This week is 1 year anniversary of the Klitmit blog and I have realized just now that I still have not written an article about clitoris. The mistake had to be corrected immediately! And when we speak about clitoris, we cannot but speak also about female pleasure.
Before we speak about clitoris, let me tell you how I came up with the name for this website. When I got the idea for the whole concept around Klitmit, I knew what I wanted the website to look like, what the topics were going to be, and then I needed a name. That was the tricky part. It had to be short, catchy, related to the topic, but not perceived by others as vulgar. That is when I watched a video on the website Brut about clitoris. It spoke about the fact that this female organ gets aroused and that it is almost the same size as an aroused penis.
I could not believe it! It was the beginning of 2020 and I didn’t know such an important information about one of my organs. And not just any organ, but the one responsible for my sexual pleasure, and not only mine, but of all women! And then it came to me! Klitmit! The name was born. Not as a meeting between clitorises as many tend to think, but rather a myth about clitoris. Everything we wanted to know about it but didn’t.
What we thought about clitoris
‘’How is it possible that we landed on the Moon and walked around it 29 years before we discovered the anatomy of the clitoris’’ asks Sophia Wallace at TEDxSalford. She also thanks the TED community for having an opportunity to speak about this organ. Because this is still not very common and it is not the easiest thing to do. We are still ashamed to say what clitoris is. Even to simply pronounce it.
Clitoris. Go ahead! Say it out loud! Dare to name the organ that gives you pleasure!
Ancient Romans considered female body to be inferior to male because it did not have penis. Little did they know that women also have a pleasure organ whose needs deserve to be met. Although they knew of its existence, they were not aware of its function and anatomy.
Until the 17th century it was believed that female orgasm helped somehow with the conception. Therefore, it was tolerated by some religions. Can you image?! Tolerated!!! Only because women could get pregnant. Otherwise, women were not officially allowed to have an orgasm. Of course, when we discovered that the orgasm is not responsible for conception, it was practically demonized, declared as useless and considered the source of mental illness in women.
On top of that, it was believed that having a clitoris was like a body deformation and that only intersex people and lesbians had it. That is why clitoris mutilation has been socially accepted even today in many countries.
In the 19th century, scientists began to study its role in ‘’hysteria’’. The English surgeon Isaac Baker Brown recommended removal of the clitoris to treat hysteria, homosexuality, and even epilepsy. Seriously doctor Brown?
The fact that it’s hidden cannot be a justification and it is certainly not an explanation of why we did not know of its existence. We kind of did, but then we would forget about it and like that in circle throughout the history of human kind.
Here is some information about clitoris that we did not know up until recently:
• The name clitoris comes from a Greek word- kleitoris which means ‘’little hill’’.
• The whole clitoris as an organ and its function was discovered in 1998. That was when scientists drew it fully correctly for the first time.
• Fetuses have the same genitals up until the 8th week. Some turn into clitoris and others into penis which then defines the sex of the baby.
• In erection both penis and clitoris arouse, get engorged by blood and become bigger in size.
• All female orgasms are clitoris orgasms. The difference is just whether the stimulation comes from the outside or inside.
• Clitoris is the only organ in the human body entirely made only for pleasure.
• It has between 8000 and 9000 nerve endings, while penis has between 2000 and 3000.
Why did we know so little about it? Why was clitoris discovered and rediscovered? Forgotten and revealed all over again? Because men were always in charge of this ‘’great invention’’. And because they thought they owned women’s bodies and women’s sexual pleasure, they had been playing with this discovery for centuries.
That is where my advocacy comes in place when I say, if there were more women involved in science, we, women, would know much more about our bodies today. And not only that! We would have much better understanding of certain female diseases and consequentially even cures. Only think of endometriosis and how much pain many women experience every single month. Not to go that far, we can simply think of painful menstruations or the menopause…
Anatomy of clitoris
Before diving into clitoris (I admit, it sounds weird), let’s set something straight. What we call vagina today is actually VULVA. Vagina is the internal tube that connects vulva to cervix, therefore a small part of vulva, not the vulva itself. And yes, it is striking that many doctors refer to vulva by saying vagina.
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The wording is extremely important. How we name our body parts plays an important role in how we perceive them. If, when we are little, they give weird names to our vulva, just not to pronounce it, we will be lead to believe that vulva is a bad word. And we will not be accepting of it. There is no better way not to speak about something but not to name it.
