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Friday, December 4, 2009

SL Letter of the Day: Is My Big Clit a Medical Problem?

Posted by on Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I'm a fifteen-year-old girl, and I have a pretty great relationship with my parents, but I'm nervous to tell them that I have an enlarged clit. I know this is a medical problem, but I'm seeking relationship advice with my parents. Should I trust them enough to ask them to see a Gyno? In the past, they've seemed reluctant to talk about it. The internet seems to think that it could be caused by an excess of testosterone. Is that why I seem so much more sexually inclined than the other girls my age? Is this weird? I've been making excuses not to have [safe, of course] sex with boys, not because I don't want to, but rather because I'm scared they'll think I'm a freak.

Concerned Like Intensely Terrified

I passed this question along to regular "Savage Love" guest expert and friend-of-Slog superstar Alice Dreger, a member of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics program at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and a patient advocate for people born with "different-than-average sex anatomies." Dreger responded at length to CLIT's letter, fisking-style, and you can read Alice's brilliant advice after the jump.

I'm a fifteen-year-old girl, and I have a pretty great relationship with my parents, but I'm nervous to tell them that I have an enlarged clit. I know this is a medical problem,

A big clit is NOT a medical problem unless you are going around accidentally poking somebody's eye out with it. (And then it is that person's medical problem, not yours, though I guess you might be liable.)

A big clit CAN indicate an underlying medical problem. In that sense, it can be a symptom of something that needs treatment, but don't confuse the two. It can indicate that you have a hormonal imbalance which may need treatment for you to stay healthy.

but I'm seeking relationship advice with my parents. Should I trust them enough to ask them to see a Gyno? In the past, they've seemed reluctant to talk about it.

Your parents are probably dealing with their own issues of confusion, shame, and fear. The best thing to do would be to find a trusted adult (ideally someone who is a social worker, psychologist, or some other kind of counselor who works positively with families) who can sit with you and your parents and talk about all of this. The problem is, I know of only about three people, truly qualified to do this, in North America. I mean that's how many people are qualified to understand the biology, the sexuality issues, and family dynamics in a way that is sex positive and loving.

Most docs don't know diddly about sex variations like yours and they will fumble and freak out. That's not going to help you. You want a doc who is sex positive, who treats you as a young adult, and who understands the difference between a big clit and a medical issue. Contact me and tell me where you're located, and we'll try to find you a good doc. Or, if you have a good family doc, use that person and have him or her contact me so I can put that person in touch with the experts so that you combine decent, humane care with biological expertise.

It's most likely, by the way, that you'll end up with a pediatric endocrinologist, so you might just start there. But again, you want someone who is decent to you and doesn't confuse your big clit with a medical problem.

I'm afraid for you. Too many docs in this country will still treat you in a way that is backwards, against the evidence, and sex-negative. They'll parade in a bunch of medical students and residents to look at the specimen. They'll offer you surgery you don't need, implying there's something wrong with your genitals when there isn't. They'll worry your parents and make them feel unnecessarily guilty.

The internet seems to think that it could be caused by an excess of testosterone.

Excess of androgens, actually (testosterone is one kind of androgen).

Is that why I seem so much more sexually inclined than the other girls my age?

Could be, yes. Or maybe you're just ahead of the curve.

Is this weird?

It's statistically less common than the more boring kind of clit, but I would do what most women with big clits do: think of it as NORMAL FOR YOU. It is normal for you. A word of advice: A lot of girls find their genitals strange, even when they have the kind that looks more like the gyn's wall diagram. I'm trying to avoid references to canned ham, here, while making the point to you that you're not alone in feeling some anxiety about your genitals. The difference is that you have something that stands out, so to speak, and I don't want to minimize that (rhetorically or surgically).

I've been making excuses not to have [safe, of course] sex with boys, not because I don't want to, but rather because I'm scared they'll think I'm a freak.

You need to understand your own situation before you have sex with boys, so that you can explain to them what's up in a way that indicates some level of comfort and confidence. Practicing talking about it with a sex therapist playing the role of a boy would be good. And then try to find boys who are decent enough to get that variations in sex anatomy can be fun. (God knows a lot of teenage boys would be helped by a clit big enough to find easily.) Not all guys like giant boobs, not all like small boobs. Many guys are perfectly comfortable with variations on boob size. They can be educated about the fact that clit sizes vary.

