What Excites Us!
Episode 7 - The Clitardis
In this episode, I talk about the human clitoris. I talk about anatomy, dispel a myth or two, talk about what they like, ways to treat them better, and why I call it the glorious Clitardis.
Check out the Good Girls Talk About Sex Podcast by Leah Carey - https://www.goodgirlstalk.com/
Someone cut out a significant part of me: A woman on what it's like living with female genital mutilation - Found on Firstpost
Can a woman who has undergone a clitoridectomy attain an orgasm? And what are the long-term psychological affects [sic] of enduring a clitoridectomy? - Quora.com - 6 answers
The benefits and disappointments following clitoral reconstruction after female genital cutting: A qualitative interview study from Sweden by Malin Jordal, Hannes Sigurjonsson, Gabriele Griffin, Anna Wahlberg - Found on Plos One
Effect of Tongkat Ali on stress hormones and psychological mood state in moderately stressed subjects by Shawn M Talbott,1 Julie A Talbott,1 Annie George,2 and Mike Pugh3 found at the National Center for Biotechnology Information
Female genital mutilation from the World Health Organization
Increasing Sexual Arousal in Women by Racheal Louise - found on Real Herbs
Psychosocial and sexual aspects of female circumcision
Clitoris - From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Le Clitoris - a Short Animated French Film - by Lori Malépart-Traversy
Get Cliterate | Professor Helen O'Connell | TEDxMacRobHS
9 answers to questions about your G-spot you were too afraid to ask by Sara Hendricks - Found on Insider
The sole function of the clitoris is female orgasm. Is that why it’s ignored by medical science? By Calla Wahlquist - Found at The Guardian
Clitoral History: A Tale of Love, Loss, and Discovery Found at Nursing Clio
Here's How To Find The Clitoris — You Can Thank Us Later by Cory Steig - From Sex School on Refinery 29
You’ve got Nerve: An abbreviated discussion of the clitoris aka “Clit-story” By Catherine Chavaree - Found at the Mabel Wadsworth Center
Debunking myths about the clitoris - Myth: 8,000 nerve endings. Jessica Pin Found on Medium.com
4 Widely Cited Statistics About Sex That Are Actually Fake - by Suzannah Weiss - Found at Kinkly
What is Clitoridectomy: Overview, Benefits, and Expected Results Found at docdoc
Effects of testosterone treatment on clitoral haemodynamics in women with sexual dysfunction by S. Cipriani, E. Maseroli, V. Di Stasi, I. Scavello,T. Todisco, G. Rastrelli, M. Fambrini, F. Sorbi, F. Petraglia, E. A. Jannini, M. Maggi & L. Vignozzi found on - Journal of Endocrinological Investigation
Fetal development: Your baby's genitals and urinary system By Kathleen Scogna Medically reviewed by Judith Venuti, Ph.D., embryologist - Found at BabyCenter
Hello friends, welcome to What Excites Us, the show that discusses sex and sexuality throughout time and place. This episode subject is as old as humankind and probably older, but since I'm not an evolutionary biologist, I don't want to assume today I am talking about the glorious clitoris. Or as I like to refer to it, the clitardis. And I'll tell you all about why after this.
Leah Carey 0:40
Hey, friends, I'm Leah Carey inviting you to listen to good girls talk about sex, where I interview everyday women about their sex lives.
Speaker 1 0:49
You know, I want to be like pushed against the wall. Like in the movies.
Speaker 2 0:53
This feels good. But do I look fat
Speaker 3 0:55
that always turned me on but I don't think I've admitted that to my husband.
Speaker 4 0:58
Have sex with women highly recommend
Leah Carey 1:00
Good girls talk about sex is here to remind you, you're not alone. And your desires are completely normal. Listen in your favorite podcast app today.
Speaker 5 1:13
Can someone please explain why America uses Fahrenheit and not clitoris.
Now sweetheart. I don't want to give you misinformation. But I think clitoris is that little bald headed baby on PBS.
Speaker 7 1:24
He talkin bout that kid Caillou. The clitoris is that one day on December 25. You give to the guests and you celebrate the birth of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Speaker 8 1:33
You're thinking of Christmas. Yeah, no, the clitoris is that math subject we had to take in high school.