Now, let’s go back to clitoris.
Clitoris is composed of few different parts. Glans clitoris and the hood are the only external parts. Glans is the most sensitive to touch since it contains a lot of nerve endings. What we consider today to be clitoris is actually just the top of the iceberg, meaning that it is only a small part of the actual organ. 90% of clitoris is behind the vulva, attached to the pubic bone and it is invisible to the eye.
The inner part of clitoris is composed of shaft, outer wings (or the legs) and (clitoral, inner) vestibular bulbs. Why so many names for the same thing?
It is the Australian urologist Helen O’Connell that mapped clitoris out entirely both externally and internally.
Similarities between clitoris and penis
Understanding similarities between clitoris and penis could be revealing and liberating and it can help us, women, accept better our sexuality. However, we should also be careful. We can easily fall into this way of seeing female body and its organs – only through men’s. That is how male bodies became a norm in the first place.
Penis and clitoris, though, do have many similarities. Here are 6 main characteristics that are the same in female and male according to Chloe Macintosh, founder of sexual wellbeing app Kama, that spoke for Brut America:
• Both penis and clitoris can be erect.
• They are the same until the 6th week of gestation in the womb.
• They have similar shape and anatomy.
• They go through the similar changes when aroused.
• They can be stimulated in the same way.
• They go through the same orgasm stages.
Why isn’t all of this in schools’ manuals? We have had new discoveries in relations to clitoris for over 20 years now. It is as if we decided to teach children about all organs in human’s body and we decided to omit one. Imagine we didn’t learn about kidneys or liver.
Do you understand that we cannot speak about female pleasure without speaking about clitoris? And vice versa. The fact that most of people don’t even know what clitoris looks like and what its function is, tells us more about the view on female sexual pleasure than it does about this organ itself.
Men’s pleasure has been depicted as much more important than women’s. Women do not feel entitled to enjoy sex. And that is one of the reasons why we know so little about clitoris today.
’We, women are not encouraged to seek pleasure, to feel entitled to pleasure or to prioritize our pleasure.
Leeza Mangaldas, sex-positive content creator
Gender equality necessarily involves female pleasure. Women also have the right to be sexually satisfied, the right that is often being denies to so many women. Even in our ‘’developed’’ society, we sometimes whisper between ourselves that we have not had an orgasm in a long time or that we know of a woman who has never had it. We place some kind of fault or guilt on that woman and tend to think that there is something wrong with her genitals. On top of that, we judge her. We wonder if she relaxes enough during the intercourse, if she masturbates properly and for how long, etc.
Our pleasure is greatly still a great taboo. But what if saying that it is more difficult for women to attain an orgasm was just a myth? What if all women were capable of having an orgasm during each intercourse?
Women have the right to be aroused
But really, not like Meg Ryan in the movie ”When Harry Met Sally”.
Women’s pleasure has been directly linked to the way women perceive their genitals. They often feel shame, they perceive them as something disgusting and smelly, therefore dirty.
But when do we actually speak about men knowing how to arouse us? Has it actually been men’s fault all along? I would say it is divided since women have to own their own pleasure. It’s like with everything else where we demand equal rights with men. We cannot wait for men to give them to us. We need to roll up our sleeves and take what is ours. After all, clitoris is our organ! Let’s learn about it so that we can teach and preach!
Have you found the G spot?
Are you ready to be blown minded? We are led to believe that vaginal orgasm and finding a G spot is crucial for our pleasure. G-spot does not exist! G spot is just a clitoral stimulation from the inside. All orgasms are related to clitoris, therefore they are all clitoral orgasms. I have a feeling that this has been invented because penetration is more pleasurable to men.
There are even women that feel ‘’less’’ of women because they have never felt that internal orgasm. When all of that are pure lies and women should be enjoying in their orgasms whether they come from an internal or external stimulation. Most of women DO NEED the external clitoral stimulation in order to have an orgasm.
Freedom in society can be measured by the distribution of orgasms
Consent should not only mean that women agree to sexual intercourse, consent should also mean that both men and women agree to having pleasure and to mutually work on it. To act in a way that their own sexual pleasure is being met and on the other hand the partner’s.
Take it as instructions on the plane. If there is danger, not that sex is danger, all passengers must take care first of their oxygen and then help the vulnerable ones. The instructions for sex should be the same.
I will leave you in the end with this great quote and a very instructional video.
The way orgasms are distributed tells us something about our society.