• By Minna Salami

    This month, pupils across France will be able to use the first full-size anatomical model of a clitoris in their sex education classes. Considering all the technological, medical and scientific […]

    • This model is fantastic! I have never seen this before even in medical books (I’m not a medical doctor so maybe this is in some of them).

      I’m really disappointed in the article though. It reads like it was written 30 years ago.

      I would love it if this model was used in U.S. sex education classes. The clitoris is usually ignored even though that’s Mission Control.

    • So why not post the image of the 3d model rather than some random graffiti artist (yes I know where the quote is from) ?

    • Ep2016

      that’s Mission Control

      Love it! I’m using that…

      For any with a 3D printer (£500 gets you something serviceable for things like this) and any with 3D CAD here is a link to the stereo lith files.

      The one with supports is printable as is.

    • Michael

      So why not post the image of the 3d model

      Well, for one thing its scary as hell. Probably needs a trigger warning….

      I loaded it into my CAD which told me it was nearly 6 feet across rather than 7cm. A sort of reverse Spinal Tap moment.

      Seriously, I think it rather beautiful, like an alien swan. At six foot it would make an impressive piece of public art.

    • Pin,

      So you knew about the 100mm crura and the 75mm vestibular bulbs, where they are and how to stimulate them?

      I’m impressed.

    • I am at work and clearly do not want to do the tedious stuff I’m here to do.

      This image shows what we are talking about.

      (Following this back beyond this page gets into areas NSFW)

      The pudendal nerve splits to ennervate all of this clitoral extent prodigiously. Most folk know only of the glans clitoris. Yes, this is the most sensitive spot on the body (of either sex) having 8000 nerve endings, an astonishing density unmatched by the glans penis.

    • Pinball1970 – I know,right? Every woman I’ve ever met knows she has a clitoris, it’s getting her partner to get to know it that’s usually the problem. But this picture is cool! At least I always find the human body fascinating, especially the naughty bits.

    • Phil- thank you for the link!

    • Sorry. this whole thing is just too interesting.

      The particular shape of the clitoral organ and its use of most of the arousing nerves in the area explains why Freud was an ignorant ass, why all orgasms are essentially clitoral and this

      excellent hypothesis of evolution away from eggs released by orgasm in earlier mammals to a timed release disconnecting orgasm from fertility. We may surmise that female orgasms became a mere spandrel or became a means of selecting better more attentive mates.

      Next the role of afferent C-tactile nerves (only recently discovered) stimulated by a very specific slow movement of hair follicles, releasing oxytocin, pacifying and encouraging bonding and its use in foreplay and then onto Skene’s glands, the truly vestigial and highly variable “prostate” in women.

      Sex ed. used to be a day off lessons…. It all could get quite complicated and hard work.

    • Pin

      I am reminded of the Bill Tidy Grimbledon Down cartoon strip in the New Scientist.

      Population control via anti-porn.

      However there is something to be said for being prepared in a cool and informational fashion well ahead of the passion. John Ruskin’s wedding night horror at the novel geography needing navigating and not mapped at all in the neat arrangements of his beloved nude marble statuary might be the worst of it.

    • Poor Effie Ruskin. But I believe she made up for lost time with her Millais. She was a stunner.

    • She did. She was.

      Effie Gray, the film by Emma Thompson, was a sad disappointment. Effie was better served by the rather comical and knock about series on the BBC of the Pre-Raphaelites “Desperate Romantics”.

    • I’ll look for that series. Pre-Raphaelites are a wonderful story.

    • Disgust at our insides is common. Children brought up with illustrating books and practical examples are blithe about such things. These become simply the facts of the matter.

      Parental prissy disgust will therefore breed prissy disgust. Captain Fantastic (the movie) may have a message for us.

      This is about children’s education after all.

      No hope for you and me…

    • I have always been fascinated with the subtle pinks and red tissues that make up the vulva! Making my wife sigh and moan with pleasure has always been a noble goal. The complexity of the organ is intriguing as well incidentally!

    • phil rimmer #19

      Disgust at our insides is common. Children brought up with illustrating books and practical examples are blithe about such things.

