The often heard and misunderstood word in this 21st century is virginity. Some people take it as a very sensitive and private topic to discuss and some feel that it is ok to open about it considering it a natural topic of discussion. No matter how triumphantly we march towards advancements and modernization, some topics and subjects will always remain a taboo as per the conventional thinking pattern and orthodox structure of society. One such subject is virginity. In this article, we will discuss the facts and myths related to the same.
What is virginity?
The term virgin refers to women originally who have abstained from any sexual relationship. Virginity is a state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse.
What is Hymen?
The hymen is a thin piece of mucosal tissue that surrounds or partially covers the external vaginal opening. It is a thin fleshy tissue that is located at the opening of your vagina.
The relation between hymen and virginity
It is a belief that if your hymen is wide open or notice a tear, you cease to be a virgin. But in reality, having a hymen and being a virgin is not the same thing. Some people are born without a hymen. So scientifically and logically you cannot decide someone’s virginity status by the way their hymen looks or feels.
Also Read: Why One Should Go For the Hymenoplasty?
Now let’s have a look at some facts and myths that are associated with hymen and virginity. These are usually hearsay that has no valid confirmation. Some of such myths and facts are:
Myth#1: Hymen is the only indicator of virginity status.
This is false. The hymen is a misunderstood body part. Like everyone has different eyes, nose, breasts and other parts, hymen too is different in every woman’s body. The problem is that women themselves are not aware of their body’s anatomy. Especially sexual anatomy. Nobody can tell by feeling or touching the hymen that if it’s broken or not due to sexual intercourse. It’s just a fleshy tissue that might tear or break while playing or cycling or any physical activity at any age.
Myth#2 The hymen is a wrap or thin sheet that entirely covers the vagina.
This is false. The hymen is just a fleshy tissue that surrounds the vagina, it is not a thin glad wrap that entirely covers the vagina otherwise it would be impossible for the menstrual blood to excrete from that part of the body.
Myth#3: Virgins will always have bleeding during the first intercourse session as hymen breaks.
This is false. Many women’s hymens thin over time and might tear sometime with zero indication. Sometimes it might result in very light bleeding or some blood spots but generally not! It all depends on the thickness and rigidity of hymen. You might feel it is broken if it is too rigid and less stretchy.
Myth#4: You’ll always know when your hymen breaks.
This is false. In fact, your hymen probably breaks way before the first time you have sex. That way before time might be horseback riding, cycling, gymnastics session, inserting tampons or maybe while masturbating. And it is mostly completely unnoticeable when it breaks.
Myth#5: It’s always the hymen that breaks and results in bleeding at the time of first sex session as a virgin.
This is false. Always the hymen should not be blamed for vaginal bleeding when you first have sex. Not enough lubrication, anxiety, inexperience and rough sex too could be held accountable for the bleeding.
Myth#6: Hymen’s purpose is to only determine virginity.
This is false. Like many vestigial structures e.g. your wisdom teeth and appendix, the hymen don’t serve any specific purpose. Traditionally, it was believed that its main role is to protect the vagina from bacteria.
Myth#7: Using a tampon affects virginity.
This is not true. Inserting a tampon during your first period days might stretch your hymen a little bit but it doesn’t affect your virginity. Many virgins don’t have intact hymen and some women are born without a hymen. Just try to relax and be at ease before putting a tampon. ( Also Read: Menstrual Cups: Will It Affect My Virginity? )
Myth#8: Your partner can tell about your virginity by looking at your hymen.
This is just another myth. It is not possible to tell about a female’s virginity by looking at the hymen. Even a gynecologist cannot tell if a female is a virgin or not by looking at her hymen or vagina. It is just a myth that tightness and rigidity of the vagina determines a female’s virginity. It’s all about the daily regime and your inclination towards vigorous physical activities.
Myth#9: A gynecological examination might affect your virginity.
This is not true. A gynecological examination is all about health and not sex. Examination of external genitals will keep the infections and other genital problems at bay. This examination is generally conducted by using speculum that spreads the walls of the hymen or vagina and doesn’t affect the virginity at all.
Myth#10: Virginity is a moral marker of character.
A woman herself can define her character and not some petty conventional remarks that societal laws impose on her. Every person irrespective of gender has a right to privacy and choice. Also, losing one’s virginity is his/her own decision and desire- certainly not a ruler for measurement of character. It’s just societal rusted thinking that will continue to prevail for a long time.
Also Read: Benefits & Procedure of Hymenoplasty
So, now we know some myths and facts about virginity and hymen. We need to be aware of the facts in spite of heeding the myths that are just hearsay without any validation or reason. We are unfortunate not to have been taught about issues like sex, virginity and body urges that are but natural at the tender age. Hence, misinformation rules out all logical thinking as it exists in spiral circles from person to person until it forms a complete lie.
Just be aware and know your body well!