And by the way, the only reason people DON'T commonly know that clit sizes vary is that most women who were born with big clits unfortunately had some surgeon who cut most of it off when they were babies. The docs feared exactly the situation you're in—having to deal with the social awkwardness of a size that doesn't meet typical expectations. Believe me, you are fortunate to still have yours—I'll bet it works. The surgery often leaves people with diminished sexual sensation (you still have the urge, but you can't get off), with scar tissue (try explaining THAT to a new lover), and with a permanent sense of shame. A study of adult women who had their clits reduced when they were adults found that they did not benefit in the ways they wanted; that is, the surgical reduction didn't reduce their fears and concerns. It just left them with all the "side effects" of surgery.

Finally, beware fetishists. These are guys who are into your clit, but not into you. You want a guy who is into all of you.

How to find a sex therapist: http://www.aasect.org/
How to find a pediatric and adolescent gynecologist (much more likely to understand these variations than the average gynecologist): http://www.naspag.org/

Alice

 

Comments (77) RSS

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BombasticMO 1
Amazing advice. Sometimes I feel jaded since I've been there, done that, know it all. But when young adults reach out to you, I realize just how great your (and crew's) advice is. Keep it up!
Posted by BombasticMO http://www.BombasticMo.com on December 4, 2009 at 1:15 PM · Report this
NumberOne 2
Great advice. I would ask CLIT if her big one causes over-sensitivity or even pain if it presses up against clothing or while seated.
Posted by NumberOne on December 4, 2009 at 1:21 PM · Report this
aardvark 3
many of us love big clits. just find the right person who can appreciate your uniqueness. many fish in the sea...
Posted by aardvark on December 4, 2009 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Dingo 4
I dunno. If I was that girl I might have been a bit worried before, but now I'd be freaked the hell out.
Posted by Dingo on December 4, 2009 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Fnarf 5
Alice is a national treasure, if this answer is anything to go by.
Posted by Fnarf http://www.facebook.com/fnarf on December 4, 2009 at 1:33 PM · Report this
6
Great advice. I have a fairly large clit (but I would guess that it's still within the normal range and this girl sounds like she believes she out of that range). I didn't really know it wasn't typical until I started having sex with women, but I always figured it was, like Alice said, like boob size. There are variations.

Every sex partner I've ever had has absolutely LOVED my clit (it's like a bright pink neon sign when I'm aroused, it gives directions almost as well as I do), and so do I.
Posted by Hannah in Portland on December 4, 2009 at 1:33 PM · Report this
7
Great advice. All I'd add is this. I've been with a few women with much larger than average clits and all of them had been much larger than average (obese) when they were younger. I don't know if there's a real correlation or if it's just coincidence but could this be related? Also have no idea if this info is even helpful since these women were no longer obese and still had large clits anyway.
Posted by Root on December 4, 2009 at 1:38 PM · Report this
8
She might be freaking about normal changes in her genitalia due to development. Guys have their dicks grow during adolescence, and the genitalia of girls get bigger during adolescence, too. I remember my lips getting bigger and thinking I was growing balls.

She should enjoy her big clit. There are lots of people who like them. I'm sure it's normal for her, and some doctor is likely to want to prescribe something or do something just because that's how they make money off of people. If it's not causing her physical pain, she should learn to enjoy it and be proud of it.
Posted by Barbara on December 4, 2009 at 1:43 PM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 9
This is Dan at his best. Wow. (And a big thank you to Alice, too.) Wonderful advice.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on December 4, 2009 at 1:46 PM · Report this
10
Alice, you rock.
Posted by Gloria on December 4, 2009 at 1:55 PM · Report this
Rotten666 11
I wish my high school girlfriend had a big clit, then I might not have been so clueless.
Posted by Rotten666 on December 4, 2009 at 2:04 PM · Report this
NumberOne 12
I want to know how big it really is and what the shape is like. Like, small penis mini-wiener big? Or rounder, maybe hazelnut sized?
Posted by NumberOne on December 4, 2009 at 2:09 PM · Report this
kim in portland 13
Here's hoping that you embrace your clit as a superpower, CLIT. Enjoy your unique beauty.

You'll come to learn that we all have issues with parts of our bodies and concerns about how we perform sexually, it's both natural and human. You'll learn that the journey is a beautiful thing, when you embrace yourself and your unique gifts.

