Sex Talk

Can you give me a cheat sheet to the clitoris?

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng answers your sex questions

30 July 2017 - 00:00 By Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng
The erogenous function of the clitoris makes it the only organ whose sole purpose is sexual pleasure.
The erogenous function of the clitoris makes it the only organ whose sole purpose is sexual pleasure.
Image: iStock

Q. I am 21, female and new to sex. I have a feeling I have not experienced sexual arousal completely. Please tell me about the clitoris.

A. The female genital tract has many structures, internal and external - the clitoris is among the outer features which also include the labia minora, urethral opening and vaginal opening.

The clitoris has not been researched as well as other parts of the body, and descriptions of it have often lacked detail.

An article in the Journal of Urology in 2005 described a study of the anatomy of the clitoris in which microdissection, magnetic resonance imaging and 3D reconstruction were used to provide some of the most comprehensive and accurate descriptions yet.

A 3D representation of the clitoris.
A 3D representation of the clitoris.
Image: iStock

The clitoris is one of the structures responsible for sexual pleasure. Most of its components are buried under the skin and connective tissues.

The erogenous function of the clitoris makes it the only organ whose sole purpose is sexual pleasure.

The only external components are the glans and hood, the most recognisable part, often referred to as "the bean".

There are also internal components. Its nerves include a branch of the pudendal network, and it has erectile tissue and an extensive blood supply, making the clitoris the centre for orgasmic response.

With arousal, the blood vessels become engorged and stimulation can result in pleasure that extends from "the bean" through the entire organ, often leading to vaginal lubrication, pleasure and orgasm without penetration.

Your sexual wellbeing and pleasure are linked to your emotional, psychological and physical health. There are medical conditions and medication side-effects that can affect your ability to become aroused, achieve lubrication and experience an orgasm.

• Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (MBChB), sexual and reproductive health practice, DISA Clinic, 011-886-2286, visit safersex.co.za.

Do you have a question about sex?

E-mail your questions to lifestyle@sundaytimes.co.za with SEX TALK as the subject. Anonymity assured.


X