The Clitoris

As much as medicine and the sciences in general have evolved over the decades, there are still new discoveries being made about the human female anatomy.  For example, there has been extensive scientific debate regarding what the clitoris is anatomically, how it relates to orgasm, whether it provides a physiological explanation for the G-spot, whether it is an evolutionary adaptation, or serves a reproductive function.  Studies suggest that knowledge of its existence and anatomy is scant in comparison with that of other sexual organs.

The role of the clitoris in female sexual pleasure, as understood by those who study it, has changed over the centuries and decades. It was once thought that it did not play a role in achieving sexual pleasure and that it was a rudimentary and non-functional organ. The vagina was thought to be the penis equivalent in the female body.

Later, Sigmund Freud, who died in 1939, acknowledged the role of the clitoris in female sexual pleasure but claimed that clitoral orgasms were mostly evident in teen and pre-teen females, and that only physically mature females experienced vaginal (or G-spot) orgasms.  I can just imagine this theory being used as an excuse to discourage a woman from pleasuring herself, accompanied by: “Oh, just grow up!”, not to mention female genital mutilation.

The theory was harshly criticised by Alfred Kinsey in the 1950s who found that most of the women he observed and surveyed could not have vaginal orgasms, a finding that was also supported by his knowledge of sex organ anatomy.

The clitoris became known as the primary anatomical source of human female sexual pleasure and it was found that direct stimulation is essential for female orgasm in most cases. Kinsey criticized Freud and other theorists for projecting male constructs of sexuality onto women and viewed the clitoris as the main center of sexual response.

The clitoris is a complex structure, and its size and sensitivity can vary considerably. It is made up of external and internal components. The external glans (or head of the human clitoris) is roughly the size and shape of a pea, and is estimated to have more than 8,000 sensory nerve endings.

Female sexual anatomy

More recent research reveals that clitoris tissue extends into just behind the vagina’s anterior wall (the side of the vagina nearest the belly as opposed to the lower back) which means it is usually indirectly stimulated during vaginal sex and this indirect stimulation is enough to reach orgasm in many cases.

Based on dissections on the female genitals of cadavers, researchers as late as 1998 noted that there is more erectile tissue associated with the clitoris than is generally described in anatomical textbooks. Some researchers have claimed that the vaginal wall is, in fact, the clitoris. When they lift the surface layer off the side walls of the vagina, they find bulbs of the clitoris and masses of erectile tissue underneath.

In my opinion, the relatively small density of nerve endings in the vagina compared to the clitoris makes it more difficult to orgasm from exclusively vaginal stimulation. It could be a blessing in disguise considering the process of child birth.

I think it takes experimentation with and without partner to find the best way to experience sexual pleasure that is unique to you.

Perhaps Freud was onto something when he said only mature woman experienced vaginal orgasms. For a woman of his time it may well have taken decades before she naturally discovered the G-Spot in her own body.  I am not implying that there is anything wrong with clitoral orgasms, but my favourite is when both happen simultaneously.

Isn’t it strange how we can know so much about the world around us and so little about our own sexuality? I discovered intense pleasure from the G-Spot for the first time not that long ago… in my early 40s, but I have no idea how typical this is.

Can anyone point me to credible research about G-Spot orgasms and age, or perhaps share your own experience?

Medical details in this post are based on the Wikipedia article “Clitoris“.


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