Dr J's Sex Facts

Fun sex facts and accurate information from a clinical sexologist for a hotter and more fulfilling sex life.

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Amazing Clitoris: For Women and the Men Who Love Them

“To believe that God doesn’t like sex is like believing that God doesn’t like you: we all wind up carrying a secret shame for our own perfectly natural sexual desires and fulfillments. We prefer the beliefs of a woman we met who is a devoted churchgoer. She told us that when she was about five years old, she discovered the joys of masturbation in the back seat of the family car, tucked under a warm blanket on a long trip. It felt so wonderful that she concluded that the existence of her clitoris was proof positive that God loved her.”
Dossie Easton and Catherine Liszt, The Ethical Slut

If you have a clitoris (and most of us do), consider yourself lucky. Over 90% of women living in northeastern Africa (Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, etc.) have had their clitorises removed! This procedure is called a “clitorectomy.” You might have seen this referred to as “female circumcision,” and wondered what it meant. Make no mistake: women don’t have a foreskin like the penis does, so this term is inaccurate and is generally used as a means of minimizing the impact of this practice.

In some of those countries, the fear and hatred of female sexuality is so pervasive that people believe that if a woman has a clitoris, not only will she be sexually uncontrollable, but she also won’t be satisfied with staying at home and taking care of the children (as if orgasms were the only factor contributing to anyone’s need for liberation!).

The clitoris’ nature and structure has been misunderstood for so long that it’s not surprising that some cultures want nothing to do with it. Some even go so far as to remove all external structures of the vulva—not just the clitoris—believing that the vulva is “gross” and even dangerous! It makes you realize that while we’ve come so far in many ways, we still have so much farther to go. Sigh.

OK. That’s the bad news. Now here’s the good news: we sexologists are discovering more and more about this wonderful organ of pleasure, including how vast it actually is. Today we have a little show and tell. Here’s a wonderful video clip from the great artist and sexologist Betty Dodson, in which Betty not only illustrates the internal and external structure of the clitoris, but also narrates in her very own inimitable style.

Watch and enjoy (click on link below). UPDATE FROM FRIDAY for all of you who emailed me in frustration: The previous link was incorrect. Below is the correct link (my apologies).

http://www.youtube.com/p.swf?video_id=cWRO0IIN_QE&eurl=http%3A//www.google.com/search%3Fhl%3Den%26q%3D%2522Betty%2BDodson%2522&iurl=http%3A//img.youtube.com/vi/cWRO0IIN_QE/2.jpg&t=OEgsToPDskKJzL9t4twKh6Go6kBy1ylc

Incidentally, the book to which Betty refers in the clip is A New View of a Woman’s Body, by Suzanne Gage. I highly recommend it!

As always, the doc is in for your comments and questions.

Next week: More about Oral Sex (yum!)

With Pleasure,

Dr. J

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