in Soho, New York, there is an art exhibition about the clitoris, called CLITERACY. Now, the clitoris doesn’t usually get a lot of press. It’s usually upstaged by the vagina which is usually left in the dust by the attention that the penis gets.
The artist, Sophia Wallace, in her ongoing mixed media project “exposes the irony of society’s obsession with and ignorance of female sexuality. CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws (2012) includes a monumental wall of texts that challenge phallocentric biases in science, law, philosophy, politics and the art world. Wallace’s focus on the clitoris and female pleasure serves to question and counteract the history of misinformation regarding women’s bodies and the concomitant oppression therein.” I was completely drawn in. It’s a “must go see”.
And I left with a lot of clitoral facts and then went off to do even more research. Brace yourself for some facts and thoughts about the clitoris. As artist Sophia Wallace states: “The clitoris is not a button, it’s an iceberg.”
1. If you want to address the clitoris, labia, and vagina together, the vulva is the all-encompassing term.
2. Fifty to 75 percent of women who have climaxes (orgasms) need to have their clitoris touched (clitoral stimulation). Most women are unable to have an orgasm through intercourse alone.
3. The clitoris is only partially visible to the naked eye. The clitoris is actually close to four inches in length (the average non-erect penis) but three-fourths of it is hidden from view within a female’s body. It’s buried treasure. Think of all that pleasure potential in the entire region. Have you explored it?
4. The clitoris grows throughout a woman’s life. After menopause, the clitoris can become 2.5 times larger than it was when the same woman was a teenager. No wonder that some women have stronger orgasms in mid-life and into their fifties and beyond. And maybe size doesn’t matter at all.
I don’t think that women have a size thing about their clitoris, the way men do around penis size. I have never ever met a woman who has measured her clitoris, but I have met men who have measured their penis. Another interesting fun fact is that women who have given birth tend to have a larger clitoris, the longest ever measured was 12 inches long.
5. The clitoris contains 8,000 sensitive nerve endings, double the nerve endings in the glans of a penis.
6. Most of us don’t know that all babies have the exact same genital tissue when they are conceived. At about 12 weeks, each baby’s genitalia begins to differentiate into a penis or labia. We are more alike than we are different. The clitoris and penis are the same materials assembled in a different way. The clitoris has glans, a foreskin, erectile tissue, and a very small shaft; all the parts that a penis has. It even swells when it’s aroused.
7. Back to being an “inny” and an “outy.” Only one-quarter of the clitoris is visible. The rest of it is inside the woman’s body. Besides the clitoris being made up the clitoral head, the hood the clitoral shaft, it is also composed of the urethral sponge, erectile tissue, glands, vestibular bulbs, and the clitoral legs. Only the clitoral head and the hood are located outside the body. Some sex experts believe that the G Spot is actually a part of the clitoris.
8. The clitoris is designed to bring a woman pleasure. That is its sole purpose. Not reproduction.
9. Yes, there are all kinds of orgasms. Vaginal, Cervical, and G Spot Orgasms do exist, but they are much harder for most women to achieve than a clitoral orgasm. Very few women are able to achieve an orgasm without any kind of clitoral involvement. There is nothing immature about women having orgasms through their clitoris.
10. The clitoris varies in size and shape on different women. Some are hidden under the hood, and some stick out. Some like to be touched softly and others like a lot of pressure. It takes time to get to know a woman’s clitoris. Don’t assume that you know what it likes. Take your time and get to know each unique clitoris, just like you would take the time to get to know the woman it is attached to.
11. People have all kinds of nicknames for the clitoris. You may have heard a few: man in the canoe, rosebud, joy buzzer, cherry pit, love button, bald man in a boat. I have also heard, chickpea, and lentils.
12: A clitoral orgasm can bring about anywhere between 3-16 contractions and can last from 10-30 seconds. But that doesn’t exclude the fact that many women have multiple orgasms that can include pelvic contractions.
13. Male and female orgasm have been compared and even the most average clitoral orgasm lasts longer than even the best ever most fantastic male orgasm. Woman have more nerve endings in the clitoris.
14. Did you know that the word “Clitoris” is from the Greek word for “key”? Understanding and getting to know the clitoris may unlock your sex life forever. I invite you not to dismiss the clitoris and realize how deeply wired this gland is into the female body.
Why wouldn’t we take a cue from the ancient Greeks, and recognize fully that this amazing female pleasure source is indeed a key to unlocking a female’s pleasure possibilities and perhaps so much more. When we turn a key, doors open.