Take care and good luck, kiddo.
Posted by kim in portland http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/11/fast-paced_video_provides_a_fu.html on December 4, 2009 at 2:16 PM · Report this
stevema14420 14
Maybe she's actually got a dick and the testes haven't descended yet.
Posted by stevema14420 http://www.aebn.net on December 4, 2009 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Confluence 15
Wow, this Alice Dreger person is *awesome*. Excellent advice.
Posted by Confluence on December 4, 2009 at 2:18 PM · Report this
Julie in Eugene 16
Agree with everyone who said that that was some excellent advice. And, Alice spoke to the latter writer like a human being, not like "just a teenager", which is really nice to see with topics like this.
Posted by Julie in Eugene on December 4, 2009 at 2:28 PM · Report this
The Magic Lemur 17
I hope she reads the slog post and comments.

I -love- large clits. I think they're incredibly sexy. My girlfriend's clit is only slightly bigger than normal, but I love it quite a bit. I hope she finds a guy that is into her and into large clits, so he can worship both her and her amazing clit.
Posted by The Magic Lemur on December 4, 2009 at 2:47 PM · Report this
STJA 18
'WARE FETISHISTS ON THE PORTSIDE BOW!

Also, great advice.
Posted by STJA on December 4, 2009 at 2:49 PM · Report this
breakdown 19
My advice to her is:

Don't think that just because you've seen a lot of internet porn that you've seen the entire range of what's normal. The people who provide the most content are extremely selective about what they think is marketable, and "normal" people are not always well represented.

You should see a gyno, who will have seen the whole range in person, and ask them. If you're fifteen now, your parents may have not wanted to deal with the idea of you being a sexual being in the past (which was when you were what, 14? 13?), but that's going to get more difficult as you get older. Maybe you can visit planned parenthood on your own?

Two other thoughts:

Have you been taking steroids? I recently heard that the largest population of steroid abusers is now teenage girls, trying to get that 'cut' look. That can be bad news. An enlarged clit is one of many potentially unwanted side effects.

Also, more than once I've wished that a partner had a larger clit, as that makes it a lot easier to do some extremely fun stuff with mouth and/or fingers.

Good luck!
Posted by breakdown on December 4, 2009 at 2:51 PM · Report this
JunieGirl 20
Reminds me of the line from Clerks 2: "An abnormally large clit is just a step away from a very tiny penis." Except that might make the letter writer feel bad, which is not my intention--that line just cracks me up.

The only other advice I would have for this girl is to let her know that most guys she'd be ready to screw are going to have NO idea what is normal or "above average" for clit-size. Like Dan says about kinks, don't treat it like you have a disease, treat it like a bonus. And it is! Guys (esp. young guys) have a hard enough time figuring out female genital anatomy--a big clit is a HUGE bonus (no pun intended). Guide them home, honey!

(My 39 year old boyfriend, purveyor of hundreds if not thousands of hours of porn over his lifetime, and participant in a lifetime of serially monogamous relationships, could still not identify what a "normal" or "above average" clit size would be. He can find it easily enough, he just has no idea whether it "should be" bigger or smaller. I think some men prefer to be a little in the dark, y'know?)
Posted by JunieGirl on December 4, 2009 at 2:52 PM · Report this
21
As the prospective parent of an eventually-teenage girl (ultrasound in a few weeks), I'd like to add that she should hold off on having [safe!] sex with a boy for a few years still. Get to know yourself, and learn how to find respectful, generous partners in making out, groping, and even oral before you go the rest of the way.

It's probably not a popular opinion around here, but I still think there is a proper age for your first penetrative sexual experience: 17. At least. 20 at the latest. Boys and girls alike.
Posted by Schorschi on December 4, 2009 at 2:54 PM · Report this
22
Aside from all unnecessary anxiety, THIS GIRL IS LUCKY AND I ENVY HER.

Think of the possibilities we could have if all clits were larger. Why the hell are they so small anyway?

THIS GIRL IS A GEM AND NEEDS TO USE HER POWER!!
Posted by dakoneko on December 4, 2009 at 3:01 PM · Report this
23
That Alice is a treasure.
Posted by gloomy gus on December 4, 2009 at 3:07 PM · Report this
24
Amazing advice. If I'd had Alice around when I was a girl, I wouldn't have had to spend so much time fucking around with _Our Bodies, Our Selves._
By the way, CLIT-- consider giving girls the ol' college try. You will make them very, very happy.
Posted by Gigolo Asshattin' on December 4, 2009 at 3:10 PM · Report this
25
Amazing advice. If I'd had Alice around when I was a girl, I wouldn't have had to spend so much time fucking around with _Our Bodies, Our Selves._
By the way, CLIT-- consider giving girls the ol' college try. You will make them very, very happy.
Posted by Gigolo Asshattin' on December 4, 2009 at 3:11 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 26
When I read the "canned ham" comment - always funny! - I had to double-check the quote to confirm that it was another person's words and not Dan's. Is this expression common in the parlance of sex advice - or was that just a tip of Alice's hat to Dan?
Posted by saxfanatic on December 4, 2009 at 4:09 PM · Report this
attitude devant 27
Bravo Alice! I'm going to print this out and hand it out to all the gyn students who rotate here. Wish I'd had this level of teaching way back when...
Posted by attitude devant on December 4, 2009 at 5:33 PM · Report this
28
I have high androgens due to an adrenal disorder. High T *does* equal higher sex drive. Totally. Went on meds that reduced, sex drive went down. stopped those meds, androgens rose and raised sex drive.

