You Can Take that Artificial Hymen and Stick it Where the Sun Don’t… Hmm. Please Allow Me to Rephrase
Calico’s recent experience with surgery, despite her anxieties in advance of the procedure, went quite smoothly. The surgeon operated on the correct limb, her elbow still bends the right way and to her knowledge, nobody took any compromising photos of her on the operating table and shared them on social media.
Still, to say Calico is at greater ease with the idea of surgery now than she was before her recent procedure would be overly optimistic. Reticent to confess her fear of surgery, Calico instead describes it as a fear of being put under general anesthesia and never waking up again.
In some instances though, the non-surgical options aren’t much better than the surgical ones. And even if in this instance, there’s no prospect of Calico needing either the surgery or the alternative to surgery, just reading and thinking about the procedure is enough to make her skin crawl — and that is just a figure of speech, mind you, not a suggestion that she needs some sort of “scraping” or “sculpting” done to stop her skin from involuntarily shuddering.
What is this surgery and what is its non-surgical alternative? Why is there no comparable procedure available for men? Or maybe there is and Calico has just never heard of it? Can men buy artificial foreskin to replace that which they lost during circumcision? What the fuck am I even talking about?
You may or may not find answers to any of those questions in Calico’s latest post: “You Can Take that Artificial Hymen and Stick it Where the Sun Don’t… Hmm. Please Allow Me to Rephrase.”
– Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Porn For Women and Couples
My older sister recently accused me of being “afraid of surgery” – a baseless charge, I assure you. I am not afraid of getting surgery. I am, however, maybe just a little bit afraid of being given general anesthesia and then never waking up again.
To some, this might sound like a distinction without difference, but to those people, I would note many surgeries are performed under local anesthesia only, without need for being “put under”, a term that sounds way too much like that old euphemism of “putting down” beloved family pets shortly before they arrive in pet-heaven.
A Series of Cringeworthy Suffixes
OK, so maybe I’m a little afraid of surgery. But can you blame me?
You can hardly go a day in this country without hearing about a surgeon operating on the wrong body part, or a procedure gone horribly wrong for a famous person, or fake doctors who somehow manage to practice for years before getting caught.
The names of the procedures involved doesn’t help much, either. Many of them involve the suffix “plasty” (meaning “repair or restoration of a part or function” or “molding or shaping through a surgical procedure”) which just has an unpleasant sound to my ears – and another of the common suffixes in this context, “ectomy”, is no better.
There’s the rhinoplasty (more commonly known as the “nose job”), the rhytidectomy (“face lift”) and the otoplasty, “a type of cosmetic plastic surgery procedure aimed at setting prominent ears closer to the head or reducing the size of larger ears.”
And of course, there’s the abdominoplasty, a name which makes it easy for me to understand why the procedure is far more commonly called a “tummy tuck”, because having just learned what an otoplasty is, getting an abdominoplasty sounds too much like the surgeon might pin portions of abdomen to the sides of my head.
Hymenoplasty: That’s a Hard NO
What got me thinking about all these plasties and ectomies was a recent Wired article that brought up yet another plasty – hymenoplasty.
As you have probably guessed from the name, a hymenoplasty is a procedure to “repair” the hymen. It’s a procedure that is quite controversial for all the reasons mentioned in Neda Taghinejadi’s Wired piece linked above.
(Neda is way, way smarter and far better educated than I am, so if you want to read serious, informed words on this topic, for the love of all that’s right and good, please read her article. If what you want is totally uninformed and possibly offensive quips, on the other hand, I am your girl.)
While I must concede that “Hymen O’Plasty” would be a fabulous name for a heroic character in a tale championing cultural diversity, even if none of none of the commonly cited objections to the procedure were valid (and to be clear, from where I sit, ALL those objections appear to be valid), the very idea of it is so creepy and foreign to the way I think about my own genitals, I can’t imagine any circumstances in which I’d even accept a pamphlet describing the process, much less schedule a sit down with a surgeon to explore the possibility.
I’m Guessing There’s No Product That “Restores Virginity” in Men? How Odd.
I would be remiss to reference Taghinejadi’s article and not mention another hymen-related facet of the piece, an ‘option’ of which I was hitherto unaware. I’m speaking, perhaps not so obviously, of the “artificial hymen.”
“Also known as disposable hymens (or, even more absurdly, as ‘man-made hymens’), these products are a relatively new addition to the hymen market, promising to give you ‘your virginity back in five minutes’ without the need for surgery,” Taghinejadi writes. “Artificial hymens, which can cost up to £100 ($135 USD), come in a myriad of different forms, usually containing fake blood concealed within a capsule or dissolvable membrane. Intended for insertion in the vagina, manufacturers advertise that they produce blood on contact to simulate the properties of the mythological ‘virginal hymen.’ They are often sold along with vaginal tightening creams as part of a virginity ‘kit’.”
Look, I’m no doctor, nor am I an expert on hymens (if indeed being an expert on hymens is even a thing) but I do know this much: There’s no such thing as “restoring virginity.” I also don’t understand why anyone would think such a thing desirable, but that’s a whole other rant.
I must admit, the whole notion of restoring one’s virginity does bring a wry smile to my face – but only because it reminds me of an old joke one of my literature professors was fond of making: “If you want to become a saint, first you must become a martyr – and then you must become a virgin.”