      This is a huge and general point. After about 6 when my parents realised I might be a little mollycodled (I asked to be reassured that burglars were just made up for stories just like aliens), they always told it straight as best they could. So I never had any hint that I would do anything other than ultimately die just like Hammy and Gingy. Sex education was a bit of a problem for them, which they resolved with “booklets”, dispiriting little things with drawings I knew for a fact to be barely accurate printed on thin newsprint for easier ingestion if discovered reading the thing. Whatever, it worked and I never again was afraid of death (or sex).

      My own kids have a very balanced view about death, never having been promised immortality. The fatuous fantasy of virginity and the wedding night is unhappiness in waiting. The fatuity of heaven promised to children is plain cruelty, visiting them with your own folly and fears.

      Kids are tough stuff.

    • Pin

      Did you go and see the Plastination exhibitions of human bodies, pre-donated by the dying to be turned into cast art objects?

    • Definitely not body parts in formaldehyde. This is not the Hunterian Museum.

      It is following in the footsteps of Vesalius and using an astonishing micro-casting technique with filligrees of nerves and capilliaries creating human poses in the same manner. Stunning. My kids and I missed it, but they love the images.

      I won’t post links if you are uninterested.

      Teaching photography and print making sometimes involved life classes. The models were most often dumpy middle aged women with a little too much eye make-up or quite grizzled and scrawney old men. The art pieces of these models were often the most tender and most connected.

      I would say, art at its greatest, and one of the deepest satisfactions in life, is discovering beauty where it is least expected.

      I need to stop, don’t I?

    • @phil

      I visited the Bodies Exhibit in the States (Tampa, FL) back in 2005. I brought my daughter, who was then 5. The exhibit provided weeks of fascination and questions and laid a foundation of inquisitiveness that remains to this day. Here’s an innocuous link:

    • bonnie (spelled it right this time)

      But every last body bit is gone dissolved in alkali.

      Highly appropriate for kids, even the affectionate poses.

      Steven, yesss! Delighted to hear this. Such early experiences make for sturdier and clearer minds and richer experiences later in life.

    • For your entertainment and edification I recommend this show; Masters of Sex. Based on the life and work of Masters and Johnson, it’s the very thing for a binge watch on a boring day.

      Masters of Sex is a combination of scientific investigation of the mechanics, anatomy and physiology of sex and the psychological component that goes along with all of that. It’s impossible to watch this show and not come away with an appreciation for their work. They were investigating a taboo subject in the American dark ages. The data that they collected made a big difference for many people.

      Like Phil, my parents were puritanical and offered a pamphlet on menstruation. It’s the best they could do. Luckily I’ve always been a reader and found my own way to books that explained pretty much all I needed to know. Some of those books were the series The Happy Hooker that was on the best seller list in the mid seventies. I used to babysit for pocket money as a young teen and many of those moms had these books on their nightstands. Not the best source of knowledge for a young teen but in combination with certain other more standard books on development and anatomy it made for some interesting reading.

      Women need to know about the anatomical information provided in the article above. I’m not sure how widespread this ignorance is amongst us but I’ll bet it’s not widely known that those nerves cover that much area.

      When women can’t achieve orgasm by vaginal intercourse and have no way to find out that orgasm by that route is unlikely anyways then they will assume that they are dysfunctional. This is very sad. If women don’t know how to produce an orgasm in themselves then they won’t communicate this to their partners either. She’s lucky if she finds a partner to help her get there with the knowledge that he/she has, but I’m a second wave feminist and one of our goals was to have women take responsibility for their own orgasms with knowledge and experience and assertive communication with partners to get what we want and what we need. For this to happen, women require blunt instruction on anatomy and advice on technique given in a sex positive attitude. Then they can experiment on their own and then interact successfully with a new confidence.

      The only suggestion I have for that 3D model is that it would be helpful to see it in context with it’s surrounding anatomical structures. I’m thinking of those clear human forms with all of the inner organs as colorful components that snap together and can be taken out and put back together as a puzzle. I think I had one of those as a child. It had no genitals at all though, in keeping with “wholesome” puritanical family values. haha.

      A book I highly recommend is:

      Woman: An Intimate Geography
      Aug 5, 2014
      by Natalie Angier

      Angier is the author of that article we had here a few days ago on bonobos. She’s one of my favorite science writers. I gave Intimate Geography to my daughters because of Angiers positive and lighthearted attitude that she took in delivering important information having to do with the female side of sex and reproductive issues. One thing I remember her saying in the book (paraphrasing) is that when a girl has her first period it used to be tied up in shame and disgust and that this has to stop. She says that it should be a celebration of a biological system that is complex and wonderful and a rite of passage that will lead to motherhood and all that it entails.