also re obesity, hirstutism, other metabolic and cosmetic disorders: all of these *are* caused by disorders that feature high androgens, for example PCOS, Cushings (syndrome or disease, classic or non), congenital adrenal hyperplasia....these can also cause enlarged clit.

I would view a higher sex drive and enlarged clit as an asset to be managed (just think of all the poor girls who don't know how to come or don't see the appeal of sex!).

But LW is correct to want to get this checked out with a gyno or endocrinologist as the aforementioned disorders can have serious implications.

a couple words of advice:
1. doctors work for you; if your doc is not listening or is otherwise problematic you can and should fire them and keep looking for a doctor who will work with you to figure this out.
2. *don't take steroids* (or any meds) unless you are crystal clear as to why you are taking them, have a timetable of expected results and followup tests, and have access to a responsive doc who can change the dosage or take you off if you experience adverse side effects
(i gained 60lb in 4-5 months! and i stupidly didnt question my absentminded doc. my T went down but my weight ballooned plus hair, cystic acne...was so not worth it. but i wanted to be cooperative! i didn't realize that it is my body and i live here and no one else will care about it the way i do)

good luck! hope your fears are allayed and it isnt too serious.

ps docs hand out hormonal BC like candy, especially Yasmin for women with high androgens. it can help with pms but can also sap testosterone, lowering sex drive and also inhibiting muscle gain. not to mention the potential for major mood swings. it's something to consider and monitor, not blithely accept.
More...
Posted by poodle on December 4, 2009 at 5:58 PM · Report this
29
I went through all the things Alice described as an adolescent with my male endocrinologist's team in Ohio. When I was a newborn, the doctors told my Mom that my clitoris should be removed, but she thankfully refused. As an adolescent, I was diagnosed with a battery of hormonal problems, given ridiculous amounts of medication, and peered at like a sideshow freak by med school interns ("have you ever seen anything like THAT before?" was a phrase I heard more times than I care to recall). Several male endocrinologists later didn't solve anything, diagnosis & treatment-wise, and I was always a bit self-conscious because I always told how "abnormal" I was.

Then, I moved to Boston for grad school and got a new endocrinologist--a female, and brilliant at that. It took forever to get my medical records, so we started with just my personal narrative of my history coupled with tests and physical exams. Shockingly, my doctor told me that not only was my physical anatomy well within the range of "normal," that my history and all my test results would indicated that not only was I misdiagnosed and mistreated for like 12 years, but I was very healthy. She theorized that this was partly because male doctors are just not that good with female anatomy and female adolescent hormonal changes.

I would suggest that, no matter what, this young lady find a crew of female doctors and get some second opinions. Mine has saved my life.
Posted by resipsalc on December 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM · Report this
30
Good advice, but I think a few words might have gone into helping her establish if she really does have a big clit. Sounds like a no brainer, but the girl is 15 and a 20 year old recently called into the podcast because she was not sure she had a clit. I know that clits are generally small so if it's big then it's probably bigger than average, but it would not hurt to make sure this girl knows what she is talking about.
Posted by allie ballie on December 4, 2009 at 7:03 PM · Report this
31
Fifteen isn't that far from 18. If your clit doesn't hurt, it may be safer to wait until you're legally an adult in college. Until then, your family doctor might spill the beans to your parents, and your parents might force you into "treatment" because they fear female sexuality.
Posted by sf gal on December 4, 2009 at 7:06 PM · Report this
32
Oy vey. So much desire to create uniformity in the genitals of newborns. What? Not circumcise your son? He'll look different than other boys in the locker room! Your daughter has a big clit! We need to fix that now!

And then, down the road, when they see a large clit, they're all aghast, Never seen one like that! Yeah, I know. Because other docs have been going after them for too long.

