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November

Clit Lit: When it comes to the big O, sometimes it’s not about size, it’s about location

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We’ve all seen that sex scene… you know the one where the hot girl and the hot guy finally get it on and about 2 seconds into it the girl is already arching her back like a cat and moaning like crazy. If many mainstream movies are to be believed, all it takes to make a woman climax is a penis getting anywhere near her vagina. Though we may know it takes more for most real women to climax, no matter how many sexperts or doctors say that most women don’t climax through intercourse alone (and for the purpose of this article, I’ll use ‘intercourse’ to mean sex that is only penis-to-vagina penetration without any other bells and whistles) for some reason this is still often seen as a failure – or if failure is too strong a word, at least a disappointment.

These notions often cause to men worry that perhaps their equipment is lacking, and women to worry that there might be something wrong with them. The plethora of unrealistic sex scenes in mainstream movies both reflect and perpetuate a pervasive notion in our culture that if a man was really a stud in bed, or if a woman was really a non-repressed, sexual dynamo then she’d be consistently having orgasms through intercourse alone. All of which can eventually lead to the most counterproductive sex act that a woman can perform… the fake orgasm.

A man’s size (or technique) and a woman’s hang-ups can certainly effect whether or not a lady comes during intercourse, but it is very probable for most couples that neither of those factors are the reason the intercourse-orgasm remains elusive for so many women. So why are some women able to come during intercourse but not others? Rather than fancy techniques or Freudian psychology, the answer may be a simple matter of anatomy.

Believe it or not, the distance between the top of a woman’s vagina and her clitoris may be the single best indicator of whether or not she will be able to climax through intercourse alone. The closer a woman’s clitoris to her vagina, the more orgasmic she’s likely to be in intercourse (because it is more likely to be stimulated by the in-and-out of the penis). And if the distance is more than 2 ½ centimeters… a lady might just be out of luck if her goal is intercourse induced orgasm. Who, you might be wondering, discovered this interesting piece of info? Why, Napoleon Bonaparte’s great-grand-niece, of course.

I’ll give you the cliff’s notes on the story, but if you’re interested in finding out more about it I highly suggest reading the chapter ‘The Princess and Her Pea’ in Mary Roach’s book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Roach has an amazing ability to take a potentially uncomfortable topic and make it both palatable and highly entertaining. My favorite of her books is Stiff, a rollicking and hilarious look at what the scientific community does with dead people, but Bonk is pretty good too.

I digress… back to Marie Bonaparte.

Though a princess, Marie Bonaparte’s marriage was not a storybook romance. For one thing, her husband, Prince George, was gay – a fact not known to her until after the wedding. Marie decided not to let a little thing like a gay husband get in the way of finding sexual satisfaction, so she took on a series of lovers. None of these escapades resulted in her achieving an orgasm through intercourse, and so a very frustrated princess embarked on epic journey of discovery in search of the big O.

Marie began studying the sexual habits and anatomy of women, interviewing and measuring 243 women, and eventually published some of her findings (using a pseudonym, of course). Once she confirmed that the distance between the clitoris and the vagina was a strong predictor of orgasm in intercourse, this also confirmed her worst fears; her distance was too great. Not one to take defeat lying down, Marie sought out doctors who would endeavor to move her clitoris in order to close the gap. Unfortunately, Marie’s story did not have a happy ending. The surgeries were not successful, leaving her scarred and even more unsatisfied.

I’m not sure why more people don’t know about Princess Marie and her findings. It seems to me if men and women realized that a woman’s anatomy may determine her ability to climax during intercourse, a lot of pressure and frustration could be avoided, allowing folks to focus on enjoying all the great stuff that sex, not just intercourse, has to offer. After all, whether an orgasm is achieved through intercourse, oral sex or any other kind of stimulation… it is pretty damn awesome.

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One Response to “Clit Lit: When it comes to the big O, sometimes it’s not about size, it’s about location”

  1. January 17, 2012 at 11:14 am

    I just discovered this too. Fascinating. And Mary Roach, love love love her.

    Thanks for this!
    jill

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