Born again virgin

But still it wasn't enough...

Published by: Gail Shortland & Will Stewart
Published on: 21st January 2010

I felt so lucky. My new boyfriend Simon Andrews was a true romantic. And I was desperate to prove I was perfect for him.
Hurrying around my flat, I stirred the bubbling casserole and picked out some DVDs. I'd never felt like this about anyone, I thought excitedly as the doorbell rang.
Simon, then 28, was confident and mature. He was a salesman for an engineering company, and seven years older than me.
We'd met six weeks earlier at an ice-skating rink. Answering the door, he flashed me a smile, his dark hair and brown eyes shining.
'I've missed you,' he winked.
After polishing off the casserole, we settled down to watch a film.
'You're so beautiful,' he said, pulling me in for a kiss.
Quickly, the passion took over. Simons's hands were all over me...
'Have you done it before?' he whispered, pulling out a condom.
At 21, I'd slept with two men, but it didn't seem very romantic mentioning it now. 'You're not nervous?' he breathed. 'I assumed you were a virgin.'
'Are you?' I asked, pulling away.
'No,' he admitted. 'But it's different for blokes.'
Before the mood fizzled out, I led him into the bedroom. That night, we had sex. It was amazing.
He stayed the whole weekend and by Sunday we were crazy about each other.
After nearly three months together, Simon proposed over a candlelit dinner.
'I can't wait for you to meet my parents,' he said, but there was an edge to his voice. 'Thing is, they're quite traditional. They can't know you're not a virgin.'
'I'm hardly going to talk about sex with my in-laws,' I spluttered.
'It's just... they'd expect you to be pure,' he sighed.
His parents weren't religious, but were certainly old-fashioned.
'I hate lying to them,' he said, biting his lip.
'Well, I can't turn back time,' I smiled. A couple of days before their visit, though, Simon said we needed to talk.
'I've heard women can have operations, to restore their virginity,' he said, slowly. 'Would you do that for me?'
I was taken aback. Surely he should love me as I was?
'I need my parents to believe you're a virgin,' he pleaded. 'They'll insist on a certificate from a gynaecologist to prove it.'
I gasped. How insulting!
He begged me to think about it.
At first, it seemed ridiculous.
But it really bothered him. And that got me thinking. Was the operation such a big deal?
I mean, I was willing to do anything for Simon, so I suppose that included this. He'd already found a private clinic, and I couldn't lose him - we were in love.
Besides, it might bring us closer together, like falling in love for the first time again...
I agreed to go for a chat.
The doctor told me it was a common procedure. They'd remake my hymen from tissue inside my vagina. 'Are there risks?' I asked.
'No, and it's done under local anesthetic,' she added.
It seemed simple.
That night, I told Simon my decision. 'I'll do it,' I said. 'Because I love you and want to make you happy.'
We celebrated by having sex - ironic considering what I'd agreed to do!
Our wedding was booked for the July. Mum was thrilled and couldn't wait to welcome Simon into the family. She helped me plan a register office wedding followed by a party at a local restaurant. I'd have the operation a month before.
When I met Simon's parents, they seemed lovely.
They asked all about my hotel management course over dinner. My virginity never came up.
'They loved you,' he gushed afterwards. I was so pleased.
A month before our wedding, Simon drove me to the clinic.
He'd paid the ?500 fee.
'How will you cope with no sex for a month?' I joked.
'I'll want you even more,' he whispered, hugging me goodbye.
He was going away for three days on business - then he'd stay with his parents for the weekend, giving me time to recover.
'See you soon,' I said, kissing him goodbye.
A few hours later, I was wheeled into surgery. 'You won't feel a thing,' the doctor assured.
And I didn't. After half an hour staring at the ceiling, it was done.
I was given tablets for pain and to prevent infection, then my friend Natasha drove me home.
Simon called that night. 'It went fine,' I said. 'Hardly felt a thing.'
