For a long time, virginity has been a topic of debate. But, remember that virginity is a social construct and there are numerous virginity myths as well.
We look into virginity from a cisgender context. But 20% of Americans do not identify themselves as ‘heterosexual.’ Besides that, the concept of virginity only recognizes penis intercourse as sex and is highly patriarchial.
Consent and safety should be the only two primary factors while having sex. It should not be utilized for slut-shaming, but rather as a personal thing. When you have sex for the first time, you lose nothing that you can’t get back. You don’t need to confer the concept of virginity to validate your sexual experiences.
What are the common virginity myths?
People toss around words like “deflowering,” “popping her cherry,” and “breaking your hymen” casually. Other than that, there are many who present “losing” virginity as if it’s a wrong deed, yet nobody knows what “losing virginity” actually means.
The hymen does not indicate virginity
The hymen virginity myth dates back to the 1970s. Many consider the absence of a hymen as a lack of virginity. The very fact that hymen breaks after sex may be false as several researches have proven the role the hymen plays in defining before the marriage of a woman that if she is a virgin or not.
The hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the vaginal opening and has no biological purpose. The hymen naturally thins and opens up after birth.
There is no specific shape and size of the hymen. Also, some people are born without a hymen. The virginity myth to be busted, the bleeding after first-time sex does not happen due to hymen breaking. Less elastic hymen or small opening is the cause of bleeding.
The hymen is flexible, and it does not cover the entire vaginal opening. Otherwise, it would have blocked menstrual blood flow and other vaginal discharge. Sex does not lead to hymen tear every time. Some tiring and strenuous physical activities also cause the tear. Hence, it is not proper to determine if someone had sex by examining their hymen. Click here to find out more about the hymen.
Size of genitals does not change
Another virginity myth is that the first time you have sex affects the size of your genitals. The size of the genitals does not change after sex. The penis does not grow large, and the vagina might loosen with the vaginal opening area grows loose after frequent sexual intercourse.
However, the idea of virginity as a life-changing event still exists. It is a virginity myth that first-time sex can cause long-term changes. The existence of this myth shows that virginity matters, be it negatively or positively.
Pap test doesn’t affect virginity
Having a pap test done by your doctor will not affect your virginity, but it might burst your hymen. A Pap test is to see if there are any precancerous cells in the cervix. For that purpose, doctors conduct the test with the help of an instrument known as a speculum.
The tool may stretch the hymen’s elastic walls a little, but it’s not the same as proper sexual intercourse. This virginity myth discourages many women from taking a pap test. Explore more about virginity from here.
Virginity doesn’t act as a shield from STDs
Another virginity myth that exists is that not having sex protects us from STDs. While in 2018, there were around 2.5 million combined cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Nonetheless, the cases went up to 2.6 million in 2019 in the USA.
Lack of awareness about STIs is one of the major concerns. The poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation found that only 36% of people surveyed were aware of how common STI is.
Non-sexual behaviors can also cause STDs. For example, during pregnancy or birth, some people get exposed to their mother’s STDs. The use of injection drugs can also lead to HIV.
People can get oral herpes by accidentally coming in contact with the saliva of another person. Hence, a person who has never had vaginal sex could also get genital herpes by having oral sex with someone who has.
Use of tampons leads to loss of virginity
The use of tampons and losing virginity doesn’t have a relationship. It is because the vagina is similar to an elastic band, a menstrual cup will not tear or stretch the vagina. Remember to use the right size to keep the hymen intact.
Myths related to different sexual wellness topics like virginity myths still exist. Hence, we are conducting the ‘Light My Fire’ workshop where the best sexual wellness professionals will discuss sexual chemistry, desires, and communication. Join us and burst all your myths related to sexual wellness.