Nah’msayin? I Clit You Not

How Patriarchy Turned Oral Sex Into A Game of Hide And Seek

  • Graphic Liz Xiu.

How many times have I been in the throes of arousal, only to have elation cut short. An awkward pause, sometimes even a clearing of the throat emerges from between my legs before the inevitable, dreaded question.

“Gloria, can you help me find your clitoris?”

No, I think, internally groaning. But so many attractive, otherwise perfectly sexually competent young men have an enormous amount of trouble with what should be the simplest of tasks.

Often I wish they’d continue, even in a mediocre capacity, rather than bring the embarrassing topic to light. But these obliging sexual partners are to be applauded for their up-frontness—it’s not a personal failing, but a problem endemic to our phallocentric society.

The prick has long been rendered banal, glorified by contemporary architecture and classical sculpture, crude bathroom depictions and snapchat dick pics alike. In contrast, the clit remains sadly neglected, a virtual taboo.

A side effect of this is the cultural emphasis on blowjobs, universally construed as #casual. More broadly, there’s an overarching emphasis placed on the satisfaction of male desire. Female desire is most often ignored, and construed as deviant when asserted (“did you see how X threw herself at him? What a whore!”). Oral sex performed on women is often seen as a trivial precursor to penetration. It’s just another example of male satisfaction given priority in what’s seen as the only legitimate expression of sexuality.

It’s in this context that the clitoris is so hard to find (literally and figuratively). Society privileges male sexual expression. Dicks abound, while clitori are relegated to the clinical, unappealing realm of the gynecologist’s office.

This is an appeal to everyone attracted to the female form. Before going down on her, skip the phallocentric porno and Google some vulvae.

It’s not that hard to find once you know what you’re looking for. I promise.

For women who feel uncomfortable or uncertain with their anatomy, the sex-positive, feminist webcomic Oh Joy Sex Toy has a comprehensive cartoon guide to self-pleasure I recommend. It can be found at http://www.ohjoysextoy.com/masturbate/.

Sincerely,

Gloria Steinem the Second

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