Health Tips - Female Sexual Anatomy
In 1905, the father of psychoanalysis and advocate of cocaine use, Sigmund Freud, originated theories on female sexuality that ignored the facts of female anatomy and heavily emphasized intercourse as the means to a woman’s climax. Freud’s solution to women’s inability to function with his anatomically-impossible ideas was psychiatric care. Throughout the 1900‘s, this false data was forwarded broadly through psychological and sexual materials. Consequently, when sex has been referred to in the media (books, movies, magazines, T.V.), there has been an overwhelming emphasis on intercourse as the primary source of women’s physical pleasure. This is simply not the case.
Lacking true data about their own bodies, women commonly have a variety of troubles such as pain, infection, misery, or a disinterest in sex. After 30 years of hearing these problems from my female patients and treating bladder/vaginal/uterine and genital nerve issues, it was time for this writing. Not only women, but their male partners have been relieved to hear the data below, as they both were certain something was wrong with them. No, just false data!
Here are some basics of usual female anatomy as it is currently understood. The clitoris is the center of female sexual enjoyment, estimated to have 8000 sensory nerve endings — significantly more than any other human body part. “Clitoris” is Greek for the word “key”, indicating that ancient anatomists considered it the key to female sexuality.
The clitoris is much larger than people think, as it is unseen and internal for the most part. The external portion called the “glans” is the size of a tiny pea with a covering hood. To see the glans, the clitoral hood must be pulled back. The glans extends upward and inward just below the surface 2 to 3 inches as the clitoral “body” or “shaft”. At that point, the clitoris reverses direction dividing into an upside-down “V” for several inches, which are two expandable bodies that fill with blood during clitoral stimulation and erection. Parts of this upside-down “V’” attach to the pubic and hip bones and extend to the front wall of the lower vagina.
The entrance of the vagina (the lower third) contains nearly 90 percent of all of vaginal nerve endings. However, the vagina has an insignificant amount of nerve endings when compared with the clitoris. While this becomes a blessing during child birth, the vagina is relatively unimportant to a female’s actual climax. Intercourse may be pleasurable or desirable for different reasons, but it is not a significant means of climaxing, and may often stop the forward motion of climaxing.
As a testament to the importance of clitoral tissues, the clitoris is what is partially or completely removed in cultures trying to suppress and control females. The World Health Organization reports that about 140 million females worldwide are currently living with the after-effects of female genital mutilation, largely in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. (In Africa alone an estimated 101 million girls have undergone these procedures.) While this is clearly a violation of human rights, I point this out to underscore the power of this small organ.
Back to sexual anatomy, the more attention placed on thorough clitoral stimulation, the better sex works. (This may require focus, as the call of male and female hormones is to reproduce via intercourse.) With enough stimulation, the uterus will move up and away from the vagina, allowing for intercourse. The “plumping up” of these tissues during the height of arousal has a padding effect that increases comfort with possible intercourse. Little or no clitoral stimulation combined with “premature intercourse” often results in shocked genital nerves and a turning off of sensation. Uterine, vaginal, bladder, and nerve tissues can easily be traumatized producing infection or lack of interest in women.
As the ancient Greeks asserted, the clitoris is the key.