Leave conformity-peddling to the hairdressers, docs.
Posted by CP on December 4, 2009 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Reverse Polarity 33
Just how fucking big is this thing?

As long as it isn't a medical problem and doesn't hurt, don't worry about it. Don't feel like a freak. I'm a guy, and I haven't the slightest idea how big is "too big" for a clit. I've seen a few, but have no idea what the range of sizes of clits are. I would venture to guess that most other guys don't know either. Especially other boys your own age. If it is a bit larger than is typical, that probably just makes it easier to find -- bonus!!

Unless it's the size of a basketball or something. That would probably freak me out a bit. Um. It's not THAT big, is it?
Posted by Reverse Polarity on December 4, 2009 at 8:58 PM · Report this
34
Sir Mix A-Lot remix!

I LIKE BIG CLITS AND I CANNOT LIE!
YOU OTHER BROTHERS CAN'T DENY!
THEY'RE JUST DAMN EASY TO FIND!

Shout out to Vanessa Del Rio!
Posted by salmon sandwhich on December 4, 2009 at 9:01 PM · Report this
35
Alice Dreger! My hero. Seriously. Dear girl with the big clit: You are in posession of a world of wonder. Consider yourself singled out to be blessed, unique, sexually well-endowed. I'm a lady, too, and goddamn if I didn't wish I could have a clit as big as my big toe. God speed to you, take care of yourself, and be very careful about vetting medical professionals that should come your way. Most of them don't know shit from apple butter.
Posted by The Cap'n on December 4, 2009 at 10:38 PM · Report this
36
Treasure, my ass. Alice needs to calm the fuck down and stick to facts.

What if this girl has "normal" anatomy, and is just freaked out because her parents are overbearing and weird? Now thanks to this woman (who has never even SEEN the poor girl), she's questioning the doctors she has yet to see about the "problem", and probably freaking out about having a hormone imbalance. Way to go, Alice.
Posted by A Non Imus on December 4, 2009 at 10:53 PM · Report this
37
Also worth noting: Alice is in no way a medical professional. She's got a PhD in History. She may be a fine advocate for people with big clits, but she's not the girl to be diagnosing them, anonymously, over the internet.
Posted by A Non Imus on December 4, 2009 at 10:55 PM · Report this
38
@37: It's a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science, and her site bio says that she co-directed the Intersex Society of North America for seven years. So it does sound like she's pretty qualified to give the advice she did...I didn't see a diagnosis there. And she gave her full name, so she's not giving anonymous advice either. Just saying.
Posted by Jen in Spokane on December 4, 2009 at 11:59 PM · Report this
tinuviel 39
I have the opposite problem - I have no clit to speak of - at least not that I have been able to find in the ol' hand mirror, or any of my partners has been able to identify from a distance of 2 centimeters away! I only realized it was missing fairly recently, but it explained why oral sex has always been a nothing experience for me.

But this QA has made me wonder if I might have been one of those baby girls with a 'too big' clit that was removed?

I'll be having an awkward conversation with my mother soon, methinks.
Posted by tinuviel on December 5, 2009 at 12:34 AM · Report this
40
Treasure? Dreger? Really.

Settle down. Dreger is often the sourse of ire for transgender advocates. Especially her alignment with 'repairative therapists' like Ken Zucker or a douche like Bailey... Who make a living at pathologizing transgender peeps.
Posted by trans i am on December 5, 2009 at 3:09 AM · Report this
41
I think that the advice is sound if CLIT actually has a big clit. When i was 14, 15 i was convinced that my clit was HUGE. After i had sex with men, watched some porn and most importantly had sex with a few women i noticed that in fact the size difference was minimal and as an adult i have not had any one comment on the size of my clit. I would encourage CLIT to get her hands on some porn, if she is not interested in a sex with other girls.

Posted by relinquam on December 5, 2009 at 7:17 AM · Report this
42
@21: That's not an unreasonable opinion. I was a very fucked up teenage girl, and someone sticking his dick into me would have just added to the storm, so I waited until college. CLIT obviously has some insecurity about her large clit, so I think waiting to have sex until she is more comfortable with her body is probably for the best. This is not to say her clit is abnormal or undesirable, just that having good sex with a partner requires a certain degree of comfort in your own skin.
Posted by Hooray for clits! on December 5, 2009 at 9:04 AM · Report this
43
Obviously this whole thread is useless without pix.
Posted by Doot on December 5, 2009 at 11:30 AM · Report this
Fifty-Two-Eighty 44
@43, obviously you're new here. It's a clit. Now, if it was a penis, Dan would have posted six photos by now.
Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty http://www.nra.org on December 5, 2009 at 12:25 PM · Report this
45
15 is not too early to start going to see a gynocologist under any circumstances, and you may be surprised to learn that you're completely normal (size of genitals, sex drive, etc). There's a large natural range for these things. Also, parents are often uncomfortable with their teenage daughters' sexualities - just tell them you need to start having annual exams and get a doctor recommendation from your pediatrician. Your parents don't really need to know specifics, unless you're considering some major medical procedure.

