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Lauredhel is an Australian woman and mother with a disability. She blogs about disability and accessibility, social and reproductive justice, gender, freedom from violence, the uses and misuses of language, medical science, otters, gardening, and cooking.

This author has written 1621 posts for Hoyden About Town. Read more about Lauredhel »

30 responses to “Bionic Hymens”

  1. Mindy

    WTF. I feel like Marcia Hines “I have nothing to say”.

  2. Melanie

    Well, re-virgined hymens are perfect for creating that stained sheet for display to the relos for proof of purchase. Although clearly the tamper-proof seal isn’t so tamper-proof if you re-create it multiple times.

    Maybe they’ll have to find a different signifier of female worth?

  3. Batocchio

    Ouch. It’s also disturbing that this sort of thing is an obsession in some countries – hymen inspection and in some cases making a bionic hymen or whatever you want to call it (but that’s an awesome post title). George Packer covers this in The Assassin’s Gate, actually, showing how widespread such views are in Iraq even among doctors. I continue to be dismayed by the prevalence of the idea that the greatest value a woman can possess is virginity, and all the attending crap – men need to be “tricked” into marriage, etc. But the biggest element is that a woman is a trophy, a possession, an object, a receptacle, not a full person in her own right.

  4. Feministe » “That thrilling conquest”

    [...] Lauredhel examines the five reasons why YOU should get a bionic hymen. [...]

  5. Seraph

    You know, I was my wife’s “first”, not that it would have mattered to me even a little if that hadn’t been the case. I was afraid that there would be pain and bleeding. There wasn’t, because we had done a pretty extensive amount of fooling around before finally deciding to take that last step. I was glad, because she was a person who had chosen to have sex with me, not a possession I was laying claim to. And while the experience was certainly thrilling, it wasn’t because I felt I had “conquered” her. Actually, I think that might have detracted from it, if I had felt that way. It would have meant that she didn’t want it as much as I did (though I suppose many of these yahoos are going into it with that assumption, and the further assumption that she’s doing it to please them – must suck to think you’re so unsexy).

    If, on our twentieth wedding anniversary, she suggested that she get surgery so that our anniversary-night celebratory sex be painful for her and bloody, I would ask her if she was out of her mind.

    Will. Never. Understand. The mindset.

    Understand why the women do it. Will never understand the cultural attitudes that drive them to it.

    Deliberately tearing open a weeks-old surgical wound and ejaculating into it. Thrilling.

    Christ.

  6. Natalia

    The sound you hear is me puking.

  7. The perfect gift for that boyfriend who loves to see you suffer : The Curvature

    [...] This is by far the most disturbing thing I’ve seen in a long time: on reasons why women might want to consider having her hymen surgically reconstructed. [...]

  8. INotI

    Say, is anyone making virgin-porn?

    Yes, they are. I’ve seen it and it’s deeply wierd.

  9. chaos

    I totally didn’t get the image association until I scrolled over the image source link, hehe love it
    maybe this will replace the whole piercing thing

  10. Sayrah

    Wow. Your comments to the original article were hilarious. But the subject itself.. Wow. Disgusting, to say the very least. I wrote my own blog about it, too.

  11. Denelian

    now, there’s class. and money. and too much time your hands.

    there is a perfect reply to this entire idea, written by Robert A. Heinlein, way to many years ago. it goes something like this:
    “Who the hell wants a virgin? scared, hurting, and no idea what to do?!”

    i always did wonder what guys saw in virginity – since they ALSO want a freaking tiger who knows how to do EVERYTHING in the sack.

    this entire world is bi-polar when it comes to sex

  12. How sick is that? at SoE in a new home

    [...] of the hymen has been around for some time but I didn’t know that the second defloration is even more painful than the first. Hymen repair surgery aims to enable a patient’s sexual partner to have “that thrilling [...]

  13. Ruth

    “Will. Never. Understand. The mindset.

    Understand why the women do it. Will never understand the cultural attitudes that drive them to it.

    Deliberately tearing open a weeks-old surgical wound and ejaculating into it. Thrilling.

    Christ”

    Agreed! Thank god there is at least one voice of indignation and reason. This is sick and sad.

    What a world we are living in.

  14. Angiportus

    Sickening, as I have said elsewhere. On one of the other blogs discussing this story, before I arrived,I think someone voiced what I had wondered about myself–that is, what if this sort of this was the diathesis for the horrors we read of in other cultures, clitoridectomies and so on–this procedure, if it becomes common, being the manure in which those weeds could grow. Should we be not only sickened but concerned?
    Thanks to all who have spoken out against this travesty.

  15. Alphonse

    Dear fucking god.

  16. Plastic Druid

    Not that it’s any excuse for inflicting suffering on another human being, but I believe it all comes back to the man fearing that if his partner compares him with other lovers he may be found wanting. If she’s only ever had sex with him then by definition he’s the best lover she has ever had (and simultaneously the worst, of course). Some guys just fear comparison in that department, probably with some justification if that’s how they show their ‘affection’.

    Nah, on second thoughts I still don’t. Understand. It.

  17. Fiore

    “i always did wonder what guys saw in virginity – since they ALSO want a freaking tiger who knows how to do EVERYTHING in the sack.

    this entire world is bi-polar when it comes to sex”

    Denelian–it’s a matter of conquest, a mindset I don’t agree with. They want to be the very first, because if (gasp!) you’ve ever had sex before, you’re now spoiled goods. It’s strange how the American culture mocks virginal men but praises virginity in women.