But he wasn't really listening.
'I'm late for dinner,' he said, hurrying off the phone.
That week, he sent some flowers but only called once from his mum's. 'His friends have organised a stag do for him,' I reasoned to Natasha. 'He's probably tied to a lamppost somewhere.'
After the weekend, though, Simon appeared. I was so pleased to see him, but he stunk of booze.
'I've missed you,' he murmured, pawing at my clothes.
I pushed him away. 'We have to wait,' I said.
Sulking, he flopped on the sofa and fell asleep. I climbed into bed, feeling a bit sore and praying he'd sober up soon. Clearly it had been one heavy stag do.
At 2am, he slipped under the duvet, wanting sex. 'No, it hurts.'
But he kept pulling at my t-shirt. 'What's happened to you?' I cried.
Simon started getting dressed.
'If you won't have sex,' he shouted. 'I'll get it somewhere else.'
As he stormed out, I broke down in tears. For the next few hours, I laid on the sofa crying. What had happened to the man I loved?
I'd done this to prove how much I loved him, now he was acting like a sex-crazed monster.
But a few days later, I bumped into one of his friends in town. He had an explanation. At his stag do, Simon's mates had teased him about my operation. 'If you need a virgin, find a real one,' they'd said. 'Don't go for a secondhand wife.'
So was that it... was he embarrassed or sickened by me now, knowing he'd had to get me patched back up to become perfect?
But when Simon finally called, he was full of remorse.
'I'm sorry,' he said. 'The lads were being nasty, everything got on top of me... I think its wedding nerves.'
But it wasn't like we could talk properly. He had to go away for work again - for three days. 'We'll talk when I get back,' he said. 'Remember - I love you.'
Despite what he'd done, I was relieved to hear those words. But, hours later, I started feeling very hot. I ached all over, especially down below. When the doctor came out, he called an ambulance.
'What's happening?' I sobbed as I was rushed to intensive care.
Doctors said I'd picked up an infection, had blood poisoning. I was put on intravenous fluids and antibiotics. I drifted in and out of consciousness, fighting for my life.
But I was in hospital for a week before Simon came to visit. Yet I was so drugged up, I hardly noticed how much he was neglecting me.
Finally, after two painful weeks, I was still weak, but was discharged.
Simon came to pick me up. Pecking me on the cheek like a friend... I was so confused.
On the drive home, I had time to think properly. I'd had a painful operation to make him happy. Then I'd been left fighting for my life, and the man I loved hadn't bothered to come to see me.
I felt like a mug. If he really loved me, he'd have taken me as I was, regardless of what his parents thought. We sat in silence in the car, Simon looking at me nervously.
I knew something was wrong.
'I-I...' he took a breath. 'I don't want to get married any more.'
'What? Why?' I stammered.
'I've met someone else,' he said.
I was hysterical. 'While I was in hospital, you were sleeping with another woman?' I screamed.
'I'm sorry,' he whispered.
At home, he helped me inside, then started to leave. 'Who is she?' I yelled. 'Is she a virgin?'
'Until we slept together,' he said. 'She's a family friend.'
They'd got together when he'd gone home - while I was having my operation. I'd done it for him, because I cared, but he didn't bat an eyelid. 'I hate you,' I cried. 'I could've died doing this for you.'
I went home to Mum, who held me tight while all my tears spilled out. I've not seen him since.
I was never going to be perfect for him. All he ever wanted was the thrill of snatching away the virginity of innocent girls. Instead, he nearly took my life.
A year on, I'm better physically, but my emotional scars may never heal. I misjudged Simon so badly and I pity his new girlfriend. I'm the proof nothing is good enough for him. Now I'm a virgin again, I'll save myself for someone worth it.

Simon Andrews, 30, said: 'We were going to get married, but it didn't work out. I didn't make her have this operation. Now I'm in a new relationship.'
Chloe Standford, 23, Margate, Kent