The clitoral activation paradox - Claimed outcomes from different methods of its stimulation

Clin Anat. 2018 Jul;31(5):650-660. doi: 10.1002/ca.23192. Epub 2018 May 25.


This article reviews clitoral structures, their functions and how they are activated during the stages of female life. The paradox that occurs is that different procedures of activation are claimed by some to favor 'noxious outcomes' to the physical and psychic health of women who use it to achieve sexual arousal/orgasm with or without penile vaginal intercourse. A number of the difficulties and inconsistencies in relation to these claims are explored. The proposed justification for the 'noxious outcomes' is that 'evolution' punishes sexual arousals other than by coitus because it is the only one that leads to gene propagation. In this context, however, the new, evolutionary interpretation of clitoral function in the fertile years as a fundamental proximate mechanism for facilitating female reproductive fitness makes such a justification improbable. The role of coital alignment technique (CAT) in the treatment of female orgasmic disorder is discussed in relation to its features of introital, clitoral and periurethral glans stimulation. Attempts to control female sexuality through various 'clitoridectomies' are examined, and unanswered questions about clitoral stimulation are listed. Clin. Anat. 31:650-660, 2018. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: clitoral anatomy; clitoral reproductive function; clitoridectomies; clitoris; coital alignment technique; masturbation; vaginal tenting.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Circumcision, Female
  • Clitoris / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Masturbation
  • Orgasm*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / therapy