Clitorally speaking

It’s time to honor a body part that is too often ignored.

Bronwyn Miller

 

Since it’s the last issue of the semester, I wanted to go out with a bang — or at least encourage you to. Luckily, the first-ever International Clitoris Awareness Week, going on now, gives us all the perfect reason.

Yes, that’s a real thing. The Las Vegas-based group Clitoraid, generally dedicated to assisting victims of female genital mutilation worldwide, is sponsoring the week of recognition, but its goal with this initiative is slightly different. Instead of focusing on the heartbreaking issue of genital mutilation, they want this week to be more about fun, positive appreciation for a kickass body part.

Let’s “Bump Bump Bump” this one up to our list of favorite holidays. It’s about time the clitoris got its moment in the spotlight.

Unlike the liberal explanations and diagrams granted to male anatomy, the clitoris received nary a mention in my sexual education textbooks, let alone an elaborate guide. Thank patriarchy for how little research and attention the clitoris has received, even in the medical field. The neglect is an unfortunate side effect of a society that tends to give most focus to male-oriented subjects; furthermore, the fact that the clitoris does not serve a reproductive purpose tended to put it down low on the list of science’s most crucial topics throughout history. Whatever the culprit may be, the lack of emphasis on the clitoris — and resulting perplexity about its wonders — is quite unfortunate.

Establishing cliteracy can be an elusive process for all genders. Many women themselves haven’t figured out its full potential yet. Only from “firsthand” experience did I discover what makes the clitoris the clear MVP of our sex game. Sometimes it takes a spread eagle accompanied by a handheld mirror. Sometimes it takes that, plus a healthy loving-yourself phase (cough, get a vibrator, cough). Becoming aware of and comfortable with your body’s awesome nuances and capabilities solo first will make your interactions with a partner exponentially better.

May also happens to be National Masturbation Month, so if there were ever a time to get down with yourself, it’s now. Plus, with all the procrastination for finals already going on, I can’t help but encourage you to turn at least some of that into procrasturbation.

Regardless of your method, there’s a lot to learn. Unlike any other organ on the female or male body, the clitoris has the sole function of providing pleasure. It’s not needed for reproduction, and it doesn’t serve the purpose of urination. That’s right; pleasure only — Suck it, guys! But seriously.

It was only recently that scientists figured out what the clitoris is all about. Turns out it’s not just that little “button” of pleasure. The clitoris continues internally down the sides of your vulva in a wishbone shape and can be up to eight inches long. The external area, the crux of the wishbone, is just the tip of the iceberg. Called the “glans,” it contains approximately 8,000 sensory nerve fibers — more than anywhere else on the body and twice the amount found on the head of a penis. Its hypersensitivity is the reason it needs to be handled with care. Don’t deejay the hell out of it and expect us to enjoy it.

Still, if until semi-recently the realities of the clitoris eluded even doctors, I don’t fault guys too much for often approaching lady parts with the same finesse as trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube with the lights off. But now, there’s no excuse. The cat’s out of the bag, and it’s looking to be played with. Use International Clitoris Awareness Week as the impetus for your own enlightenment. If there were ever a cause to lend a hand to, it’s this one.