We all think we know everything we need to know about our clitorises. They're awesome, stimulating, they're the primary way women have orgasms, and ...what else is there? The answer is: a lot. Here, Dr. Emily Nagoski, director of wellness education at Smith College and author of Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science That Will Transform Your Sex Life, and other experts dole out some helpful info to help uncover everything you didn't know about your favorite body part ever.
1. The clitoris isn't just the nub at the top of your vulva. Even though it looks like the small button begins and ends there, the clitoris actually extends deep into the body, all the way down to the mouth of the vagina and also has internal structures as well, kind of like a wishbone. Who knew?!
2. And no, the clitoris isn't "in" the vagina, either. Never hurts to hammer this point home, but the term vagina just refers to the tube that connects the vulva to the uterus and cervix.
3. Those same internal clitoral structures might actually be what we think of as the G-spot. In sonograms, researchers looked at how the inside of our bodies change during sex, and they found that during penetration, the vagina flexes in a way that makes the penis rub through the vaginal wall and onto the internal structures of the clitoris, which people often think is G-spot stimulation. It can vary from woman to woman, but for some women, when they experience G-spot orgasms, it's actually just an internal extension of the clit.
4. Not all clit stimulation feels good. We're all told that the clit is the only organ designed purely for pleasure, but that's not true. It's actually designed for sensation. But if you're not turned on, any kind of clitoral stimulation might not actually feel good. Basically, it's not a magic doorbell that you can press at any time of day and everything will magically open up for you. You have to be in the mood first for anything to happen there.
5. Clitorises vary greatly in size, anything from tiny peas to a reasonably sized gherkin pickle. The size really can vary that much, and every size, from the smallest to the largest, is completely normal (unless you're experiencing pain, in which case, you should see a doctor).
6. Speaking of size, your clitoris at times can actually get bigger. When aroused, blood rushes to the genitals, making your clit actually swell to a larger size.
7. Just because you have a large clit doesn't mean you're less sensitive or more sensitive. It just means your clit is larger, but there's no connection between the size of your clit and what kind of stimulation it likes. It could be larger and like less stimulation or prefer more stimulation. You really can't tell just by looking at it.
8. Every clit likes different types of stimulation. This is especially important for people dating vagina owners: Just because you can give one clit orgasms doesn't mean that, when the next one comes along, you'd be able to do the same for them. For example, in oral sex some clits like a flat, soft tongue and others like a flicky, hard tongue. So your guy might've been able to make one woman come by using the same method every time, but then when he goes down on you, that might not feel great at all. Every clit is different. Like a snowflake on your vulva.
This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.