Which part of your body has your pleasure as its only purpose? That’s right, your clitoris! But did you know that the small bulb at the top your lips has over 8000 nerve endings (nearly twice the amount found on the head of a penis, ha!) and is only the tip of a vast, fabulous iceberg? I asked the magnificent Mal Harisson -clinical sexologist, TEDx speaker and clit-pioneer- to tell me all about it.
Marlies: Mal, how big is our clitoris exactly?
Mal: The majority of the clitoris is actually internal rather than external. The scientific name for the external ‘little button’ or ‘bulb’ is glans. Within the pelvis, it is connected to the shaft of the internal clitoris, which consists of two bulbs on either side of our lips. When we get excited, the same way a penis grows and gets erect, these bulbs swell, encompassing the vagina on either side, as if they were wrapping around it giving it a big hug!
Marlies: Does that make the opening of our vagina feel tighter?
Mal: Yes. Get these puppies excited, and you’ve got a hungrier, tighter-feeling vaginal opening in which to explore! But there’s more. The internal clitoris extends further into two legs that look like a wishbone and come together in the area that most people refer to as the G-spot. Upon stimulation, they too get engorged with blood and become erect. In other words, the internal clitoris is a greatly erogenous zone.
Marlies: What does this information mean to us?
Mal: Well, for starters, we can finally end that age-old debate of vaginal vs. clitoral orgasms. Because what we once considered to be a vaginal orgasm is actually an internal clitoral orgasm! And just think about it: in over five million years of human evolution, only one organ has come to exist for the sole purpose of making a woman feel good —the clitoris.
Marlies: Which sadly, is probably the reason the clitoris has not been studied as extensively as the penis.
Mal: Absolutely. It wasn’t until 1998 that urologist Helen O’Connell released a groundbreaking study showing the true scope and size of the clitoris. (Ironically, that was the same year men started popping Viagra in the US). Roughly 10 years later, 2 French researchers named Dr. Odile Buisson and Dr. Pierre Foldès did the first complete 3-D sonography of the stimulated clitoris. When I found out about this, I said, ‘Okay, I have to get my clitoris sonographed.’
Marlies: Wow! What was that like?
Mal: Basically, I got a sonogram while I was masturbating with a very cold wand. Talk about focusing. It was quite awkward! But the article I published about my findings went viral, paving the way for greater knowledge… and greater pleasure.
Marlies: Bravo, Mal! Thanks to pioneers like you, women are starting to realize: ‘Wow! I have this beautiful gift between my legs!’.
Mal: Thank you, Marlies! I truly believe it’s our duty to explore that gift.
Read more about Mal’s Centre of Erotic Intelligence here.