The 40 Year Old Virgin

It’s not just a movie anymore.

Vaginal rejuvenation costs thousands of dollars and is done with a laser. It includes a variety of procedures, such as women getting their labia made smaller because it is uncomfortable for them to engage in physical activity or have intercourse, women getting their vaginal canal tightened as it was pre-baby delivery, and other women going one step further by getting their hymen (the gateway to the vaginal canal) tightened. This last procedure can, in a sense, make a woman a virgin again.

You’d think this would come from some scurrilous sex-related site, but alas it’s from CNN anchor Anderson Cooper’s “360” show weblog.

I know this kind of thing is common in parts of the world where women who aren’t virgins (and sometimes, even if they are) get a free stoning in the town square.  But isn’t it ironic that, although this procedure is available in the U.S. for largely cosmetic reasons, we share this odd distinction with countries like Saudi Arabia?  They’d never consider botox.  But a hymenoplasty?  Get thee to a doctor, stat!

Cooper’s article was sort of humorous, but many of the comments it engendered were just plain sad.  Here’s one:

In 1983 I taught English at the Women’s branch of King Saud Univ., in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Being a virgin when one marries (and it is always an arranged marriage) is, in many cases, a literal matter of life and death for a young woman in that country, and parades of men, led by a new groom bearing proof in the form of bloody sheets after the wedding night, were de rigeur in outlying districts. This type of surgery was, if sub rosa, not unusual at that time in the country, even if a woman was a virgin but had lost her hymen via other means, so that there would be no doubt in the groom’s mind. The attitude toward virginity was summed up by a male student I discussed this with: “Would you rather buy a new car, or a used car?”

Nothing quite like a university student who is unable or unwilling to differentiate between a car and a human being.  The commenter was referencing events from nearly a quarter of a century ago, but I’d imagine it’s much the same there today.

Of course, if Saudi Arabia is a bit too far away for your taste, you may not have to travel that far.  Chad from Austin, TX writes:

There are still culturally rich places in America, like my birthplace in South Texas, where a woman’s virginity in the marriage bed is a source of honor for her family and groom; its absence had been grounds for annullment and disowning. I’ve seen billboards for vaginal rejuvination there for at least 3 years.
He didn’t mention anything about stoning, but perhaps it’s implied in south Texas.  I don’t know.

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