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.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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