I'm no doctor, but if you're getting your period, not in pain, have a sex drive but are hesitating to talk about it with your parents or to act on it with boys from your high school, you sound pretty normal.
Posted by B. Betherton on December 5, 2009 at 1:43 PM · Report this
46
@38: Philosophy of science isn't science, and it sure as hell isn't medicine. It's not as if by putting the word "science" in a job title you get to be a doctor.

Also, I didn't dispense any medical advice. Learn how to read.
Posted by A Non Imus on December 5, 2009 at 5:23 PM · Report this
47
@43 and @44 Even if there were pics, the girl is 15, and Dan would risk doing time for posting naked pictures of a 15-year-old's clitoris.
Posted by Ivan on December 5, 2009 at 7:13 PM · Report this
48
CLIT -

Hopefully you won't need this advice, but just in case: do not, under any circumstances, agree to have your clitoris surgically reduced. I was born with an "overlarge" clitoris, and the doctors convinced my parents that surgery was the only way to prevent terrible damage to my psyche. (Because, you know, little girls go around scrutinizing each others' genitals all the time. I obviously would have been a social outcast.) Now, twenty-some-odd years later, I'm a sexual cripple. I can only get off after a lengthy session with a very powerful vibrator -- and even then, not always.

If you think it's no fun explaining to prospective partners that you have an unusually large clitoris, try explaining to prospective partners that the only way you can have an orgasm is with a massive "back massager" -- that their hand/mouth/cock/cute little vibrating gizmo just isn't going to do it. Believe me, it sucks and sucks hard.
Posted by anonymous for this one on December 5, 2009 at 7:16 PM · Report this
49
Other than checking for endocrine disorders (PCOS, CAH, etc.) and seeing a gynecologist or three to get a more informed perspective on what's "normal" (which really just means "common"), I'd argue for staying away from anything involving knives. Hey, if you're not ordinary, then you're extraordinary. Experience more of life, significantly more, and then decide what's right for you.
Posted by abc on December 6, 2009 at 1:37 AM · Report this
Rev.Smith 50
@39: Some women have 'inside' or hidden clits: many of these ladies have superbly sensitive areas just inside though, on the front wall of the vaginal cavity - - aka very happy, easily identifiable/raised G spots. Means you might trade the potential for great oral for truly great hand jobs and fab penetration sex.

Everybody's different of course.

@44 wine hurts when it comes out of your nose. Stop that funny crap right now. ;)

@33 - largest I ever saw in person was the size of a baby carrot or a very small cocktail wiener when it was engorged. I thought it was impressive as hell, and told her so.

Posted by Rev.Smith on December 6, 2009 at 1:41 AM · Report this
Serenity 51
I'm intersexed with a condition called Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome (PAIS) and am lucky enough to have survived childhood and adolescence with my large clit intact. For years, it was a source of a lot of angst and made me feel like a total freak to the extent that I was isolated and suicidal for a long time. I avoided all intimate relationships because I was so terrified of the reaction I would get if I was found to be different.

Since then I've finally gotten all the pertinent information about my condition and am even more fortuitous to have found support from amazing women with the same and similar conditions. I think knowing you are not alone in the world is absolutely the most important thing. Since finding that support and at last allowing myself to be intimate, I'm happy to report that no one has had a problem with my large clit and I love the extra sensation and the ability to do a few things in bed that not everyone else can do. My loving partner absolutely adores my clit and wishes she were intersexed too!

I hope this young woman finds some proper medical care and also the support she needs. It is hard being different sometimes, but it is also wonderful. Alice's advice is awesome, and I really appreciate Dan's sensitivity to the subject. I think she should be careful selecting the right doctor, but getting good medical information and a proper diagnosis is critical and can be quite empowering as well. I wish at 15 I had been brave enough to ask questions and get the information I needed, and I wish her the best of luck!
Posted by Serenity on December 6, 2009 at 8:56 AM · Report this
52
I just wanted to thank all the wonderful people here who have offered this girl support and advice. The peer support is especially the most valuable! Dan has amassed such a beautiful collection of good souls who help out others -- it makes me really proud and happy to be part of his crew.

