Maïa Mazaurette is the author of several books based on sex and the clitoris. She unveils the mystery of the clitoris' role in a woman's sex life and advises on how to get the most out of it.
You say that the clitoris is still a taboo subject. Why?
Because even today, a woman who's sexually mature is expected to be able to orgasm through the male penis, without needing her clitoris. This simplistic vision dates back to Freud, whose theory that vaginal orgasms are better is still embedded in our culture. The act of sex is portrayed as being all about penetration, in sex education at school, in films and magazines. The taboo surrounding the clitoris isn't aggressive, as with female circumcision, but it's indirect. You only have to look at how guys' faces light up when they talk about women having vaginal orgasms...so if a woman is unable to reach vaginal orgasm, that puts a lot of pressure on her partner.
Has the clitoris always been taboo?
Without wanting to generalise, it has always been a big taboo. The pleasure that men give women through their clitoris is 'free' pleasure in that they get nothing in return, unlike penetration. Men have nothing to gain from the clitoris. Add to that the fact that, through religion, sex is often linked purely to reproduction. That said, attitudes are changing...so let's hope the clitoris will get the attention it deserves eventually!
What advice would you give to ladies who are unfamiliar with their clitoris?
Take it easy, relax and go at your own pace, without listening to other people's advice (including mine!). But since you asked...the clitoris is delicate, so it's best to start gently. Use a little lubrication (or saliva). If you don't like touching yourself, you can use other forms of stimulation like rubbing yourself against a pillow, or use a vibrator. Duck vibrators are all the rage at the moment, but with such a big choice of clitoral sex toys out there, you can shop around!