BY CHARITY AHIMBISIBWE & DENNIS D. MUHUMUZA
In traditional thinking 'male' virginity as such does not seem to exist. Sex almost magically runs on the male orgasm and highly depends on the man's decision of whether to have it or not. So the question of virginity has almost been exclusively left a female concept.
There are several arguments as regards men's virginity. Some doctors believe that by simply looking at a man's knees you can tell whether he is a virgin or not.
"A man with dark knees is not a virgin," says Dr Khumalo, although he has highly been criticised for this view he says he speaks with confidence because of his experience in testing for virginity. Khumalo says he was tested for virginity when he was a boy, that is how he learnt the method of testing for male virginity. The parameters for testing male virginity, according to Dr. Khumalo, are: a vein on the penis, hymen, how easily the foreskin easily slips back and forth.
"Young boys also have hymen, white lacy skin on the foreskin ... if the foreskin on the penis slips away easily, it means that the hymen is gone… If the foreskin is sore and hard to move, then it means he is still a virgin," he says, adding that a certain vein on the penis is also checked- if it can still be seen, it means he is either a virgin or that he has never slept with a virgin.
"The only time that the vein disappears is when a boy sleeps with a virgin because her vaginal opening is still tight. If a boy urinates straight up into the air, he is a virgin. If the urine sprays, he has had sex before," says Dr Khumalo.
However, Dr Alice's archives on the Internet do not agree with Dr Khumalo's ideas. The archives say: "Male virginity or lack thereof cannot be detected sometimes when the frenulum (the loose part of the skin just below the tip on the underside of the penis) is tight. If the frenulum has not torn and bled during masturbation then it is probable it will not tear when having sex and for that matter it becomes hard to tell whether a man is a virgin or not."
Dr Alice strongly argues that male virginity cannot be detected by simply looking at the penis. She is not alone in her disagreement with Khumalo, several doctors advance ideas like men who like to clean themselves. They say these men pull their foreskins back and forth often and this makes their foreskin lacy. Does cleaning themselves therefore amount to loss of virginity?
Expert male virginity testers say no, virginity cannot be lost basing on cleaning the penis. When approached for comment, Dr Merwyn Jacobson gynecologist at Linksfield clinic disagreed with all of Khumalo's male virginity theories.
"There is no scientific basis for Khumalo's arguments, but I am open to education… Men don't have hymen and what happens if a guy masturbates ... it makes the foreskin looser," says Dr Merwyn. "Some men retract the foreskin to clean the penis, they are diligent in cleaning under the foreskin and get rid of secretions, this makes their foreskin slip back easily," he goes on to say.
Dr Khumalo's parameter of hymen (white part around the foreskin of the penis) and that of the vein disappearing and reappearing during and after sex is also seriously questioned by several doctors.
"I am not aware of any vein that disappears with sex - and then again, would it not disappear with masturbation as well?" asks Dr Merwyn. He says, he was not particularly aware about the white part around the foreskin that Khumalo explained as the hymen.
Dr Josephine Birungi of St. Josephs Clinic and Lab. Services in Wandegeya says that while girls can physically be examined for virginity, for boys, it is not scientifically viable.
"Some boys are born with very tight skins around their sexual organs. If they have coitus (inserting a penis into a girl's vagina,) the foreskin may tie itself very tightly until the victim is circumcised," she says. Birungi says some men could have lost their foreskin to circumcision, which does not mean they lost virginity.
Doctors have made it clear that the first time a person has sex with another person is when they lose their virginity and once lost, forever lost.The doctors have said that without penetrative sex, there is no loss of virginity so we may say that all men that masturbate and clean their skins and circumcise are still virgins.
While it is agreeable to many doctors that male virginity is hard to test, the question remains is it possible to tell a man is a virgin? The conclusion seems definite; it is extremely hard to tell a man is a virgin.
Published in Daily Monitor, December 17, 2004