October 10, 2014

Science Says There’s No Such Thing As A Vaginal Orgasm, So Meet The Clitoris!

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image - Flickr / Cedward Brice
image – Flickr / Cedward Brice

Okay! Big news in the world of sex. Put down your coffee. Are you ready for this? According to science, there’s no such thing as vaginal orgasms. Yep. Women can’t reach orgasm from vaginal stimulation alone. Is this true? I don’t know. I don’t have a vagina. But while we debate it, this seems like the perfect time for straight men to get to know the clitoris. First, the science:

According to the latest from the frontlines of medical research, sex researchers concluded that penetrative sex that results in a vaginal orgasm is a myth and that only from clitoral stimulation can a woman reach an orgasm. From the Daily Beast’:

“The ‘vaginal’ orgasm that some women report is always caused by the surrounding erectile organs,” write authors Vincenzo and Giulia Puppo. “The vagina has no anatomical relationship with the clitoris.”

In related sex research, reported in a study published in the Journal of Sex Medicine, researchers said they determined that the size and position of a woman’s clitoris was closely correlated with her likelihood of her experiencing an orgasm from vaginal penetration.

The women in the study had their pelvic/genital anatomy mapped using magnetic resonance imagery (MRI); as well, they had blood tests for serum hormone levels. The woman were divided into two groups: orgasmic and anorgasmic (those who are unable to experience orgasms). The researchers discovered that anorgasmic women had a smaller clitoral glans than the orgasmic women. Basically, once they were excited, their blood-engorged clitoris was much smaller.

As you might imagine, these two groups of women preferred distinctly different sexual positions for stimulation. Sixty-percent of anorgasmic women, those with the smaller clitoral glans, preferred missionary position. While, for orgasmic women, they preferred riding in the female dominant position. With a larger clitoral glans, more easily involved in penetrative vaginal sex, the “cowgirl” position allows an orgasmic woman to experience and control her clitoral stimulation.

What is a clitoral glans? I’m so glad you asked.

The clitoris has been rather recently nicknamed “the female penis.” The head of a man’s penis is called a glans, thus, the protruding portion of a woman’s clitoris is called the “female penis” — or the clitoral glans. A man’s penis and woman’s clitoris are made of identical erectile tissue. However, a woman’s clitoral glans is not the full extent of the erectile tissue connected to her clitoris. (Somehow it seems hilariously ironic that women get the better penis.) Due to the fact women have multiple erectile tissues, different sexual positions generate very different clitoral stimulation for different women.

A woman’s clitoral erectile organs are: the clitoral glans, as well as a pair of vestibular bulbs (also called clitoral bulbs) that are located on the vagina walls, at the opening, and the pars intermedia, a (still-debated) connective tissue that runs between the clitoral bulbs like a rubber band, the labia minora (the inner walls of the vagina) and the corpus spongiosum (a spongy tissue that encircles the female uretha, formerly known as the G-spot, and also debated). All of these erogenous zones can be stimulated as part of female clitoral arousal.

To give you a sense of how this looks, start with the clitoral glans, imagine the “love button” at the top of vagina, it’s typically hidden by a hood of flesh, now, extending down from there is a network of very excitable tissue that runs along the lips of the vagina, just under the skin, then, inside the opening of the vagina is more erectile tissue that’s also very receptive to stimulation, and (possibly) at the top of the vaginal canal, at the urethra is a circle of spongy tissue that’s also (possibly) highly excitable. All of those erogenous zones can be caressed and teased resulting in paroxysms of clitoral pleasure. They’re all connected to the clitoris.

What this means is … science now officially agrees with women: their orgasms are each unique and vastly different, depending on position and stimulation of multiple erogenous zones and erectile tissues. The myth that a man jackhammering away inside a vagina will give a woman an orgasm has been proven irretrievably false. Science has set that myth aside with Bigfoot, moons made of cheese, and the Flat Earth theory. True female arousal comes from the clitoris.

Women’s Health was kind enough to compile 9 positions that are sure-fire clitoris-stimulating orgasm producers. Although, we should point out that orgasms are not the end goal — they are not a prize, a high score, a bulls-eye target — they are one part of the amusement park of sexual possibilities. But let’s be real, it’s the ride everyone wants to take. So read lists like these as you sip your morning coffee and consider what you want to try, how you want to pleasure a clitoris or have your clitoris pleasured, if you have one and you’re into that sort of thing.

Some of you may disagree and argue that vaginal stimulation alone can create an orgasm. Based on these new findings about the nature of the clitoris and the involved female erectile tissues and the vast anatomic differences between women, it would seem that if you do experience orgasm from penetrative vaginal sex it’s likely from the stimulation of the inner labia and clitoris not from vaginal stimulation. But hey, I wasn’t there. I don’t know. I’m not calling anyone a liar. Science says there’s no such thing as a vaginal orgasm– that it’s all about the clitoris. Let’s agree on that point.

If these researchers are right, how long have we been fooling ourselves with misinterpreted clitoral orgasms? This may be the biggest reason straight sex has been so problematic for so many centuries. No one was doing it right. How long have we been doing it wrong? Dear Lord! Look, no one blame themselves. But if these new findings are correct, then, I have some good news: things are about to change in straight couple’s bedrooms, from here to Kathmandu.

(By the way, I don’t mean to leave lesbian and bisexual women out of this, but I figure you don’t need me explaining any of this to you. And to gay men, I figure you’re only reading this because you like to stay well-informed.)

Straight guys, it’s time for you to take a crash course in the ways of the clitoris. Become familiar with the clitoris. For centuries, women have been saying, “This isn’t really working for me…” but now, thanks to all this new research into the “female penis,” women have proof they were right, it wasn’t working for them. Suddenly, the future looks a whole lot brighter, for women and men, and especially for women — who’ve been doing the best they could with the faulty information they had to work with. (It is rather embarrassing that science had to popularly imagine it as a “female penis” before they would study the clitoris. But whatta y’gonna do?)

Recently, stories went viral about the fact British women couldn’t find a vagina on an anatomical medical drawing. So… let’s all admit we have some learning to do. And, hey, it’s the good kind of learning, the kind that pays off with immediate dividends. What all this recent research of the clitoris makes as obvious as an erection in a pair of sweatpants is … it’s now the time for us to talk openly about the clitoris. Especially, if it’s the key to female arousal. TC mark

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