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While I can certainly see the need for something like this in foreign countries where a woman’s virginity is sometimes a matter of live or death, literally, I can’t say I support the idea of too many American women searching the Internet for fake hymens. Well, actually, thanks to, ladies actually don’t have to search much at all because they’ve got artificial hymen kits already prepared for you for the low price of $29.95.

“Restore your virginity in five minutes with this new technologically advanced product,” the site reads. “Kiss your deep dark secret goodbye and marry in confidence.”

Marry in confidence built on a lie? Silly opportunists.

Hymen Shop prides itself on being an (extremely) low cost alternative to surgical procedures like hymen repair and hymen reconstruction, which are much more invasive, all for the sake of getting that old thing back. That old thing being the virginity the man you’re with thinks you never lost. According to the site, when you place the packaged membrane inside of you, it expands and gets tight, giving the illusion of an area that’s never been explored by a man, and once a woman is penetrated, a blood-like substance will ooze from the area so the man knows it’s real — except it isn’t.

Writer Leah Beckmann didn’t just take the Hymen Shop’s infomercial-like word for it, she put the product to the test in a hilarious article aptly titled, “Sex With a Fake Hymen” for NY Magazine’s The Cut. She wrote:

I open the first packet and take out what looks like a clear plastic Listerine strip folded into eighths. There is a gruesome amount of bright red liquid inside the folds. I “completely unfold the hymen,” as step No. 4 in the instructions indicates. Some dried-up flakes of red fall from the plastic. I don’t remember red dust at my original hymen-loss, but maybe every hymen-loss is a snowflake unto itself: a tiny and unique horror story floating in the wintertime of our innocence.

“Using an index finger, insert the artificial hymen into the vagina.” Before I can decipher whether the hymen should go in blood-side up or blood-side down— rolled up like a joint? crumpled into a ball?— the film dissolves in my hands. I am covered in bright red dye. I am down one hymen. There is red on every surface of the sink. CSI: New York will need the whole hour to solve this one.

I tear open the next packet, panicked that the clamminess of my hands will ruin my second fake hymen. Dissolve once, shame on me. Dissolve twice, and — oh God, what am I doing with my life?

First, we conclude, the “hymen” part of this device is besides the point. What’s to break? It dissolved instantly. But does that matter? I don’t know anyone who’s actually felt a hymen break mid-intercourse, and suspect that those utilizing the artificial hymen in earnest don’t, either. (Except for the fetish stars, maybe. But I doubt they mind illusion.) My e-mail buddy at Hymen Shop explains, “The first and foremost purpose of the artificial hymen kit is to provide the visual effect human being blood coming out of the vagina as a proof of virginity. The ‘breaking’ sensation in the intercourse is a second priority, and it’s an elusive one since it is very subjective with the individual man and the construct of the female hymen.”

As hilarious as the entire idea of this device is, what I find even funnier is the fact it comes in packs of 1 to 5 hymens. Just how many men are some of these women out here trying to trick into thinking they are virgins?

What do you think about this whole artificial hymen product?

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