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The clitoris

Published by cheree
Published on 13 August 2008

The clitoris is the pleasure organ par excellence, and is the most sensitive part of a woman’s body. For a long time it was considered secondary and even demonised, yet it holds all the secrets to female sexuality. Here's our lowdown on the pleasure button.

The clitoris is the pleasure organ par excellence, and is the most sensitive part of a woman’s body. For a long time it was considered secondary and even demonised, yet it holds all the secrets to female sexuality. Here's our lowdown on the pleasure button.


Anatomy
The clitoris is wholly devoted to sexual pleasure. It’s located at the intersection and top of the labia minora, protected by the labia majora. Like the penis, it is an erectile body that possesses nerve endings (but 3 times more than the penis). It also has a cap and a gland, but it’s an internal organ, unlike the penis. The gland, covered by the cap, is the visible part of the clitoris between the labia minora. It only measures between 0.5 and 1cm.
We know less about the stem, the invisible part, which can measure up to 10cm long and 3 to 6cm wide. It is spilt into 2 long roots that go around the lateral edges of the vagina. The clitoris doesn't actually look like a button or a pea, but more like a pear!

A mystery to men
The clitoris is still a mystery to many males, but it's key to female pleasure. 95% of women can reach orgasm in a few minutes by stimulating their clitoris themselves. In the middle ages the clitoris was nicknamed ‘the scorn of man’ in certain regions in Europe.

Caresses
From a young age, women discover their bodies by carressing their clitoris, but stimulation by a partner doesn't always produce the same effect, for one simple reason: a lot of men have a very simple vision of the clitoris and are clumsy with their touch.
With the clitoris being a very sensitive organ, stimulation needs to be done in a very delicate way with fingers, lips or the tongue. Many women prefer stimulation with the tongue and experience orgasm through cunnilingus.
The stem can also be stimulated, for example by pressing on the pubic bone or by caressing the two sides of the vagina where the roots of the clitoris are located, which can create a real sensation of pleasure.

Clitoral or vaginal?
The majority of women are clitoral and obtain clitoral orgasm easily. However, for a number of scientists the debate between clitoral and vaginal orgasm is now outdated, as they say that when an orgasm occurs it’s because the complex clitoris is stimulated either directly or through the vaginal wall. So if 30% of women have an orgasm during sexual intercourse, it means that for the 70% left the clitoris could not play its role.
Even in women who say they are vaginal, half admit that they have resorted to stimulating their clitoris to reach orgasm. Inversely, a clitoral orgasm is also always vaginal in a way because the vagina naturally contracts rhythmically to clitoral orgasm.

Demonised
In the 19th century the clitoris was described as a ‘useless organ’ by scientists. The vagina acquired undisputable supremacy over the clitoris. In Europe and the USA, until the 1930s the practice of circumcision was widespread to prevent masturbation but also because the clitoris was thought to cause hysteria and epilepsy. Today 150 million women in the world are still victims of clitoral circumcision, in countries extending from the Arab states to India.

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