AAR
Click here for full forums index
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 
 
Romance and the virginity myth
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AAR Forum Index -> Romance Potpourri Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Charlotte McClain



Joined: 04 Oct 2008
Posts: 396
Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:40 pm    Post subject: Slightly off topic Reply with quote

This is slightly off topic, but I remember when I was researching this whole thing years ago reading about the reason nobles were allowed to have sex with a bride before her husband. It wasn't just nobles taking advantage of things originally, but because men were so scared of what was "down there." The gentry was supposed to be so much braver and stronger that they could handle it. *snort*
_________________
Angsty romance with scattered humor.
My Faux Website
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1691

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read a lot of romance novels in my teens and so expected the first time to be bloody and painful... but although it was uncomfortable there was not a single drop of blood involved! Talk about disappointment Laughing

The hymen is fragile and can be destroyed by tampons or exercise (that's probably what happened to me).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1691

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 4:24 pm    Post subject: Re: So I'm not a total weirdo Reply with quote

Charlotte McClain wrote:
veasleyd1 wrote:

With all due respect to the author of the above blog, although it didn't hurt much, I bled like a stuck pig, all the way through the sheet and mattress pad, a puddle the size of a dinner plate.


Okay, I'm not a deformed weirdo. I also had pain and it wasn't right at the point of entry. When I wrote the one virgin sex scene I have written, I based it on my own experience.


It's fine as long as you don't write it from the POV of man who feels some "barrier" (I'm pretty sure the men usually don't feel any barrier and are probably more concerned with the vagina being very tight Rolling Eyes )
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: Romance and the virginity myth Reply with quote

Sterling_95 wrote:
I'm not referring to the number of untouched women in romance, or even the number of multi-orgasmic virgins, I'm talking about the misconception of what virginity actually is. Evey biology textbook says that the hyman is a thin membrane that stretches across the opening of the vagina. Yet every romance - and I am saying EVERY romance - operates under the assumption that the hymen is some sort of bubble that's halfway up the vagina. Read a deflowering scene and the author is sure to talk about the hero "easing in until he felt the thin barrier/shield of her virginity". This is medically impossible, but even the more realistic romances operate under this myth. I'm frankly baffled as to the popularity of this myth and where it got started.


+IHS+

Well, now I feel like the total weirdo, because I hadn't known that about the hymen until I read it here. Embarassed

My own experience has been limited to using tampons. I mean, if that membrane a few inches in that keeps the tampon from going all the way in isn't the hymen, then what is it? Confused
_________________
"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: Romance and the virginity myth Reply with quote

Schola wrote:

My own experience has been limited to using tampons. I mean, if that membrane a few inches in that keeps the tampon from going all the way in isn't the hymen, then what is it? Confused


It's that funny little bump, whatever it may be called, in those black-and-white drawings I referred to. It's not a membrane that tears. Im told that it's more like the palate in the back of your throat -- it's floppy and will allow itself to be pushed around.

Virginia
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Gail K.



Joined: 19 May 2007
Posts: 1292

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anatomically, the hymenal tags encircle the vaginal opening. Externally. Remnant of embryonic development.

So it is probably men with certain, um, girth, rather than length, that make the most impact. Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2476

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 10:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking for this male only, it did feel llike a barrier and breaking through it had an emotional impact of considerable power. Romance authors get that right, as far as I'm concerned, regardless of its location.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Natalie



Joined: 25 Mar 2007
Posts: 1691

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
Speaking for this male only, it did feel llike a barrier and breaking through it had an emotional impact of considerable power. Romance authors get that right, as far as I'm concerned, regardless of its location.


That's not what I've been told (I mean the barrier, not the emotional impact). But it's good if it's true at least for some men.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1534

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I ponder this question a lot. Okay, I have waaaaay too much time on my hands. Laughing But here we have an entire much-loved genre full of themes and cliches and tropes and what have you that are largely based on a fallacy. How many scenes are there in which the hero discovering the membrane/absence of membrane is a huge climactic plot-defining moment? More than we could count. You pretty much just have to let them flow over you, if you're going to enjoy reading romance at all.

