Tuesday, February 14, 2006
You too can be a 40-year-old virgin
Someone told me that women are having their vaginas rejuvenated. That's right, rejuvenated and reconstructed and revirginized even. I thought they were kidding. But my producer and I looked into it, and sure enough, it's an emerging surgical trend.

Vaginal rejuvenation costs thousands of dollars and is done with a laser. It includes a variety of procedures, such as women getting their labia made smaller because it is uncomfortable for them to engage in physical activity or have intercourse, women getting their vaginal canal tightened as it was pre-baby delivery, and other women going one step further by getting their hymen (the gateway to the vaginal canal) tightened. This last procedure can, in a sense, make a woman a virgin again.

In many instances, the women who get this surgery need it for medical reasons. But not all. Some women do this as a gift to their husband or significant other.

I interviewed one couple for this story who has been married 18 years and has two children. The wife recently had her hymen replaced as an anniversary gift for her husband. We also talked with the doctor who did the surgery and even got to be in the operating room during another woman's surgery.

You can see the video (the PG version) tonight, February 14th, Valentine's Day. These women say it's the perfect gift. But beware, it isn't cheap.
Posted By Randi Kaye, CNN Correspondent: 8:08 AM ET
  64 Comments
I can sum this up with one word. Yikes!!!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Chriss Miller, Canton, OH : 8:24 AM ET
:O *Blush*
Whatever happened to doing those good, old-fashioned Kegel exercises?

I can't imagine doing something like this and calling it an anniversary gift. My hubby will get a greeting card and like it!
Posted By Anonymous Claudine, Saint James, NY : 8:45 AM ET
I'm not even sure what to say. Personally, I believe virginity is not just a physical condition. It is really a commitment you make to yourself or God to wait for that "special person." By allowing women to surgically replicate a condition of "virginity" seems, at least to me, to take away the very significance of losing your virginity to someone you love. I think medicine can go too far in terms of giving people back what they have lost. What started out as a restoration of laugh lines has turned into this procedure. Wow, what will America think of next?
Posted By Anonymous Kim, Lancaster, PA : 8:46 AM ET
Aren't you a little premature with this story? April 1st is weeks away!

There's a valid reason for 40 year old virgins. Who in they're right mind would aspire to it though, really?!

If my wife wants to give me a perfect gift a nice watch would more than suffice.
Posted By Anonymous Arnold, Tokyo Japan : 8:52 AM ET
Is this an April Fools joke 2 months early?
Posted By Anonymous Julie M. Washington, DC : 8:55 AM ET
Wow. That's really interesting, Randi. I can't wait to see what else Anderson airs tonight.

I'm surprised that women are really going through with procedures of this kind. I guess I shouldn't be, seeing as how our society in particular is a bit sexually obsessive.

I mean, porn on ipods? Give it up; we're obsessed.
Posted By Anonymous Ally, Sequim, Washington : 8:55 AM ET
This is disgusting. Why would anyone want to do that?

