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pleasure center of the vulva
Clitoral hood (1) and glans (2)

The clitoris is a female genital organ. It includes erectile tissue, glands, muscles and ligaments, nerves, and blood vessels. Although the parts are placed differently, the clitoris is a match to the male penis. The clitoris causes female sexual pleasure, arousal and orgasm. Rubbing or applying other consistent pressure to it is usually needed to help the female have an orgasm.[1][2][3][4]

During sexual arousal, erectile tissue fills with blood. This causes the clitoris to grow. It grows until orgasm happens. Also during arousal, touching the clitoris and other sensitive areas of the female genitals makes a woman's vagina change shape and release a lubricant. The lubricant and change of shape makes it easier for a man to enter a woman and for sex to occur. Most of the clitoris is hidden inside the body. Only a small part of it is seen outside the body. Adding the outside and inside parts, the clitoris is about the same size as the penis. The clitoris and penis grow from the same tissue in the womb; they bear many similar parts.

Parts of the clitorisEdit

Outside the bodyEdit

This is a comparison between an erect clitoris (left) and a flaccid penis (right). Female and male genitals are developed from the same bundle of tissue.

The parts of the clitoris that can be seen from the outside are located from the clitoral junction (the point where the outer lips meet at the base of the pubic mound) to the fork (where the lower edges of the inner lips meet below the vaginal opening).[5] The outside parts include:

  • the glans: the head or tip. It is filled with nerve endings. The glans creates pleasurable feelings. It also increases a woman's sexual response.
  • the hood: the fold of skin formed by the outer edges of the inner lips. It covers the glans. The hood is the same as the male foreskin.
  • the inner lips: hairless and very sensitive to touch.

Inside the bodyEdit

The parts of the clitoris inside the body

The parts of the clitoris inside the body include erectile tissue, glands, muscles, blood vessels, and nerves. In both the clitoris and the penis, there are two types of erectile tissue. These are corpus cavernosum (cavern-like body) and vestibular bulbs. These tissues fill with blood during sexual arousal. This causes an erection. The clitoral shaft is connected to the glans. It is just underneath the surface of the skin. The shaft is a round spongy erectile tissue. It is very sensitive like the glans. It feels like a hard ridge. The shaft is about 0.5–1 in (1.3–2.5 cm) long. It moves toward the pubic mound for a short distance, then bends sharply and divides. This forms two thin legs. These legs are also made of spongy tissue. The legs spread out like the wishbone of a chicken.


  1. "'I Want a Better Orgasm!'". WebMD. Retrieved November 14, 2012.
  2. Wayne Weiten, Dana S. Dunn, Elizabeth Yost Hammer (2011). Psychology Applied to Modern Life: Adjustment in the 21st Century. Cengage Learning. p. 386. ISBN 1-111-18663-4, 9781111186630 Check |isbn= value: invalid character (help). Retrieved November 14, 2012.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. Mah, Kenneth; Binik, Yitzchak M (2001, available online on 17 July 2001). "The nature of human orgasm: a critical review of major trends". Clinical Psychology Review 21 (6): 823–856. doi:10.1016/S0272-7358(00)00069-6. PMID 11497209. "Women rated clitoral stimulation as at least somewhat more important than vaginal stimulation in achieving orgasm; only about 20% indicated that they did not require additional clitoral stimulation during intercourse.". 
  4. Kammerer-Doak, Dorothy; Rogers, Rebecca G. (2008, available online on 16 May 2008). "Female Sexual Function and Dysfunction". Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America 35 (2): 169–183. doi:10.1016/j.ogc.2008.03.006. PMID 18486835. "Most women report the inability to achieve orgasm with vaginal intercourse and require direct clitoral stimulation ... About 20% have coital climaxes...". 
  5. Chalker, Rebecca (2000). The Clitoral Truth. Seven Seas Press. pp. page 36. ISBN 1-58322-473-4.CS1 maint: extra text (link)