Speaker 9 1:40
Oh, no, no, that's called calculus. clitoris is that stuff you use to grease your pan before you cook something
Speaker 10 1:47
you're thinking of Crisco. Uh clitoris is the thing that the caterpillar goes into before it becomes a butterfly.
Speaker 11 1:54
No, no,you're thinking of a chrysalis. No, clitorisis Christopher's last name.The guy who sailed over to America on the Mayflower he sailed the ocean blue.
Speaker 12 2:02
No, no, no, that's Columbus. clitoris are the specialized shoes that you wear outside when playing sports on turf.
Speaker 13 2:09
Now what you're talking about are cleats. No, sweetie, what clitoris is is actually those big, puffy white clouds that you see in the sky.
I just want to hop on real quick and say, first of all, there may be lots of hopping on this episode. And second of all, I went looking to see if anybody had added more to this particular tiktok because I think it's hilarious. And I didn't find any. If you find it. Let me know Okay, cuz yippee, fun stuff. And now back to the regularly scripted that I'm editing show.
As hilarious as that tiktok is, I do find it a bit sad that there's so little knowledge about the clitoris to make it funny in the first place. I mean, finding the man in the boat has been a culturally relevant joke since I don't even know when. I remember references to it when I was very young watching black and white reruns on TV after school in the 70s. So before we can talk about the good and horrible things that we do to it, we need to get clear on exactly what it is. For centuries, millennia, probably, and certainly right up until now, people believed the clitoris was only the pearl at the top of the vulva. Some clits are relatively large and easy to see and feel. Others are smaller and/or retracted beneath the hood, making them more difficult to locate, hence the joke. However, the reality is that the entirety of the organ is much larger on the inside. And that is why I call it a Clitardis. So the part that we see is the glands. When you think of it as the head, if you can imagine it looking a little bit like a cartoon version of the Loch Ness Monster. It has a similar tilt of the head to it. There are several pictures that have drawn faces on it, and even an animated short about it. It's easy to anthropomorphize it. Much easier say than a pancreas because after the head, and then a sizable neck referred to as the shaft. There are two long legs called corpus cavernosum surrounding two bulbs called the Kress clitoris. And the whole thing looks a little bit like an upside down horseshoe with extra bulbs. Thinking about where the Clitardis sits in the body. Those legs and bulbs are directly beneath the labia and surrounding the vaginal walls just right inside, meaning pressure is transferred, adding to the sensation a person who has one feels. All of this means that most vaginal orgasms are actually clitoral orgasm. So take that Sigmund Freud. There is an extremely prevalent myth that there are 8000 nerve endings on the clit. I used to wonder if that was distributed through the entire organ or just near the top. Turns out, it's wrong. Or at least we don't really know. There haven't actually been any studies counting the number of nerve endings on the clitoris, or on the penis for that matter. The study that the myth comes from is a study on sheep and cows. This information is cited in Thomas Lowery's book The Clitoris and since I don't have this book to be able to tell you the name of the original study, I can't. But I will let you know when the book arrives. Anywho the point is, the number is not accurate. And thank you to Susanna Weiss and Jessica Pan for getting that information out there.
