Five things you should know about the clitoris

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That most elusive separate of the female anatomy : the clitoris. What is it, where is it situate, and what does it do ? How did it develop, and why wear ’ t we hear much about it ? We answer all these questions and more in this Spotlight .orchid as a metaphor for the female vulva share on PinterestHow much do you know about the clitoris? The clitoris has long been misrepresented and misconstrue, and even now, it placid holds some riddles that skill is yet to solve. All female mammals — and some female birds and reptiles — have a clitoris ( or two, as is the case with snakes ). however, it is not clear if or how many of them besides orgasm thanks to this organ. In humans, the clitoris has been hard tied to intimate pleasure, though whether it plays any other role is silent a matter for debate. Despite approximately half the worldly concern ’ s population being born with a clitoris, this intimate organ is not talked about very much, and, until very recently, even the information that we might have found about it in textbook was incorrect or misinform. so, what is there to know about this elusive harmonium, and why are we distillery struggling to understand it ? Read on to find out .

1. More than just a ‘little hill’

The nature of the clitoris can be found in the name itself ; “ clitoris ” comes from the Ancient Greek bible “ kleitoris, ” meaning “ little mound, ” and which itself may besides be related to the son “ kleis, ” think of “ key. ”3d printed model of the clitoris share on PinterestThis is a 3-D printed model of the clitoris, showing the glans, the crura, and the vestibular bulbs. Although this organ may be the key that unlocks female intimate pleasure, it is not just a “ small mound, ” as it has hanker been believed. In fact, the little hill ( protected by a dissemble of skin, or the “ clitoral hood, ” which is found over the urethral open ) is equitable the tiptoe of the much larger organ that is the clitoris. That tip off, called the clitoral gland, is the most promptly visible separate of this genital organ. Yet the stallion organ extends much farther than that, and this notion was initially brought to public attention only a few years ago by research worker Dr. Helen O ’ Connell. “The vaginal wall is, in fact, the clitoris. If you lift the skin off the vagina on the side walls, you get the bulbs of the clitoris — triangular, crescental masses of erectile tissue,” Dr. O’Connell explained in an interview with the BBC in 2006. The clitoris has three major components :

  • the glans clitoris, which is the only visible part of the organ, accounting for “a fifth or less” of the entire structure
  • the two crura, which extend, like brackets, down from the glans clitoris and deep into the tissue of the vulva, on either side
  • the two bulbs of the vestibule, which extend either side of the vaginal orifice (not all researchers agree that the vestibular bulbs have a relation to the clitoris, however; researchers Vincenzo and Giulia Puppo, for instance, argue that the clitoris consists “of the glans, body, and crura” only)

In its entirety, the clitoris may reach adenine many as 7 centimeters in length, if not longer, and the glans makes up about 4–7 millimeters of the whole. The glans is besides the part that is richest in barren steel endings, therefore providing the most sensation.

2. ‘Grand Central Station of erotic sensation’

due to its high level of sensitivity, the clitoris is normally the main player when it comes to the female orgasm . parcel on PinterestThe clitoris has only one role: erotic sensation. popular culture and pornographic material frequently tend to depict the female orgasm as something normally accomplishable entirely through penetration, but skill tells a different floor altogether. Most women, researchers have found, will only achieve orgasm when the clitoris — or, more specifically, the glans clitoris — is besides stimulated. Sex educator and researcher Emily Nagoski calls the female genital organ the “Grand Central Station of erotic sensation” in her book Come As You Are. In fact, holocene studies suggest that women who experience the less common, and sometimes more controversial types of orgasm — vaginal orgasm ascribable to penetration, or vaginal orgasm through G point stimulation — may actually have clitoral stimulation to thank .

