how to break a hymen without a penis

[EDIT: If you're looking for ACTUAL advice about how to break your hymen, read this post instead. The one on this page is more fanciful than helpful.]

EDIT 2: MYTHS! about the hymen – totally crucial to understanding your hymen.

So there was some confusion during my class tonight; we were talking about hymens and a couple students asked about, like, how big something needed to be to break a hymen, and I was all like, “Well, that depends how sharp it is.”

Because I have a habit of answering precisely the question that is asked, I had no clue (until a student generously came up to me after class and explained) that what they were actually asking was, “Suppose a woman has pain with penetration, due to her hymen, but there’s no one with a penis she’s interested in having break it. What’s a girl to do?”

OHH! Well heck, next time just say so! Didn’t I spend 10 minutes at the start of class explaining that this is a sex-positive safe space where no yucks are allowed and everything is okay? Look, all I want in life is to give people the sexual health information they want, so just ask!

Anyway, the answers to that question are:

(1) Very carefully
(2) With a little help from your friend(s) and
(3) Make a night of it.

There’ll be some pain – heck, the pain is the reason you’re doing this, right? And the key to managing that pain is to close the gate by overriding the pain signals with OTHER sensations. You know how when you stub your toe, you rub it? That’s closing the gate – overriding the throbbing sensation with the rubbing sensation.

With loads of sensation elsewhere – and I’m thinking a vibrator on the clit, another on the anus, breast stimulation, inner thigh stimulation, feet stimulation, lots of OTHER sensations – you can reduce the pain sensations.

So. Have a partner… or two… or three… or more, to help you out. Get warmed up, very aroused in whatever way works for you.

Because there’s no certain answer to the question, “How big and forceful must a penetrating object be to break the hymen?” I suggest fisting as the foolproof strategy. Fisting is a whole post in itself, but in brief, you begin with just one finger and gradually increase penetration until your whole hand is in the vagina.

Once you’re well-aroused, your partner (using plenty of lube) begins penetration with just one finger. Keeping a palm or a vibrator over the clit, maybe with pressure on the pubic bone, they maintain sensation elsewhere during the penetration. Go slow. Keep that degree of penetration until it’s comfortable.

Add a finger. Increase stimulation elsewhere – like add inner thigh stimulation to the clit stimulation. Keep that degree of penetration until it’s comfortable. Remember lube!

Add a finger and increase stimulation elsewhere. This will be your three longest fingers, which you should sandwich together, with your middle finger on top and your ring and index fingers touching at the tip. Penetration will thus be narrower at the top than at the base of your fingers.

Breasts and feet and lips are excellent targets of stimulation at this stage. (You begin to see why having multiple friends involved can be handy!) Keep that degree of penetration (plus additional stimulation) until it’s comfortable.

Add a finger, a pinky tucked up against the other fingers, and further increase stimulation elsewhere. Well-lubricated external anal stimulation in addition to clitoral, inner thigh, breast, feet, and lips, for example. Also fantasy and talk. Keep that degree of penetration until it’s comfortable, from the narrow tip of the middle finger down to the broad base of the fingers.

Now your partner tucks their thumb against their palm and penetrates past the last knuckle. Lots of other stimulation, closing the gate. Vibrators on clit, anus, and breasts, a mouth kissing your mouth, another mouth on your earlobe, another mouth sucking your toes (which will be curling by now).

And that, my friends, is how you break a hymen without a penis. Carefully, with a little help from your friends, and making a night of it.

Take lots of time and use lots of lube and make sure you maintain a high level of arousal with clitoral, breast, thigh, and other stimulation.

Let it be ritualistic and important, like a birthday. After all, for all that the hymen/virginity thing is bullshit, if you’re breaking your hymen in order to expand your sexual horizons, heck this is a moment!! Make it a night to remember.

56 responses to “how to break a hymen without a penis

  1. Emily, are you serious? There is no way I could find it easy to do what you’re suggesting with a mere “friend or two” who was not in a sexual relationship with me. This is fisting you’re talking about. I’d probably take a deep breath before doing it with my boyfriend.

