Can You Repop Your Cherry?

by Lindsay E. Mack

Even well into adulthood, it is easy to have many unanswered questions about the reality of sexuality. After all, a lot of misinformation about sexuality is accepted as everyday knowledge. Take, for instance, the idea of the cherry. Can you repop your cherry at some later point in life, or is it gone for good once it is gone?

To get the wording straight, what does it mean to pop a cherry anyway? The phrase refers to the hymen's rupture the first time a woman has sex, according to the New Health Advisor. Simple, right? The phrase, however, reveals a way of thinking about sexuality that's rife with misinformation. A membrane covering the vaginal opening, the hymen might indeed be stretched or torn by intercourse, according to the Center for Young Women's Health. However, the hymen can also be torn by physical activities such as gymnastics or horseback riding, as well as the insertion of a tampon, according to SexInfo Online. The hymen is a membrane that partially covers genitalia, not a sort of freshness seal guaranteeing virginity.

In spite of anatomical reality, the focus (some might say fetishization) of the hymen as a signifier of virginity is still alive and well in many cultures. But for what it's worth, there is no way to regrow a hymen, according t Planned Parenthood. Even if a person goes a long time without having sex, the hymen does not regenerate. Therefore, the cherry cannot be popped twice, so to speak. But because a hymen could be broken by a bicycle ride, and does not define a person's sexuality, who cares?

Well, logic is not always applied to the world of sexuality. To this end, the importance of vaginal virginity as evidenced by the hymen is still seen as crucial to many people. As noted by the Toronto Cosmetic Surgery Institute, it is even possible to have a Hymenoplasty, or surgical reconstruction of the hymen. The fact that this skin can be reattached via surgery would seem to make the whole idea of cherry popping moot — a person could have sex a thousand times, get the surgery, and then have this appearance of virginity. Unfortunately, the fact that this is even a surgical option goes to show the appearance of an intact hymen, however meaningless it may be, still holds significance for many people.