If women do this to make their man feel like they are the "first one", then they need to find a new man. A man that is obsessed with being the first to have sex with a woman has an ego problem.
Posted By Anonymous Wanda, Nashville, TN : 8:58 AM ET
Happy Valentine's Day, Randi. You make me smile. Is it the way 360 celebrates the DAY? Openly talk about virginity? Vaginal rejuvenation? Hmmm, (many) Asian women have "tongkat Madura" or "tongkat ali" as a magic wand. It works ALL THE TIME, and like a virgin becomes part of our quotidian existence. Well, with other rituals and jamu (galian rapet), too. Top secret, inherited from 1000s years of tradition. You bet, we don't need vaginal rejuvenation. But would love to watch the report, though.
Posted By Anonymous Chandra Kirana, San Antonio, TX : 9:08 AM ET
I find that even in my fifties, there is just way to much I still don't know and don't need to know.
Posted By Anonymous Reg, Kansas City, MO. : 9:21 AM ET
This falls into the category of "just because we can doesn't mean we should".
Posted By Anonymous mark, sharpsville, pa : 9:26 AM ET
For the plastic surgery-addicted woman who has everything! This speaks volumes to me about the women who would do this, their husbands, and their relationships.
Posted By Anonymous Nancy, Hickory, NC : 9:27 AM ET
This is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. In regards to the hymen operation, this is simply a way for a couple to live out some ridiculous fantasy. One can't become a virgin again, especially not as a "gift". Is not even the loss of virginity to one's spouse sacred?
Posted By Anonymous Jason, Gainesville, VA : 9:29 AM ET
This is just another ridiculous gimmick to make woman feel the need to look/feel younger. Would an uncircumcised man be willing to undergo a circumcision as a gift to his wife/significant other?
Posted By Anonymous Agnes, New York City : 9:33 AM ET
Women do this as a 'gift'??? Am I missing something here ? Fragility, thy name is the male ego.
Posted By Anonymous Kelly Seltzer Levittown NY : 9:34 AM ET
Hymenoplasty as it is sometimes referred to, is very common in many parts of the world, and if one does a check on the internet they will be able to see that many plastic surgeons offer this as part of their service. However, in many thrid world countries this practice is also carried out often illegally. Often is the case when a girl wants to marry and she is not a virgin, she could resort to having her hymen replaced for as little as US$85 to deceive her husband to be. Therefore, there are many pros and cons to this, and in my opinion, this kind of practice should be restricted by having certain rules and ethical codes.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Toronto, Ontario : 9:35 AM ET
If only a surgery really could erase my first drunken fumbling sexual encounter. You can only be a virgin once....even if surgeons (or husbands) try and tell you otherwise.

