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What Every Man Should Know About The Clitoris

Updated: Jan 15

At Pecker Nectar, we believe great sexual health begins with education. And for those of you that think we are just penis obsessed, rest assured we are obsessed with female body parts too.

Here are 12 things you might not know about the clitoris:

Did you know Columbus discovered her?

Italian professor Renaldus Columbus (also known as Matteo Realdo Colombo) is said to have discovered the clitoris in 1559, when he described the body part in his seminal work called: De re anatomica.  Although plenty of people probably knew the clitoris was down there, he was one of the first to openly talk about it in his book. Gabrial Fallopius, the man for whom the fallopian tubes are named, has also laid claim to the discovery.

She deserves more attention.

Research has shown that the clitoris gets very little attention compared to other sex-related body parts. We’re guilty of talking about the penis until we're blue in the face, but when it comes to the clitoris, which is—let’s be honest—why many of us care about our penis in the first place, we suddenly draw a blank. A Southwest Texas University Study from 2000 looked at a database of psychology research stretching from 1887 to 2000 and found that 1,482 sources contained the term penis, 409 contained vagina, and 83 contained clitoris.

She's strikingly similar to an iceberg.

Most of the clitoris can be found if you are willing to look a little deeper. What most people think is the clitoris is actually only a small part of it, called "the glans". The glans is very important but the clitoris continues inside the body. Women have nearly as much erectile tissue as men, only it’s not as showy as on a man. Inside women, the clitoris wraps around either side of the vaginal canal and has two “legs” (called crura). The clitoris also has two bulbs that lie under the vulva. According to the Museum of Sex, if a woman is excited enough, these will engorge, creating a tighter opening down there. Although much of the clitoris is hidden, it's all sensitive erectile tissue, so stimulating it from the outside can feel really good.

Yes, she really is a female penis.

The part of an embryo that becomes a penis in males becomes the clitoris in females. Just as with penises, the clitoris is sensitive, creates pleasurable feelings, and can become erect when a woman is sexually excited, which for those of you reading who want to know, usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes. Clitorises also have their own version of a foreskin, called the clitoral hood. Some women like the hood to be pulled back during stimulation, so they can enjoy the full effects. For others, direct stimulation can be too intense resembling pins and needles, and that’s not fun.

Like her owners, she comes in many flavors.

Breasts, penises, vaginas, and testicles vary greatly in appearance from person to person and the clitoris is certainly not an exception to the rule. On average, the glans (the part of the clitoris you can see) is about 1/5 of an inch (5mm) long and 1/10 (2.5mm) of an inch wide. The clitoris as a whole is usually about four inches long, er deep. Clitorises not only vary in size and width, they also vary in sensitivity.

Her single purpose is pleasure.

So far as anyone can tell, the sole purpose of the clitoris is to make a woman feel really good. The clitoris is the primary organ for female pleasure. It doesn't play an essential role in getting pregnant, although some studies show that female orgasm from clitoral stimulation can cause the cervix to engorge helping increase uptake of semen into the vaginal passage. Research has shown that around 75 percent of women need direct clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm. Ignoring the clitoris would be like ignoring the head of the penis, and we certainly can’t advocate for that. Give what you want to get gentlemen.

She's twice as good as a penis.

The clitoris is highly sensitive. It has 8,000 nerve endings, about twice as many as the penis. While this can translate to a lot of good feelings, it can also mean that overstimulation may be an issue. A clitoris is not exposed like a penis, and as a result many women don't enjoy aggressive stimulation, and may pull away if you are too forceful.

She likes to get wet.

Lubrication is the key to all good things. A woman's skin down there does secrete some fluid but most bodily lubrication during sex comes from the vagina. However, not all women lubricate as much as they or their partners might want, regardless of age or arousal. Because the clitoris is so sensitive, this is an important detail. Always make sure there is plenty of lubrication. Avoid touching the clitoris with a dry finger. And saliva doesn't always cut it either, because it dries out fairly quickly. We recommend a quality lubricant or 100 percent almond oil, which can be bought at many health food stores.

For her, location matters.

Another way in which clitorises may differ from woman to woman is in terms of placement. Research has revealed that women who have clitorises that are farther from their vaginal opening are more likely to have problems with orgasm. The magic distance seems to be about 2.5 cm.

She likes things to be properly aligned.

There are a couple different options for intercourse specifically designed to stimulate a woman's clitoris in the way most women like. One is the Coital Alignment Technique, which is a variation of missionary. To get into this position, start in missionary with your full weight on the woman. Then move up about two inches while your partner's legs are around your thighs to create direct pressure. From there you need to rock, while she thrusts. This all may feel a little awkward at first and may take some personal adjustments but it does yield results for many people.

Ask her owner for more advice.

Ask your partner to be vocal about what she likes, as she’s the expert. If there is one thing everyone should understand about sex, it is that communication is the best way to have great sex. Remember both partners play an important role in this, and being open with each other creates trust. Trust creates comfort and comfort creates pleasure. Also understand that some women may not have figured out what feels best yet. There can be a lack of experience (or unpleasant experiences) that can result in feelings of embarrassment, shame, and fear. There can also be a lack of self-awareness as it's still developing. Be gentle, be a great listener, follow guidance with care and intent. Talking and exploring together is an effective (and fun) way to address any sexual obstacles you may want to overcome together.

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