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Can you lose your virginity to a finger — or to a tampon, or a mountain bike, for that matter? Let's talk about that. 

Virginity is an awkward subject, not in the least because so much emphasis has been placed on the presence of an intact hymen in conservative cultures ever since the middle ages.

 

The presence of the hymen, a membrane expected to cover a good portion of the vaginal opening, is meant to signify honor and chastity, proof that a particular woman or girl has not sexually been touched by a man. 

 

The expectation that a girl or woman would rupture her hymen upon first sexual intercourse — usually on her wedding night — and that this would be accompanied by observable bleeding, has been an integral part of this concept of virginity.

Is this a little bit outdated? Absolutely.

Hymens Come In All Different Kinds, And They Don't Always Rupture

Hymens come in all different kinds.

Some cover the vaginal opening completely, while others leave only a tiny hole that doesn't allow for the insertion of a tampon. Both of these require surgery.

Some are thick and nearly impenetrable, while others are thin and devoid of the blood vessels that would lead to bleeding, meaning they rupture but don't bleed.

Some are so flexible that they never rupture at all, even after their owners have been through a vaginal birth or two, while others are so fragile that they spontaneously rupture during a gym class. 

 When you look at the facts, it quickly becomes apparent that the condition of a female's hymen — intact or not — doesn't have all that much to do with whether she has had sexual relations at all. If it wasn't for cultural norms, we could take the hymen out of the discussion of whether a female is a virgin or not altogether. 

So, Can You Lose Your Virginity To A Finger?

Women and girls who have never had vaginal sexual intercourse with a man have often been defined as virgins. If you agree with this definition, then no, you can't lose your virginity to a finger. If you believe you lose your virginity the moment your hymen ruptures, however, you can. 

 

Virginity is, you see, a social rather than a biological construct.

 

If you are not sure whether that is true, just ask yourself whether there is a universal definition of what it means. Are you still a virgin if you kissed someone? What about non-vaginal intercourse? What about non-penile vaginal intercourse? Different people will answer these questions rather differently. 

That can mean one of two things. If you live in a culture that doesn't place a high emphasis on remaining a virgin until your wedding night, you get to decide what virginity means (if anything!) all by yourself. If you do live in such a culture or sub-culture, and you are expected to bleed on your wedding day, you may be in need of medical assistance in the form of hymenoplasty (hymen reconstruction surgery) whether or not you have had sexual intercourse. If you can't prove that your hymen is intact, you may, after all, have difficulty convincing others that it wasn't a finger (likely socially unacceptable) but vigorous physical activity that caused your hymen to break. 

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