The Anatomy of Self-Pleasure

Let’s talk, for a second, about vaginas and their anatomy

Part 1

The Hymen

~ part 2. Vulva & Clitoris, part 3. Self-Pleasure(s) ~

Everyone on the internet is an expert, given that they google enough of the said subject. And so, they express their opinions and give advice that is “set in stone”. They only know what works for them or those they know about. All while ignoring so many individual situations.

It would appear that there is ample confusion surrounding the idea of using a vibrator when you’re a virgin (i.e you haven’t had penetrative, penis to vagina, sex - although the concept of virginity is more complex than that).

Gynecologist Deborah Wilson explains virginity for Insider  "If being a virgin means that a [person] has an intact hymen, the ring of tissue that circles the opening of the vagina, then using vibrators (or even tampons) can stretch or rupture the hymen, hence make them lose virginity". However, "If virginity means that you have never had intercourse, then the answer is no, you didn’t lose your virginity.”

On our website, we make the recommendation for the vibrator to be used (for the insertion mode) by those that have had penetrative sex at least once. While the suction function can be used regardless - as a recommendation (and not as a set in stone rule) that everyone should follow or not, because we want to respect everyone’s principles and beliefs.

Virginity is more of a social construct, and not a medical condition, as explained by the center for Planned Parenthood. The concept of virginity is complex. So, whether or not you should think of yourself as a ‘virgin’ after masturbating depends more on your own definition of what virginity truly means. 

The Hymen

Our bodies are different, and they manifest themselves differently too. This means that the hymen’s shape is different from one body to another.

The hymen is a thin membrane that surrounds the opening to the vagina. Hymens have different shapes, yet, quite often, they're shaped like a crescent moon. This allows your period blood to flow freely out from your vagina, as US-based Center for Young Women's Health's guide explains.

However, there are exceptions from this half-moon shape, that, if not aware of, can cause some serious discomfort, if not even pain when (in the case of our topic) a vibrator would be inserted.

Some hymenal membranes have a band of extra skin stretching across the middle, creating two small openings rather than one. That’s a septate hymen. Along with it, there are other hymen abnormality some women experience.

Hymens can also be imperforatemicroperforated or cribriform. An imperforate hymen is where the vagina is totally, rather than partially, covered by an intact hymen, says consultant gynecologist Dr. Caroline Overton for BBC.

That being said, those for whom virginity is playing an important role, based on their culture, religion, or personal principles, need to be aware that the hymen (that virginity is associated generally with, but not necessarily being true) can be torn or stretched (depending on each body’s anatomy) even though some physical exercise as well as by inserting fingers or a vibrator (that actually emulates the shape and size of a penis), explains The Centre for Planned parenthood.

So how then virginity is (or not) connected to having a hymen?

To a number of people, having a stretched hymen (colloquially also called “broken”, yet not necessarily accurate) means that virginity is lost. However, having a hymen and being a virgin is not automatically the same thing, because as mentioned earlier, some are naturally open, others need to be surgically opened (i.e. imperforated hymen) and others may have them stretched because of some physical activities.

Some may tear or stretch their hymen by inserting a tampon for the first time, masturbating with fingers, or using a sex toy, even playing sports like gymnastics, soccer, or horseback riding can tear the hymen. For more clarity,  Go Ask Alice!, Columbia University’s Health Q&A Internet Resource.

However, there seems to be, even among experts, a discussion about whether a hymen (or vaginal corona) can be stretched through physical activities. Anna Knöfel Magnusson, a Swedish researcher at RSFU, argues that “since the vaginal corona isn’t a brittle membrane, physical exercise doesn’t affect it”.

Sexual intercourse may stretch the hymen to make a larger opening or may cause a tiny tear or change in the shape of the hymen – sometimes this is called “breaking” the hymen, but it doesn’t really break, it only stretches.

Hence, if you heard of the phrase “pop your cherry” as an indication to a girl losing her virginity, it’s technically inaccurate because your hymen never technically "pops", according to Medical Daily.

Alexandra Eisler, a health and sex educator from Healthy Teen Network emphasizes that virginity, is an important concept to many people, and hence it’s important to know that your hymen can stretch or tear or easily rub away (including when using an insertion vibrator).

However, she also states that even for those that this social construct is important, the phrase “losing one’s virginity” it’s not accurate either, because you don’t lose anything, you don’t become less of a person because of it. It doesn't add or take away value.

What’s the conclusion then, when it comes to using a vibrator?

In the light of all the experts and platforms we referenced above, we encourage you to learn about your anatomy that will help you understand and highlight your own pleasure. Your hymen’s (or vaginal corona) “behavior” is a highly individual experience. And ultimately, you shall be the only one who decides what to do with your body, while you educate and understand all the effects to follow. Respecting your life principles, culture and believes, along with educating and getting to know your own body, we aim to help you understand it better.

After all, there is something utterly satisfying in being able to take control of your own pleasure and being able to experience a mind-shattering orgasm whenever you want.

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