    And I’m not shy.

  2. Emily, I think you got carried away. Gloriously, but maybe a little over-enthusiastically.

    A hymen-parting party? Lovely, intimate, sweet idea of the sort that can make men sad about their barriers to intimacy.

    But fisting? My understanding is that really resistant hymens are relatively rare. That many are partial, and many are quite fragile. That many rupture during quite everyday activities, like very active sports and horseback riding.

    Fisting is quite a big deal, especially for someone nervous and sexually inexperienced, and especially for a nullipara. How about sensual play with toys instead? Or just working your way up to multiple fingers. The first time getting past the knuckles is pretty serious business for most women, in my experience.

  3. I have to agree. Why a fist and not a good toy? Is it April Fool’s and no one told me?

  4. I was very excited when I saw the title of your post, because I have a hymen that seems made of an unbreakable material :P and it makes penetration, even with two fingers very close together, unconfortable. And gynecologyst visits are hell. But there is no way I can find friends to do this, and no way I could be comfortable during it. I wonder if there’s a possibility more like this: go to doctor, spread legs, have hymen cut, put on a pad, go home.
    I love the concept of it being ritualistic, but I think I’d need to be part of a group that has it as a rite of passage to be comfortable and feeling the ritual part of it.

  5. As someone who had a really resistant hymen, I can attest to the annoyance and frustration it can cause. Years of tampon use, sports, and even vaginal intercourse thinned it out, but it was still extremely painful if I was penetrated on the “wrong” side of it (picture, if you will, a circle bisected by a line much closer to one side than the other, leaving you with about 270 degrees of arc on one side and only 90 on the other side of the line). I tried stretching it by hand on many an occasion, even managed to get a couple of fingers through it and stretch it, but when it came down to it, it was just too painful to do myself.
    Eventually it broke during an evening of rough, drunken sex with a very girthy man; I didn’t even notice at the time, actually. I noticed the next morning when I wiped after using the bathroom and realized, “Hey, that kinda hurts.” It didn’t even occur to me that was what had happened until I noticed a bit of blood on my white thong. It was a big relief for me that it had finally broken and I hadn’t felt it at all… Definitely was quite a laugh for both of us after I realized what had happened. It was sore for the next few days as it healed up, but nothing that had a big effect on my life.
    That being said, I DEFINITELY have never had any female friends with whom I’ve been close enough to even consider requesting their help with something like that, though. Had it been sufficiently annoying on a recurring basis, I probably would have had the gyno take care of it in a sterile environment. I went to a college that was 87% male though… perhaps things would have been different for me had I gone to a “normal” school.
    I know we’re also talking about this in the context of “there’s no one with a penis she’s interested in having break it.” For the open-minded girl (with equally open-minded friends), your suggestion could be just what she needs. It could even lead to the road of enjoyable bisexual explorations for someone who has never considered it an option before. I can also picture the horror and revulsion you may be met with were you to suggest this to someone raised to believe male to female penetration is the only morally correct “method” of such things. In which case, it wounds like a trip to the gyno would be in order.
    Thought provoking, as always :)

  6. Well it certainly doesn’t have to be a fist – for most women an ordinary dildo would do the trick, and certainly you can have a doctor do it. This idea is simply a (hopefully) memorable illustration to get across the important points:

    You need a combination of girth and force.

    You need a lot of OTHER stimulation, to “close the gate.”

    However it sounds from the comments like my illustration greatly overwhelmed those points. (A loving hand plus half dozen or so helpful friends will definitely provide those two things in abundance, right?) I do sometimes get carried away.

    You can also get both through a dildo, a Hitachi Magic Wand, and one loving partner, and that would make a lovely, intimate evening.

    Also, per hauntfox25, the anesthetic qualities of alcohol can come in handy. Ya betcha.

    So this is just one idea that saliently illustrates the important points. Girth and force. Lots of other sensation.

