The Oldest Fable – Everything Wrong with the Clitoris Narrative

It may seem hard to believe that our clitoris is designed solely for pleasure. With 8,000 nerve endings, we DOUBLE the penis, which only weighs in at a whopping 4,000. One may argue that vulva owners are as deserving or more deserving of an orgasm than penis owners. That’s one hard pill for society to swallow, especially during most of recorded history, a time where women were seen as lesser than their male counterparts. Since women don’t need to orgasm in order to reproduce whereas males tend to ejaculate sperm when having orgasms, researching the beautifully complex layers of the vulva were neglected.

The careless research in cliterocy contributed to this petrifying, skin-crawling relationship society has with vulva’s. The scariest part about this all… is that it feels entirely intentional. The sexual shame surrounding women dates back as early as 1545 when a French physician declared the clitoris as membre honteux – the shameful member. With little curiosity as to what the clitoris serves for vulva owners, he simply brushed it off as a place where pee expels itself. The clitoris continued to be dismissed after Sigmund Freud determined clitorial orgasms to be “immature”. That to be a “woman” you had to have married vaginal sex otherwise, you could be considered hysterical. What is the idea of sex to Freud if not subservient to men? It didn’t stop there, anatomy textbooks had wrongfully pushed the narrative that the clitoris had very little importance. Whereas the penis would be flaunting it’s well-defined studies boldly for students and professors.

It wouldn’t be until 1998 when Helen O’Connell had challenged sciences take on the clitoris. Referring to the visual bulb that we see as only the tip of the iceberg of what really exists. Beneath the pubic bone, the organ embodies a wish-bone structure. The legs known as the crura are up to 9-centimeters long and the neck is of 7-centimeters. These spongy tissues become erect just as a penis would and are highly sensitive. This discovery encouraged sex educators, researchers, the average woman, and challenged everything society had boxed sex into. The mission isn’t over as there are still educators encouraging the liberation for sex and sexual health. Vulva owners today still struggle with the relationship between them and their sexual curiosity. Is it any wonder that something designed solely for pleasure has so many horrific stories? This is historical trauma that’s been embedded in us through irresponsible analysis of female anatomy.

We deserve full acceptance of our body, from the tip of the iceberg all the way to the intrasite depth that’s been omitted from our knowledge. We deserve to inherit a sense of comfort with something that’s innately ours. Where do we start? (Re)gaining our power is an exploration that detonates the trivial agenda that dehumanizes a huge part of our humanity. Through masturbation, creating boundaries, learning the many ways to say no, and the many ways to say yes, I deserve to enjoy this moment too. But at the end of the day, that list may exhaust you. And rightfully so…Is it solely our job to burden ourselves with the unlearning of centuries of humiliation. Where does society start? It’s time to have that conversation…

This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Tatiyanna Shirley, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of

Tatiyanna Shirley is also the founder of Ardentley, and can be followed on Instagram.

Pair this blog post with the following:

5 Things I Wish Had Been Covered in Sex Education by Joanna Anagnostou

Sex, Teens & Everything In Between by Shafia Zaloom

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