When asked to identify this 3-D picture model of the clitoris network (photo courtesy of Marie Docher), most people give answers like “I have no idea” or “a tulip emoji,” or even “a wishbone.”
Odile Fillod, French sociologist in France, created this model. It provides some much needed insight into the shape and 10-centimeter size of the pleasure center for women. Yes! It’s an entire NETWORK.
Fun fact: The word clitoris is thought to come from the Greek word, kleis, a key. It’s the key to unlocking the door to pleasure.
Here are some facts about the clitoris to help you understand the entire network. As you read along, keep looking back to the 3-D model for reference; this will help you get a better understanding of where all the parts are as well as where they connect.
The clitoris is actually composed of many parts, ALL of which can play a role in pleasure.
Women have as much internal erectile tissue as men have externally. Because it isn’t visible from the outside, many don’t know it is there! All this tissue can respond when aroused and become temporarily engorged with blood, which equals pleasure. It is important to keep in mind that women’s bodies were made to take time to warm up and become aroused. Studies are clear that most women require 30 to 60 minutes to reach orgasm.
The clitoris has 6,000 to 8,000 nerve endings; twice as many as the penis. The clitoris only has only one job: SENSATION AND PLEASURE!
The visible part of the clitoris on the vulva is called the glans, and it is the head of the clitoris. (See the top tip of light pink area.) It’s called the “love button” for a reason: It’s the most sensitive part of the clitoris, and is attached to the clitoral shaft that runs just beneath the surface of the skin.
The shaft is composed of erectile tissue and is extremely receptive to sensation. It forks and divides like a “wishbone” with branches. (See the light pink area in 3-D model) These legs of the clitoris extend deep within the tissue of the vulva, and split to straddle the urethra and the vagina. To be clear: The clitoris extends INTERNALLY all the way to the base of the vaginal opening, meaning you have sensation points from the tip-top to the very bottom (pun intended). Moving downward from there is the perineum. This is the small amount of skin you see (on the outside) on the vulva between the entrance to the vagina and above the anus.
The internal part of the clitoris is connected to the glans and shaft by two “spongy-like” bulbs of erectile tissue. (See the darker pink area in 3-D model.) These bulbs engorge with blood and increase in size when sexually aroused. The more aroused, the more increase of pleasure points internally with penetration or external pressure.
Finally, the G-spot is not all alone on its own. It is connected and actually part of the network.
Now that you know it’s a NETWORK, here are some important keys as you seek to unlock ALL the pleasure:
Every women is different. Every woman may desire different stimulation, and every woman is NORMAL!
In other words, some women really love direct stimulation to the glans or head, while some women find that painful or too sensitive and enjoy penetration or massage/pressure to access all the INTERNAL nerve endings within the network (for example the G-spot or clitoral bulbs). THIS IS ALL NORMAL! (Do you hear my theme here?)
There isn’t a right or wrong way -- or better or best. It is all about what each individual woman enjoys and what brings them pleasure.
I do think many women -- and most men -- simply do not understand how vast the network is. So often all the focus is on the known “love button.” If the glans brings you ALL the pleasure you desire, wonderful! However, what many women find as they explore stimulating other sensitive parts of the network is that there may be multiple ways to feel pleasure and different ways to orgasm.
I frequently get asked questions about the G-spot, so let’s use that as one example. It is a clitoris cluster attached to the vaginal ceiling. Made up of spongy erectile tissue, it doesn’t have nearly the number of nerve endings as the clitoral head. Most often this area responds to massaging pressure that is persistent. For some, this is a real focal point of pleasure; for others, not so much. Again, different experiences and all NORMAL.
Another example mentioned above, the perineum, is also a part of the network. This small but potential erogenous zone has a wonderful network of blood vessels and tissue below the surface. The area can be exceptionally sensitive as it fills with blood during sexual arousal. Some women are highly stimulated to touch and/or constant pressure here, or to the anus just below.
This is LOTS of information, I know. My encouragement to you is to get to know yourself and your body more and more. Help yourself and your partner figure out what brings you pleasure. Have fun in the process. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment and laugh and moan along the way. This knowledge about the clitoris network may open up a whole new arousal world for you. Then again, it may not. Either way, you are normal.
As many of you have heard me say, make PLEASURE the goal. Enjoy!!