Sometimes the Internet causes people problems, but it is comments sections like this one that provide critical peer support and positive feedback that really remind me how the the Internet can be used for so much good.

Thanks, all of you who have helped this girl and who are helping other girls like her reading this.
Posted by Alice Dreger http://www.alicedreger.com on December 6, 2009 at 10:38 AM · Report this
53
Unless it's bigger than his, you're fine (hell, even if it is). Guys don't know, and guys don't care. There is no clit standard, anyone who tries to tell you that is a tool.
Posted by noname on December 6, 2009 at 4:01 PM · Report this
54
Also, I'm pretty sure having a large clit makes it a lot easier to orgasm, especially from penetration alone - anyone else have any thoughts on that?
Posted by noname on December 6, 2009 at 4:06 PM · Report this
55
@21: 20 at the latest? What, are girls' vaginas ticking timebombs that will go off if you don't swish cocks around in them? Your advice is positively Hippocratic.

Miss, have sex when you feel comfortable and confident. Whenever the hell that is. Meanwhile, though, do not skimp on the masturbation and figuring out what you like.
Posted by Gloria on December 6, 2009 at 5:23 PM · Report this
56
@55: From my observation, waiting too long can cause problems just like not waiting long enough. Friends who waited past 20, or 25, or 30 told me sex started to loom too large in their minds, and kept screwing up their relationships. My advice was not vagina-centric, I said that it goes for boys, too. And for boys who like boys, and girls who like girls. Don't start too early, and don't wait too long to fully get it on!

Hippocrates was half right: Sex is good for what ails you, no matter what equipment you're packin'.
Posted by Schorschi on December 6, 2009 at 6:04 PM · Report this
57
@56: I "waited" until 22 (although to be fair, had done almost everything else except sex), and I've been with that boyfriend for over three years now and living with him for one. We're all right.

If someone *wants* to wait, sex won't start to "loom too large" in their mind. It sounds more like your friends didn't want to wait as long as they did, so it started bugging them. It wasn't some kind of inherent condition of their age.

I guess my main problem here is you picking a number. I get what you mean -- don't wait for the sake of waiting, especially if you know you're mostly ready (a lot of people are never totally "ready"), and *especially* if there's someone you like, and don't make sex so important that you keep putting it off in some misplaced fear of facing it or messing it up. But what if I just don't get the opportunity? What if I don't really meet someone I like or trust enough? What if I don't meet someone that likes me enough? Hey, some of us don't enjoy the luxury of getting to say no that often.

I think imposing some kind of age expiry like 20 just induces the same kind of anxiety as telling someone that they're not having sex soon enough. How weird I still feel for knowing I lost my virginity at 22 when people here think 17 is old-fashioned.
Posted by Gloria on December 7, 2009 at 7:56 AM · Report this
58
@57: I'm being a little cheeky when I state those ages as absolutes. It's like the half-your-age-plus-7 rule. We could open the window up to 22, even 25, even 30. As long as your not doing it because you don't want to, not because you think you shouldn't. Though I really don't think kids under 17 should be doing it. There's a firm line somewhere at the young end, at least.
Posted by Schorschi on December 7, 2009 at 10:15 AM · Report this
POAndrea 59
Thank you Alice and Dan--great advice. Just wanted to add my $.02 and let this young woman know that she does not have to "make excuses" for her decision to not have sex. For ANY reason. At ANY age. It's okay. Really.
Posted by POAndrea on December 7, 2009 at 11:05 AM · Report this
60
Jesus - you just told her that there are only three people in north America who could possibly handle her situation! I bet she feels totally normal and accepting of her body and comfortable to discuss it with parents/doctors now!

I agree with all the naysayers! This advice might well be really great advice, if indeed this girl does have an extremely large clit. However, the advice doesn't take into consideration that a lot of women out there who have perfectly ordinary sized clits that are slightly larger than the average pornstar clit feel that theirs is huge, when in fact it's perfectly normal. The sort of perfectly normal that Alice could have reassured her about, and perhaps a quick trip to the GP or secual health clinic could have confirmed.

Implying that this girl needs to be very careful about which doctor she shows her clit to for fear they'll hack it off might be cautious, but it's also suggesting that she has got something really out of the ordinary. And although something out of the ordinary might not be anything to be ashamed of, for a 15 year old girl it's really going to sound like something to worry about.

