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Dirty Laundry: Homily on the hymen and competitive sex noises

By Apartment613 on January 9, 2012

Photo courtesy of Jessica Ruano.

A professional sexual health educator with an alarming lack of tact, Nadine Thornhill is used to airing out other people’s unmentionables. Dirty Laundry runs once each month on Apt613. To ask your questions, or to say hello to Nadine, contact her

Dear Dirty Laundress,

Can you please provide me some details about how to break the virginity of girl at first? What is the distance of hymen/virginity from the opening of hymen, please tell me in inches, is it 2 inch or….?

How I should deal with a girl since she doesn’t spread her legs while having sex. She has been always scaring from its pain??

Can you also tell me, how much size of a man’s penis is enough/required to be entered inside, so that virginity of a girl can be broken or torn? 

I will be really appreciative and thankful if you could help in this matter.

Human genetalia and what we do with it is complex and individual and the hymen is no exception. The hymen is a thin membrane found at the opening of the vagina. If it hasn’t been ruptured or dissolved, you can see it. According to sexual lore, hymens remain intact until the person “loses their virginity” through penetrative vaginal sex. Sometimes this does occur; however, hymens are like snowflakes. No two are quite the same.

You’ve used the term “virginity” and “hymen” interchangeably, so I’d like to address that first. Virginity is the state of never having had sex. It is impossible to determine a person’s virginity based on the presence or absence of a hymen. Hymens can rupture or dissolve at any point in a person’s life from exercise or other vigorous activity. Conversely, some hymens remain intact through penetrative sex. And some people are born with partial hymens or without a hymen at all. Some people experience bleeding or pain or both when their hymen is broken. Some people feel nothing. Some people don’t even know it’s happened.  All of this to say that the hymen doesn’t really have anything to do with virginity, so don’t get too hung up on it.

Meanwhile, I’d say the bigger concern is your partner and her fears around sex and pain. Assure your partner that there is absolutely no pressure for her to do anything she doesn’t want to do. If she’s not comfortable parting her legs during sex, let her know that you will respect that. A guide on sexual positions may help you if you’re not sure how to enjoy penetrative sex with closed legs. Make sure she knows that she can slow down, take a break or stop altogether if she feels any discomfort.

Pain during sex can happen for a number of reasons, but one of the more common causes is insufficient arousal. Take the time to make sure your partner is really turned on. Touch her anywhere and everywhere that feels good. If the two of you are comfortable talking about it, ask her to tell you what feels good for her and what turns you on. You can even ask her to masturbate and show you how she likes to be touched.

Lubrication can also help make penetration much more comfortable. You can buy a small bottle of water-based lube from an adult store or pharmacy.

Finally, concentrate your efforts on making sex enjoyable for you and your partner. Virginity and the loss of virginity are significant aspects of some people’s sexual experience, which is fine. But sometimes we can be so focused on a single sexual goal that we forget about the pleasure and intimacy sex can bring. Remember, sex is not a test.

Dear Dirty Laundress;

I’ve moved into an apartment that I absolutely love. It’s perfect. The only thing that bothers me is that I can hear my upstairs neighbours “doing the deed”. While I know that it’s common to overhear a couple every now and again, this particular couple has loud sex several nights a week. They are loud enough to wake me up out of a sound sleep. I know intimate details of their love life. Things that neighbours should never know. How do I tactfully let this couple know that they are being a little too loud? Do I even bring it up?


Sleepless and Shy

I’m all for passionate noisemaking when the spirits (or your vibrator) move you, but you have a right to a good night’s sleep without the specifics of your neighbour’s dalliances dancing in your head.

I’m not sure how well you know your neighbours, but if you’re comfortable having a conversation with them, I think you’re perfectly within your rights to politely ask them to keep it down. Don’t delve into specifics, don’t accuse and keep it light. Something like, “I don’t mean to eavesdrop, but the lack of insulation between our units makes it difficult, if you know what I mean.”  If face to face feels too personal, you could also leave a note to the same effect. You could also ask your landlord to bring the noise issue to your neighbours’ attention.

If you’re not comfortable confronting the cacophony, you can take matters into your own hands. There are special soundproofing panels and even paints that can be applied to walls or ceilings. White noise machines, music or even a simple set of earplugs may help drown out the moaning and groaning from above.

Some will say that the best solution is to fight fire with fire with some lascivious caterwauling of your own; however in my experience, competitive sex noises are never tactful and rarely effective.

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