Covering the opening of the vagina, the hymen is a thin layer of skin that can be torn or stretched open with penetration. Found about half an inch inside the vagina, the hymen has tiny holes and a small opening in the centre that allows for menstrual flow. Sometimes the tearing of the hymen can be uncomfortable and cause bleeding. But other times, you might not even notice when it happens. Masturbation , using tampons, and even rigorous activity like horse riding, dancing, riding a bike, and other sports may stretch the hymen before vaginal sex and can cause rupture or tearing. So yes — the hymen can definitely be torn without losing your virginity.
pop the cherry
Breaking the Hymen: 9 Facts about Hymens and "Virginity" | Teen Vogue
We suppose you could technically pop a cherry by squashing the stone fruit, but the slang expression pop the cherry means to "lose one's virginity" or "do something one has never done before. Cherries as a sexual metaphor are suggested as early as the s—though fruit in general has long been sexual, if you look to, say, the forbidden fruit in the biblical Garden of Eden. Popped your cherry. Still, the phrase has a playfulness and youthfulness. The figurative pop the cherry sees fairly common use, especially conveying a sense of initiation into a new enterprise or the first time experiencing something exciting.
Popping your cherry
The concept of " virginity " for people with vaginas has a complicated history, and has often been incorrectly linked to breaking the hymen. Bleeding after sexual intercourse was incorrectly thought to be proof of an unbroken hymen, and thus, proof that a person had not had sex before. The reality, however, is that the state of your hymen has nothing to do with sexual activity. With the help of Dr. Jessica Shepherd , a board-certified ob-gyn and a spokesperson for Paragard, and Alexandra Eisler , a health and sex educator from Healthy Teen Network, we're going to separate fact from fiction and explain what a hymen is, how a hymen breaks, and its complicated relationship with the historical concept of virginity.
Skip navigation! Story from Sex School. Maybe you first heard about "popping the cherry" on the bus to middle school. And ever since, you've always had some vague idea that a hymen is this thing inside your vagina that polices your virginity.