Am I Still a Virgin?

My advice for someone who is worried that they might not be a virgin because they put something in their vagina.

I’m in my 20s and my issue is that i have doubts that I might have lost my virginity or broke my hymen. I once put something in my vagina when I was younger and I’m not sure if my hymen broke or not. I haven’t touched my vagina since then. I can’t talk to anyone else about it. What I wanna know is can a boy now know if I’ll sleep with him that my hymen is broke? I so appreciate your answer.

Hi there​

Thanks for your question, here is a nice answer for you.

Hymen / Corona

The hymen (or the corona as we now call it) doesn’t work like that. A boy won’t be able to tell if your hymen is broken, because the hymen isn’t a wall that breaks. It’s a thin mucous membrane which surrounds the entrance to the vagina (about 1 to 2 cm inside the vagina) like a ring. It slowly stretches and thins out over time, like this.

The Hymen, which we are now calling the Corona

The corona (formerly the hymen, do keep up) changes slowly over time due to vaginal discharge, period blood, use of tampons, putting fingers or objects in there (for whatever reason), masturbation, and penetrative sex with someone else. The stretching or thinning of this corona doesn’t just happen once, it’s a gradual thing. So this means that even when people have had sex for the first time they still have some corona in place (evidence). And as the World Health Organisation say “The hymen is a poor marker of penetrative sexual activity or virginity in postpubertal girls.”

Virginity

Everyone will have their own views about virginity and what it means to them. Often our views are heavily influenced by the people around us and what we are taught growing up. However also our views can change a lot. I’m not really even a fan of the term and prefer to talk about first time sex. But, it sounds like that for you right now (and for people that you might sleep with), virginity is quite important and that this means not having penis in vagina sex in the past.

It doesn’t matter what you may or may not have put in your vagina, if you haven’t had penis in vagina sex yet then you are still a virgin. Anyone you choose to have sex with should just believe that you haven’t had sex.

If they start looking at your vagina to try to work out whether you have had sex before then they are not a kind or good person. If they do this then they are also clearly not an expert and have had very bad sex education themselves because (again) that’s not how the hymen/corona works. If they ask someone else to do it, then this is even worse and not ethical or scientifically valid.

Find Someone Good and Nice

So, if you can, you should try to find someone that you can trust and feel safe with and want to have sex or a relationship with. Think about who you know in your life who is good and kind and what it means to be able to trust someone. There’s more here about how to do relationships and what you should look out for to make sure it’s a good one (no matter what kind of relationship it is).

Remember also that sex should never be a thing that is just done to you. You might want to think about how you could make first time sex more enjoyable, and then maybe how you could enjoy sex more generally.

You say that you can’t talk to anyone about this, are you sure? Maybe you don’t have to talk about the details, but is there anyone you could talk to (that you trust) about your worries about first time sex? About what virginity means to you, but also about what it means to other people? About how to find someone you can trust will be kind and nice? I’ve written a thing about how to who to talk to about sex and how which might help you.

I think you should also read this about the hymen/corona/virginity at Scarleteen and also this excellent advice by Dr Petra Boynton. Also, here is a nice video about how hymens/coronas work (using a marching band and balloons).

Hope this helps

Justin

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© Justin Hancock, 2022

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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. He’s a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Find out more about Justin here

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