Naked_womanAfter years of believing that we should be waxing, shaving and douching our vaginas to make them more pleasant and attractive, it appears many women are now buying into the fact that their vagina should also appear as untouched as they once originally were. Many women are now taking a step beyond the title of “born again virgin” and seeking out invasive surgery so that they physically resemble an actual virgin.  “Hymenoplasty” or “Hymen Reconstruction Surgery” is surgical reconstruction of the hymen.  The hymen is a thin layer of mucous membrane that covers the vagina.  Although the hymen is usually broken during a woman’s first act of sexual intercourse, in actuality the hymen is so thin that it can be broken by a variety of activities including the insertion of items into the vagina such as tampons or even something as simple as riding a bike.  With this said, the hymen isn’t conclusive evidence of a woman’s virginity. In many cultures and religions, virginity is sacred and many suitors look upon women who are no longer virgins with shame and disdain.  Women in many cultures are often disowned by their families and even put to death in some cases for engaging in sexual activity before marriage.  But why in a country whose media is saturated with sexual connotation and carnal images of the female form are women seeking to be revirginized? After childbirth and frustrated sweats from Kegel exercises, some women desire the tightening of the vaginal canal to enhance sexual pleasure.  Other women just want a gift to give to their husband for their 17th wedding anniversary (because a gold watch just doesn’t adequately express “I love you.”) What exactly does a few thousand dollars buy besides 5 seconds of unmatched pleasure for your mate (and 5 seconds of immense pain for you)?  Well, a hymenoplasty is procedure done under general anesthesia and takes up to about an hour. The fragments of a broken hymen are made raw again using a laser which cuts and cauterizes at the same time.  The fragments are then stitched together again leaving only the small opening that’s associated with virginity. Patients are then asked to refrain from penetration for up to three months after the procedure.  Complications can include scarring, infection decreased genital and clitoral sensation. nudepicHold onto to your “hell no’s”: In 2010, the procedure grew in such popularity at two New York clinics that the price was lowered to $1800, and good luck on seeking out laws and licenses regarding the procedure, since none are required for any kind of novel surgery.  Operations are often performed by private practices and paid in full by the patient.  Some religious groups are appalled and protest the idea of women being able to purchase artificial virginity. In addition to hymenoplasty, other vaginal surgeries have recently become available such as labiaplasty which reduces the size of the vaginal lips.  Labiaplasty is performed to eliminate the pain that can come from painful intercourse associated with elongated labia minor or labia majora, but is usually done for cosmetic reasons.   Several vagina tightening creams are available on the market for ladies who desire a little more friction with their fornication.  Many of these creams aren’t approved by the FDA and include herbs such as manjiki and aloe which are said to help tighten the vagina when applied up to a few minutes before intercourse. On top of filling our chests with saline and injecting silicone into our backsides, we are now paying doctors to basically mutilate our vaginas.  While I am all for a woman’s prerogative to do what she desires to her body if it means the difference between positive self image and low self-esteem, I can’t help but wonder if “revirgination” is more about pleasing your mate more than it is about pleasing yourself. Maybe it’s the feminist in me, but our vaginas are lovely and amazing, and have to bear the trauma of many lifetime events, with childbirth and lovemaking  being the best of them.  From those events comes beauty which has been occurring naturally since the beginning of time.  Maybe it’s best to love our love below exactly the way it is. Article written by Toya Sharee for Madame Noire, referred by Melissa Lynn Meier