Does Your Clitoris Migrate?

I just read an article about how researchers have discovered that the clitoris migrates during sex and this might be the reason that so many people with clitorises have trouble having an orgasm during penetrative sex.

At first, I thought this was a revelation.  I've talked to a lot of people who felt like their clitoris just packed up and flew south for the winter.  If there was actual proof of this, it would validate everything they had been feeling for so long.

But no, that's not what it actually is.  This 'migration' mentioned in the article is a very slight movement that the clitoris seems to do, pulling backwards from the front of the body during sexual excitement.  According to this article, these researchers who published an article in the Journal of Clinical Anatomy, discovered this movement and think it's the key to unlocking orgasm through penetration.

This whole thing just makes my head hurt - probably from banging it against my desk for several minutes.  I don't even know where to start with this.

For one thing, popular media coverage of clinical research on sex is pathetic.  Rarely does it accurately reflect what the studies it covers actually found.  This is yet another case.  When I read this web article, it sounded like researchers had actually studied a bunch of people having sex and watched what happened to the clitoris.  They did not.  This was a literature review.  I'm not knocking literature reviews.  They are actually an really important part of the process of discovery.  We do lots and lots of research and then we look back at what all the research seems to be telling us, when taken all together.  It's a good thing.  But it is not the same thing as a new study that looked at individual subjects and their experience.  These authors looked through a bunch of studies on sexual anatomy to find out if there are factors that contribute to orgasm and sexual satisfaction, or lack thereof, that haven't really been given a fair look in research.  So no, they didn't watch clitorises migrating.  They noticed the documentation of this phenomenon or something like it in some of the studies they reviewed.  

 I haven't had a chance to read the whole study, just the abstract.  This makes it a little unclear as to whether what the author of this article is saying really comes out in the study or not.  The abstract is a bit vague on exactly what they found with this lit review.  It does say this "The clitoris is the primary anatomical feature for female orgasm, including its migration toward the anterior vaginal wall. In conclusions, orgasms are complex phenomena involving psychological, physiological, and anatomic variation. While these variations predispose people to certain sexual function, future research should explore how to surgically or medically alter these."

There's two things here that are confusing and rather messed up, in my humble, clitoris owning opinion.  First, if the clitoris migrates towards the anterior wall of the vagina, and if the recommendation for dealing with that or maximizing pleasure based on that is to stimulate the anterior wall of the vagina, then this migration should actually make it easier, not more difficult, for people to have orgasms during penetration.  If the clitoris runs away and hides closer to the vaginal wall, you would think that makes it easier to get at it from in there, wouldn't you?  The reason why its hard for those with a clitoris to have an orgasm from penetration is exactly because the clitoris holds all the good stuff - all the best, most sensitive nerve endings, and it's on the outside, just above the vagina.  It's a bit hard to access by having sex with something inside the vagina.  Extra effort must be taken to make sure it gets the love it wants and needs.  So this 'stimulate the anterior wall' advice makes no sense and, in my experience, will only lead to more frustration.

There's also the fact that for most of us who own a clitoris, we know this already.  Every person's body is different so each clitoris will behave differently.  But a lot of people with first-hand clitoral experience will tell you that when they get excited, it moves back a bit.  It's kind of like it's protecting itself exactly because it is so sensitive, but I think it has more to do with just basic anatomy.  When an orgasm fills up with blood, everything tightens up.  Because of the internal structure of the clitoris, it would make sense that that process would make the actual glans, the outside part that we can see, pull backwards a bit.  I may not be an expert on why and how it happens but I know that it does.  Most of the people I know who own a clitoris and have talked to me about it have described this same experience.  So we've known this for awhile.  We don't need a team of researchers to tell us how this works.

But then why are we worried about how this relates to vaginal orgasm anyway?  Why does everything have to come back to how it can help us have vaginal orgasms?  This lit review could have told us all kinds of things about what we've learned about anatomy and this is what they come back with?  Advice on how to have better vaginal orgasms?  Again it comes back to the idea to that sole goal of sexual satisfaction for women is to have orgasms when there's a penis inside them.  AND if they are not able to do that, then they are automatically diagnosed as having a sexual dysfunction.  I'm so over this.  We should all be over this by now.  If you want to stimulate the clitoris, just bloody do it - rub something against it.  Stop trying to make it like a penis in a vagina and just give it some love directly.

The final and most messed up thing about this is that in their abstract, the study authors suggest that we should explore surgical and medical ways to alter things that don't let us have orgasms the way we're supposed to. "While these variations predispose people to certain sexual function, future research should explore how to surgically or medically alter these".  What this means, at least as I interpret it, is - you can't get off in some specific ways because your body does some funky things that make it not work that way.  So instead of learning how it works, loving that and getting along with it, we should devote time and money to finding a way to change you so that you can get off in certain ways.  That should really scare people.  What have we come to that we automatically think the way to deal with unsatisfying sex - or perhaps not even unsatisfying sex but sex that doesn't look like we think it should, it to take drugs or to have a surgery?   That is messed up.

Although it may feel like it sometimes, your clitoris does not fly south for the winter.  It probably pulls back a little bit when you get super excited.  What should you do about that?  Nothing.  Leave it alone.  Or chase it and give it some direct love.  Or focus on other ways to get at it.  But you definitely don't need to have orgasms in one specific way and you definitely don't need surgery or a pill to deal with your migrating clitoris.


Tags: clitoris orgasm talk sense