Virginity for Sale

A new product aims to save lives by making women into "virgins."

A Chinese retailer has found a new market in the Middle East by selling virginity to women—in the form of a fake-blood-squirting hymen.

Why would someone want such a thing? If you're a woman living in a conservative country like Egypt or Syria, it could save your life. There, women are expected to be virgins when they get married; failure to produce bloodstains on the sheets can be fatal. Premarital sex is forbidden in Islam, and some hard-line husbands—or even the brides' own families—will beat or even kill women if they don't bleed on their wedding night.

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Gigimo, an online sex shop based in China that offers everything from vibrators to "portable urinals," sells the Artificial Virginity Hymen for 30 bucks on its website (gigimo.com). How the item works: A small plastic insert adheres to the sides of a woman's cervix. During sex, the pouch is punctured, releasing a red liquid ("not too much but just the right amount," according to the website). The site also offers some free advice: A woman should add "a few moans and groans" to make her case more believable to her partner. What happens to the fake hymen after the deed? It will simply "melt inside the vagina," the site says.

Conservative religious leaders in Egypt have been quick to denounce the fake hymen, promising strict punishment for anyone caught importing it. Let's hope the vendor sends it in an unmarked box.

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