Wanna know why I am so fascinated with the clitoris? It's because I am also very fascinated with sex; especially marital sex (because I am a marriage life coach). And so, every time the topic of a clitoris comes up, it's weird but I get excited! Why? Because plenty of research points to the fact that there's not one purpose or reason why the clit exists other than for a woman's sexual pleasure.
So, you know what that means, right? It means that God intended for women to enjoy sex, just as much as men. Full stop. And, if we're going to explore all of the beauty that is the clitoris, a part of what has to be discussed is something that I bet you give every little thought to—your clitoral hood. Girrrl….girl. That little bit of skin is something that I am hoping you will come to love and cherish with all of your heart after you read the seven reasons why it's a small thing that has a significant purpose.
1. Your Clitoral Hood Is the Foreskin That Protects Your Clitoris
Let's go back to science class for just a moment. Did you know that all sex organs actually develop from the same embryonic cells and that they are also connect each human's nervous system in similar ways?
This is why some people say that every baby starts out with a clitoris, although some eventually end up with a penis. To a certain extent, that would be correct because the clitoris (also known as the aforementioned glans) has a similar function to the penis (which is also known as a glans) on the sexual tip. They both get bigger and harder when they are sexually aroused. They both return to their "normal" size after an orgasm.
And, when a man hasn't been circumcised (by the way, uncircumcised men reportedly have more sexual sensitivity and women who have sex with them reportedly experience more sexual pleasure too), he has something called foreskin; it's a flexible piece of skin that covers the tip of a man's penis and covers up the external opening of his urethra (the tube where his urine and semen comes out).
Yeah, well. While I've never personally been with an uncircumcised man myself, I will say I find it hilarious—and a bit hypocritical—whenever women try to act all grossed out at the thought of being with someone who hasn't been "cut". I mean, how would you feel if a man said the same thing about you because, guess what a clitoral hood is? It's the foreskin that covers up your clitoris (BAM!). And it helps to protect you too. Only, in a bit of a different kind of way.
2. Your Clitoral Hood Keeps Your Clitoris from Annoying You All Day Long
If you want to know some pretty interesting facts about your clitoris, check out "10 Things I Bet You Didn't Know About Your Clitoris". As far as your clitoral hood is specifically concerned, one reason to be especially thankful for it is because, while your clitoris is attached to—count 'em—15,000 nerve endings, the outer part of your clit contains 8,000 nerve fibers alone. Just think about if your clitoris was constantly exposed all day long, rubbing against your panties 'n stuff. Nerves are really sensitive, so while you might think it would be like having a non-stop orgasm (a woman from Atlanta went through that and she wasn't exactly thrilled), actually, it could get to be pretty painful. This is where your clitoral hood comes in. Not only does it protect your clitoris from being over-stimulated and receiving uncomfortable friction, it also protects it from debris and other things that could possibly irritate it.
3. Your Clitoral Hood Helps You to Have a Clitoral Orgasm
The placement of your clitoris plays a huge role in if you are able to experience a vaginal orgasm (an orgasm that comes from penetration) or not. But, thanks to your clitoris, you can definitely have a clitoral orgasm; so long as your clitoris is stimulated to the point of you climaxing, you're all set. And just what is the difference, sensation-wise, between a vaginal and clitoral orgasm? While a vaginal orgasm is usually more intense and can be felt deeper within the body, a clitoral orgasm is more of a surface one that gives you a tingly sensation on the surface of your skin. Something that's pretty cool about clitoral orgasms is they can cause you to have anywhere between 3-16 contractions, plus they can last anywhere from 10-30 seconds.
The reason why your clitoral hood can actually help you to have a clitoral orgasm is, when your clitoris is stimulated, the extra skin that covers it moves up down; that can help to arouse your clitoris quicker and more intensely. How awesome is that?
5. Your Clitoral Hood Is the “Source” of Multiple Orgasms
Another thing that is dope about your clitoral hood is it can be the key to experiencing multiple orgasms. How? Because it serves as a bit of a buffer. Remember how I said that the hood is foreskin for your clitoris? Well, a lot of women have trouble having multiple orgasms, simply because the first orgasm was so powerful that their clitoris feels too sensitive to be immediately touched.
But, thanks to your clitoral hood, if, after having your first orgasm, you deep breathe for about 30 seconds and then get on top of your partner for another round, it's very possible that you'll receive just enough stimulation to have another orgasm without your clitoris feeling uncomfortable—due to being over-stimulated—in the process. (Well, what do ya know?)
6. Each Clitoral Hood Is Quite Unique. And Beautiful.
OK, sooo…I'm thinking that you already know how to locate your clitoral hood, right? Just to be on the safe side, if you opened up your legs and looked at your vulva (the outer part of your vagina) in the mirror, the pea-sized "hump" of flesh that is at the top of your "slit" is your clitoris. The skin that covers it is your clitoral hood. And, just like every woman is unique, so is every vulva, clitoris and yes, clitoral hood. And you know what? Every single one is beautiful. I mean, when you stop and think about the fact that your clitoris and clitoral hood ONLY exist to bring you sexual pleasure (well, the hood also exists so that you're not overly-stimulated into a painful experience as well), how can you not find them to be alluring, appealing, delightful, fascinating and magnificent—no matter what shape, size or color they are?
7. All This…and Still, Your Clitoral Hood Is Pretty Low-Maintenance
The fact that a lot of you have probably never even considered your clitoral hood prior to reading this shows just how low-maintenance it actually is. I will say that there are some women who have had pubic hair, lint or even dried-up discharge caught in their clitoral hood that has led to irritation. That's why, as a preventative measure, it can be a good idea to take a Q-Tip, dip it in some olive oil, gently pull your hood back (not all the way, just a little) and swab around your clitoral hood once a month or so in order to dislodge anything that may be up in there. But other than that, there's not much that you need to do in order to keep yours happy and healthy.
Bonus: What Do Some People Like About Clitoral Hood Piercings?
And just how many women have clitoral hood piercings? From what I've read, it's two percent (that's actually kinda high). As far as the scientific/medical side of things, while they claim that vertical clit hood piercings won't do much for you as it relates to increasing your chances of having an orgasm or intensifying your pleasure, what the piercings are able to do is increase your level of sexual desire and quite possibly add to how often you are able to get aroused.
Now that's what the professionals say. I personally know some women who have a vertical clit hood piercing and they all say that it has taken their sexual climaxes to a whole 'nother level, chile. Still, if it's something that you've been considering doing (or you're thinking about doing now), make sure you know exactly what you are getting yourself into. You can check out some videos featuring some sistahs talking about their personal experience here and here. If you want to watch the actual procedure (which is totally NSFW), go here. Piercing or not, when you get home tonight, do a toast to your clitoral hood. I'm not quite sure where any of our sex lives would be without it—and that's real.
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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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