To try and reinstate your virginity as a present to someone? Why would you want to? Why would anyone ask you to?
Posted By Anonymous Heather L. in Hanford, CA : 9:41 AM ET
There are still culturally rich places in America, like my birthplace in South Texas, where a woman's virginity in the marriage bed is a source of honor for her family and groom; its absence had been grounds for annullment and disowning. I've seen billboards for vaginal rejuvination there for at least 3 years.
Posted By Anonymous Chad Austin, TX : 9:42 AM ET
I always blush when I have to talk about something intimate but your blog is irresistible because it reminds me of something very ancient. Unbeknownst to us here that "virginity" is not only sacred (we know that) for many women in Asia, but it is also something to be 'preserved' to sustain a happy marriage. How? Vaginal rejuvenation without lancet cut! It's been around for centuries. Magic herbs have been formulated in secret and the formulae are guarded with concealment. Efficacy? To tighten vaginal muscles up, and to refreshen the whole "system". Does it work? The answer is enveloped in its long standing existence. I'd better stop. Maybe 360 should send its crew to Asia. Happy Valentine's day, everyone.
Posted By Anonymous Fortuna, Front Royal, VA : 9:43 AM ET
In 1983 I taught English at the Women's branch of King Saud Univ., in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Being a virgin when one marries (and it is always an arranged marriage) is, in many cases, a literal matter of life and death for a young woman in that country, and parades of men, led by a new groom bearing proof in the form of bloody sheets after the wedding night, were de rigeur in outlying districts. This type of surgery was, if sub rosa, not unusual at that time in the country, even if a woman was a virgin but had lost her hymen via other means, so that there would be no doubt in the groom's mind. The attitude toward virginity was summed up by a male student I discussed this with: "Would you rather buy a new car, or a used car?" While I can understand such surgery being performed for medical reasons or even sexual functionality in this country, I find it disappointing that the restoration of a hymen would be performed for no other reason than as a one-time gift for a male.
Posted By Anonymous S. Jones, Wakefield, RI : 9:44 AM ET
Are these Americans or are they of a different ethnicity? As a student of Women Studies and working on a 'Female Genital Mutilation' thesis I find it hard to believe that Caucasian, Latin American, or African Americans, raised in America or Western Europe would have this ridiculous and painful procedure done. Immigrants on the other hand from parts of Africa and Eastern Europe, I can believe; but honestly because they Genuinely want to have their vaginal cut up or made smaller? Men don't go and get circumcised at thirty or fourty to please their wife.
Posted By Anonymous Cassandra Helton, Kent Ohio : 9:45 AM ET
Wow...just wow!!!!
Posted By Anonymous Long, Dallas TX : 9:46 AM ET
Wow. Some people have more money and more time than I can even imagine.
Posted By Anonymous Heidi, Grand Rapids, MI : 9:48 AM ET
Nut Cases! I have heard it all and this one has made my jaw drop, is something wrong with our society? We can get new breast, new faces, new hair color and even contact lenses to match. I want psychological testing done on all candidates for extreme surgeries such as these that are preformed for reasons other than medical needs. I feel it would benefit our society to know the frame work of the minds and the backgrounds these individuals have grown up in. What brings individuals to conclude that extreme procedures, like a vaginal make over, are a necessity in order to achieve happiness in their lives? Even more concerning is that spouses feel like this is a great gift for their partner, talk about low self esteem and marring the wrong guy. The make over craze is simply proof that we live in a harsh cruel society, and it�s this same society that wants to set the moral standard on how the rest of the world is to behave. It is said we are all individuals but apparently we are loosing our identity�. and its going fast.
Posted By Anonymous Julian, Fayetteville Ar. : 9:52 AM ET
The miracle of science, giving people a chance to start over, or at least pretend to start over. Isn't that what we all really want anyway.
Posted By Anonymous Brian Corrant, Pittsburgh, Pa : 9:52 AM ET
Unfortunately, this isn't the first time I've heard of this, although I'm sorry to see signs that this practice is becoming more common. What galls me is that so many people in other countries around the world are fighting so hard to stop the forced mutilation of women, and here we have women electing and paying for it. It shows that the gap we like to think exists between developed and developing nations in attitudes about women and sexuality really isn't as wide as we imagine it to be. Isn't it time we stopped viewing women's genitals as amusement parks or commodities?
Posted By Anonymous Jessica H., Springfield, MO : 9:55 AM ET
This is just one more procedure added to the list of ridiculous surgeries that are hurting the self esteem of women across the country. Are women now supposed to be self conscious about their vagina? Aren't there more important things to think about? It's one thing if they are doing it out of medical necessity, but those who aren't are crazy. They should work on being comfortable with themselves and their body and being confidant in who they are.There are worse things then not having the "perfect vagina".
Posted By Anonymous Michelle Healy- Boston, MA : 10:00 AM ET
wow definitely something worth reporting on. I will definitely catch this tonight. Who would've thought this could ever be possible?
Posted By Anonymous Elizabeth, Bronx, NY : 10:01 AM ET
People with too much time and too much money.
Posted By Anonymous Ron, Seekonk MA : 10:04 AM ET
Obviously, those people have more cents than sense. If you must spend the money, why not give it to someone who is starving.
Posted By Anonymous Bettye Gatson, Alpharetta, Georgia : 10:05 AM ET
NO...no, no, no. I mean, I understand the tightening and the reductions for medical reasons, but replacing the hymen as a "gift"? For what, a man who wants to pretend he's having sex with an innocent, "untainted" virgin. Oh, great. There's not enough pressure on women to stay eternally young and please men. Let's add this to the roster.
Posted By Anonymous Jean, Tampa, Florida : 10:05 AM ET
Its apparent that people don't know the real meaning of the word Virgin, a virgin is a girl, woman lady that has never known or been physically with a man in sexual intercourse,this is a virgin, not someone who has surgery to do repair work,,These women disgust me to call themselves virgins is the most ridiculous thing I have heard of..
Posted By Anonymous Elidia Moreno Phoenix, Az : 10:08 AM ET
So now the same thing we call female genital mutilation in Africa is trendy? With the increases of medical technology in the core nations, it is still apalling to see a double standard in action.