While researching this episode, I saw that Wikipedia also uses this number and one of the citations used may have an actual answer. It's called the Anatomic Study of the Clitoris and the Vulval Clitoral Organ by Vincent De Marino and Hubert Lombardy. And I would love to have a copy of this, but it's over $100 And I can't justify that right now. So again, I will get back to you if I find out some actual information. But there are certainly several, probably even 1000s of nerve endings. And for many folks with vulvas it feels good to stroke the whole vulva labia at all, but I'm getting ahead of myself back to the anatomy. You still have the picture in your mind, right? Oh, here's a good one. Here's a good way to think of it. A Brontosaurus head and neck with no body on long skinny legs, wearing a giant floor length, bulbous symmetrical scarf. Wait, oh my God, who can draw? Can you draw? I can't draw. I want this. I don't want this as the fourth Doctor. The reason I want to be sure that the images in your mind is because the sex organs for the two dominant biological sexes are made from the same tissue, including erectile tissue. The two dominant biological sexes, of course, are the male and female. In fact, humans are made exactly the same until about nine weeks in utero. And at that point, the testes begin to form the scrotum begins to develop and the penis begins to elongate from the bud that it was before sex growth began. Some people say that we all began as girls, I disagree. I think we all began to sexless. But my rant about binaries for some other day. So you may ask, how did I get here? This is not my beautiful wife. No. How did we get here? Why is this not common knowledge? And I mean, the short answer is patriarchy, and likely a fear of women. But that is also not today's rant. Dr. Helen O'Connell said intellectual and surgical removal of the clitoris is a part of our cultural inheritance. She was regarding the small amount of information in her textbooks while training to be a urologist and the procedures that were commonplace in England and other first world countries in the 18th and 19th centuries. In 1998, Australian neurologist Helen O'Connell did the first MRI on a vulva in response to what she said. And she made this discovery about the internal structure of the Clitardis. Before then, if we were taught anything at all about it, which was extremely unlikely. All that there was was a there was a clitoris and a clitoris hood. That's it. Nothing more, probably not even about the pleasure it can generate. However, I have a sexologist magazine from the 1930s. With a diagram of most of the internal structure. The neck piece isn't solid in the way that we know now, but it had the bulbs and the legs. So my question is either What did they think it was? Or why wasn't it worth looking into more? And also, why was it forgotten until 1998? And this is why the short answer is patriarchy. Or maybe fear certainly apathy. Please let me know if you can come up with more or have other thoughts because that's all that I can figure out. I just plain don't know.
Gwyn Isaacs [ad]
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Okay, so now that we have a basic understanding of the anatomy, let's talk about sensation. This next bit is very important. So important that if you only take away one thing from this episode, let it be this. Ready? Every single clit responds to sensation differently. I'm going to say it again because it is really that crucial that you get it all Clitardises like to be touched in different ways. That means if you had a previous partner that liked it rough and directly on the glands, and your current partner does not, they are both entitled to pleasure the way that they enjoy it. Listen to your partners, you have to ask every time you're with somebody new. And oftentimes when you're not with somebody new, because what feels good now might not feel good later or tomorrow. Seriously, I have been with my primary partner for 10 years. And sometimes I still need to tell him exactly what I want, because it changes. And that's okay. There are certainly several things that I often want. But there is nothing that I always want. So normalize being able to talk about it. And if you aren't ready to do that, then work on being able to show your partner either by playing Show and Tell or by guiding their hands. mutual masturbation, it's all okay. Really. The one thing that I can say that is almost universal, but not completely, but almost is that most Clitardises do not like direct touch, at least, not right away. They want to be teased. They want to have the rest of the vulva stroked builds the anticipation, and then some don't even really want to ever be touched at all. Some like the hood played with some like the hood pulled back. Some want to be petted like a kitty, while others prefer a circular motion. Others still want it touched on one spot in a specific way. And others only want pressure through the labia. I cannot stress enough how different they all are. I mean, I'm trying here, but I can't tell if it's coming through. If you go have a conversation with your clit owning friend, then I'm getting through. If you have any questions about how to have that conversation, please ask me through an anonymous recording on the podcast website or send me an email or if you are a patron on Patreon you can ask me there too. Okay, now I want to talk about trans folks parts. First of all, I am not an expert, and I am not trans. Although I certainly know several folks who are and a few of them told me it's okay if I talk about this. I want to recognize that trans people, like all people are not a homogenous group and a few people's permission is not everyone, but that is impossible. And I think the information is important.
