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  1. Darling, it's not a hymen, it's a 'vaginal corona' don't you know.

    1268097397
    Tigerlilies [sign in to see picture]
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    So the Sweedish Association for Sexuality Education has renamed the hymen the vaginal corona and their reasons are fascinating.

    Part of it is an attempt to 'dispel some of the myths surrounding the hymen and virginity.' A lot of which has harmed women for centuries, and still harming women across the world today.

    A member of the team is quoted as saying:

    It was portrayed as the boundary between guilt and innocence…girls have been raised to protect their hyman, not to run, jump, or ride horses. But in reality there is no membrane; rather there are folds of mucous membrane which form a crown around the vaginal opening.

    This scientist then explained that the eptymology of the word 'hymen' comes from the Greek word for membrane. However, unluke a fragile membrane the hymen appears to be multiple folds of mucous membrane and there's tremendous variation:

    Every woman's corona looks different - just like ear lobes, noses and labia - and differs in size, colour and shape... It is slightly pink, almost transparent, but if it's thicker it may look a little paler or whitish. It may resemble the petals of a rose or other flower, it may be carnation-shaped, or it may look like a jigsaw piece or half-moon.

    They are hoping that the traditional Sweedish term - mödomshinna- or 'virginity membrane' will no longer be favoured over the new word: krans, which refers to something shaped like a circle.

    The association also wants to communicate that the hymen has little to do with an indication of virginity, saying that that whilst the corona can experience trauma ,'breaking' in not the correct term:

    The vaginal corona is a permanent part of a woman's body throughout her life. It doesn't disappear after she first has sexual intercourse, and most women don't bleed the first time. The myths surrounding the hymen were created to control women's freedom and sexuality. The only way to counteract this is by disseminating knowledge.

    I think this could be comforting science to anyone who feels their experience of losing their viriginity didn't fit a 'standard' that involves pain, bleeding and physical change. And if they did, it's just part of a spectrum of possibilites.

    Semantics aside, does anyone have any opinions or experiences they would like to share about how we regard this tiny part of a woman to be so indicative of her sexuality and experience?

    I like that this study can also be enjoyed by anyone who feels that the definition of sex to be 'penis-enters-vagina' and *poof* you're not a virgin, to be a bit old hat. Albeit a standard, I think sex has a lot more to do with what's between your ears than your legs.

    I'm not the kind of person to get too fussed over a word but I think when it comes to sex, there are many words that influence how we think. The word 'hymen' for me always suggests there is something there that could and should be broken and again this feels outdated.

    I've always found it difficult to find research on this part of anatomy with more than a summary of 'it's a flap, your virginity etc, whatever.'

    Jezebel covered the story here: http://jezebel.com/5421674/rose-by-any-other-name-swedes-rename-the-hymen

    So, has your corona crossed your mind, OA?

    Tigerlilies

    1268097446
    Tigerlilies [sign in to see picture]
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    Tigerlilies wrote:

    The vaginal corona is a permanent part of a woman's body throughout her life. It doesn't disappear after she first has sexual intercourse, and most women don't bleed the first time. The myths surrounding the hymen were created to control women's freedom and sexuality. The only way to counteract this is by disseminating knowledge

    Dang, that should be in italics. Apologies for the inconsistency.

    1268099403
    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    I read about that in a Swedish/English website... No idea why I was there to be honest...

    Anyway, errrr... I've never thought about it much really... I remember when I was younger thinking

    "I don't want no women bleeding from the vag on me"

    Maybe less poetically... As a fella genitals and blood don't go together...

    As for the Swedes, well it sounds better doesn't it? mödomshinna or krans.

    The first really does remind me of Ikea..

    As for our word, well its like foreskin. It just sounds rubbish and not very sexy either. I may have more enlightenment when I've got Libertarian arguments against taxation out my head...

    1268099931
    Tigerlilies [sign in to see picture]
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    Libertarians? Oh brother, anyone who sees taxation as a violent act is a barrel full of monkeys at a dinner party that's for sure.

    I remember so many young women I schooled with expecting to experience some apocolyptic torrent of blood, a la elevator doors opening in The Shining, when they first had sex.. And those who had read The Bell Jar were very hard to console....

