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What is the definition of a virgin? I really want to wait till I am married to go “all the way”, but recently my boyfriend and I have gotten into prodding. He has not actually broken my hymen/ gone all the way in. So am I still considered a virgin? (I hope so)

The most basic definition of virginity is never having had sex. Just as people define “sex” differently, people define what it means to be a virgin differently as well. While some people consider virginity to mean never having had vaginal intercourse, that definition excludes lots of people, like LGBT people, who may not consider themselves virgins after they have oral or anal sex. Some people and cultures consider a girl a virgin if her hymen — a thin, fleshy tissue that stretches across part of the opening to the vagina — hasn’t been stretched apart. That definition can be misleading, since having a hymen and being a virgin are not the same thing. Lots of things can stretch open a woman’s hymen other than sexual intercourse — such as using tampons — and some girls are born with very little hymenal tissue to begin with. Learn more about hymens and virginity.

The exact definition of virginity is open to plenty of speculation. Some people might say that you’re no longer a virgin, since your vagina has been penetrated by a penis. Others might say you are a virgin, since your hymen hasn’t been stretched open. It’s up to you to decide not only what you think about virginity, but also what sort of sexual activity you feel ready for. If you’re not ready for sex, it’s important for you to decide — on your own — whether or not you’re ready for the prodding you and your boyfriend are doing. Even shallow penetration can cause pregnancy and spread sexually transmitted infections, so if you continue, it’s important to use protection.

Tags: sex, virginity