7 virginity myths and the facts behind them

Virginity has more than one definition, because it isn’t a medical concept. A lack of sex education has resulted in a lot of misinformation about what virginity is, and who is or isn’t a virgin. Here are 7 common myths about virginity, and the facts behind them.

Myth: Virginity is “either/or”

People often talk about virginity like it has a fixed definition. But virginity means different things to different people. For example, some believe that they are virgins until they’ve had penetrative sex, while others argue that oral sex, manual sex (fingering, hand job), or anal sex counts.

Most people who’ve experienced sexual abuse as virgins often question their virginity. In this case, the same principle applies. You need to define virginity for yourself. For example, you can define it as ‘I am still a virgin until I consent to sex, regardless of my past sexual trauma’.

Myth: Any kind of penetration counts

This is completely false Choma, you can’t lose your virginity by using a tampon or menstrual cup.

Myth: Doctors can tell if you’re a virgin

There’s no way for a traditional or medical doctor to tell whether you’re a virgin or not. Some think that doctors can tell whether someone with a vagina has had sex by looking at their hymen (a thin bit of skin tissue that partially covers the vaginal opening) and seeing if it’s been torn. But this is completely untrue.

During puberty, hymens become more elastic. Hymens can tear for all sorts of reasons, not just by having sex. 

Myth: Partners can tell

Sexual partners can’t tell whether you’re a virgin or not. It’s normal not to bleed the first time you have sex (a common misconception made by partners) and vaginas don’t “get loose” from having sex. The only way your partner or anyone will know if you’re a virgin, is if you tell them.

Myth: Virgins will bleed their first time

While it’s true that some people with vaginas bleed during sex, it’s definitely not a given.  Most women’s hymens don’t actually tear during sex, they stretch. A lot of girls have been taught that their “first time” will be painful and involve blood, which isn’t true for everyone.

Myth: After you’ve “lost” your virginity, sex is no big deal

Most people believe that after their first time, sex isn’t a big deal. But that’s not true. Just because you’ve given consent once doesn’t mean that you have to have sex again, until you feel ready.

People choose to have sex for all sorts of reasons, and they choose to stop having sex for all sorts of reasons too, and that’s okay. Whether you choose to wait a few months or years before having sex again, it’s always a significant moment that should happen only when you feel comfortable with it.

The definition of virginity differs from person to person. If you’re still feeling confused about what virginity means to you, you can always send me a text.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send a Facebook message or a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).