  7. Oh, and I would add that it’s my job in the classroom to be rather outrageous, in a friendly and supportive way, in order to pull students outside their comfort zones and challenge their assumptions about what is or is not okay.

  8. this just doesn’t apply tot he 99% of the population. and I also think, that the kind of person who would feel comfortable doing this can figure it out themselve.

    so as an advice it had 1% usefullness. :P

  9. I agree with all of the above, especially Cora. As a health care professional, Emily, do you think there are gynecologists out there who would surgically break your hymen for you? This would be a great relief to me if so.

    • A student in the class told me that they knew someone who had ultimately had to have a doctor do it, so it sounds like a doctor can do it. I’d ask your gyno about it. It would probably make getting a pelvic exam and pap smear and pelvic exam easier, too.

  10. It’s my not-so-educated opinion that if you’re having trouble with this and it is decreasing your quality of life but you don’t like the idea of an orgy to get around it, have your gyno handle it. It’s a very minor surgery and works for many women with fully formed hymens.

    Hymens come in all shapes and sizes. One of the above posters mentioned having an off-center slit. This was probably a crescent hymen; a kind of half-formed hymen that can be very difficult to break because it isn’t fully anchored and so is more flexible. Regardless of your shape the thickness can vary from a thin membrane to a robust tissue formation. Your gynecologist can help you figure out what is going on down there (and you should have one or get one if these are the kinds of things you are thinking about) and can advise you on your best options.

    • Inspired by your comment, I did a little research…. Apparently what I had was called a septate hymen. I was trying to imply with my description that there was an actual string of rather thick flesh, but I got a little carried away with my engineering analysis of it :-P
      And yup, alcohol can have great anesthetic qualities, it’s just important not to let it have that effect on your brain in the process! (been there, done that… er, him *blush*)
      Medically defined types of hymens… not surprising, but for those of us who aren’t health care professionals, who knew?

  11. The world needs more sex positive people like you~

  12. Silly me. I just thought of using a girthy vibe or dildo. ;) For any interested in the fisting method but sans friends who’d be willing to participate, there’s always the local swingers clubs. I’m sure they’d be glad to help a woman rid herself of that pesky, stubbornly determined to hang in there hymen.

  13. Okay, these comments are a HUGE relief to me. I’m another gal with a super thick and penetration-averse hymen and I’m glad to see I have company (er, you know what I mean). I have tried breaking my hymen on a number of occasions, both by myself and with a partner, and it has always been extraordinarily painful despite overloading on pleasurable stimuli (and with some substance support). Googling various queries about painful intercourse and thick hymens (using both technical and layman’s terms) has primarily resulted in information about overcoming traumatic sexual experiences or moving past conflicted and shameful feelings about sexual pleasure, neither of which I suffer from. I am, in fact, proudly kinky, completely comfortable talking sex, and (almost) completely comfortable in my own body (’cause even us proud girls get flattened by pop culture standards from time to time).

    As a woman who partners primarily with women, my inability to receive penetrative sex hasn’t completely dampened my sex life, but it does throw a spanner in the works on occasion. In addition, I’ve been interested in playing with a dude (or a strap on) recently, but not if I’m going to be in searing pain. I concede that mounting apprehension about the pain is exacerbating it, but attempting penetration has always been the worst pain I’ve ever felt (and I ain’t no wilting violet neither).

    At this point I’d really like to be doped and snipped before I give up on my vagina’s full possibilities, but I’m not sure if a hymenectomy is a common procedure, or how to approach it with a doctor.

    The last (and only) time I had a full gyno exam I needed a muscle relaxant and a Xanax to get through the thing. Afterward I asked the student health center PA (who seemed hip and approachable–she had a nose ring!) if there was anything I could do to break my hymen with less pain. She told me not to worry about it, “they always break or wear down eventually.”

    I blinked a few times and answered, “Uh, I’m 25…”

    “You’ll be fine,” she smiled back.

