yes! Though I didn't really know what it was at the time, just felt like....have you ever sort of pulled a muscle when stretching? Kinda like that, figured I had just pushed myself a little to far (which I technically did, it would not have caused me discomfort if I hadn't decided to just suddenly try splits one day, I should have worked my way up a little more slowly). :lol:

Yep I remember very clearly washing my 'front butt' in the bath when I was like 4, and my finger slipped like, because I was in a rush. I felt this stinging 'up there' that didn't go away for some time, like a wound had been made in there or something? I was quite surprised lol.

 

 

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Roidgy

Fun fact: there was a girl with a hymen that completely covered her vagina. Her period blood would just keep building up and building up until it was so painful she had surgery to cut through her hymen. There were GALLONS of blood. The condition is called an Imperforate hymen

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FictoVore.
1 minute ago, Roidgy said:

Fun fact: there was a girl with a hymen that completely covered her vagina. Her period blood would just keep building up and building up until it was so painful she had surgery to cut through her hymen. There were GALLONS of blood. The condition is called an Imperforate hymen

No, hymens are a myth. Didn't you get the memo? 😛

 

(sorry, being facetious. It still annoys me that some people claim hymen's aren't actually a thing lol)

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Roidgy

@FictoVore.

tbh i dont think my hymen was ever really... how do i say it.... present. Whenever people would talk about how theres supposed to be a weird piece of meaty plastic inside your genitals i would just go "Theres WHAT"

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FictoVore.
2 minutes ago, Roidgy said:

@FictoVore.

tbh i dont think my hymen was ever really... how do i say it.... present. Whenever people would talk about how theres supposed to be a weird piece of meaty plastic inside your genitals i would just go "Theres WHAT"

From what I was reading about them, many have big holes in them that can stretch open if you put like a finger or whatever in so in that case one may not even notice it's there? And hah, meaty plastic: This is such a weird convo 😛

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Roidgy

@FictoVore.

yes theyres 6 main types of hymen formations, the "normal" one looks like a big hole but theres still some meat at the bottom. There's some formations that could really trigger people's trypophobia. You can google "hymen types" if you're curious.

 

Also theyre supposed to be easily (but still painfully) stretched out

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