The Sexist

Inside the Virginity-Faking Condom

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An Egyptian scholar has called for the death penalty for people caught importing a new "female virginity-faking device" into the country. The product, a condom which simulates vaginal bleeding, is seen as a "cheap and simple alternative to hymen repair surgery" for a woman who must "feign virginity on her wedding night" in order to avoid the social repercussions of premarital sex. The condom, produced in China, is currently being sold in Syria for $15 a pop. So, how does it work?

Ten years ago, the design (or a very similar one) was patented in the United States by Shahram Shawn Omrani of Passaje, N.J. The product, called the "Condom Simulating Virginity," consists of a flexible, open-ended sheath (like your regular Trojan), but is outfitted with an additional burstable pouch "containing a red colored fluid simulating blood." The pouch is constructed from a weaker material than the condom itself so that the blood compartment "ruptures during sexual intercourse, while the sheath remains intact." Unlike your standard translucent condom, this prophylactic is meant to be made from a dark material to help conceal the red liquid stored inside. If all goes according to plan, the man straps on the condom before sex, the woman appears to bleed during intercourse, and nobody is the wiser.

According to the patent application, the condom was designed to serve cultures where "virginity is demanded of a bride." Writes Omrani, "it is possible that a prospective bride is no longer a virgin, and hence risks being undesirable or subject to scorn and disapproval should her status become known after a marriage. In extreme cases, some cultures even sanction killing of a non-virgin bride. The applicant is unaware of apparatus which will simulate discharge of blood which ordinarily accompanies first sexual intercourse undertaken by a virgin woman, this being the effect of the present invention."

I'm troubled that a product like the "Condom Simulating Virginity," which should never even exist, appears to be in high demand in some corners of the world. I'm saddened that female virginity is still considered a requirement for marriage in some cultures. I'm frustrated that the presence of an intact hymen (which can break under a variety of conditions, including rape) is considered proof of that virginity, and bleeding (not everybody bleeds) is considered proof of an intact hymen. Mostly, though, I'm concerned that the condom is not going to work.

The virginity condom theory has a few serious holes in it. Though condoms are said to have originated in Egypt, the use of any condom—much less a blood-filled virginity condom—is still stigmatized in the country. What if the man does not want to use a condom on his wedding night? What if he doesn't want to use a strange, dark-colored condom on his wedding night? What if the condom breaks too early, or doesn't break? What if he realizes that the condom he is rolling on his penis is outfitted with a pouch of liquid? What if he realizes that the condom, which is designed to rupture, has strangely broken?

It's already clear that for some Egyptian women, the consequences of premarital sex are high. Now that the virginity-simulating device has been relatively popularized in the country, I'm afraid we'll hear more about the consequences reserved for women forced to fake it.

  • Anon

    God damn what a giant mess of sad.

    I've always thought women in these countries should try to align their wedding with their cycles.

    It is unbelievable to me that this still exists in 2000 effing 9.

    I'm looking for a silver lining here. On the plus side, couples that want to have kinky schoolgirl/virginity fantasies have a new tool...

    ...yea I'm not even buying that. This is sad.

  • Dean Gold

    Why don;t we jsut go back to the Hassidic practice of the father of the bride buyine a chicken, slitting its throat and staining the bride's bed sheet (the chicken blood is said to most resemble the natural product}. Everyone was happy. The bride got to test drive her intended (or just a local hottie), the dad could run thru the streets with his daughter's purity on display for all to see and the chicken seller could raise his prices just before the wedding of a girl well known to be in need of his services, thus raising farm income! Of course we need to make sure that the chicken is raised cage free!

  • jules

    @ Dean Gold: haha

    but seriously: this gave me a giant sad.

  • Victor

    Why didn't the engineer just design a female implantable device? Complaints/cries of woe about the cultural implications aside... it just seems that when designing something to fool a man into thinking he's having sex with a virgin, the last place you want to do is require he apply it.

    A better design would be an implantable device with a bladder which can be punctured when triggered. Design the trigger to be activated by either muscle contraction or "impact". Include a removable "safety" to ensure it doesn't pop before sex. Only problem is device recovery.

  • Therese

    So if you're caught using one of these rather icky devices, you should be put to death by the state. And if you don't bleed on your wedding night, you should be put to death by your family.

    Given that bleeding has nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not you've had intercourse before, and many virgins don't bleed the first time, it's not surprising that women go to great lengths to assure blood on the sheet.

    It's why so many women, even virgins, go to clinics to get a stitch or two put into their hymen to insure bleeding. Hymen repair clinics have been doing this work all over the Middle East and beyond for a long time – and charging up to thousands of dollars for it. Why isn't the guy ranting about the clinics and the doctors who perform the surgery? Maybe he's being put up to this by these clinics, pissed off they're losing business to a product you can get for $14.99 plus shipping.

    But I doubt it. They actually perform a very valuable service – even if they're often ripping women off to do it. Maybe when it's 'legal' for women to be sexually active, they won't have to go to any crazy lengths to prove something that unprovable.

    I write a blog about virginity at

  • Charlie

    What about those instances where a man's penis is too small to reach the hymen? I think these things follow a normal distribution. For every John Holmes there is a 2" partner. If you marry one of these, do you die?

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  • JerryCorbet

    Choosing right condom is really necessary for safe sex otherwise it will harmfull in future.

  • Emily

    Charlie, I think you might be confusing the hymen and the cervix. I can't imagine what a penis too short to reach the hymen would look like. Inverted?