if i break my hymen, am i still a virgin?

Question: Lately, I’ve been getting really horny and have considered masturbation. I know it’s normal, and I’m not into sex quite yet, so this is the only way I feel I can relieve myself. If my finger goes in too far and I break the hymen, am I still a virgin? I don’t want to lose it to, well, my finger. And if I do end up breaking the hymen, does it bleed?

Answer: Here’s the deal: Most people think someone loses their virginity the first time he or she has sex with another person. Of course, some people still believe that being a virgin means having an intact hymen. Looking at virginity in this way is a problem for a few reasons. For one thing, how would guys ever lose their virginity? For another, there are plenty of ways to stretch your hymen without ever having sex.

Here are a few:

  • Masturbating
  • Using Tampons
  • Doing gymnastics and other sports
  • Riding bikes or horses

Plus, the hymen naturally has openings in it. If it didn’t, it would be awfully hard for girls who had hymens to have their periods. Girls with a lot of openings in their hymens often don’t notice any pain or bleeding when it’s broken. Neither do girls who have gradually stretched their hymens over time.

Despite what people may think, the hymen is not a biological test of virginity. So what is it for then? One theory is that the hymen might help keep dirt out of the vagina before a girl gets her period. (After a girl begins menstruation, her menstrual flow will help flush out any bacteria once a month). A different idea is that the hymen is just a by-product of the natural process of sex differentiation (when a fetus will develop either a penis or a vagina based on whether it has XX or XY chromosomes). Either way, the existence of a hymen is not nature’s way of sneakily testing girls.

So are you still a virgin if you stretch your hymen masturbating? In my book, you definitely are.

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Posted in: Ask an Expert, Down There, Health, Sex & Relationships, Hooking Up, Virginity
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  • Cathy

    So im nervous that when I have sex that I will be SUPER tight yet ive used tampons and have masturbated but im still scared

  • catty

    My bf tries to insert finger in my vagina…am i still virgin ?