Intact Hymen

Dear Rachel and Claire,
My girlfriend and I are shopping for dildos for the first time.  While we have much enjoyed your catalog, it still leaves us with one question.  I have an intact hymen, and don't really know what kind of dildo to get.  I  find it uncomfortable to be penetrated by more than one finger at a time. Should I get a very small dildo that wont hurt, or should I get a larger one on the just go for it and open it up theory?
Thanks a lot,

Intact Hymen

A:

Dear Intact,

I'm definitely not into the “just go for it and open it up” approach.  I think it’s important for everyone to choose sex toys that will feel good, not painful. In your case that would mean choosing a smaller dildo (perhaps a Hot Rod #1). You may find that your hyman stretches a little more, without you having to grit your teeth and suffer, during the course of enjoyable penetration.  When you are very turned on already, and using lots of lube, have your lover try using more than one finger, or maybe sliding a finger in alongside the dildo.  If it hurts, stop and go back to something that feels good.   

Hymens not only tear, they also stretch. It's not like a smooth sheet of Saran Wrap that gets punctured once, definitively and that's it. The membrane of the hymen may be perforated in multiple places and is attached to the vagina at various places along it's edge.  Imagine the opening of the vagina as a clock face.  The hymen could be mostly stretched open on one section of the vagina, say between 8 & 4, and still taut across the smaller area between 4 & 8.  Then one day during penetration at just the right angle or in just the right way, the hymen may tear or stretch a little more, so that it becomes open all the way from 8 to 5.  According to experts the hymen becomes a little tougher and harder to tear or stretch as we become older, and some women do have their doctor’s surgically remove the hymen.   

Another way that the hymen differs from Saran Wrap is that it may be a site of a lot of sexual pleasure and build-up of sexual tension.  I was very surprised when my hymen tore further open at the age of 33, and saddened at first when I realized I had lost some sensation.  I think that the tightness had felt good to me-- penetration was like a bow across the strings.  Of course it's also fun to be able to play with bigger toys. The point is, enjoy what you've got while you've got it, and enjoy what's next when it comes.

Have fun,
Rachel