What I often wonder is when this idea got started and whether it's had any real life implications for people. Was a bloody marriage bed really expected and what happened when it probably wasn't delivered? Did men really expect to be able to "tell" and what happened when they probably couldn't?
_________________
"'Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,' Wren said. 'It's the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.'" -- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

willaful wrote:
Was a bloody marriage bed really expected and what happened when it probably wasn't delivered?


First half of question. Yes. In some areas of Greece and southern Italy, it was the custom to hang the bloody sheets out the window of the bridal chamber the morning after.

Second half of question. In many rural regions, at least, the bride was provided with the neck of a recently slaughtered and not-yet-entirely-bled-out chicken to shake onto the sheets.

After all, the groom didn't want to be embarrassed by the public announcement that he had acquired a non-virgin bride, either.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lynn M



Joined: 09 Apr 2007
Posts: 60

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's rather frightening - in the real world and in romanclandia - are the countless virgins who were thought to be "impure" on their wedding nights when the husband expected a barrier but didn't find one.

And I'll admit, I'm an educated female who honestly didn't know that the hymen was located at the entrance rather than up a bit higher. This entire thread has been very illuminating!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
willaful



Joined: 02 Jan 2008
Posts: 1534

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lynn M wrote:
What's rather frightening - in the real world and in romanclandia - are the countless virgins who were thought to be "impure" on their wedding nights when the husband expected a barrier but didn't find one.


Yes, that's exactly what I wonder about. Did that really happen and what happened next?

Another misconception I see a lot in romance is the idea that length of pregnancy is counted from conception. I don't know if it's different elsewhere or has changed over time, but in the US for the last 20 years at the very least, it's counted from the last period. I keep seeing plots that hinge on that fallacy, too and have to let them flow over me. Laughing
_________________
"'Happily ever after, or even just together ever after, is not cheesy,' Wren said. 'It's the noblest, like, the most courageous thing two people can shoot for.'" -- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1410

PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 10:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have read that plastic surgeons, especially in Asia, often "restore" a ruptured hymen, so it's clear that the importance of the hymen is still alive and well. I'm sure we've all read about the terrible honor killings of girls who have premarital sex in the Mid-East.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Schola



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 1867

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

willaful wrote:
Lynn M wrote:
What's rather frightening - in the real world and in romanclandia - are the countless virgins who were thought to be "impure" on their wedding nights when the husband expected a barrier but didn't find one.


Yes, that's exactly what I wonder about. Did that really happen and what happened next?


Something which started making sense to me after I this thread was posted was St. Augustine's description of the hymen as a "veil" for the female reproductive organs. Why would a veil be three inches in, I thought. Well, now I see . . . Laughing

Anyway, St. Augustine also wrote a bit about virgins who had their hymens torn by midwives, saying that of course they were still virgins, so I'm sure there were a reasonable number of enlightened men in the past.
_________________
"To be in a romance is to be in uncongenial surroundings. To be born into this earth is to be born into uncongenial surroundings, hence to be born into a romance." (G.K. Chesterton)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Lynda X



Joined: 05 Apr 2007
Posts: 1410

PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Schola wrote, "Anyway, St. Augustine also wrote a bit about virgins who had their hymens torn by midwives, saying that of course they were still virgins, so I'm sure there were a reasonable number of enlightened men in the past."

I'm not clear here, Schola. Did St. Augustine mean that the midwives tore the hymens of the virgins when they were newborns, or was he saying that when delivering a virgin birth (which, I assume he would believe happened only once), that the midwives tore the hymen? If it is the first, why would midwives be doing anything to a newborn girl like that? Is it part of the delivery of a daughter to make sure that the baby's canal is open? Is this checking standard procedure of having a girl baby, especially in the past in a time without surgery?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    AAR Forum Index -> Romance Potpourri Forum All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3  Next
Page 2 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group