Today’s letters are slightly on the NSFW side, so here’s your warning. We’re about to get into some frank discussion about bodies and sexuality. I think this is really important information that we should all get comfortable talking about openly, but if you’re at work and you have a particularly judgey office environment, maybe bookmark this one for later.
Question: Is my clit too big?
Dear Weird Friend,
I’m rather nervous around potential dates because of my anatomy – because of a congenital defect, I have a rather large “clitoris” – some might even call it a “she-nis.” I’ve been out of dating for a long time and am interested to get back in, but I’m not sure how women would react to such a birth defect. I could have it surgically altered, but at the risk of permanent loss of sensation. Do you think that such a thing would inhibit finding a woman willing to share intimacy? Or is it plausible that a lover would welcome a lover with such an anatomical anomaly?
Signed, Strapless in Seattle
Answer: If you can’t handle the size of the ocean, maybe don’t go sailing.
Dear Strapless, (adorable name, btw)
Who told you a large clit was a defect? I will fight them. To call it a defect is a rage-inducing insult in my mind.
Would women like other women with a large clit? Uh, yes.
To make sure this isn’t just my personal bias, I asked a few of my queer lady friends. The consensus is that there’s no such thing as normal, variety is what makes humans beautiful, and you’ve got something special that you should embrace. A couple people said the first time they encountered a larger-than-average clit they weren’t sure what to do with it … but they figured it out lickity split.
Look, bodies are all different, and they’re all good. The way we fetishize certain organs and their sizes is frankly ridiculous. Consider: Big boobs, butts, and dicks are all the rage. Why would a big clit be the opposite? Sure, as a culture we’re scared of vulvas because they’re clearly the root of all evil … I have all kinds of feminist rage about that, but for now I’ll stick to the point: There’s nothing wrong with your vulva, and I’d like to deck whoever told you there was.
Here’s what I suggest you do: Since it’s the 4th of July, let’s celebrate the independence of your magnificent clit. Make yourself a t-shirt with big glittery rainbow letters that says “BIG CLIT ENERGY,” and wear it out on the town. I even made you a playlist to get you started.
Meanwhile, if you’d like to learn more about what it means to have “normal” female anatomy, I recommend looking into the work of Betty Dodson, who has dedicated her life to helping women reclaim their bodies and their sexuality. Also, this Reddit community was recommended by one of my friends who had some related questions about whether her body was normal. I’m sure there are more like it out there, but I didn’t do an exhaustive search.
In my mind, normal is less important than functional. Does it feel good when you touch it? Cool. That’s what it’s supposed to do. You’re good.
Props for the clever signoff. The rest of y’all should take notes.
Question: More orgasms, please?
I want more orgasms. Even if my partner and I do not have full on penetration, if I want to get off with him I am afraid to ask. Because life and sometimes we are too tired for the full act. How do I ask?
Answer: Use your words!
There are multiple levels to this question. First, you want more orgasms, plain and simple. Second, you don’t always have time for “the full act” with your partner, and third, you don’t know how to ask.
All of these problems are 100% normal, but some people never seem to learn the solution, which is shockingly simple: Talk about it. Fulfilling romantic relationships are rooted in good communication about everything from what you want for dinner to how and when you want sex. Learning to say what you need and want is part of the deal.
Sometimes you need to be blunt, like, “Baby, I would really like to get off with you. It doesn’t have to be complicated because I know we’re both stressed and tired, but do you wanna get naked together and see what happens?”
That said, be open to the possibility that sex isn’t always “the full act.” Defining sex as penetration is an extremely limiting view, so consider connecting with your partner in other sensual ways. Physical connection can be a deep bonding experience for both of you, and it might not always involve an orgasm. Massage each other’s shoulders or feet at the end of a long day, take a bath or shower together, and get both of you some sexy pajamas (something silky!) so that even if you’re not getting it on, you can enjoy the simple luxury of feeling good together. Orgasms and intimate partner bonding are both super important, but they don’t always happen together, so try to lower the pressure.
As with all skills, you can work on improving your intimate communication. Try fantasizing casually with your partner, talking about what you like, and being honest about the limitations of real life. Bring up good times and talk about why they were so great. Be curious about one another. Revisit some of the conversations you may have had early in your relationship like, “What’s one thing you’ve always been curious about trying?” Talk about what it might be like to have different kinds of sexual experiences together.
And remember, sometimes you just want an orgasm, and that’s fine. Find some quality time to spend by yourself and treat yourself like royalty. Masturbation is a valid form of self care, and you can choose to share it with your partner or not. As you get more comfortable talking to one another about your sex life, keep that possibility open because it can be a great opportunity to learn about each other in a really beautiful way.