    1268100218
    Alicia D'amore [sign in to see picture]
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    I will do more research on this when I have the time but it all looks very interesting!

    I never really thought much of the hymen - never really knew anything about it....I was told "riding a horse can lose your virginity" but I never really considered why (I was an innocent child) and then I met WandA and he taught me everything in a more mature way and the hymen didn't come up all that much. I assumed mine had gone already and I didn't bleed the first time I had sex....hurt like a bugger though, shame that bit never stopped!

    Never considered it really, I knew it was all taboos and misconceptions in other cultures but I guess I saw it as more psychological than physical.

    I'm going to do more research on exactly what a hymen/"vaginal corona" is later, I have a suspiscion I've noticed mine before recently and if it's lower than we're lead to believe perhaps I can find it...further research is required - which will involve a mirror, lube and fingers....watch this space haha!

    Ax

    1268100820
    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    More specifically why 'Taxation is equivalent to forced labour'... Some good points but I sorted that with a lovely social contract argument!

    On to Rawls now... he's much nicer!

    I'm a modern male... but not that modern!

    It might be natural, womanly etc...But its still red and bloody...

    1268100997
    WandA [sign in to see picture]
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    AdnaW wrote:

    .further research is required - which will involve a mirror, lube and fingers....watch this space haha!

    Ax

    Not just the space I'll be watching...

    1268101237
    Tigerlilies [sign in to see picture]
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    WandA wrote:

    It might be natural, womanly etc...But its still red and bloody...

    Whimp.

    But honestly I think men are to shouted down if they're confused or worried about certain stirrings down below. Women can be just as daunted by the thought of ejaculation or the very act of a penis becoming erect.

    My friends who reported a proper bleeding scenario are very limited. And most experienced this during play that came before penetration with the penis. I think a lot of times first time sex is painful for psychological reasons or because virgins so often don't respect how long sufficient lubrication can take to be comfortable. If it's a physical thing, it's usually not limited to that one time.

    A girl I know had anal sex long before her vagina was brought in on the action. Not sure where she would be placed in the virginity stakes......

    1268131484
    Puppies77 [sign in to see picture]
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    Ok im 32 and have just realised i know nothing about the hymen

    Bit confusing really, how is it with us all our lives??

    When i was young i explored myself with my home made dildo, it wasn't thick and i never felt pain. When I first had sex it hurt a lot and i had a pink discharge.

    A few q's for you...

    Where is it, as in how high up?

    How does ya period come through it?

    Does it actually exist? The pain when you have sex could just be because ya vagina is not used to being spread width ways.....like having a baby, the opening (or exit in the baby's case) hurts and a woman needs to pant to let it stretch enough for the head to come out.

    I'm going to need to do some reaserch

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    sweetlove666 [sign in to see picture]
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    Puppies77 wrote:

    How does ya period come through it?

    i was told a long time ago that it dosent fully cover the vaginal opening, so you can bleed through it.

    the first time i had sex i did bleed, but it was the fact i was due on and he hit my cervix several times ... hard ><

    i've never really thought about the hymen really. but then again i was never told the myths about it being so indicative of virginity.

    1268138518
    Lou232 [sign in to see picture]
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    This is really interesting and also quite scary - in many cultures a woman MUST bleed to prove she is a virgin on her wedding night. There are currently plastic surgeons who offer a "restoral of virginity" type op that moves a vein across the opening so bleeding will occur. I think it's pretty common in the Muslim community in areas like the Netherlands as they want to be free to have sex, but then worry when they get married. Tis pretty sick really. I feel so sorry that they are that scared about the whole thing.

    Frankly I was never that fussed about it- the first time I had sex I had no pain and no bleeding. But then I was always running, cycling, horse riding etc as a child so it's likely that if there was anything to break, it was long long gone. And no one ever told me to worry, which helped.

    I don't get the big deal about being a virgin. I told the OH simply because I felt that he needed to know so he could be gentle and slow with me until I was OK with it. I mean, a penis does look pretty huge when erect and nervousness can make things bad. But otherwise, what is the big deal? There are some girls I knew who refused to use tampons in case they stopped being virgins. In my opinion, virginity is overrated. Yeah the "first" thing is alright, but frankly I'd prefer experience and confidence. Plus there are so many types of virginity - why would a little tear (if at all) make a difference?

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