Does anyone else find it odd that there is little or no discussion of the role of the clitoris in sex education in general? Does anyone (besides my sex educator friends and colleagues) know the extended physiology of the clitoral structure? See pic at right.
Why is this? Do you know how utterly amazing the clitoris is? There certainly is plenty of info on the penis. And most teen boys know how it works from their own “hands-on” experience. Many teen girls don’t often have that luxury of self-knowledge and awareness that the boys do.
One of my favorite authors Susie Bright wrote a book called Mommy’s Little Girl: On Sex, Motherhood, Porn And Cherry Pie. In it she wrote,
The girls know that boys urinate through their penis–and also when they are older, are able to have “have sex” with the same piece of equipment, but what do girls “have sex” with? Most girls don’t know. They know that boys get off with these penises of theirs; but they’re not sure whether they have something that would make them feel the same way [… ] These girls are smart and inquisitive. […] but they are also deliberately kept ignorant of their intrinsic female anatomy- to the point of not even knowing the names of anything below the waist.
So in those first sexual heterosexual experiences, even if both of them are virgins, the male often knows part of what is “supposed” to happen in those first encounters because he knows how his plumbing works. The female? Not so much. Plus, most of the education these kids get is information from porn and/or peers with bravado. Add to that, abstinence only before marriage sex education surely isn’t telling them what to do or how to protect themselves “because abstinence is the absolute safest way to avoid STIs and pregnancy”. Safest yes, but not realistic. If females aren’t aware that things are supposed to feel good, chances are they will engage in this behavior because others want it, not because they understand what is happening. Ask a girl whose had sex for the first time about the experience and often she will tell you how she looked, not how she felt. What is wrong with this?!?
So many people I talk to who work with tweens and teens between the ages 9-14, tell me stories that break my heart. Especially the stories of how girls are unaware of how sex relates to them. As pointed out above, these young girls know some of the reproductive biology of sex, you know, the mechanics – that a man ejaculates and to some of them that equals “sex”. But what is the woman’s sexual response cycle, what is the function of the clitoris and its role in sex? Without this info everything young women learn about sex happens outside of them and their bodies and that it’s something women do for someone else, mostly because they have not yet learned or been told that it’s about Pleasure. gasp! In a recent blog, Gender Studies Professor Hug
o Schwyzer wrote:
When we tell girls that sex is something people do when they love each other, it sets them up to believe that sex is sacrificial. So when Jassie falls in love with Bobby, and Bobby pushes for intercourse, she’s conditioned to focus on “giving it up” for him rather than on thinking about what feels good for her. The more she’s taught that her pleasure matters, the less likely she’ll be coerced into going farther than her body is ready to go. “It’s supposed to feel good,” she may remember, “and right now, being rushed and pawed doesn’t feel good. So I want to stop.” Centering pleasure gives young women a power that centering love doesn’t.
There are plenty of stories (urban myth/moral panic?) about young teens and Rainbow Parties — No wonder some of these teen girls have claimed their sexual “power” by giving blow jobs to their male peers, but honestly! What. Do. These. Girls. Get. Out. Of. It?? I’m less shocked by their performing oral sex and more shocked by the fact that I’m not so sure they are aware of the reasons for their behavior or in touch with how they feel about what they are doing.
Let me ask you this: Do you know that the sole function of the female clitoris is for pleasure? Read that again. The sole function of the female clitoris is for pleasure. It is the only part of either body, male or female, that has that honorable distinction. Please take note: God loves us women enough to give us this amazing clitoris that has NO other function than for pleasure! Women must teach other adult women and young women that there is supposed to be a connection between the arousal they sense in their minds and the physical response they feel between their legs. Many times this mind-body connection has been severed through shaming, religious abuse, or guilt. There is no need for that anymore. More and more women are standing up and asking for what they want in their sexual relationships. And the clitoris deserves some attention. We owe it to the young women who will come after us (pun intended?).
2011 The MamaSutra