This week on it is time for a little bit of cliteracy. This week’s question is coming from someone, who would like to remain anonymous and has a clitoral conundrum. So to summarize anonymous’ issue, she says that she recently became sexually active with a female partner and before that, she masturbated and knew that it took her a little while to reach an orgasm, but now that she’s having partnered sex it is zero, zilch, nada in the ozone. It is not a lack of attraction, libido, feeling like something is wrong or broken in her for being sexually active at this point. She says, ‘I apparently have a very small clitoris, which according to the above articles might be why it is so hard for me to orgasm. Even though I am very sex positive and don’t feel guilt or shame about being sexually active, and I know that I am not “broken” and there isn’t anything “wrong” with me, I still feel upset, frustrated, anxious and stressed about it.’
First of all, anonymous, I want to assure you, that you are by no means alone. Studies and surveys that study the frequency of women orgasming purely through vaginal penetration range between 30 and 40%. Statistically lesbian partners do tend to enjoy more orgasms. A 2014 study in the ‘Journal of Sexual Medicine’ found that 25% of lesbians don’t have an orgasm every time they have sex.
Number 2, Anonymous, your clitoris isn’t too small. Those 8,000 nerve endings in the glans, which is the visible part of your clitoris, they can still fit in really, really, teeny, tiny space. And at this point, Anonymous is saying, “Uh, but what about that study, which was widely disseminated across the Internet, which found a relationship between small clitorises and anorgasmia, an inability to have an orgasm.?’. That study was based on but 30 women, mostly white, self-reporting about their orgasm frequency. The study author for that small clitoris study said: “you know, we don’t know entirely what this correlation or relationship between two variables means, we just know that it is there and that maybe it is a possibility.”
Finally, number 3, which is important for everybody reading this article, whether you have a vagina or not. When it comes to what our vulvas and more specifically our clitoris look like, normally is non-existent. In 2005 the very first study looking at a large study sample in an attempt to establish what normal might mean in terms of vulval and clitoral dimensions concluded that: “Women vary widely in genital dimensions.” That’s as close as these researchers could come to establishing normal. Also, the sizes of our clitorises are constantly in flux. When you’re aroused it doubles in size, by the time we’re in our sixties it has grown seven times the size, it was during puberty. There is a whole clitoral complex we cannot see with the naked eye, that consists from anywhere from 3.5 to 5 inches of erectile tissue.
I think when it comes to these negative emotions and anxieties that anonymous has been experiencing, some of it likely stems from the miseducation, that many of us received regarding our anatomy, not really knowing, whether what we have is sufficient, or sexy, or normal.
One final study finding that I want to drop, which is very relevant to anonymous’ issue, our genital self-esteem is very influential on our sexual satisfaction. If we go into any kind of sexual activity just assuming that something is wrong with us and something is going to be wrong, probably not going to go well. Now, dear readers, I want to know if you have ever grappled with any size anxieties like this, whether we’re talking about vaginas or penises, let me know in the comments below.