Q&A: The Truth About Hymens & Sex

Hi Sh! Team!

I’m from Indonesia. I am very interested in women empowerment, especially in sexual empowerment. I’d been brainwashed by my family’s custom and religion; leaving me sexually devastated cause I haven’t found a husband to channel everything yet. I actually had a boyfriend (whom I broke up with last August) that was interested in the same stuff I was. Anyway, we did some heavy petting and fingering. And I think my hymen was kinda torn? It’s not fully gone but I’m pretty sure the (used to be) small hole had gotten bigger. If only the tip of the penis and two fingers (index and middle ones) had entered the lobby (?) of my vagina, can I still be considered as a virgin?

Thank you so much.

Patiently waiting for your input (ha),
Moderately religious girl.

Hello there, 

Many thanks for your question – it’s an interesting one. 

A virgin is someone who has never had sex, but this is quite a tricky concept as people define “sex” differently.

There is no one definition of what sex is or isn’t. For some people, sex is penis-in-the-vagina. For others, it’s oral sex, or anal sex, or kinky sex… A woman who has satisfying sexual activity on a regular basis, but chooses to not have anything inserted into her vagina, is she a virgin? She probably wouldn’t label herself a virgin as she is having the kind of sex that she wants to have, instead of the kind of sex she doesn’t want (penis/toys/fingers inserted into her vagina).

There are others who believe that it depends on consent, i.e wanting and agreeing to have sex. This means that women who have been forced to have sex can still be virgins, and will remain so until they choose to have consensual sex.

And yet another version: a woman who has never had penis-in-vagina sex, but regularly masturbates with an insertable vibrator or dildo. She may have had the toy inside, but for her, this may have no bearing on whether she defines herself to be a virgin or not…

Is virginity a state of mind?

The hymen is a membrane that surrounds or partially covers the outside of the vaginal canal. The hymen can be thin and stretchy, or thick and somewhat rigid; or it may also be completely absent. The hymen can stretch or tear as a result of a range of activities such as gymnastics, horseback riding or inserting fingers.

It is quite possible that your play has stretched your hymen, but it is equally possible that it has been “broken” by other activities – and it is just as possible that it is still intact. 

With all this in mind, if we were to ask you if consider yourself to be a virgin, what would your answer be?


We understand that your background may require you to (seemingly) remain a virgin until you marry, but in our opinion, it is up to each individual to make a choice about having or not having sex and defining their virginity.

A woman’s body should always be her own, and it is not shameful to find sexual play intriguing and pleasurable. Quite the opposite – it is something to be celebrated! 

This YouTube clip is both funny and informative, and sheds light on what the hymen really is.

We hope this helps!

Love, Team Sh! xx

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