The Beauty of Artificial Virginity

Science, technology, and life.
Oct. 6 2009 10:14 AM

The Beauty of Artificial Virginity

If you're a woman in a conservative Muslim country, you had better bleed on your wedding night. If you don't, your husband or his family will know you aren't a virgin. For that, you could be beaten or killed.

If you're a man, on the other hand, all you have to do on your wedding night is ejaculate. Nobody expects you to bleed or produce any other proof of virginity.

William Saletan William Saletan

Will Saletan writes about politics, science, technology, and other stuff for Slate. He’s the author of Bearing Right.

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Some day, this barbaric and hypocritical tradition will end. Until then, the best we can do is fool it. You want blood on your wedding night? We'll give you blood. Fake blood.

For many years, doctors have quietly offered hymenoplasty , a procedure that restores your hymen so you can fake virginity on your wedding night. And now you don't even need a doctor. Joseph Freeman of the Associated Press reports:

The Artificial Virginity Hymen kit, distributed by the Chinese company Gigimo, costs about $30. It is intended to help newly married women fool their husbands into believing they are virgins—culturally important in a conservative Middle East where sex before marriage is considered by many to be illicit. The product leaks a blood-like substance when inserted and broken. Gigimo advertises shipping to every Arab country.

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On its Web site, Gigimo explains more about the product :

Artificial Virginity Hymen is created from Kyoto, Japan at 1993. it was first introduced to the locals, then it gets famous and spread to Thailand at 1995 and now available in South East Asia, South Asia and in the Middle East countries. It is mainly made of natural albumin, medical use inflation element and water-soluble base medicinal preparation which have no side effect. Insert this artificial hymen into your vagina carefully. It will expand a little and make you feel tight. When your lover penetrate, it will ooze out a liquid that look like blood not too much but just the right amount. Add in a few moans and groan, you will pass through undetectable.

Outraged Egyptian lawmakers are demanding a ban on the kit. Freeman reports:

Sheik Sayed Askar, a member of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood who is on the parliamentary committee on religious affairs, said the kit will make it easier for Egyptian women to give in to temptation. He demanded the government take responsibility for fighting the product. ... Prominent Egyptian religious scholar Abdel Moati Bayoumi said anyone who imports the artificial hymen should be punished. "This product encourages illicit sexual relations. Islamic culture forbids these relations except within the confines of marriage," Bayoumi said. ... "If this thing enters Egypt, the country is going to go to waste. God protect us," commented a reader on the Web site of Egyptian newspaper Al-Youm Al-Sabie.

Pause for a moment to consider what these men are asking God to protect them from: a cheap, mass-produced insert that releases fake blood. It's the technical equivalent of a Halloween gag. But to them, this is no gag. It's an offense against God.

In this way, the artificial hymen serves as a useful test of religious idiocy. If a $30 item that leaks fake blood violates your faith so profoundly that you must ban it, then what you have isn't really a faith. It's a fetish. And your fetish won't survive globalization.

Sex within marriage is a perfectly good idea. It encourages commitment, structures relationships, builds a foundation for society, and secures a healthy environment for raising children. But rigid proscriptions against premarital sex are excessive, futile, and unnecessary. They breed hypocrisy and contempt for authority. In the age of the artificial hymen, you can still preach and practice fidelity. Just don't ask God to protect your sick craving for wedding-night blood. She can't and won't.

Virginity fetishism is doomed, boys. Give it up.

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