The first chapter of The Clitoral Truth defines the male-centered heterosexual model of sexuality, and determines what women have lost by having their sexuality defined against it. The heart of this chapter -- and indeed the heart of the book - is a walking tour through our largely unknown genital anatomy based on the FFWHCs' definition. During our tour, we will explore every nook and cranny of this fabulous organ and see how its many surprising parts work together to produce orgasms. From there, we will travel through history to learn how women's genital anatomy has been defined through the ages to discover how such critical information about women's anatomy got lost.
In recent years, the issue of female ejaculation has become a source of controversy among feminists, sexologists, and the general public. Initially the concept may seem wildly audacious, intended more to inspire debate than to impart knowledge, but, as we will see in chapter 3, there is a sound anatomical basis for female ejaculation. Here you will meet women who ejaculate, in personal accounts that illuminate in explicit detail both how they experience it and how they feel about it. We will also visit the lost history of female ejaculation, discovering that it has, in fact, been described in the earliest sexuality advice manuals, and discussed in medical literature since the time of the ancient Greeks.
In addition to providing a more concrete understanding of women's genital anatomy and sexual response, we will bear witness to the ways in which women have begun to transform male-centered sexuality by rewriting the intercourse "script" and expanding "sex" to include far more than penis-in-vagina sex play. In the 1970s, feminists salvaged masturbation from thousands of years of religious condemnation, promoting it as both a legitimate and primary act of self-loving, one of the key elements in women's sexual self-discovery, and a component of partner lovemaking. In the section "A Short History of Masturbation" in chapter 4 (see page 141) we will also explore the history of social taboo, as well as religious and official sanctions against self-pleasuring, and see how women today are using vibrators, dildos, and other sex toys and fantasies to heighten their sexual experiences.
Finally, we will see how we can expand the definition of sex from the standard foreplay-intercourse ideal to a far broader concept of sexuality that emphasizes full-body pleasure. You will meet women who have attended workshops designed to help actualize this goal, and I will share the positive experiences I've had.
The task of transforming the male-centered model of sexuality and developing a more equitable ideal is a challenging endeavor. It requires, in part, reclaiming information about women's bodies and sexual response that has been lost or ignored under the antique phallocentric model. It also demands a broader understanding of what sexuality is and isn't, that it isn't just mood, body parts, revealing underwear, and orgasms. It's a part of who we are as sentient human beings, and it varies from person to person, culture to culture. Constructing a new model requires a thorough evaluation of the psychological, social, and biological facets of sexuality.
While the larger part of sexuality is certainly psychological, The Clitoral Truth focuses on the physical aspects of pleasure. The text and illustrations are designed to give women and their partners information, tools, resources, and ideas about how to understand and expand their sexual interests and potential. To create a more equitable framework for the physical elements of sexuality, men must modify their socialized model of stimulation-erection-ejaculation, which works very well for them, but has been shown in study after study to be far less effective for women. The key is that men be willing to learn some degree of ejaculatory control. Perhaps the biggest step in constructing a new vision of sexuality is for women to develop a stronger sense of themselves as independent sexual beings and assume a sense of sexual agency that has for so long been solely the birthright of men.
This is not a relationship book, although many relationships may be sexually enlivened and deepened through use of the information it provides. It is a book about our physical bodies and the significant part they play in the larger symphony of sexuality. Read the reviews!