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Five things you probably didn’t know about the clitoris

Our new O'MAX female stimulating gel is designed to maximise female sexual pleasure. A small drop placed on the clitoris generates a pleasant warming, tingling sensation. Based on a user study, 94% of women reported an improvement in their ability to intensify orgasm after multiple uses. This got us thinking about the wonderful world of clitorises: here are five things about that glorious button that you might not know.

It's not a dirty word (not now, at least)

The ancient Romans knew about the clitoris; they thought of it as an inferior equivalent to the male penis. It's not a view people hold in the modern age but we're united with our ancient forebears in that we tend to file our words for the female anatomy alongside the most 'obscene' in our respective languages. The latin word for clitoris was 'landica', a word so scandalous it basically doesn't appear in latin literature. Even Martial, a poet notorious for his racy verse (about whom Lord Byron asked "And then what proper person can be partial / To all those nauseous epigrams of Martial?"), never used the word in his poetry. Though, just like swear words today, 'landica' had a tendency to appear in graffiti.

It's much bigger than you think

When people think about the clitoris, they're generally imagining something about the size of a pea. What you might not know is the glans clitoris, as the protuberance is known in anatomical circles, is only the tip of the anatomical iceberg. The Museum of Sex have all the details in an informative blog post, describing how the 8,000 nerve endings of the glans are only part of a larger, internal structure that extends around the vagina in a wishbone shape. The full extent of the clitoris was first described in a paper published by Helen O'Connell in 1998. This discovery may seem perplexingly recent, but at least it was an Australian one - Dr O'Connell is a senior urologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

But not THAT big

Though the outward presence of the human clitoris may be relatively circumspect, that's not true for the whole animal kingdom. The female spotted hyena, for example, has a clitoris around 90 per cent as long and just as wide as a male's penis. Crazier still, the hyena's urethra and vagina both exit through this elongated clitoris. Meaning it's used for all reproductive functions (including childbirth) as well as urination. Something to bring up if anybody ever complains about the human equivalent being hard to find.

It's a one-stop shop…

We all know that a stimulated clitoris is a pleasurable clitoris but have you considered that it's the only part of the human body that exists only for pleasure? In this way it's a superior organ than the penis. Think of it this way: is combination shampoo and conditioner ever as good as keeping the two things separate?

…that never stops

The final thing you might not know is some very good news: once a woman hits sexual maturity her clitoris does not change. It's as good in old age as it was in early adulthood. Something you certainly can't say for penises and something that means women can have great sex lives their whole lives.