Questioning girlfriend's virginity

Dear Alice,

I had my first sexual experience with my girlfriend a few months ago. She told me she was a virgin, but after having intercourse, I didn't believe her and was hurt. She didn't seem to be in any pain, there was no bleeding, and there was no hymen. She makes up all these excuses like "not all girls have them." Should I believe her? Is there a sure-fire way of determining whether or not I was her first? It is making me angry. Can you ease my pain?


Dear Romeo,

It is possible and quite common for a woman to be a virgin and to not have pain or blood during her first intercourse. There are many reasons for this to be the case. Perhaps her hymen, the thin membrane inside the vaginal opening, had already been stretched or torn. Among the possibilities, a regular gynecological exam, horseback riding, or inserting a tampon could have done the trick. Or it's possible that her hymen, which only partially blocks the vaginal opening, just stretched out of the way. The question Hymen stretching in Alice's archives has more information that may be useful. To flip your thought process, you might even consider your girlfriend's lack of discomfort during your first time a compliment, reflecting her attraction to you and/or your sexual prowess.

However, your question begs other questions. Is there a reason why you are so mistrusting of what your girlfriend is telling you? Do you have cause to doubt her words? Perhaps you tend to have a hard time trusting people close to you? It might be helpful to talk with someone about your feelings regarding this situation. Consider a trusted advisor, spiritual guide, a close friend, or contact your health care provider for a referral to a therapist. Talking through your concerns may help you to build closer and more trusting interpersonal relationships.

There is no sure-fire way of knowing whether you were her first, other than explaining this is something really important to you and asking for the truth. Then it's your job to believe what your partner tells you. If you still don't, it might be worth examining why not. Strong relationships are built on honesty, communication, trust, and respect much more than whether each person was a virgin before they had sex with each other.

Best of luck giving trust a try,

Last updated Apr 20, 2015
Originally published Oct 20, 1995