Friday, September 2, 2011

Female Anatomy and Romance Plots

Today we get to talk a little bit about the female sex organs, and since they are far more complicated that even I had imagined, it won't be the first time.
For now, check out this very interesting tidbit I found:

"Contrary to popular myth, the presence or absence of a hymen in no way indicates that a girl or women has or has not had vaginal intercourse. The hymen of some girls totally disappears prior to birth. The tissue of the hymen is very thin, it does not take much tension on the surrounding tissues to cause it to stretch open. Normal childhood activities like spreading the legs widely during gymnastics, riding a bicycle, playing on the jungle gym, and masturbating can result in the hymen disappearing prior to puberty. Later usage of tampons, and the insertion of fingers into the vagina may also stretch the hymen. Some hymen are elastic enough that when a penis is inserted slowly and gently, it may stretch versus tear, so that when the penis is removed, the hymen returns to it prior shape. It appears that about 50% of women experience bleeding when they first have intercourse. This explains the common practices of getting married while a girl is menstruating, inserting a fertilized bird's egg into the vagina, and the staining of the bed sheets with the blood from a chicken when proof of virginity was required."
Quote from site: Anatomy of the Vulva

Now think of all the "deflowering" scenes in romance novels, especially historicals. Only 50% bleed? That just opens up a plethora of plot twists.

On a more serious note, it also reassures a few of us that we aren't blocking out memories of childhood rape.

And as for the "fertilized bird's egg," Ewwwww!!!

So, if you have a virginal character, she may not have a hymen. If she doesn't, how will this affect your plot? Will the hero think that she's slept around? Or will he be aware of the fact that if he's gentle, the sheets won't be gory?

Thoughts, please!


  1. Ewwww. Bird's egg? Gah, what people had to (have to) put up with! I hear there are re-virginizing surgeries in some countries just so women can "prove" they are virgins on their wedding night.

  2. Surgery? Good Lord! Sometimes it sucks to be female.

  3. Ok, I know this is an old post, but I'm a new follower and it caught my eye :) I wanted to recommend the book "The Purity Myth"... a great feminist criticism of the whole idea of "virginity"... and yeah, the fact that only 50% bleed is one of those facts that gets muddled over in the whole "is she a virgin?" debate...

    Anyhow... having not written any of my own sex scenes yet (or even really explored my characters as sexual... I know, repressed...) it's something I hadn't thought to research. But I sure will now!

    Umm... so thanks for letting me comment a year late :) Nice to meet ya. I found you because I'm interning at Sourcebooks Casablanca right now... *waves*

    1. ::waves back:: Thanks so much! I'll definitely have to check out that book!