3. A female penis?

The clitoris has besides sometimes been seen as a female penis, largely due to a phenomenon that we may refer to as “ biological homology, ” which refers to the fact that all fetuses are born, as Emily Nagoski puts it, with “ all the same part, organized in different ways. ”

contribution on PinterestThe clitoris and the penis are homologous organs. This is besides why men — who, unlike women, will not need, or be able, to express milk and breast-feed babies — have nipples. They still develop nipples, however, because they — like reasonably much all body parts — are preprogrammed in the earliest stages of embryonic growth. In early words, men and women actually mirror each other physiologically to a very great extent. And this is how the clitoris develops ; it and the penis are homologues. Nagoski explains how this happens during very early development in the uterus. “ About 6 weeks after the fertilize testis implants in the uterus, there is a wash of masculinizing hormones, ” she writes .

“ The male blastocyst ( a group of cells that will form the embryo ) responds to this by developing its ‘ prefab ’ universal genital hardware into the male shape of penis, testicles, and scrotum. The female blastocyst does not respond to [ this ] [ … ] and alternatively develops its prefab universal genital hardware into the default option, female configuration of clitoris, ovaries, and labium. ” Emily Nagoski

4. Evolutionary relic or erotic bonus?

While the penis and the clitoris are homologous, however, the penis plays respective roles — erotic, generative, and excretive — while the clitoris performs only one problem : that of creating erotic sense, which may lead to orgasm. Why might that be ? share on PinterestNagoski calls the female orgasm ‘the fantastic bonus.’ According to Nagoski, the female orgasm is a “ by-product ” of biological homology, and so it should be celebrated as a fantastic bonus. “Male ejaculation, with its close tie to orgasm, is crucial to reproduction,” she explains. “As a result, orgasm is embedded on female sexual hardware, too.” But some researchers believe that the female orgasm may not always have been “ a bonus. ” alternatively, they think that, similarly to male orgasm — which coincides with the dismissal of semen — female orgasm may have stimulated the dismissal of ovules. For case, the authors of an article that was published in 2016 in the daybook JEZ-B Molecular and Developmental Evolution found that immediately after orgasming, women experience a hormonal surge that, in the modern human, has the effect of improving the climate. But the substances thus released in the soundbox, the scientists say, are not unlike those released in the bodies of other female mammals such as rats during sexual intercourse, stimulating the release of eggs that can be fertilized. In humans, ovulation is a ad-lib event, independent from sexual intercourse. But the authors of the aforesaid study speculate that, at some point in our evolutionary by, we may well have functioned like early mammals, and female orgasm may have stimulated the dismissal of ovules. now, orgasm has persisted as a enjoyable evolutionary bequest, without the generative association.

5. Why is the clitoris so taboo?

But why has it taken therefore long for scientists to start taking more of an interest in the clitoris, and why is it that person alone took the first step to scan the clitoris and produce an accurate representation of it in 2009 ? share on PinterestThe clitoris has been a taboo topic for too long, so we must break the silence, researchers say. In an article published in the journal sex Roles in 2000, researchers Shirley Mattel Ogletree and Harvey J. Ginsburg write that the clitoris had been shrouded in privacy. cipher liked to talk about it, and the problem, the investigators suggested, started in the home. They write, “ [ B ] ecause the clitoris ’ s alone serve is for sexual pleasure, parents have no [ … ] argue to discuss the clitoris. ” More shockingly, though, they found, “ Even ‘ experts ’ providing advice to parents have used terms other than clitoris ” when discussing the importance of female genitalia. In a culture that has focused on the importance of reproduction to the detriment of enjoyment, the clitoris has lain forgotten, and the populace and aesculapian professionals alike have felt embarrassed to discuss and pay closer care to it. Yet the miss of a conversation about female genitalia and female pleasure may affect the room in which women understand their sexual health, and it may tied impact their sexual activity lives.

“Reclaiming the clitoris may help women actively discover their own sexual pleasure and be more independent in the sexual choices that they make,” conclude Ogletree and Ginsburg. We hope that this Spotlight can further the conversation about the clitoris, and that it has provided you with far insight into the wonders of female sex .

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