Ah, the clitoris. The little part of our body that, to this day, medical professionals and researchers cannot find any purpose other than sexual satisfaction for. It plays no role in reproduction whatsoever and, even when you read about the horrific crimes committed against women as it relates to female circumcision (also known as FSM—Female Genital Mutilation), the overall objective is to remove all sexual pleasure from them (some very unwell people think that if a woman is without her clitoris, she won't cheat on her partner. Ugh).
So, if our clitoris—that pea-shaped organ that is located directly above our urethral opening—is only for the purpose of sexual pleasure, is it really that big of a deal? Heck yeah! Let me tell it, since the Creator saw fit to give us something solely for that purpose, it deserves to be researched, celebrated and pampered, just as much as possible.
That's why, in honor of something that makes us distinctively female and sexual, here are 10 things about your own clitoris that you may or may not know.
1. Your Grandma (or Her Friends) First Started Saying “Clit”
OK, maybe it's not literally your grandma who coined the "clit" word, but I will say this—don't sleep on what seniors talk about or what they'll tell you if you outright ask 'em. Especially when it comes to sex. Especially since 25 percent of them have sex once a week. Shoot, a friend of mine's mother, who is in her 90s, has told me many stories that have made me blush over the years.
Anyway, the reason why this is an interesting fact is, it wasn't until the 50s that folks even started referring to our cute lil' organ as a "clit" rather than a "clitoris". And yes, in my mind, it was women who were in their 20s who did which would be right around a lot of our grandparents age.
As far as where the word actually derives from, some think it's a Greek one that is "birthed" out of words like kleiein ("to sheathe") or or kleis ("key") or maybe even kleitoriazein ("to tickle"). Since my clit and I can personally relate to all of those words, I get why folks think so.
2. It’s a Little Penis. Kinda.
If you've ever heard someone say that, while in our mother's womb, we all started out with a penis, the more accurate statement would probably be that we all started out with a clitoris and a man's grew into a bigger one known as a penis.
The reason why I say that is because penises and clitorises have quite a bit in common. They are both vascular structures, they both come with foreskin (what we have is a clitoral hood. By the way, if you want to remove it, that's considered to be a type of plastic surgery), and they both get larger when we become sexually aroused and blood rushes down to that area. Yes, penises and their purpose basically fork off after that, but it is kind of a trip how much clitorises are similar, huh?
(Oh, if you want to know the technical terminology of what transpires in the womb, all fetuses start off with a genital tubercle that becomes a clitoris or penis between week four and nine of gestation; however, parents aren't typically able to see which it is on a sonogram until around week 20 or so.)
3. Most of Your Clitoris Is Inside of Your Body
The outer part of your clitoris is known as the "glans", but there is another part that is inside of your body that is so much more than what meets the eye. The larger portion is called the corpora cavernosa; it's what the glans is connected to and it's made up of spongy erectile tissue. Something else clitorises have are crura (we'll get more into that in just a sec) and clitoral vestibules. Clitoral vestibules are located underneath the crura; they are what become full of blood whenever our man is doin' it right— umm, I mean arousing us properly. #wink
4. It Contains Tiny Little Legs
I don't know if this is gonna creep you out or not, but apparently the internal part of our clitoris also comes with legs. Chile. This is where the crura (from the Latin word "cruris" which means "leg" or "pillar") comes in. Their legs are three inches long and they hang downward on our vaginal walls towards the canal to form a shape that is kind of like a wishbone. From what I've read, we've each got two of them.
5. It Has a “Sexual Stopping Point”
If there is ever a time during sexual activity when, your clitoris goes from feeling amazing to uncomfortable or even outright painful, that's nothing to be super alarmed about. Many medical sexual professionals describe clitorises as being "finicky" because while during one experience, a certain kind of stimulation may feel great, the next time "she" might prefer something different. Not only that, but once your clitoris is engorged, for your man to continue to stimulate her, it could feel pretty irritating; that's because she's already filled with so much blood. In this instance, the best thing to do would be to direct him to other erogenous zones, just so some of the pressure can be taken off of her.
6. Some Are as Large as a (Gherkin) Pickle
The average clitoris is one-half inch in length and one-half centimeter in width. But just like each vulva (the outer part of our vagina) is unique, so is each of our clitorises. On the size tip, I actually read that some can get as big as a Gherkin pickle. That's somewhere between 1-3 inches.
7. It Swells Up to 300 Percent When Aroused
When we're not sexually aroused or stimulated, our corpora cavernosa—you know, the erectile tissue that we already discussed—hangs out straight towards are thighs. But when our man touches the right spot, the corpora cavernosa curls up, almost as if it's giving our body a hug. Whenever this happens, our clitoris swells anywhere between 50-300 percent. That's why "she" sometimes feels bigger during or right after sexual activity.
8. It’s Got Double the Amount of Nerves As a Penis
Guess how many nerves are in a man's penis? Approximately 4,000 and yes, that's a lot. Now guess how many nerve sensory fibers are in a clitoris? A whopping 8,000! Plus, whenever we're having an orgasm, our clitoris alerts 15,000 other nerves in and around our pelvic region which is why our climaxes are oftentimes so intense. It's because of this that our clitoris wins the award for being the most sensitive part of our bodies. Nothing even comes close.
9. It Grows As You Age. At the Same Time, It Does Not Age.
We all know that, when we are intentional about self-care and pampering, for the most part, Black don't crack. Well, now you can tweak that saying with "Clits don't crack either" because they don't. It doesn't matter if we're 18 or 80, our clits still function the same way.
Now what may happen is, due to things like childbirth, less collagen production, a drop in estrogen (due to menopause), etc., your clitoris may get larger with time (around 2 ½ times its original size) but hey—I don't know one man who has ever had a problem with a clitoris pretty much doing whatever it wants to do. So, if yours does get larger at some point, that just brings a whole new meaning to "There's more to love." Lucky you. Lucky him too.
10. Your Clitoris Is Basically the Outside Part of Your G-Spot
You've probably heard that your G-spot is a little area that's 2-3 inches inside of your vagina, on the side facing your tummy. You'll know that you've reached it because its texture is a lot like a walnut. Well, another way to locate is to consider the fact that it's basically on the flip side of where your clitoris is. So, if you can't always reach your G-spot, no worries; your C-spot is always ready, willing and able to make it a great night for you. Check out "Blended Orgasms Need To Be The Next To-Do On Your Sexual Hit List", "What Exactly Is 'Orgasmic Meditation'?" and "Want A More Intense Orgasm? These Tips Are Sure To Make You Cream" to read more about why we say (and wholeheartedly believe) that.
BONUS: How to Handle an Irritated Clit
If for some reason, your clitoris is itching a lot, it could be because something is stuck in your clitoral hood. Dipping a Q-tip into some sweet almond, avocado or grapeseed oil and then gently wiping around the clitoral hood can help to dislodge any dried discharge, a loose hair or lint. But if the itching is incessant, that could be the sign of an infection (especially if it's associated with redness or swelling). If this happens, contact your doctor to see if you may have a yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis or something else.
Oh, and if you're considering getting your clitoris pierced, check out "The Complete (& NSFW) Guide To Getting A Genital Piercing", just so you can know what you are getting you—and her—into.
Now that you're well-versed about your clit, hopefully you've got a newfound love for her and all that she does to bring you joy and pleasure. Talk about good things coming in small packages. Good lookin' out, girl.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masterdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masterdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masterdating All About?
Masterdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masterdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masterdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masterdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masterdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masterdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masterdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masterdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masterdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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