So when a person who is assigned female birth because they have the external biological sex parts that we've been equating with female for millennia, and they decided is not right for them. Sometimes they opt to take testosterone. Now for the record, some other quote unquote conditions such as PCOS and pregnancy can also increase testosterone. But not usually to the extent that adding it medically to your body does. So an extra testosterone is added into the body's chemical mix, a bunch of things happen, including the clit grows in both size and sensitivity. And since it is made up of erectile tissues, these folks get what look like small penises. Now, there isn't a whole since that's not where the urethra ends. But all in all, it really can appear and feel like a little dick, and it gets hard like a cock. And some folks like it to be touched and fondled like a cock. However, it still helps to talk about what the person likes before just going in there. I mean, that should be for all people in all sexual situations. Assuming that you want it to feel good, that is. For people who are struggling with sexual dysfunction or clitoral atrophy due to menopause or a hysterectomy or other similar hormonal shifts, doctors have begun testing transdermal testosterone, as opposed to pills or injections and are seeing positive results, including improved libido, pleasure response and natural lubrication. Not sure if they're prescribing this yet, but it's good to know that it's out there. Now please do not go take your trans friends testosterone and DIY this. First of all, they need it. Second of all, I'm certain that the amounts are not the same. If you are a friend are finding yourself with the loss of pleasurable sensation, there are other things that can be done before reaching for the testosterone. Masturbation is a great way to prime the pump. Especially if you have the right lube for you. It may take some experimentation to figure out which is the right lube for you because there are the oil based water based or silicone kinds. But also there are lots of different brands and they all have slightly different formulas. And again, we're all different. Also be patient. Our bodies change and things slow down as we age. As Oprah says, "Give yourself the gift of time." Create a setting that will encourage your libido, maybe a bath, maybe pleasant music and incense. Treat yourself to a date followed off by touching and stroking yourself. Don't try to just force the orgasm. Just enjoy. Do this regularly, and eventually you will likely be able to have an orgasm. There are also herbs that you can take including ginseng, and Horny Goat Weed. Tong cat alley is said to increase testosterone and lower cortisol levels. But I highly recommend talking with an herbalist to be sure you aren't creating any contra indications. And that the herbs that you are seeking will help you in the way that you or your friend want. Now, when it comes to human interference, that was the best part of the conversation. Because now I want well, want is a strong word here. But I feel a need to talk about clitorectomies which can occasionally be unnecessary medical procedure. But I'm also talking about female circumcision, which is still practiced in some places today. I went back and forth on deciding if I wanted to talk about this, because mostly, I really really don't want to get into a values discussion about it. I will say that the UN and the World Health Organization have determined the practice to be a violation of human rights. It has zero beneficial health benefits, and lots and lots of harmful side effects. Do I personally think that genital cutting is a good thing to do, especially to a child or a young adult? No, absolutely not. I feel very strongly about that. I don't agree with male circumcision either. But I'm not going to tell somebody else what to do about it. Especially when it's a practice that has evidence going back to at least 1000 BC. What I am going to do is listen, try to understand and engage in conversations that are slightly educational so that they can listen and try to understand my viewpoints because ultimately that is I believe how we can affect change. So with that said, and with the knowledge that there are people who have had these procedures done, who may be able to hear the show and who may also lack information, I decided it was important to talk about. The practice is often called female genital mutilation, and it takes four basic forms. But since this is a show about the Clitardis, I'm going to focus on just that. Oh, and also as with most other topics, if you are or you know, someone who is an expert in this, I would love to have you on the show. But for now, let me tell you all what I know. In these procedures, part or all of the external glands of the clitoris and the clitoral hood is removed and sutured closed. It is literally so the girl will feel less sexual pleasure, which is unfortunately what happens and is lucky if that's the only thing that happens. However, remember at the beginning of the episode where I described the shape, well, a person can still feel really good by stroking the shaft through the outside of the vaginal opening, as well as the inside of the vagina. You can also stimulate the bulbs and legs as well, from the labia and from inside of the vagina. But when playing with the vulva that has been cut in anyway, patience is even more important than it already is. Many of these folks have a lot of confusion and shame and it may take them longer to relax which is a crucial component to sexual pleasure. Recently in the past 10 years or so there have been surgeons in Europe who are reconstructing cut women's clitoris is from the study I read most of the women who have had the surgery report overall satisfaction with it and more pleasure. Science is amazing. Now because this is relatively new, there aren't any long term studies yet but I do look forward to them in the future. Let's have a little palate cleanser shall we? This is a song from my friend and colleague Spycey Spyce