    So much for reading your patients’ cues! I should have been more persistent in my query, but it’s hard to speak up when your bare ass is on a papered vinyl lounger and you’re benzodiazepined out (which was the PA’s idea, natch). Also, this was three years ago, and my hymen remains as unbreachable as the Hoover Dam.

    So, Emily, can we out here in ‘netland ask you to do a little digging for us? I think we’d love to know if gynos will snip a hymen, and if so, how does one go about arranging for such a procedure. Extra love for whatever other details you can unearth.

  14. Hymenectomy or hymenotomy… in the world of surgery it is no big deal… can be done in the doctor’s office or the operating room. It’s likely that the hassle of arranging the procedure will be WORSE than the actual procedure itself or the mild recovery. Ask your gynecologist! They’ll be happy to help….


  15. Hey, Emily,

    Why do we even have hymens?

    I mean collectively of course, as we each only have one. :)


  16. I suggest the following article….

    My Corona: The Anatomy Formerly Known as the Hymen & the Myths That Surround It

  17. Well, I have a septate hymen, and it hasn’t broken, but it’s not really a problem. If it did break, I think it’d probably tear something painful, because it’s pretty thick, so I’m fine with it the way it is.

    I have to agree that most people don’t have friends they could ask for this kind of help, and that fisting would be bit a bit too much for a one-time hymen-breaking event.

  18. I stumbled upon this blog post rather accidentally and am glad I did. I find myself, at 23, having hymen conversations with mostly teenagers who are worried about theirs breaking.
    But I’m 23, and also have a septate hymen and believe me that shit don’t break! I was actually rather angry when I realized I had this sort of hymen problem because I simply didn’t know that hymens did come in all shapes and thickness and sizes. EVERYONE tells you it generally breaks the first time you have penetrative sex or it simply wears down when you’re a youngen’. I didn’t know what the hell this “string” was, as I called it and I freaked out when I first came upon it. I partner with women also, so I don’t generally have penetrative sex (and have never) and it took me 10 years to figure out what was going on with my hymen.

    I did visit a gynecologist and it’s easy. You have to get a doctor’s referral and then the gynecologist will (if they’re good at least) do a ultrasound to make sure nothing else is going on up/down there (with septate hymens sometimes one could have a double uterus among other things) and then will either do the procedure in her office or refer you to a hospital, depending on thickness of the hymen and how many cuts will have to be made.

    So, unfortunately, for some people this hymen business isn’t so easy as putting a few fingers up there. Wish I knew this as a 13 year old! It would have caused much less stress and anxiety. Oh, and I finally was able to do a pap test because of my wonder obgyn who worked around the hymen.

  19. Anytime you need those toes sucked as a diversion just let me know…
    French Kisses,

  20. I am from Brasil in farm country, and most of the girls here begin sex at 12 or 13 years old. I remember my friends all broke their own hymens with fresh vegetables. First they tried a well-formed carrot with a pointed tip that quickly became wider as it penetrated. Most often this would quickly widen the opening with the least pain. One of my friends followed this carrot with a good sized cucumber that had a taper on one end and she left it in place for several hours while the pain subsided. This was a simple and private way for all us girls to rip our hymens easily with cold vegetables.

  21. Um, Emily? You are my favorite. I just wanted you to know.

    Nay-sayers higher up just don’t know what they’re missing. This is wonderful.

    • Well of course *I* think it’s wonderful too – though I can appreciate the “I’m never really going to do this perspective,” I’m not suggesting people REALLY do it, I’m just offering a window of opportunity to think creatively about it, to break down the socially constructed walls that prevent people from being really free in their relationship with their own bodies. Alas, people who are locked into someone else’s box don’t always SEE the box.

  22. Sexysluttywhore

    I need some help with a different issue, i am 20 and i am a woman and i prefer 2 be with women sooo how do i *get* women, i dont really feel comfortably walking up to someone sayin hey girl u wana come home with me 2nite!!?? Lol but anyways plz help me out, is there like a site or somethin??