When will we see see men medically reproducing their virginity?
Posted By Anonymous Kristi, Charleston, IL : 10:10 AM ET
Apparently, this practice is also common in China. Virginity is very important still for many men, and some women think that not being one could affect there ability of getting a good man to marry. So they are having these surgeries,not as a gift, but as an investment for their future. This info comes from Chinese grad students (studying in US) who did their undergrad in China. "You really can't tell who is a virgin anymore."
Posted By Anonymous Carlos-Ithaca, NY : 10:10 AM ET
WOW....I am speechless for once in my life!! What is the world coming to when this is even an option.
Posted By Anonymous Angie, Cornwall PEI Canada : 10:13 AM ET
This makes we wonder what kind of a present a man can give his wife. Oh, I know, how about we do a reverse circumcision.
Posted By Anonymous Bryan, Tampa, FL : 10:13 AM ET
That is hilarious! What a story! I have been married for 4 months, but after 18 years of marriage and a couple of kids, the only gift I might possibility even think about giving my hubby is a new pair of breasts and maybe a tummy tuck (something the rest of the world can enjoy too!)- and that is highly doubtful; I think he'd be equally satisfied with a Rolex. I don't believe the southern region should be a giftable item!

Happy Valentine's Day!
Posted By Anonymous Rebecca B, Houston, Texas : 10:26 AM ET
When my mom sat me down for a talk about the birds and the bees, she used the word 'gift' as a euphemism for virginity. I bet she never counted on it being the 'gift' that keeps on giving.
Posted By Anonymous Andrea, Stoney Creek, ON : 10:31 AM ET
You have got to be kidding me! I cringed when I read this. I just can not believe women are doing this. I am a firm (no pun intended) believer in equal opportunity, what surgeries are available to men and will you do a story on that?
Posted By Anonymous Rachel-Albuquerque, NM : 10:32 AM ET
Wow. How vain are we becoming? Haven't we learned enough about the hubris of Man and the value of Man? Titanic. 9/11. The Holocaust. Katrina. The Tsunami of 1 year ago. It is a very dangerous venture to interfer with Nature. What is next? Where will it end? A couple in their 50s, one on their 3rd marriage, the other on their 2nd, who now want children through genetic engineering? Just because you can, does not mean you should.
Posted By Anonymous Jason Tatka, Oak Park, IL : 10:33 AM ET
I'm beyond mortified....I can certainly understand and appreciate someone undertaking such a procedure for medical reasons, but come on! (pardon the pun)
Posted By Anonymous esther buchsbaum, montreal : 10:39 AM ET
Hello? People need to get a life -- quickly. The women that do this must be "surgically" attached to Dr. 90210. Sorry, but the "perfect" anniversary gift for my husband has 4 wheels, is red and has a stick shift in it. Please.
Posted By Anonymous C Bakely, Southampton, NJ : 10:41 AM ET
Wow, that story just made me appreciate my own vagina and body. I am glad that after enjoying sex for a number of years, I never felt the need to change or alter any part of my body to make me feel more desirable. For those women who need it for medical reasons, I hope it helps their physical and mental recovery, and I hope it allows then to embrace and love their bodies. As for the other women who don't need it, all I can say is thank you! You give plastic surgeons much needed practice and you make me feel like a million dollars.