Spycey Spyce 22:22 [song]
Buzz goes the yellow jacket/ Buzz goes the honey bee/ Buzz goes the vibration on my mouth tickled with electricity/ It slowly works its magic brings you to a fever pitch/ Soon you'll be yelling at the top of your lungs "Fuck me like I'm your little bitch." / Sex is better with clitoral stimulation/ If you don't make clit your destination you just might be moving to a different station/ Sex is better with total stimulation/ If you don't get down on the clit she's gonna have to call you out on your shit/ Cuz sex is better with clitoral stimulation/ Sasho libido magic but learn how to come from the inside out with electricity
One last thing I want to touch on is the g spot that often mentioned mysterious place inside the vagina that some folks swear by the pleasure, and some folks say it doesn't exist. Recently it has been adopted into the clitoral network. And this is giving it a little more credibility in people's eyes. However, from my experience and my studies which are not extensive as I am not a scientist, I'm not sure what I think about that. I mean yes the whole area's swimming with nerves and nerve endings and we can surely say that it is part of a network because of course it is. But to get to the G spot you reach inside the vagina and sort of do a come hither motion. And you can feel that the tissue is slightly different there than in other places. And it can make fluid on its own when stimulated. It's the same tissue as a prostate. Some people love the way it feels. And some people don't. Some people feel as though it just makes them feel like they have to pee. This is what I've known as the g-spot it's a part of the vaginal wall. It's made of tissue and seems to be in the wrong direction from the legs and the crura and the part of the clitoris proper. So I'm just not sure how that's part of the clitoris network. But again, not a scientist, and I'd rather get this episode out then spend the next two weeks researching it for you. And it's entirely possible that I'm wrong, I'm often wrong. I do like to admit it when it happens. So please let me know if you have thoughts about this because I would really love to hear them. Oh, and one more thing. So this also came in my email this morning as I was getting ready to sit down the organization that hosts the show tickle.life also has a bunch of other content you may have heard me mention that. And last week, they published an article about an itching clitoris, some possible causes and some possible solutions. I am not going to get into all of this but I highly recommend that you do if it is something that you're nervous about. Okay, so I'm not going to read the entire article for you. You can do that on your own at tickle.life. Just search clitoris if you can't find it immediately. But there are several possible reasons bacterial vaginosis, Candida, lichen Sclerosis is another one. And these are all things that can be determined by the doctor by Planned Parenthood wherever it is that you go to get your parts paid attention to by the medical professionals. There's even Eczema is one of the things that can happen, other sexually transmitted infections, as well as cancer can all lead to an itchy clitoris. There are some things that you can do about it. There are some topical creams and ointments. Another thing to do would be to wear loose cotton underwear. In general, that's a good thing to do. Also, avoid using chemical soaps. Again, a good thing to do. Basically, if it is something that doesn't go away, you definitely want to have it checked out by a doctor. If it is a problem that you are having, please go read this article. It's called Itching Clitoris Possible Causes and Treatments of Vaginal Itching. Okay, so this brings us to the conclusion of the show. The TL;DR is this. The Clitardis is a glorious organ that is bigger on the inside. It is a source of pleasure. But how that pleasure happens is different for every person who has one. It should be treated with respect, kindness and patience. And for some people, kindness does also include being very mean to it, if that's what it wants. Patience and listening to it are the big keys. And if for some reason or another, it has been externally damaged, there are still parts inside that can be stimulated for pleasure. Oh, and one last rant. I know that lots of folks say that it is the only organ in the world designed to just feel good. But I cannot get behind that. It just doesn't jive with the rest of human design. I am certain that feeling good helps procreation in some way or another. And scientists just haven't figured that out yet. While science proves it wrong, there have been people throughout the world, all the way up into the Victorian age where people believed that getting the woman to an orgasm helped her make better babies. It seems like that's probably right, but not necessarily needed. I don't know. What are your thoughts? Do you have questions? Do you disagree with any of this with any of the show at all? I really do want to know, please come and record your thoughts on the web page. You can do it anonymously or you can tell me who you are. That's what excites us.com Or you can send me an email at Gwyn@earthlydesire.com That's g-w-y-n at e-a-r-t-h-l-y desire d-e-s-i-r-e .com. If you're enjoying the show, please tell a friend and let it spark some conversation.
Spycey Spyce 30:02 [song]
They tried to tell us it was wrong in the olden days/If a woman man didn't come from pounding she was just insane/ Our orgasms were immature if they came from our clits /Luckily we've realized there's more to cunt than slit
What Excites Us is produced, edited and hosted by me Gwyn Isaacs, all the music used is under the Creative Commons Attribution license. This week includes The Vendetta by Steven Kartenberg, Harmony by Polyplus and Buzz by Spicy Spice. tickle.life hosts this and many other podcasts about sex and sexuality and has a bunch of other great content, please visit them and thanks for listening. I really do super appreciate you!