I was searching for slide materials for my upcoming talk on Sexual Dysfunction for a group of physicians next month when I came across the first image I have ever seen of the interior of the clitoral organ system. I was in my late 40s the first time the clitoris was imaged and it wasn’t until the mid 1990s that the clitoris was medically understood as an organ system and not just a single glans on the top of the vagina. I have been thinking about the clitoris a lot lately because I am still trying to figure out how Good Clean Love can be instrumental in stopping the archaic practice of clitoral circumcision, a practice performed on over 100 million women on the planet. Actually, it is performed on girls, little girls, who don’t even know what it means to be sexual. Often it is the girl’s mother who brings her to a midwife to cut off her ability to feel sexually, because it is a widely held belief that a woman who experiences pleasure is both unclean and unmarriageable.
The practice of genital mutilation ranges from mild to extreme, in the 20% of the extreme cases, many girls do not survive, or if they do, often die in childbirth. So even as my own clitoral experience deepens with age, I often find myself thinking about how different the energy of the world would be with 100 million more clitorides offering their singular purpose of pleasure to all so many women who are left only with their shame of being female.
One of the physicians who was responsible for the initial imagery, Dr. Foldes, was also one of the first to perform surgery on more than 3000 victims of clitoral mutilation. After looking for research, this is what he concluded: “When I returned to France to treat genital mutilation, I was amazed that they were never tried. The medical literature tells us the truth about our contempt for women. For three centuries, there are thousands of references to penile surgery, nothing on the clitoris, except for some cancers or dermatology -and nothing to restore its sensitivity. The very existence of an organ of pleasure is denied, medically. Today, if you look at the anatomy books that all surgeons have, you will find two pages above. There is a real intellectual excision.”
So here is the truth, the clitoris cannot be cut away because the majority of this organ lives deep with in the pelvis. Its wonders anatomically we are only beginning to understand – but any organ that is the most nerve enriched on the body is worthy of our attention and medical research. Certainly it does not deserve our shame and ignorance.
What if we were to learn that the female pleasure center of the body was where our genius begins and that pleasure was our deepest access to healing, union and love.