Eros, eros, eros

From Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird:

“Gynecologists interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in December said business was booming for the $1800 to $5000 hymenoplasty (the re-creation of the hymen), for men who want to deflower their non-virgin women (surgery obviously good for one night only).”

Questions for discussion:

What’s the difference between the $1800 version and the $5000 version? On the one hand, you don’t want your psuedo-virgin to think you want less than the best for her (or is it for you? – love is so very complicated). On the other hand, it’s not like it’s supposed to last or anything.

Why is business booming? Why is this such a thrill? Is it the primitive “taking possession” thing – getting to pretend you’re the bold explorer, going where no man has gone before? Or is it playing on the transgressive thrill of the old-fashioned taking of a girl’s sexual innocence? (Echoes here of porn-spam emails: “See young teen virgins – their first time!” Why is this more attractive than “See a full-bodied woman – a real pro in the sack!”) Or is it a purely physical thing? What?

All those questions get at the man’s reason for wanting such a thing done – and the News of the Weird Item does suggest that the procedure is done “for men,” even though it’s done *to* women. But there are also questions of why women are willing to go along with this and get their hymens “re-created.” News of the Weird has reported on the past on the popularity of Brazilian waxes, anal bleaching, and labial cosmetic surgery, and in each case, the reason is that women want to look like the porn stars that their men admire so. Is this more of the same?


  1. Is it just the porn, or is there something even more messed up with the below the belt denying of fertility (the grooming, surgery, and even focus on ultra-flat-tummy exercise all harken pre-pubescence) while higher up, exaggerated fertility (think Pam Anderson).
    Porn stars and strippers do not necessarily break ground with respect to desires. They may broaden the audience for once-marginalized perversions, but they don’t invent them.
    And maybe a lot of the market for the surgery isn’t just for some game to take a random girl’s innocence. Maybe it is more like the cheerleader outfit in A History of Violence. She was trying to recreate for him a situation they did not experience together–high school. Since so few people anymore loose their virginity to their current spouses, maybe people have a desire to have that experience, maybe even have it “special.”

  2. Matthew Lickona says

    Fine observation – thanks for sharing.

  3. Kevin Jones says

    Don Giovanni comes to mind:

    “Sua passion predominante,
    e la giovin principiante.”

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