Posted By Anonymous Giselle, San Diego, CA : 10:49 AM ET
Interesting. I just sat here and gazed at this article for a few minutes, unsure of how I actually felt about it. It would be nice to set the clock back a few years in this area. Where would I put it on my list for my fantasy "Extreme Makeover?" It would definitely come after the eye lift and liposuction. I personally wish sometimes that I was born in a different age when it was okay just to be the way nature took your body. It's not easy to be a 50 year-old woman in this society. Especially when the pocketbook can barely afford a good anti wrinkle cream. But,I would love to be able improve my significant other's sexual enhancement.
Posted By Anonymous Linda, Indianapolis, IN : 10:51 AM ET
I come from a culture where virginity is priceless and highly valued (especially before marriage), however spending an enormous amount of money and go through a medical procedure to make your partner happy is just absurd!
Posted By Anonymous TL, Orlando, Florida : 10:52 AM ET
Once again, it goes to show that we as a society have to revert back to the age of 15 to make ourselves feel worthy. Can we not accept who we are? Many of us have given birth and may not physically be the same, but haven't we gained something more precious mentally?
Beyond a medical reason, for someone to contemplate having this surgery, its disheartening
Posted By Anonymous Jamie Wolf San Diego, CA : 10:57 AM ET
One more procedure for this twenty-something to look forward to in the quest for eternal youth.
Or maybe not.
Posted By Anonymous Anne, Charlotte NC : 10:57 AM ET
Today is valentines day, the day we celebrate love and the heart & soul of our relationships? It seems the more we advance technologically as a society the more superficial we become. It is the size of our hearts and deepness of our souls that count, today would be a good day to remember that!
Posted By Anonymous Mary, Montreal, Quebec : 10:59 AM ET
I think that this is a horrific new surgery. I fearing that young women, who are already media crazed about their body, are going to be creating devasting effects to themselves. Why is it so hard to realize that we are made the way we are supposed to be for a reason?! This is an alarming new "trend" and I can only hope there are no long trend problems from this new anniversery gift. "Hot new item this year for Christmas......" Ugg.
Posted By Anonymous Norene, Pembroke Pines, FL : 11:04 AM ET
When women are deciding to submit to these procedures you have mentioned and there is no medical basis for this surgery�it begs the following questions....How do we really value women in society? How are these women valued by their significant others? And last, how do these women value themselves?
Posted By Anonymous Margaret, Orlando, Fl : 11:12 AM ET
Some women often get their hymen repaired for culture or values with some religon. It is required in some Muslim countries for wome to maintain their virginity until marriage. If they can't prove through examination by a physican that they are a virgin, they often rely on having their hymen replaced to maintain the honor of their families.
Posted By Anonymous Mohamed, Detroit, MI : 11:16 AM ET
Gasp! I understand there are medical reasons for some surgeries, but to deem this a "perfect" gift? My husband will get a greeting card and like it! Whatever happened to doing some good, old-fashioned Kegels after childbirth, to strengthen certain muscles?

