After getting married, we all make compromises. One of my compromises was watching all of the TV show How I Met Your Mother. I remember one scene where the married couple, Lilly and Marshall, are visiting the OBGYN. Marshall is looking at a diagram on the wall and says, “wow, it’s incredible how little I know about vaginas!” He then points to the wall and says, “what’s that?” and the doctor looks at Lilly and says, “oh you poor thing.”
The joke here is that, in spite of being with Lilly for years, Marshall doesn’t know what the clitoris is. This is a common joke in other shows, movies, and social media. But why?
We Don’t Talk about the Clitoris Enough
We don’t talk about the clitoris enough. This could be because our society focuses on male pleasure. In fact, it has only been in recent times that Western medicine acknowledged that women orgasm as well. We still have societal messages that tell us men enjoy sex more than women, or that they want it more, or that men are by nature more sexual creatures. Some women feel guilty when they do feel sexual, and others have never been taught about the sexual responses of their bodies.
The clitoris is less visible than a penis, and so often if a woman is not taught about the clitoris and what it does she will never know. It can feel embarrassing to talk about, and so we may shy away from learning about or teaching about female pleasure organs. There are also so many rumors out there about how a woman should feel pleasure (like the debate on a “g-spot” and vaginal orgasms).
For these and other reasons, the clitoris is often a mystery to both husbands and their wives. However, it can be so freeing and empowering to learn about this wonderful part of your body!
Why is It Important to Know About?
You as a woman deserve sexual pleasure. It can’t just be up to your husband to discover how that is going to happen. You two together can have an ongoing epic adventure of discovering your sexual selves. Your clitoris is the body organ that provides you the physical pleasure of sex. It is important to know about the clitoris, how it works, and the unique aspects of this wonderful part of you! By learning about your sexual organs, you can also challenge the narrative that your sexuality is wrong or dirty or weird. Learn to love all the parts of yourself by getting acquainted with your sexual self.
The clitoral network is a complex system of nerves, blood vessels, and muscles that make up the clitoris. The clitoris is a small, sensitive organ that is located at the top of the vulva. In fact, the clitoris has about 10,000 nerve endings! It is responsible for sexual pleasure and orgasm in women.
Many women are surprised to find out how long the clitoris is. We only see the small head externally. But the organ itself is usually about 4 inches long and 2.5 inches wide. The clitoral network is made up of the following structures:
The glans clitoris: This is the visible part of the clitoris. It is a small, rounded structure that is located at the top of the vulva. This is the part that is easiest to directly stimulate!
The clitoral hood: This is a fold of skin that covers the glans clitoris.
The clitoral shaft: This is the part of the clitoris that is located below the clitoral hood. It is a cylindrical structure that is made up of erectile tissue.
The clitoral crura: These are two elongated structures that extend from the clitoral shaft to the sides of the pelvis. They are made up of erectile tissue and help to support the clitoris.
The clitoral bulb: This is a spongy structure that is located beneath the clitoral crura. It is made up of erectile tissue and helps to fill the vagina during sexual arousal.
The vestibular bulbs: These are two elongated structures that are located on either side of the vaginal opening. They are made up of erectile tissue and help to fill the vagina during sexual arousal.
The G-spot: This is an area of erectile tissue that is located on the front wall of the vagina. Every woman will have a different level of sensitivity (and it may even change over time). Therefore, not every woman will have a “spot” or be able to orgasm from vaginal stimulation. It is not always easy to find, but it can be stimulated during sexual intercourse or with a G-spot vibrator.
The urethral sponge: This is a spongy structure that surrounds the urethra. It is made up of erectile tissue and helps to fill the urethra during sexual arousal.
The Skene’s glands: These are two small glands that are located on either side of the urethral opening. They produce a fluid that helps to lubricate the vagina during sexual intercourse.
The Bartholin’s glands: These are two small glands that are located on either side of the vaginal opening. They produce a fluid that helps to lubricate the vagina during sexual intercourse.
The pudendal nerve: This is a nerve that supplies sensation to the clitoris and other parts of the vulva.
The dorsal clitoral nerve: This is a nerve that supplies sensation to the glans clitoris.
The inferior labial artery: This is an artery that supplies blood to the clitoris and other parts of the vulva.
The deep artery of the clitoris: This is an artery that supplies blood to the clitoris.
The clitoral veins: These are veins that carry blood away from the clitoris.
The lymphatic vessels of the clitoris: These are vessels that carry lymph away from the clitoris.
The clitoral network is a complex and important system that plays a vital role in sexual pleasure and orgasm.
What to Do with this Information
Wow, that was a lot! So what do you do with all this information? Remember that each woman’s clitoris will have a unique shape, placement in the body, and sensitivity. So, once you’ve learned all this anatomy it’s time to learn about your own unique sexual pleasure organ! What feels really good for you? What new ways might you like to explore your pleasure with your husband? For ideas on what to try, see our posts on cunnilingus and manual stimulation!
Learning about your sexual self emotionally, mentally, and physically is crucial as we continue to grow our intimacy and sexual connection with your spouse.
Written by Amanda Severson with Get Your Marriage On!
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