4 Reasons Why the Clitoris Is the Best Organ Ever

by Elizabeth Yuko
Mar 29, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Hand drawing of the clitoris
Image: Ashley Britton/SheKnows

It's been a long time coming (pun intended), but the clitoris is finally getting some of the recognition it rightfully deserves. From understanding its actual size (spoiler: it’s much bigger than you probably think it is) to its amazing function (all pleasure, all the time) to being the focus of a new generation of sex toys, the clitoris is having a bit of a moment (which we hope lasts forever). 

And yes, we know you’ve probably seen that episode of Sex and the City where Charlotte looks at her vulva with a hand mirror for the first time, but have you done it yourself? Having an idea of what you look like down there — especially your clitoris — can be useful for helping you get off, whether by yourself or with a partner. Not only that, but it’s always a good idea to take a look at your vulva from time to time so you know what “normal” looks like and can spot any changes. 

But before you reach for that mirror, here are a few fun facts about the remarkable clitoris.

1 /4: More Than Meets the Eye

Tip of strawberry
Image: Getty Images

1/4 :More Than Meets the Eye

Even though the clitoris looks small — that little pea-size bump at the top of the vulva — it's actually much bigger than that. Below the surface, it expands considerably in a wishbone shape, measuring around 4 inches in length. The part you see is called the clitoral head, and yes, it is very sensitive to the touch, but it is also only one component of a very impressive organ. The "legs" of the clitoris extend down around your vagina, which is what makes penetration potentially result in orgasms (for some people). 

And an added bonus: The clitoris actually gets bigger with age.

2 /4: The Purpose Is Pleasure

Oyster open with pearl inside
Image: Getty Images/Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows

2/4 :The Purpose Is Pleasure

Fact: The clitoris is the only human organ that exists solely for pleasure. Sure, penises are responsible for orgasms, but they are also in charge of other things, like urinating and ejaculating semen in the reproductive process. But not the clitoris. It only exists to make a person feel physical pleasure. 

The clitoris has at least 8,000 nerve endings, whereas the penis has about half that spread across a much larger surface. There's a clear winner here.  

3 /4: Responsible for Orgasms

Woman removing another woman's underwear in bed
Image: Tory Rust/Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows

3/4 :Responsible for Orgasms

There is a widespread misconception that "sex" equals penis-in-vagina intercourse. Sure, that's sometimes the case, but for many people with vaginas, that just doesn't cut it — direct clitoral stimulation is also needed. According to Dr. Laurie Mintz, author of the book Becoming Cliterate, we need to stop thinking of penetration alone as the main event and start considering acts that take the clitoris into consideration (like cunnilingus, fingering, using a sex toy, etc.) as actual sex, not just foreplay.  

4 /4: Next Generation of Sex Toys

Different vulvas on a green background
Image: Ashley Britton/SheKnows

4/4 :Next Generation of Sex Toys

When you think of a sex toy, the first thing that comes to mind is likely some sort of colorful dildo or massive penis-shaped vibrator. While those definitely have their places and times, they also reflect the idea that people with vulvas should reach orgasm through penetration. But now there's a new generation of sex toys without a phallus in sight that focuses exclusively on the clitoris. Examples include the Satisfyer, Fin, Womanizer and Squish to name but a few.