As a follow-up to the earlier discussion about where the hell the hymen is, here's a link to something truly fascinating that I read via Jane Litte and a few others on Twitter this weekend. The museum of sex has a truly amazing article on the size and shape of the clitoris.
No, it is most certainly not a button. Or a nubbin. There's a lot more to it than that:
The scientific name for the external “little button” or “bulb” is glans. Not to be confused with glands, glanssimply refers to a small circular mass. This little structure contains approximately 8,000 sensory nerve fibers; more than anywhere else in the human body and nearly twice the amount found on the head of a penis! From reading her work, it’s clear that Marie Bonepart mistakenly thought that the clitoris was completely comprised of the glans; and because it is super sensitive and all anyone can see of the organ, her confusion is mirrored by most women today.
The fact is, though, that most of the clitoris is subterranean, consisting of two corpora cavernosa (corpus cavernosum when referring to the structure as a whole), two crura (crus when referring to the structure as a whole), and the clitoral vestibules or bulbs.
The glans is connected to the body or shaft of the internal clitoris, which is made up of two corpora cavernosa. When erect, the corpora cavernosa encompass the vagina on either side, as if they were wrapping around it giving it a big hug!
The corpus cavernosum also extends further, bifurcating again to form the two crura. These two legs extend up to 9cm, pointing toward the thighs when at rest, and stretching back toward the spine when erect.
The stills from the blog entry match footage I saw on the Discovery channel show “Curiosity,” which featured Drs. Odile Buisson and Pierre Folds, who created the 3D sonography of the clitoris – work that, according to the Museum of Sex blog, they pursued for years without any proper funding. (Seriously, thank you for that, Doctors.)
If you want to search your cable listings, the show is called “Curiosity” and it's from an episode about the female orgasm. I also found it on Amazon for $1.99.
Really, the whole hour is about the female orgasm, why it happens, what happens when it happens, and what possibly makes it happen. If you can watch it, it's worth the hour – I learned an amazing amount. The segment that examines the clitoris (sorry) specifically begins at about 1/4 of the way into the show.
So, now that we've talked clitoris and learned so much, think we'll see sex scenes where the heroine feels the lasso and the wishbone of her clitoris engorging? As much as I love to learn factual information about the human body, I'm not sure if I'm ready for the euphemisms for this one. What do you think the best euphemism would be?