I am 23, and intend to remain a virgin until marriage. I am not, however, a virgo intacta, and am worried that my husband will think I am not telling the truth about my sexual status when I do eventually marry. I've only had two boyfriends up to the present time, and they have both claimed that a woman is not a virgin if she is not a virgo intacta. I am really unhappy about this, as I of course totally disagree: I think it's ludicrous to claim someone is not a virgin if they haven't had intercourse, and am worried that my husband will subscribe to the same opinion as these boyfriends, or worse still, not even believe that I'm telling the truth.
I have considered hymenoplasty as a possible option, but have not looked into it deeply yet. Do you think it would be best if I told my husband about the situation before we marry? As I'd rather run the risk of him not believing me then, than wait until after we were married and all the upset it would cause then. I'd really appreciate it if you could find time to reply. Many thanks. J
Thank you for your letter. I have to say that my definition of virginity is the same as yours: if you haven't had sex then you're a virgin. In our modern world there are plenty of reasons for not having a hymen. Vigorous athletics, horseriding, tampons and masturbation are just a few of the most common.
Here's another useful piece of information: sometimes the hymen is thin and easily broken. Even in intercourse a guy isn't necessarily going to know one way or the other. Not bleeding is possible anyway if a hymen isn't tough. In the bad old days of sexual repression, many's the woman who faked the blood on the sheet by nicking her thigh.
For most adults nowadays virginity is no big deal. Your husband can presumably tell from your behaviour that you won't have intercourse before marriage. You're considering trusting your life to this guy. Presumably you think he's reasonable, open-minded, tolerant, trustworthy and respectful of you. Unless he is extremely critical and given to prejudice (and if he is, why are you marrying him?) why not tell him sooner rather than later that you broke your hymen in one of the innocuous ways? You can tell him that he'll still be the only man you've ever had sex with. Your first and only. And as that's true, why would a fair-minded man need to doubt you? And as the word virgin seems to be freighted with uncomfortable ideas for you, putting your position without using that word might be more comfortable for you. You're also expecting problems when you broach this subject, but many men wouldn't mind one wayor the other.
Meantime, wouldn't it make sense to get some information about intercourse? It seems you might have been operating on myths and old wives tales. Intercourse is far more likely to be painful because you're tense than if a hymen gets in the way. You love each other. Why not let yourself relax and enjoy both the closeness and the sensations? Few women reach orgasm during the first dozen or so sexual experiences: more for some women, less for others. It'll happen ... when you relax and trust your husband. Which is where we came in.
Good luck and enjoy married life!
Back to Ask Anne