With absolutely zero reproductive function and existing exclusively for pleasure, the clitoris goes by many names. The Bean. The Pearl. The Tacoberry… the Clam-Hat… the Sugar Plum, the Love Bud, the Quimberry, the Peach Pit, the Cherry Chapstick, the Skittle, the Devil’s Doorbell… and – perhaps the most hilarious and visually descriptive of all – the Bald Man in a Pink Canoe.
Although women – and men – now have a far better understanding of the Clit than any generation before, she’s still somewhat shrouded in a mystery to some. Here are 10 things EVERYONE who has a clitoris, or might encounter one in the future, should know.
1.‘Discovered’ in the 1500s
The clitoris was officially ‘discovered’ in the 1500s by Italian professor and Anatomist Mateo Renaldo Colombo. He dubbed her amor Veneris, vel dulce-do: the love or sweetness of Venus. Good thing someone finally found her… Although we’re pretty sure every pre-1500s women knew she was there all along.
2. Ignored Until Pretty Recently
Although most doctors and scientists have historically been happy to talk about penises until they’re blue in the face, research shows the clitoris gets very little attention compared to other sex-related body parts. Not surprisingly, a USA study looked at a database of psychology research stretching from 1887 to 2000 and found that 1,482 sources contained the term penis, 409 contained vagina, and 83 contained clitoris. It was only in 2009 that a small team of French researchers carried out the first sonographic mapping of an erect clitoris, even though the technology to do so had existed for years.
3. Blamed for ‘Bad’ and ‘Witchy’ Behaviour
The clitoris has had a pretty bad rap over the years. In ancient Greece, lesbians or women who actively desired sex were often considered witches, and in medieval times it was referred to as “the devil’s teat”, through which the devil could suck your soul. In more recent history doctors have advocated for the removal of the clitoris to cure mental illnesses such as depression and schizophrenia, and female genital mutilation continues in some countries to this day.
4. Mostly Hides INSIDE the Body
Did you know only 1/4 of the clitoris is visible outside the body?! Most people think of her as the ‘button’ only, or the small hooded part that protrudes above the opening of the clitoral glans, which are attached to the Labia minora. In fact, the clitoris is around 4-times larger than what you see, hidden inside the body on either side of the vagina. The internal part of the clit is around 10cm long, and is shaped like of like a wishbone. As artist Sophia Wallace put it in her 2015 piece CLITERACY, “it’s not a button, it’s an iceberg.”
5. Special Hugs
When relaxed, the “arms” (corpora cavernosa) of the clitoris’ body extend straight out towards the thighs. When aroused, they curl around, giving your internal body a little bit of a hug. Cute!
6.Waaaay More Sensitive Than Penises
The clitoris has around 8000 nerve endings – doublethe amount of a penis – but the sensation doesn’t end there. Sensations starting in the clitoris can spread across the pelvic area, affecting approximately 15,000 other nerve endings.
7. Speaking of Penises…
The clitoris functions a lot like a penis! Though it’s not really shaped like one, it does have a pretty similar anatomy – including glans, a foreskin (also known as the clitoral hood) and a shaft. It’s also made of erectile tissue, just like a penis, which means clitorises swell by 50 – 300% when aroused!
8. Most Women Need Them to Orgasm
Studies suggest 50 – 75% of women need clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. That being said – because the clitoris is largely concealed inside the body and around the vaginal opening – it’s more than likely that G-spot and penetrative orgasms are actually clitoral, too!
9. Clitorises Grow, But Never Age
Here’s a fun fact. Clitorises grow over the course of a lifetime, but never lookany older. Clits begin to increase in size from the onset of puberty – usually getting around 1 – 2 times larger by the time puberty ends. They can grow even more after menopause, though the changes over a lifetime are practically impossible to detect given how small they are to start with. Clitorises never age, which means – whether you’re looking at an 18-year old one or an 80-year old one, they’ll look about the same.
10. Clits Beat Dicks in the Orgasm Olympics
A clitoral orgasm can result in anywhere between three and 16 contractions, and can last from 10 to 30 seconds. And that’s not even taking into account the fact that many women have multiple orgasms. In short, even an averageclitoral orgasm lasts longer than the best male orgasm. That’s a win for the ladies!
Ready to give your clitoris the stimulation she deserves? Check out Sinful’s favourite clitoral massagers now!