Honestly, I cannot say I'm surprised. We are surgery-crazed in this country. You can choose go under the knife to deal with every single human condition we know of. I wonder if OB/GYN doctors will begin to regularly recommend this practice to patients who choose to birth their children vaginally? We already have way too many women opting to be cut open for c-sections for non-medical reasons such as avoiding the pain of labor or stretching the birth canal. PUHLEEZE.
Posted By Anonymous Claudine, Long Island, NY : 11:17 AM ET
Some women have more money than common sense! Are there women who regret their lives? Who regret having lived and born children? It would be better to spend their money on psychiatric therapy!
Posted By Anonymous Catherine Kayser Boca Raton, Florida : 11:22 AM ET
I have always recoiled at people who choose to modify themselves surgically on a whim. I spent 2 years recently in China, where it is growing in popularity dramatically as well. There is something fundamentally disgusting about hating your body so much you need to pay someone to alter it. I don't believe that it should be illegal - but I feel a great personal disdain for people that choose this path. It is an indicator of mental illness.
Posted By Anonymous Adam, Charlottesville VA : 11:22 AM ET
I am completely and totally disgusted by this (unless it is for legitimate medical reasons). I happen to be a 42 year old virgin simply because I am single and am waiting for marriage. And guess what, I'm NORMAL--not weird or unhappy or crazy! The whole thought of this process just makes me sick---
Posted By Anonymous Teri, Houston TX : 11:22 AM ET
Oh my God ... Randi, this is beyond believe! How could they 'translate' virginity as something physical per se? Virginity cannot be re-created! Yes, I agree that some cultures subscribe to excotic herbs to maintain vaginal health and condition, but it's not to alter the most intimate part of women's budy with ... surgery? It sounds utterly obnoxious to me. Again, virginity cannot be re-created!
Posted By Anonymous Emely-Grace, Houston, TX : 11:32 AM ET
What a waste of medical resources, if it is not a medical necessity. And please, don't tell me that the husband's preferences dictate medical necessity.
Posted By Anonymous Rodney, Hicksville, Ohio : 11:34 AM ET
Just when you thought you had heard it all...After carrying their children for nine months and suffering the woes of childbearing, I'd say to heck with vaginal rejuvenation...make him have something surgically done to enlarge his manhood!
Posted By Anonymous Jen, Red Lake, Ontario : 11:35 AM ET
Hearing about this practice disturbs me in so many ways... but I think what's important to keep in mind is that the woman who engage in this procedure are not truly at fault. Our patriarchal culture puts value on a woman's virginity, as if she were some type of symbol of purity, and not a living, fully complex, human being. We need to start treating woman like full equals and not sexual objects, and then we would never see genital mutilations such as these.
Posted By Anonymous Lisa A., Washington, DC : 11:36 AM ET
I think our society is WAY to pre-occupied with this whole virginity thing. Perhaps it's because most of us DONT wait for that perfect someone (thank god) and those that DO are a curiosity. When is US culture gonna grow past its adolescence? The Europeans are amused by our Victorian ways.
Posted By Anonymous Dave, Rochester, NY : 11:42 AM ET
You all are completely ridiculous and overly conservative. I'm not advocating this practice but you are making way too much out of it. What is the difference between this and breast implants? I would assume implants are more dangerous than this procedure since we are using lasers instead of the chop and stuff method. I don't think any woman getting this done actually believes that their virginity is restored, but may be a desperation act to rejuvenate a long lost sex life or maybe for a woman who is having difficulties of some sort. Yes these people don't know what to do with their money but look at that SUV in your garage that you use to show off your class status and then relate the same idea to yourself.
Posted By Anonymous Jason, Middleton WI : 12:13 PM ET
As long as men can be ridiculed and made to feel worthless for their shortcomings, I see no reason why women shouldn't be also. But considering it�s probably mostly trophy wives undergoing this procedure simply to one-up the other aging arm candies down at the club, and therefore, aren�t paying for it themselves, it does seem a little silly.
Posted By Anonymous Delvin, Atlanta, GA : 1:48 PM ET
I think that all of you idiots are too judgemental and close-minded. As for the few statements I read where people commented that it should be outlawed to have this and other extreme surgeries performed without medical reason, it is really not the business of you judgemental morons what people choose to do with their private parts and what reasons they have for doing it. Happy Valentine's Day!
Posted By Anonymous Charlotte, Washington, Louisiana Age: 17 : 5:28 PM ET
I've heard of this (i.e. hymen reconstruction) recently, and my gut reaction is: Give.Me.A.Break. This procedure is wrong (and simply ridiculous) on so many levels, and I'm so tired of women telling other women not to blame themselves for the choices they make. Yes, society is effed up on many levels, and I don't deny it's patriarchal authority/double standards; however, women need to take responsibility for themselves and their own actions. If we don't want to be treated or viewed as sex objects, then we should teach our daughters, sisters, nieces, and friends, not to walk around dressed like one, all the while blaming the guys for looking. That's inequality and ignorance all rolled into one.
Posted By Anonymous Aimee, Carbondale, IL : 10:29 AM ET
I'm looking into it, and why the hell not! gift for myself, as well as for my marriage of 22 yrs. My gosh, did you not realize this was coming! Face lifts, boob lift, eye lift. Lift it all up from the friggin' floor!
Posted By Anonymous Naomi : 11:48 PM ET
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