As of lately, there have been some controversies around the hymen’s purpose and whether that correlates with losing virginity or not (cough cough, looking at you T.I.).
So while this has been a new outlook on women’s health, Planned Parenthood, America’s most trusted provider of reproductive health care, took some words on it to Twitter, notably that virginity — and sex as a whole — has nothing to do with a woman’s hymen — and they’re right.
A virgin is someone who’s never had sex. But “sex” means different things to different people, so “virginity” does too. Many don’t care what it means or think it matters. Whatever you believe, the fact is you can’t tell if someone’s had sex by checking their hymen.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPFA) November 6, 2019
To many people, (here’s some sex ed for ya, kids) losing their virginity doesn’t always just mean being penetrated in a vaginal-penile way. In fact, that is the heteronormative way of thinking, without taking into consideration other biological factors, identities, and even different forms of sexual activity — none of which may have to do with a woman’s hymen.
But hold on for a second, the hymen DOES exist — but not for the way you think. The hymen is a thin flesh of tissue that is across the opening of your vagina (all bodies are different though). The hymen can be stretched, torn, and even broken — but not always resulting by sexual activity. Most of the time, it could be riding a bike or horse, or even inserting a tampon or any other object vaginally.
And, the hymen heals itself, so let’s just debunk the “popping the cherry” myth right now.
So, back to the discussion: what does this mean in terms of “losing your virginity?” Nothing, since virginity is a social construct in itself.
The term “virginity” is subjective, as having sex looks different to many people. It could be the first time doing foreplay, or even trying different positions. Or, the big one, what about those who are non-heterosexual? What about the non-heteronormative people who have sex? Maybe lovers between two men, or even two women? Or even other identities, with different body types. This shows that virginity falls under the category of what “traditional” sex is, and that demeans anything else that may fight with that definition.
“Taking” a woman’s virginity implies that we have something to be taken from us and that our first time “giving ourselves away” is somehow a sacred act. Newsflash: we are almost in the year 2020, and everyone’s body should feel worthy, regardless of what kind of sex one has, if they have it, or if they do not.
Virginity is a social construct because the normality of someone taking something “so precious and sacred” is both unrealistic and shameful to all identities. You lose your phone, you don’t lose your virginity (or break your hymen).
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