International Clitoris Awareness Week: How Aware Are You?

2 years ago

It is officially International Clitoris Awareness Week (May 6th thru 12th). I can only assume you are prepared with fleshy tones of icing and little sugar pearls for vulva cupcakes made special to feed guests at your Clit Awareness Discussion party later in the week…or maybe this is the first time you heard about it.

Clitoraid, the organization that created this most special of weeks, focuses on the positive aspects of clit owning for this event, but they usually can’t. They’re a group that helps repair genital mutilation. Now, clearly, getting part of your clit cut off is incredibly terrible. But another thing that’s kinda bad is living in a country where we ladies are lucky enough to not worry so much about our clits being mangled, and yet squandering that fortunate circumstance by misunderstanding, ignoring, or under using the awesomeness that is the clit.  


Image: Vinoth Chandar via Flickr

I’m just gonna say it. We live in a society that is clit dumb or clignorant, if you will. Do you remember when you were in middle school health class and the teacher explained what a clitoris was, where it exists on the body and that when it’s stimulated, it leads to orgasm? Of course you don’t. But you do remember them telling you about what part on a boy was meant for sexual pleasure, what physical act that part might be used in to create orgasm, and then what happened during his orgasm.Granted, you were told all that in so many words only because that information coincides with explaining reproduction; penis into vagina = ejaculation.

Sex ed's not exactly comprehensive for the dudes either, but at least they could incorporate what they saw out in the world, like from movies and stuff, and infer how the orgasm part worked. It’s not so easy for us ladies. If you were like most of the world, you just assumed that it worked the same for women; p in v = orgasm. Well...not so much.

Only about 30% of women claim to orgasm regularly during vaginal intercourse. That’s not a lot, and certainly not as good as the guys are doing. Now, that’s a whole helluva lot of vag stimulating with very few orgasms. You know what I think this situation needs? More clit stim, baby. That’s where it’s at. When women masturbate their clits, we can come as quickly, easily, and reliably as men do when they masturbate. Our lady bits work just fine when the right parts are being stimulated. Unfortunately, this all tells me that we’re ignoring our poor clits when we’re having sex, and it’s to our orgasmic detriment.

Speaking of orgasms, porn is full of women faking them. It’s also excessively full of P in V banging and rather light on clit stim. When the clit does get some action, it’s largely decorative, something pretty to watch for a minute before getting to the good stuff. Porn heavily insinuates that vaginal stimulation is what gets us off and pretty much ignores the clit as anything but a starter button.

It’s not just porn, though. The giganto Romance Novel industry is a bit more clit friendly, but it’s still always playing second fiddle to the vagina. Yeah, the heroine will probably get a little clit diddling – oral, manual, whatever. She might even have an orgasm as a result, but the scene can’t end unless she also has one of those classic loin-quivering, brain-frying, melting-as-one-into-the-universe O’s due to a good old fashioned ram fest. Everywhere we look, it seems orgasms come from vag not clit stim. However, as we already discussed, that’s not true for at least 70% of us (and if you want to go further into my rabbit hole I suspect it’s a lot more of us than that).

 If you’re still wondering why you should even care about ol’ Delores the clitoris, then let me just say this. Our sexuality is a deeply personal and important part of our lives. It affects our health, our self-esteem, our mental well-being, our relationships and marriages, and we deserve a fighting chance to achieve the kind of sexual life we desire. A world that ignores and misunderstands the one part of our body that is used exclusively for sexual pleasure is a world that does not have our best interest at heart.

I say, on this week of clit, that we all take some small personal steps in a better direction. Maybe…

1. If it’s been a while, get some lube and take her out for a solo spin, just to show you still care. If you’ve never rubbed one out, then get to exploring. It’s from the 70’s, but For Yourself is the best how-to book I’ve seen – in case you’re interested.

2. If it’s not in your usual repertoire, try adding your own masturbatory tricks during the next round of intercourse. A little vibrator, hand or even pillow- grinding action lets the clitty cat (have I gone too far with that one?) in on the action, and honestly, it’s the best way to assure you have an orgasm during the most common of sex acts.

3. Mention to a good friend that it’s Clitoris Awareness Week and just maybe that will start either a kinda awkward or a super fun discussion that might be really helpful to one or both of you. I’ll tell ya, we ladies should talk more about this kind of stuff because I’d bet that if we’re all truly honest with each other, we’d find we have similar difficulties, embarrassments and questions. We could probably lighten the load a bit if we opened up more.  

4. If you have kids, find a way to introduce them to the word ‘clitoris’ in an age appropriate way. You don’t have to start discussing lube and misusing back-massagers or anything. Just acknowledging that it exists might make a world of difference to them in the future. It’s certainly more than a lot of us had.

5. If you don’t own your own clit, then take some time to do some research. Even if you think you know all there is to know, a little refresher from a good source never hurts. is a great, informative site.

6. For you activist types, you can start writing your school boards for more comprehensive sex ed or to your fave porn directors for more realistic, clit-focused action (maybe that’s not for everyone).

Anyway, maybe if we all just did a little bit, the culture might start moving in another direction, giving our kids something a little better than we had. Also, it doesn’t seem like much, but maybe a little more clit love here in America might start to change the tide and begin creating a less clignorant (oh yeah I used it twice) world for our sisters out there who aren’t quite as lucky as we are.

This is an article written by a member of the SheKnows Community. The SheKnows editorial team has not edited, vetted or endorsed the content of this post. Want to join our amazing community and share your own story? Sign up here.

More from love

by Catherine Donaldson-Evans | 5 days ago
by Sherry Amatenstein, LCSW | 14 days ago
by Colleen Stinchcombe | 22 days ago
by Ashley Papa | a month ago
by Julie Sprankles | a month ago
by HelloFlo | 2 months ago
by Justina Huddleston | 2 months ago