How Fluent Are You In Clitoris? With Milica Jelenic
By Kim Dietrich, kimdietrich.ca
On a recent episode of her radio show The Pleasure Zone, Sex & Intimacy Coach Milica Jelenic asked listeners: How clitorate are you? Chances are, if you’re like many, you may bashfully decline to answer. In fact, most people are hard-pressed to confidently locate the clitoris on a diagram of female anatomy. The subject of women’s ‘private parts’ has been considered taboo for so long that even referencing the clitoris aloud sparks discomfort or embarrassment for many.
Freud vs The Clitoris
Why all the shame and secrecy? Looking to history, we can credit Freud for advancing ideas around ‘penis envy’ and portraying clitoral play as ‘disordered behavior’. What followed was years of health education that all but ignored the female sex organ. While the penis was studied and celebrated, the clitoris remained hushed and hidden away. Medical texts ignored the all-important organ until the late twentieth century and sex education classes even today tend to focus on function over pleasure. Considering what the clitoris has been up against, Milica’s clitoracy question seems both relevant and timely.
Anatomy of the Clitoris
The clitoris was first mapped in its entirety by Australian urologist Helen O’Connell who set out to disprove the notion that female genitals were a ‘failed’ male version. Thanks to the findings of her team, we know the clitoris to be far more than a nub situated atop the vulva. In reality, the wishbone-shaped structure of spongy tissue extends far beneath the surface and possesses some 8,000 nerve endings! Formed in-utero from the same fetal tissues that make up the male genitalia, the clitoris can really be considered the ultimate pleasure zone.
Mainstream Media Embraces the Clit
Milicia encourages listeners to spend time exploring their genitals – to make friends with their clitoris. Referencing a notable episode of Netflix’s BigMouth, she describes how young Jessi’s self-exploration leads to a spirited, two-way conversation with her vulva. In her enthusiastic self-play recommendations Milica cites a multitude of benefits. She promotes masturbation for relaxation and stress relief, for help falling to sleep, even for more serious conditions like vulvodynia which involves chronic vulvar pain. Milica goes on to mention influential sex educator Betty Dodson as an early proponent of women’s self-exploration in the late 1960s. Dodson’s 1987 seminal bestseller, Sex for One, propelled a message of self-love beyond her sex-positive workshops and helped advance women’s liberation through sex and body positivity.
More recently, conceptual artist and photographer Sophia Wallace shone a spotlight on the clitoris with her groundbreaking artwork CLITERACY, 100 Natural Laws. The text installation challenged long held contradictions that exist in the taboos and ignorance surrounding women’s sexuality. Wallace puts the clitoris on center-stage, “offering new language and disrupting gender hierarchies. The project takes aim at the false logic of society that pathologizes sex for pleasure when pursued by people with clits and moreover insists upon locating shame – both literally and symbolically – in the genitals of people with vulvas. CLITERACY upholds that all bodies are entitled to pleasure”.
Not only does her work advance the cause of the clitoris, it celebrates the organ in a visual display that is completely bereft of shame. Similarly, the conversation initiated by Milica is lighthearted, tongue-in-cheek and entertaining, while still managing to underscore its importance. Not only does raising awareness around the clitoris promote sex and body positivity, it also helps advance matters of women’s health. Making it more comfortable to discuss the clitoris can ultimately help eradicate practices of genital mutilation that still exist in some cultures today.
Whether on television or radio, in art galleries, laboratories or in the bedroom – people are taking more time than ever to consider the clitoris. As the conversation intensifies, women everywhere grow more comfortable with their own bodies and partnered sex-play is most definitely enhanced. You could say that all this talking helps everyone become just a little more clitorally confident.
Listen to Milica’s show here: https://www.inspiredchoicesnetwork.com/media/clitoracy-how-fluent-are-you-in-clitoris-milica-jelenic/
Contact Milica Jelenic https://www.milicajelenic.com/
Kim Dietrich is a freelance writer specializing in lifestyle, career and business writing for online and print media. Her work has appeared in Toronto Life magazine, East Coast Living and Saturday Night.