      She also discusses some suggestions for women who have trouble achieving orgasm. I’m not sure how widespread this problem is. Women who are having this difficulty are not always forthcoming with the truth. Some women aren’t sure if they’re having one or not. If you’ve never felt that sensation then you don’t know what you’re aiming at. For women who aren’t sure, watch your (male) partner; except for ejaculation, do you think you are experiencing the same thing he is?

    • How is this [enlarged] “actual size” version of the clitoris stimulated to orgasm? Does the woman
      need a vibrator (finger or penis) that penetrates 4 full inches to massage the entire length and surface area of the organ for maximum orgasmic satisfaction? Are some smaller parts of the clitoris more sensitive, or more immediately sensitive, to massage and manipulation? How could sexually aroused and active woman have failed to discover that they have access to an “extended” organ surface available for consummate pleasure?

    • I think there are quite a number of people who have not explored all the possibilities of their allotted kit. It is fascinating that tribadism is rarely discussed but figures quite highly in the lesbian repertoire indeed-

      Masters and Johnson’s 1979 study on lesbian sexual practices found that vaginal penetration with dildos is rare, and that lesbians tend to do more overall genital stimulation than direct clitoral stimulation,

      This indirect clitoral stimulation is a slower affair. I suspect this works better with the sex in the head thrill of sustained intimacy with another.

    • Mae West allegedly said something to the effect (I couldn’t find the quote on google):
      “When sex is good, it’s very good and when it’s bad, it’s still good.” That sounds like it was
      written by a man.

    • Wendy Preston, from the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Mandatory reporting and compulsory sex-and-relationships education are important weapons in the fight against FGM, and school nurses play a vital role in both educating children and young women, and spotting those who may be at risk.

      In one of Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s books she explains that incoming immigrants need direct no nonsense explanation of the laws and expectations of their new country. I thought this was a bare minimum policy for any effective assimilation to occur.

      If I was the one writing up this policy I would recommend having the assimilation sessions in separate male/female settings. They need to be informed as to the details of laws regarding genital mutilation of both boys and girls – that circumcision is legal (details depending on which country we’re living in) for boys but that any GM of girls is against the law and the parents will be arrested and face years of jail time.

      Also that there are laws about age of marriage that will be enforced. This is a tricky one because the very cultures that are in favor of marrying girls off at a young age also don’t necessarily care about legalities of civil marriage licenses and prefer instead a religious in home ceremony because then in the eyes of God the relationship is sanctified and permanently established in the minds of both families and society. The paperwork is just an annoyance.

      Immigrant families need to know that their sons will be held accountable for any sexual assaults and rapes that they perpetrate and they need to know what the exact penalties are for these crimes. Victim blaming, still alive and well in other cultures will not be tolerated in the West.

      These are just a few of the issues that need to be bluntly explained to immigrants and it needs to be followed up by social workers directly face to face in the immigrant communities. A social worker friend of mine told me that when dealing with immigrants here in the Boston area where she works, she has been instructed to tell families that “It may be legal and considered good to beat your children in –fill in name of country— but in America that is a crime and you will be arrested and your children will be placed in foster care. Do not hit your children.”

      These blunt statements directed to the adults in the immigrant family are very important. Plenty of people hold onto old cruel ideas because they believe that these practices are in the best interest of the family and of the child. They don’t want their children to grow up disrespectful and badly behaved. They want their girls to be sexually pure for their own good and the good of the family. They want their sons to be circumcised for cleanliness and what they consider to be attractive in that way and to be in compliance with what Allah has demanded of them. If these families have never heard of a single criticism of these practices from anyone around them, which is often the case, then they probably think that it’s how everyone manages their family everywhere.

      This is why these conversations with immigrant families are so important. It may be the first time they’ve ever heard anything negative about marrying their teens off as soon as possible, cutting off the clitoris of their daughters and cutting off the foreskins of their sons, retaliation against their daughters for their private relationships with men or women they choose to be involved with and basically all aspects of tribal justice that may be the only framework they’ve ever known in the lives.

      Strong warnings by state agencies in the communities and then medical checks on regular basis to assure compliance. This is the minimum action to make a difference.