clitoris

page updated: 30-Mar-2004

I love my clitoris. I just appreciate its clitoral nature. There aren't really any qualities that I am aware of that make a clitoris better or worse. They are not supposed to be a certain colour or size or sensitivity; they are just good. I like that.

I say clitoris like "KLIT-o-riss," although I know people who say "kli-TOR-iss." My way seems easier to say (to me) but I don't know whether either way is the decided right way to pronounce the word.

I mostly use the whole word, but sometimes say "clit," especially when referring to piercings. "Clit" seems hipper, but it is hard to sound uptight when willing to refer to a clitoris in the first place. I think I just like the "lit" syllable, despite the fact that with the exception of lit itself, most -lit words have weird sexual connotations (clit, slit, split...).

Lately I've been finding out all kinds of clitoral anatomy, just by accident. Junior high school sex education taught me where my clitoris was (the top structure between my labia, with a little hood of pink skin over it), but only made reference to it being a small, highly sensitive nub of flesh.

While reading about masturbation using vaginal muscles in an old Germaine Greer article in The Madwoman's Underclothes, I discovered that the clitoris has an extensive internal shaft that is something like 7cm (about 3 inches) long. More recently, while flipping through a Good Vibrations book on g-spots, I found a diagram showing this internal part of the clitoris as forked. Forked! Apparently it straddles the urethral sponge tissue, which swells during arousal.

Forked!

This forking makes sense if you think of the general female genital area, which has a split down the middle. Where men have a single scrotum with a seam down the middle, femmes have two labia, and a a split shaft for the clitoris, although the glans or head is still single.

As far as I know, the whole clitoris is erectile, and swells up when it is aroused. I very much like the fact that my clitoris has a head and a tiny little (external) shaft. I can barely see my wee shaft, even with the hood pulled back out of the way, but it can be felt under the skin when it is excited and swollen up.

The head of my clitoris apparently has as many nerve endings as the head of a penis. Both of these organs develop from the same bud of tissue in embryos. The glans tissue becomes either a glans clitoris or a glans penis. I don't know where I pick up all these tidbits about embryonic stem tissue.

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For info about stimulating the clitoris, see
orgasms,
masturbation,
the next page of this topic,
or this excellent article from Lucky Mojo.

I love this video of Betty Dodson drawing the internal structure of the clitoris and talking about vulva anatomy. She’s very funny and charming.

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