  23. So.. I have this problem: I can stick even 3 fingers into my vagina, and stuff, but Im not sure if im a virgin or not.. i never had sex yet, just some harder petting.
    (I never felt some intensive pain or something tht could say tht it broke)

  24. Everyone is going to hate me for this…but it is WRONG to have sexual relations with someone of the same sex. Says so in the Bible. ANYWAY….Someone, you are a virgin until you have sexual intercourse with a guy. Some people think you are a virgin until you break your hymen because it “typically” breaks when you lose your virginity. I have had sex twice with two different guys and I still have my hymen. It hasn’t broke yet, but I am not a virgin. I have also heard that some people are born without a hymen so it is not an indicator of virginity. It can also be torn if you use a tampon or if you play sports, so I have heard. Overall, some people can have sex without it breaking and some peoples break before they ever have sex. It just depends on the person. Hope this was helpful.

    • Oh no no, dear heart, we won’t hate you. Someone as ignorant and stupid as you isn’t worth the energy it takes to hate. We’ll just laugh at you.

      It’s kind of of nice actually – we spend a lot of time nitpicking about genderqueerness and the heteronormativity of biological science and other complicated, subtle things; but here’s some nice straightforward homophobia to bond us all together in hilarity. Thanks for that.

      • AnotherAnonymous

        Wow Emily, for someone who is so open and accepting of all ideas and viewpoints, your self-professed broad-mindedness seems to be nothing more than an excuse to support only the viewpoints YOU personally approve of. Did you not begin this post by saying “…this is a sex-positive safe space where no yucks are allowed and everything is okay?” Hmmmmm…..Can anyone say hypocritical? This is a great site and I really am pleased to see you opening up the doors for all different ideologies to voice their opinions, but don’t ruin it with your negativity toward more traditional viewpoints. If you truly do what you claim you do, I know you will discontinue your hurtful words toward ANY certain belief, and will deal with future posts with a little more class.

    • Yes dear u made it plain and clear

  25. Anonymous says:

    6 April 2011 at 18:29

    Everyone is going to hate me for this…but it is WRONG to have sexual relations with someone of the same sex. Says so in the Bible. ANYWAY….Someone, you are a virgin until you have sexual intercourse with a guy. Some people think you are a virgin until you break your hymen because it “typically” breaks when you lose your virginity. I have had sex twice with two different guys and I still have my hymen. It hasn’t broke yet, but I am not a virgin. I have also heard that some people are born without a hymen so it is not an indicator of virginity. It can also be torn if you use a tampon or if you play sports, so I have heard. Overall, some people can have sex without it breaking and some peoples break before they ever have sex. It just depends on the person. Hope this was helpful.

    1) You are against same sex relationships just because the bible says so, yet you seem to go against it by sex before marriage and with two different guys

    2) The bible completely contradicts itself in practically every way. And it say don’t eat shellfish…. You at somepoint in your life have probably had it….

    Looks like you’ve gone against what the bible says :O!!

  26. Anonymous, Another Anonymous and Emily; it’s really hard to be open and accepting of oppression. how can we nurture sex positive spaces if we tolerate homophobia, misogyny and other unhealthy destructive sex norms that do so much damage to us and our lives that we need to create these safe spaces in the first place? but then how do we change these oppressive ideas without being open to having these discussions? and can we change these ideas? it’d be interesting to have forums on this subject but my experience with homophobia is that it’s so fueled by hatred that there’s no room for change.
    “…this is a sex-positive safe space where no yucks are allowed and everything is okay” homophobia IS the big yuck and is NOT sex positive so does it have a space here?

  27. I want to know if using tampons is likely to break my hymen. I want it gone, but I want to be prepared if I accidentally tear it.

