A great number of us are in the business (particularly when writing historical) of describing the de-virginization of heroines.
Of course the traditional description is a rupturing of tissue, which leaves a little blood. An initial pain, followed by pleasure.
But really, how true is this to life? I know I didn’t bleed.
Hymen derives from the Greek for “membrane”. In ancient times, in many cultures, men were expected to produce bloody sheets to prove his new bride had been a virgin and that he had consummated the marriage. The truth, according to Michael Castleman in Psychology Today, is that females are born with a donut-shaped membrane. During childhood, most of the hymenal tissue wears away as a result of washing, walking, athletics and masturbation.
In most women, by adolescence, the hymen has worn away enough to prevent pain during intercourse, tampon insertion, etc. So why does first intercourse tend to hurt? According to Castleman, it may be the myth of the painful hymen rupture and the anxiety accompanying it.
I didn’t bleed, but I do remember discomfort. Not just the first time, but for the first few years of sexual activity. What I didn’t realize then was the importance of lubrication. I was on the pill, which turns you into the Sahara down there. And I did notice how much my brain space was involved with whether sex brought pleasure or discomfort. Back then, it was always that mixture of pleasure and pain (much like anal now?) and I soon realized if I followed the sensation of pain, it would be painful. If I followed the sensation of pleasure, it would be pleasurable.
How about you?
I’m curious what the percentage of actual bleeders are? Castleman suggests it’s largely a myth, but because it was culturally so important, brides may have used a fingernail to scratch themselves to produce the requisite blood!
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