What Is The Clit?

The clit is the only part of the human body designed solely for pleasure—and there’s so much more to it than meets the eye...

What Is The Clit?

What Is The Clit?

What Is The Clit?

3 minute read

The love button. The bean. The hooded lady. The sweet spot. No matter what you call it, the clitoris is a remarkable part of human anatomy. It is, in fact, the only organ that is designed solely for pleasure.

From the outside, the clit appears to merely be a pea-sized nub at the top of the vulva—but don’t let appearances fool you! Home to an estimated 8,000 nerve endings—up to double the number found in the glans of the penis—the clitoris is a literal powerhouse of sexual sensation. While many people like getting their nipples licked or their g-spot stimulated, the “pleasure button” is the number one driver of orgasms for people with vulvas.  

The clitoris is a literal powerhouse of sexual sensation.

Where Is The Clitoris?

So where exactly is this mighty master of sensation and pleasure? The clitoris is located at the front of the vulva, at the top of the inner labia where they meet. Its head is tucked under a piece of skin called the clitoral hood. If you’re interested in getting better acquainted, you can gently pull the hood back to see the round-ish head of the clitoris underneath. You may also see a small, upside down “V” underneath the head where the skin comes together. This piece of connective tissue is called the frenulum.

How To Touch The Clitoris

Together, the head and frenulum are the most sensitive parts of the clit, so this area can feel great to touch. Sometimes, however, this area is so sensitive that touch can actually be painful! To avoid pain, be gentle, touch the clit indirectly or through the clitoral hood, and make sure to use plenty of lube.

Touch the clit indirectly or through the clitoral hood, and make sure to use plenty of lube.

And there’s so much more to the clit than meets the eye! People often don’t know about the full structure of the clit, and think that the head and frenulum are all there is to it. In fact, the full structure of the clitoris is hidden beneath the skin. The head is attached to a cylinder shaped shaft that extends back toward the pubic bone. The shaft, which can be felt under the clitoral hood, then divides into two wings that stretch down either side of the vulva in a wishbone-like shape. Running parallel along the inner sides of the wings are the clitoral bulbs. The bulbs swell on either side of the vaginal entrance during arousal.

Anatomy of the clitoris

Most of the nerve endings in the clit are in its head, but there are also a bunch of nerve endings in the wings and bulbs too. This means that touching the head of the clit gives the most intense sensation, but touching other parts of the vulva—including inside the vaginal cavity—can make the inner structures of the clit also feel really good.

There’s so much more to the clit than meets the eye!...The full structure of the clitoris is hidden beneath the skin.

How Big Is The Average Clitoris?

The head of the clit varies in size from person to person. Typically it’s about ⅕ inch (5mm) wide and long. But the whole clitoris is about 3-4 inches long (8-10cm), much bigger than what you see at first glance. The clitoris gets erect and increases in size when a person is turned on. During arousal, blood flows to the tissues of the clit so that it swells up and gets firmer. It can get up to three times larger!

Understanding the clit and how it works will help you become a better lover (whether to yourself or to a partner!). If you’re ready to learn more, check out O.school’s Clitoris O.riginal, for more clit information, videos, graphics, and gifs!

Louise Bourchier, MPH

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Louise Bourchier is a sex educator and sex researcher with 8 years experience in the field. She teaches about sexual health, sexual pleasure, and communication in relationships through workshops, live-streams, and with written content. Using a sex-positive approach, a dash of humour, and bag full of fun props, Louise’s style of sex education for adults is not what you got in high school! Since 2011 she has taught over a hundred workshops to a wide range of audiences, from university students, to refugees, to medical professionals, to adult store clientele. She has a Masters of Public Health, and is currently a PhD candidate.

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