    On the bionic hymen issue? My only responce is ICK. I’d never do that. I’d never tell anyone else to do that. The forced piercing is worse, but only by a slim margin. Ick, ick, ICK.

  18. Kami

    I really don’t want to be in a relationship with any man who thinks of virgin sex as some kind of conquest. :/ My first time was excruciatingly painful, and it made my fiance feel terrible. Isn’t that how it should be? Being concerned about your lover’s pain, rather than haughty about the fact that you’ve “conquered” her?

    That’s just disgusting.

  19. thinking girl

    this has me so mad I can barely see straight to type this.

    this is not news to me. rehymenization surgery has even been referred to as “saving” women from violent retribution doled out by angry husbands whose wedding nights do not involve bloody sheets.

    what has me most furious is the ongoing assumption that women are chattel, as indicated by the use of the word “conquest” — ya know, like land gets conquered through war?

    Andrea Dworkin was so right — women’s bodies are a war zone.

  20. AlwaysGreedy

    tll b grt t hv th bnc hymn rgnrt tslf ftr ts bn brkn. ftr ll, f nc s fn, thn wkl rp wld b vn mr fn. Stm Clls nyn?! Dnt flm m – m jst n sprng cptlst pg.

    Moderator Note: this comment has been disemvoweled

  21. ApeLynn

    I didn’t bleed at all my first time. It hurt like hell, but there was absolutely no blood. I guess if I were alive when husbands would dole out said “violent retribution” for not seeing blood on the sheets when he first had sex with his new wife, I’d be bloodied and bruised, for no reason at all, even if it were my genuine first time having sex. This whole thing is sick and absurd.

  22. lynx

    yuck.

    i remember my first time we had to stop halfway through because it hurt her too much…. wasn’t too comfortable for me either, really. there’s no way in hell i’d ever want to go through that again, and i’m a guy fer chrissake. like seraph and others have said, pain is not sexy. if somebody’s getting hurt then there’s something wrong, and anyone that’d pay big money for an operation whose sole purpose is to hurt them and make them bleed during sex needs to have their f*cking head examined.

    so not cool.

  23. Kelly

    Honestly, what bothered me the most (aside from the obvious idiocy of such a thing) was how they kept referring to a woman “losing” her virginity as “deflowering,” as if some guy is reaching up there and grabbing a daisy or something.

  24. [drea]

    Operations like these, and the reasons for them do make me angry, but because I am fascinated by the psychology behind it I feel the need to analyze and over-analyze the whole thing.

    – The religious aspect disgusts me. I feel sorry for women who are forced to do this because they are punished for not being “proper” virgins.

    – As far as rape vitcims go, honestly I don’t think that it is the physical sensation of losing their virginity that they want to experience again with the person they truly want (I’m pretty sure most women would agree that losing their virginity was not their favorite physical experience) but it is the sense of power that they have in “giving” it, if you will, to the person they feel deserves it – in their case it was taken from them, without permission, and in the most horrible way. I can see why restoring their hymen would give them that sense of power back.

    – Breaking your hymen on accident (i.e. horseback riding, athletics, etc.) is outside of our control, if it means that much to the person to be able to lose her virginity the way she wants to, then the more power to her, because she is giving herself that power.

    – As for the rest, I think “losing” it again on your 20th anniversary completely loses meaning considering you “lost it” 20 years before – I don’t see how doing it again is celebratory of your time together, I think that’s kind of messed, actually – I feel that would be more of the husband’s fetish there than mutual celebration. For the “Ladies of the Night,” instead of criticizing them for getting a hymen restoration, why not be getting pissed about their lifestyle and how that reflects on our gender? I think their hymen restoration issues come second to that.

    Sorry for the rant, I was intrigued.

  25. Isaac

    I have a penis, so I probably can’t comment on this site.

    BUT, I think its strange when ‘women’s liberators’ come down harshly on practices of other women. If a woman wants her hymen reconstituted, so what? Why should we construct new modes for people to be, prescribe new modes for women, men, whoever, instead of just letting them be what they want?

    Just my two balls…i mean cents…

    Or, as the last comments says, ‘our gender.’ Why continue to use any concept that lumps people together in large groups, so that then you can prescribe behavior for them? Prostitutes are bad for women? Maybe its bad for them, maybe its good. But I think most people are smart enough to tell the difference between a prostitute and other women–that they don’t reflect the behavior, goals, abilities, etc. of all those who share their ‘gender.’

    [Moderator note: this poster's gravatar has been modified for our amusement]

  26. tigtog

    I’m curious, Isaac. Do you generally find that preemptive whining works for you?

    I’m not complaining, it certainly saves us time in sorting out your underlying attitudes, but I’m just wondering what you get out of it?

  27. Genevieve

    Firstly–I’m new to this site, and I’d never seen a disemvoweled comment before today, but damn are they fun to read out loud.

    Now onto the topic at hand.

    I think the idea that the attitude behind the existence of hymenoplasties is prevalent in modern western society is sickening. Don’t we live in advanced-enough nations where women can be measured by what’s between their ears rather than what’s between their legs? But no…

    I didn’t like losing my virginity, I didn’t like bleeding, but subsequent sexual encounters, I did like. Why the hell are women wanting to go through the painful stuff again just to fulfill a patriarchal ideal?

    That being said, I can understand the mindset of a woman in a NON-western, NON-advanced nation who knows that her non-virginal status could mean she would be shunned or killed. Did anyone else read Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns, where the (non-virginal and pregnant) Laila cut herself after sex with her new husband so that he’d think she was a virgin and not punish or kill her? Going through painful surgery has got to be better than getting killed–although living in a world where there are better options should be the real goal.

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