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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Feature image by Giphy