The Clitoris and its Hidden Depths: More Than Just A Love Button

Sexual Wellness | | INTIMINA
3 min read

Oh the clitoris, that wonderful button, bean, pearl, woman in a boat or whatever you want to call it. So many names for something many of us don’t really understand. Ask a woman to draw the clitoris and she will probably draw a bit of a squiggle at the top of a pair of lips. While this is a good attempt considering what most people know, it doesn’t actually represent the clit in any way.

In 1998, Urologist Helen O’Connell published her groundbreaking study on the clitoris which revealed its true scope and size; namely that less than ¼ of the clitoris is visible. With the other ¾ of it is tucked away internally, she proved that there was way more to the clitoris than meets the eye.

That’s less than 20 years ago (which is bonkers), so no wonder most of us still think it’s just a little button at the top of our vulva. So let’s discuss the clitoris in all its glory and find out what’s really happening when we turn it on.

The Clit as You Know It

Okay, so let’s start with the obvious bit, the bit we can see. That’s your glans clitoris (glans not glands). There are more than double the nerve endings in the glans than there are in the entire head of a penis, over 8,000! That’s a whole lot of nerve endings which explains why most people shiver at the first touch of their clitoris.

It’s All About the Bulbs!

Next up is the clitoral bulbs, this thicker part of the internal clitoris stems from your clitoral glans and reach down and out in a teardrop shape. At their fullest point they lie just underneath your outer lips. When they are rubbed or massaged, they become engorged and wrap around your vagina giving it a great big hug.

During vaginal penetration this is the part of your clitoris that is stimulated, meaning that vaginal orgasms are just a different type of clitoral orgasm. New research shows that when your vagina contracts after orgasms it is actually your clitoral bulbs contracting, cool right?

You Get an Erection – Seriously

And here you were thinking erections were just for men! Woman actually have erections too, clitoral ones and we don’t mean the little lady in her boat stands up, but a totally legit internal erection. Introducing the wishbone of clitorises! That is the wishbone-shaped part of the clit that hangs down either side of the clitoral bulbs. The corpus cavernosum (the top of the wishbone) wraps around the vagina as it becomes erect, which helps you to feel internal stimulation.

And Then You Get More of an Erection…

Then there are the two legs, called the crus clitoris located at the bottom of the wishbone, which are around 9cm long (crazy, right?). They point towards your thighs when you’re relaxed and when you become aroused they move and point backwards towards the spine. So next time you hear a guy boasting about his erection you can boast about yours right back!

Why Is This Not in Sex Ed?

So you may be wondering, ‘why the hell don’t I know this stuff?! Why have I not been massaging my clitoral vestibules for years?’ Well, don’t start beating yourself up (unless it’s in the fun way), remember it’s news to all of us! It wasn’t until 2009 that French researchers Dr. Odile Buisson and Dr. Pierre Foldès first presented 3D images of the aroused clitoris. How were we meant to understand what we can’t see? After all, an internal erection is a lot harder to spot than an external one!

So now you know all about it, it’s the perfect excuse (not that you need one) to have a good explore. You can try stimulating your clitoris internally and externally, either with your hands or using sex toys.

Give it a go, who knows, a clitoral bulb massage could be the key to the amazing orgasm you have been looking for!


5 thoughts on “The Clitoris and its Hidden Depths: More Than Just A Love Button

  • Jeremy D Sims says:

    My girlfriend is the hardest woman ever to make orgasm for me. Her clit location is different from most other women. Before her, I’ve never had to attempt to untuck so much skin that’s over the clit. We’ve been together for two years and I really love pleasing my partner with oral sex. My girlfriend is literally one of the only women I’ve ever been with who I don’t feel I’m pleasing enough with oral sex. On top of the location of her clit being tucked in so far, she says any type of touching or pressure I give is too much for her. I feel like I can’t win and I don’t want her to be in a lifelong relationship with me without being pleased. I need help!

    • INTIMINA says:

      Hi Jeremy! I definitely empathize with the trouble you’re having, so let’s see if I can offer some useful advice. The number one thing I would suggest is asking your girlfriend to show you how she wants to be touched. If the way you touch her clitoris is too strong, maybe she can show you how to so it more gently. This can be by applying less pressure, or by leaving the surrounding skin you describe (I assume you mean the clitoral hood) where it is! Some people actually prefer stimulation of the hood, because their sensitivity is such what they feel through this protective layer is more than enough. Additionally, I would suggest exploring the use of clitoral vibrators together. Some people feel like using massagers during coupled sex means they aren’t “enough”, but a better thing to consider is how silly it would be to ignore all the tools you have available to help you partner feel good, whether it’s tongues, fingers or toys!

      If your girlfriend has felt comfortable enough telling you what she doesn’t like, then it sounds like you’re in a good place to discuss what she does like. And, for that matter – what is important to her. You say that offering oral sex that brings your girlfriend to orgasm is very important to you, but is it important to her? It’s great to have your partner’s pleasure prioritized, but not if that goal takes on an importance that overshadows what your partner actually wants and likes. Good luck and have fun – I’m sure with some open conversation and experimentation, you’ll be able to have fun finding a solution to this!

  • jesse riley says:

    I always go side to side on the front side of the vagina, which massages most of the wishbone/teardrop part.

  • SRL says:

    I’m a couple years late here but I’ve been with several women who experience extreme sensitivity like you’re describing. I always make them orgasm by first, encouraging them to take their time and relax, you take your time, very slow licks in a circular motion around the clit, occasionally touching it, clean finger(s) with trimmed nails on her g spot matching the same circular motion as your tongue. Read her body and encourage her to give you voice guidance, faster/slower, harder/softer etc… randomly pull away to kiss her lips and thighs. Alternate rubbing her g spot and the “legs” of her clit every minute or so. This is done by making a peace sign and massaging both of her lips below your tongue. Again, ask her for feedback what feels the best. Lastly, every woman is different so communicate and experiment with this starting point. A woman’s most sexual body part is her brain, keep her relaxed and telling her to take her time will make your journey all down hill. And remember that their clit is way more sensitive than our penis so lots of stimulation for us is good but not so much for them. Less speed and pressure is waaayyyy more important for them.

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