    On the acceptance debate going on above, the person who said it was wrong to sleep with the same gender as yourself showed a blatant lack of acceptance straight off, and I’d like to thank Emily for defending their corner, even though I’m straight. I don’t know why anyone is annoyed with you, you are keeping this a safe space where any questions can be asked. And the Bible was not given to humans word for word, only some of it. It’s been around a long time, gone through translation and humans love to elaborate and make their own rules. Has everyone forgotten the ‘contraception is wrong’ mandate by the church? That doesn’t make sense in any form. If you have sworn off intimacy, you really can’t dictate on it. So, if you haven’t killed or seriously injured somebody, but you’re getting flack for loving and caring for them, a rethink on the differences between church/Bible and God might be necessary.

  28. So i want to break my hymen before i have sex with my boyfriend so it wont be so messy and stuff… but i am scared to just stick 1 finger in there… is there another way i can break it?

  29. You seem like a really cool person who’d give me a straight up and simple answer :)
    Okay so I THINK my hymens broken or at least torn…I don’t know how (never rode bikes or horses or did any kind of intense sports;no tampons either).I noticed absolutely no bleeding so I can’t figure out how it may have happened.I’m getting married soon and I was really curious about the hymen.After reading so articles and stuff I came to my conclusion.So my question is: will I still bleed even if my hymen is broken or torn?I’ve never put anything up there so I was thinking that maybe penetration will cause the hymen to rip some more and that’ll cause bleeding…
    I already know my first time will be awkward and there most likely will be no arousal or lubrication so will there be blood cuz I’ve read that a lack of those things may cause bleeding?

  30. Pingback: how to break your hymen – sincerely this time | Emily Nagoski :: sex nerd ::

  31. Kayla you can try using something else besides a finger, something a little larger and firm. And for all of you wondering about if a gyno can surgecially remove the hymen, yes they can. I just had it done recently because mine was in the way so much that I couldn’t even get a tampon in. Although it was rather rare. That was the first time in about 20 years that my doctor had performed what is called a hymenectamy. I was put under though, due to the pain of it.

  32. Wow but can doing sports really break it also there was a girl who was on this gymnastics beam that was super thin and she fell right between her legs and we saw blood coming from her pantss did she break her hymen

  33. Im only 18 but i cant even put in a tampon without pain! I psyche myself out and can never do it! Also, I have never masturbated because I am too scared to put my fingers in there! I want to stop worrying about it and just get rid of it without so much stress! My question is how old do you have to be to have a gyno or doctor do the procedure?

  34. Wow. no arousal or lubrication on your wedding night? That’s what you fully expect? Dryness or low arousal means your groom should be taking his time with foreplay and loving touch and making you WANT him to penetrate you RIGHT NOW, instead of carrying on regardless of your fear and lack of interest/arousal.

  35. W.P.G.Padmasiri

    Lovely description on how to break hymen using finger I like it .Further I would like to receive answers to the sex issues.

  36. It’s really not as big of a deal as it is portrayed to be. A hymen is but a small technicality. It can be rather simple: clean hands, use some saliva and play with yourself. I mean, you can even start with your pinky and make your way up to a couple fingers if it’s easier. This is a no-brainer that I figured out at 11…. I much have rather “break” it myself.. then doing it with a surgeon… It’s not that serious. At best, use a vibrator. Just do what you feel is best. I honestly thought most women got rid of it themselves using tampons, during sports or masturbating in the pre-teens. But I guess not..

  37. To be perfectly honest, I’ve been looking for resources online for advice on how to break my own hymen. Let’s just say I’ve ridden plenty of horses.
    This is the first resource that’s made any real sense to me. Other ones I’ve seen have just said “lube up the dick, ram it in, get it over with,” which seems dangerous to me. While I’ll probably try fisting at a later date, this was extremely helpful, so thank you! :)

  38. erm, hey im 14, and i cant even get one finger up their without pain.. is this my hymen?

  39. can i do it with a pencil or somethh=ing?

