A new investigation has found that the clitoris has 20% more nerve fibres than previously estimated.
Our lack of knowledge about the vulva and, more specifically, the clitoris is abysmal if we compare it to the data available on the penis. However, we are currently in the Golden Age of the clitoris, given the wealth of investigative energy now being thrown at the most neglected organ in anatomical studies thus far. Not only has the clitoris become focus of attention for many women and men seeking pleasure, but it has also opened up a necessary field of investigation to answer questions that, fortunately, we are now asking.
Generally speaking, we understood the clitoris to be an organ housing around 8,000 nerve fibre. A total coup if we compare it to the penis which, to date, is only known to have about half of that number.
Nevertheless, research has continued and, whilst seeking more answers about this pleasure organ, a study carried out by the Oregon Health and Science University, and presented on the 27th of October last year at a joint scientific meeting of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America and the International Society for Sexual Medicine, showed that the clitoris not only has an abundance of nerve fibres, but that it actually has 20% more than had previously been estimated. Estimates which, let’s admit, had been arrived at my means of studies on animals and not humans.
With an average of 10,280 nerve fibres, the clitoris is now the star player not just in terms of pleasure, but also among scientific teams.
“It’s startling to think about more than 10,000 nerve fibres being concentrated in something as small as the clitoris,” said Dr Blair Peters, who led the study. “It’s particularly surprising if you compare the clitoris to other, larger parts of the human body. The median nerve, which runs through the wrist and hand and is involved in carpal tunnel syndrome, is known for having high nerve fibre density. Even though the hand is many, many times larger than the clitoris, the median nerve only contains about 18,000 nerve fibres, or fewer than two times the nerve fibres that are packed into the much-smaller clitoris,” he explained in a statement.
Over recent years an enormous amount has been learned about the clitoris, about what it really is, its functions, and its true size... Now, instead of having an appendix deemed unimportant and neglected by science and even psychoanalysis, we have an understanding that it is the veritable linchpin of pleasure both outside and inside the vagina.
This latest study, by the Oregon Health and Science University, goes even further: they study the clitoral dorsal nerve, which is the main nerve responsible for pleasure. Each tiny dark blue dot inside the larger blue circles represents an individual nerve fibre of a dorsal nerve.
Peter, the chief investigator of the study, collected samples from one side of the dorsal nerve tissue. Among the samples, he counted an average of around 5,140 dorsal clitoral nerve fibres. Knowing that the dorsal nerve is symmetrical, the average was doubled to reach an estimate of 10,281 nerve endings.
And, of course, these findings will serve to improve focus on women and, in general terms, to increase medical knowledge about vulvas, a field which has historically been ignored.
Science, ten thousand two hundred and eighty one times thank you.