4-Inch Clitoris: a homology to penises in pleasure
How often have you heard the bullshit that female anatomy is confusing? Or worse, that male orgasms are a given, while female orgasms are distant and otherworldly?
I’m here to tell you that vulvas and vaginas aren’t especially complicated.
They might be tucked away and less conspicuous than penises, but overall, they’re similar (and sensitive!) tissues in a different shape. These differences arise in response to hormones, but there’s a lot of overlap in the underlying “wiring.”
A friend in medical school compared genitals to Legos: the same building blocks but a different arrangement.
Homologous tissues among sex organs
As human embryos grow, all genitalia starts developing via the same pathway.
Sex organ homology goes so much deeper than the clitoris — both literally and figuratively.
For starters, the pea-sized bump most people know as the clitoris is just the tip of the iceberg. A 4-inch-long clitoris is not an outlier; that’s quite average, but most of it is internal. It has a wishbone-like structure and “bulbs” that wrap around the sides of the vagina. And, like a penis, it engorges when aroused.
Take a look at the sex organ homology diagram below.
You could think of the clitoris as a mostly-internal penis or a penis as a mostly-external clitoris. If the drawing looks like a Pokémon evolution to you, you’re not alone.
To sum up just a few of the sex organ homologies:
- The external clitoris is like the glans/head of the penis.
- A LOT of nerve endings are concentrated here!
- The clitoral hood is like the foreskin.
- “Prepuce” is a technical name for both.
- The “legs” and “bulbs” of the clitoris are like the penile shaft.
- The scrotal sac is like the labia majora
- The testes are like the ovaries.
What sex organ homology means in the context of pleasure
When it comes to playtime, it can be helpful to:
- Look past preconceived ideas of differences between sets of genitalia.
- Celebrate differences in what individuals enjoy in the bedroom
Still with me? Here are some real-life examples.
Why do straight women statistically have a harder time orgasming during partner play?
Imagine a hand-job where ONLY the tip of the penis gets rubbed.
Many people with penises CAN orgasm that way, sure. However, many prefer having the entire cock and balls stroked, too. Likewise, many people with vulvas can orgasm by rubbing the clitoral glans alone. However, some may prefer or need to pair that with penetration or outer labia massage.
Now think of the reverse: ONLY the penile shaft gets stroked.
That brings a smaller group of people to climax. It would be ludicrous to tell a cis man that stimulating the shaft alone is superior to stroking his entire cock.
But that’s not much different from placing penetration-only female orgasms on a pedestal.
Vaginal intercourse mostly stimulates the (internal) clitoral vestibules and crura, while often overlooking the glans.
To view cunnilingus, fingerbanging/rubbing, and partnered toy usage as “the appetizer” or “extra effort” is a disservice.
Consider that between 55–85% of people with vaginas can’t consistently orgasm via penetration alone. Among those who can, the following characteristics are common:
- A short-to-average clit-vag gap
- They can feel external rubbing during intercourse.
- A pronounced internal clitoris or urethral sponge
- That way, it’s more easily accessible via straight penetration.
- Curved toys and fingers can get the job done better for some. More on that later.
- Accustomed to cervix stimulation
I’m in the smaller group of those who can orgasm via intercourse alone. But all the same, I want to advocate for a variety of bodies and pleasure preferences. Needing external stimulation is normal.
Vibrators aren’t just for single ciswomen!
Speaking of variety, I wish people would be more open to incorporating a vibrator into partner play. And we’re not just talking about the petite ones that fit between bodies during missionary intercourse.
WAND MASSAGERS FEEL GOOD AGAINST A PENIS TOO. If you think of a penis as a big clitoris, the idea isn’t that out there. I wrote a whole-ass other blog post about that.
Going deeper with sponge play: the G-spot and prostate
You may have heard people describe the prostate as the “male G-spot,” located in the butthole. Or that the G-spot is the female prostate. There’s truth to both statements.
In either case, we’re talking about spongy tissue that surrounds the urethra.
Also, don’t think of the urethral sponge as “in” the butthole, but accessible via the rectal wall. That’s also true for people with penises and people with vaginas. It’s just that the latter group has another, more direct hole you could play with.
What’s up with all the debate around the G-spot?
Plenty of people with vaginas experience pleasure via shallow front wall stimulation. That part isn’t up for debate.
The arguments mostly come down to pedantic semantics.
See, the G-spot isn’t a distinct organ or “instant orgasm” button. Rather than a spot, it’s more like the general area where the urethral sponge and internal clitoris are most pleasurably sensitive to touch.
Descriptions online tend to say the G-spot 3–4 inches inside the vaginal canal, but that’s more of a general guideline. Mine is far shallower, about 1.5″ in. Feel around for the pubic bone and spongey tissue. Seek a reaction of pleasure, not a set measurement.
Stimulating the prostate, urethral sponge, and perineum
Prostate massagers have one main thing in common: a curve that aims forward to press against the sponge. One prime example is the njoy pure wand, which delivers intense G-spot and prostate stimulation.
Fingers can also stimulate the prostate by:
- Hooking and making a “come hither” motion
- Making tiny twisting motions with the fingers bent
- Massaging externally between the anus and scrotum
Let’s wrap it up!
I’ll repeat it: I don’t buy into the idea that a clitoris is more complicated than a penis. There might be a broad cultural stigma to the spelunking, but shame doesn’t have to limit your exploration.
Remember: the clitoris is the only known human organ that solely exists for the sake of pleasure.
If vulvas are your thing, show your love for all of the clitoris, from its rooted legs to its peeking head.
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