- The clitoris is the only organ in the human body (either male or female) whose sole purpose is to transmit sexual sensation.
- It goes much deeper than you’d think (kind of like a Barbara Walters special): It’s actually a complex organ that extends throughout a woman’s genitals, and is therefore sometimes referred to as the clitoral network. Typically, the words clit or clitoris refer just to the clitoral glans, or head — that sensitive little nubbin you all know and love as the clitoris.
- The nubbin sits in a little hood where the tops of the labia meet.
- It’s analogous to the glans of the penis. And, just like the penis, the clitoris fills with blood and swells when it’s aroused.
- Most women need some kind of clitoral stimulation in order to climax.
- The clitoral head has more sensory nerve endings than any other structure in the body (again, female or male) — somewhere between 6,000 and 8,000 thousand, four times as many as on the (much larger) head of the penis.
- Not all clitorises are alike, as you should know if you’ve had the pleasure of knowing more than one in your life. Some are smaller than a grain of rice, and others are the size of a lima bean (talk about flicking the bean). Some are very shy and rarely peek out of the hood, and others are big show-offs. Some disappear into the hood once they’re aroused, and others pop out when a woman is turned on. Some women like direct clitoral stimulation, and others prefer it over the hood — and some find even that too intense. And clitorises have mood swings, too — what’s too much on Monday may feel just right on Wednesday. It’s a matter of experimenting — on yourself or your partner — until you find what works.
- Remember that most clitorises can take more (and more varied) stimulation when you use lube and/or when its owner is very turned on. If you’re using a vibrator, start on the lowest setting and work your way up so you don’t give the poor clit a heart attack. And if the clitoris in question isn’t yours, pay constant attention to the woman upstairs — you need the feedback.
- We know of no better resource than The Clitoral Truth, by our friend Rebecca Chalker for more info on the topic. It’s a must-read for anyone with a vagina in their life.
- The clitoris is also known as the chickpea, little man in the boat, magic button, nubbin.
For more info, please check out Em & Lo’s book,
“SEX TOY: An A-Z Guide to Bedside Accessories.”