The anatomy of the clitoris was first described in 1559 by Renaldus Columbus of Padua, who claimed that previous anatomists had overlooked the very existence of “so pretty a thing."
It remained overlooked until 1998 when Australian Urologist Helen O’Connell found there was much more to the clitoris than the ‘little hill’ (the meaning of the Greek root 'Kleitoris'). The ‘little hill’ was actually just the tip of an iceberg. That the true complexity of the clitoris wasn't discovered until late into the 20th century says a lot about how female sexuality has been undervalued and misunderstood.
As the only organ in the human body solely dedicated to sexual pleasure and the epicentre of most women's orgasmic world, the clitoris should never be undervalued or overlooked!
What is the clitoris?
The clitoris is the most sensitive organ in the human body, much more sensitive than the tongue, fingertips, or penis. A good way for penis-owners to understand the sensitivity of a clitoris is to imagine the sensitivity of their penis x 2, compacted into the size of a pea.
The clitoral tip, also known as the glans, is what most people know and refer to as 'the clitoris.' The clit lies beneath the fold of skin called the clitoral hood at the top of the inner vaginal lips. The tip and the hood are the only parts of the clitoris that lie outside the body.
Internally, the hidden parts of the clitoris are two wishbone-shaped shafts (clitoral legs) and 2 bulbs of erectile tissue that lie on either side of the vaginal opening.
The urethral sponge (the G-spot) is also likely a part of the internal clitoral structure and appears inter-connected. Debate still rages about its existence. With preciously little proper research, we’re going on our own evidence of talking to thousands of women about their special spot.
Your clitoris swells with blood and becomes erect when you're turned on. (It can even double in size!) When you become really aroused, the clitoral tip retracts under its hood and may no longer be visible or even twiddlable. The clitoral tip can retreat and return to play several times during sex, but during orgasm, your clitoris is always retracted.
How to pleasure the clitoris
The different parts of the clitoris produce differing sensations. Only by exploring and honing in on what feels good will you discover the full pleasures your clitoris has to offer you. Touching the tip gives the most intense sensation, which many women don’t find pleasurable. If the touch is too firm, it can actually be painful.
Most women find stroking around the sides of the clitoris rather than directly on the tip of it far more pleasurable.
Women have incredible complex sexual responses and can take a long time to orgasm. This is fantastic news for the intensity of our orgasms (the longer the build-up, the better the orgasm), but it can mean hands, tongues, and partners can tire. This is where the orgasm-busting power of a great vibe can be helpful. Playing with a vibrator, whether with a partner or solo, can allow you to discover new ways to feel pleasure and new ways to orgasm.