  40. Same with me, I’m 16 and I can fit one finger up there, as well as this thin sort of fake-penis-object that i put in a glove, but when i try using 2 fingers it hurts so much!! I plan to have sex with my boyfriend and have been for some time, I love him so much – and I really want this to be amazing. I realise that with adrenaline some people can hardly feel their hymen breaking, but I know that because I’m relaxed when I masturbate and can’t even do 2 fingers without pain… that sex is not going to be good.
    Do doctors need more proof? I mean because I haven’t actually tried penetration from a penis will they not do anything? I’m too scared to put anything larger down there because as I said, my two fingers hurt so much … what do I do?
    I leave for europe really soon and we planned to have sex before then – I would die if we did and it was horrible and then I couldn’t see him for the next 6 weeks.

    I’m usually okay with a bit of pain, but this… no no, I can’t stand it ):

  41. Hi, i am another one lol… been married for 5 years still cnt break my hymen… i am soo ambarssed to talk to anyone but dont know what to do same for my husband ( bless he is angle dont know what i do if it wasnt for him) Can someone plaz help me out and find some1 who can brak hymen.

  42. Pingback: break your hymen: re-redux | Emily Nagoski :: sex nerd ::

  43. Hi! I am 28 and i havent had intercorse yet, I had foreplay, oral, but not sex all the way. Now I met a guy, who I want to go all the way and I dont want him to run away if i told he the truth,….what do i do? I wouldn’t ask if i wasn’t concern of me bleeding when we’ll start the intercorse

  44. Emily: this is the most imaginative piece of sexual help that I have ever read coming from a Ph D! You should get some sort of special prize for what you are writing here.

    Some of the girls seem to be too tight about the suggestions you have given. No, I don’t think you were joking when you started writing this one. I’m sure you were serious and there’s nothing wrong with what you’re suggesting.

    You suggest to make of the occasion a special night. You’re totally right.

    We keep on thinking that sex MUST be and MUST remain a private activity. What’s the matter with us, humans? At some point in our existence as a species, we began to feel this shame and need for privacy. The biblical genesis is a suggestions that there must have been a time when we were all nicely walking around naked, having sex freely and not caring about who the father (or mother) finally was.

    Great suggestion, Emily. You’re a genius. Thanks for existing.

    (You must be one of those women with genes that the Inquisition would have burned as witch, but somehow your ancestors were capable of escaping the torments and murder. Good for you! Please, reproduce and find women like you to reproduce even more, until YOU totally dominate the male of the species, who has been so stupid concerning sex stuff.)

  45. Caileigh Adamson

    Hi Emily -

    I stumbled on your page today and just thought I’d leave you a little note to clarify some myths about hymens and “breaking them”. There is a very common misconception that a hymen is a membrane that covers the vaginal opening and therefore must be broken to allow anything (tampon, penis, etc) to enter. What women are often picturing when they think about hymens is an “imperforate hymen”, which is actually very rare. In actual fact, for the vast majority of women, the hymen is a RING of tissue surrounding the vaginal opening that requires no breaking whatsoever.

    Prior to puberty, any sort of touch/contact with the hymen is extremely painful. It is this experience that resulted in (and continues to perpetuate) the myth that a hymen requires “breaking”. As a woman goes through puberty and her hymen becomes estrogenized, the hymen is no longer sensitive or painful to touch in any way. The exception to this is in cases of infection or a condition called vaginismus (which involves an involuntary spasm of the pubococcygeus muscle and therefore makes penetration either quite a painful experience or impossible altogether).

    In the process of normal sexual intercourse for the vast majority of us, there is no membrane that “breaks”. There is a ring of tissue that stretches (particularly if a woman gives birth vaginally) but an actual broken hymen requires medical attention and surgical repair. I should note here that there are some rare defects that can occur in the formation of the hymen causing much more tissue to be present, such as a septate, microperforate, or imperforate hymen. In this case, surgical intervention would be required if a woman wanted to have sexual intercourse as there is, in fact, a layer of tissue that would need to be removed.

    I would encourage every woman out there to do some reading or speak with their physician to better understand their own anatomy, as the misconception that the hymen is like a piece of cling wrap is actually incredibly inaccurate. For those interested, an interesting article on imperforate hymens:

    Take care all,

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