If she has no other symptoms of hormonal imbalance it's most likely that she just has a kinda large clit. I think some gentle encouragement and reassurance would have been better than this alarmist response.

Also, her question was not just about her clit. She wanted to know how to broach this question with her parents *who she has a great relationship*. Them being a little reticent to talk to their tennage daughter about seeing a gyno does not imply that they're crazy sex-phobic nutjobs who are desperate to mutilate their daughter!

I think she should find some non-porn images of a wide range of women's genitalia to make sure she has a sense of what's usual and what's unusual (I think Betty Dodson draws vulvas somewhere..) And she should know that some women pump their clits to make them big on purpose, because it enhances sexual pleasure and they think big clits are great etc.
And if she's still worried, she should call her local Planned Parenthood who would probably be able to arrange a check-up to make sure she's ok/reassure her.
No?
More...
Posted by jesss on December 7, 2009 at 12:25 PM · Report this
Telsa Grills 61
Huh. Dreger's a hack — a "professional academic troll". Quoted from conclusion portion of this preceding link:

"Looking beyond her ridiculous personal vendetta against me, I do hope I can assist those questioning Dreger’s disease model of intersex, just as I question disease models of gender variance (James 2004). Discrediting bad ideas and bad scholars will lead to empowerment for those who should be speaking for themselves. She can’t hurt me, but she can hurt a lot of intersex people in the long term" [James 2007].

With winners like Dreger on your side, Dan, what's the point in adding losers?
Posted by Telsa Grills on December 7, 2009 at 1:22 PM · Report this
62
"And by the way, the only reason people DON'T commonly know that clit sizes vary is that most women who were born with big clits unfortunately had some surgeon who cut most of it off when they were babies."

I don't believe that at all without stats to back it up. This isn't Uganda, this is the United States, in 2009-- prove to me that doctors routinely do this to *female* newborns.

Also, the advice is good on its face, but really, there's no reason to think that this girl's parents wouldn't understand her concerns. Unless you are dealing with truly abusive parents-- and that is a rarity-- she's dealing simply with "I don't want to have an awkward conversation with my parents" syndrome. Which isn't life-threatening, nor genital-endangering.

The first advice to any child should never be "talk to a total stranger/medical professional/kook who has a fake degree in 'human sexuality'"-- it should be, "Have you tried to talk with your parents? Have you tried *again*?"

Because if there *is* a problem here, she's going to need love and support from her family. If there isn't a problem here, she'd still be much better off having an honest and open relationship with her parents.
Posted by Ddd on December 7, 2009 at 1:34 PM · Report this
63
http://www.isna.org/faq/concealment
You can also get this information in a first year psychology class.
Posted by kathy. on December 7, 2009 at 5:09 PM · Report this
64
@61 and @62 and @63

you make it seem so easy. Tell me, are you intersexed? Have you gone through any of our experiences that left us bleeding, scarred and numb?

I am intersexed. My parents are not malicious, but they're also not the type to hop on the computer and do extensive google searches to tear down respected people in the intersex community, such as Alice Dreger. My parents on the other hand were hard workers and didn't have the privilege of a college education. So no, they couldn't just sit in a psych 100 class and "get this information."

My parents, like most parents (EVEN IN 2009) were bullied into surgery and hormones for me because they wanted what was best for me.

Unfortunately though, good intentions aren't always what's needed for intersex children and young adults. Alice Dreger is legit. I am intersexed myself. Suffered at the hands of the medical industrial complex that blinds itself to sexual/genital variation in favor of a 2 sex/2 gender binary system.

CLIT, you are amazing and this thread will be a resource for many other young adults and children to come. Thanks for your bravery. Alice, thank you again for being a voice for our community. And as Alice said, please get in contact with her and she can put you in contact with someone like me. I'm 23 and live in Chicago and just graduated from University where if finished my thesis on Intersexuality.

http://stopmutilating.wordpress.com/

Posted by stopmutilating on December 8, 2009 at 8:36 AM · Report this
65
@7 That's interesting... I was an obese preteen and teenager, and I have a very large clit. I'm sure it's coincidental, but it's interesting to think about. To CLIT, I love my big clit, and my boyfriend loves it too. Luckily for me, I never thought or even knew that mine wasn't average size. I've always thought of it as mine and just right. Embrace it, and get to know it, very well and very often. It'll be your best friend for the rest of your life.
Posted by Posting quickly on December 8, 2009 at 12:27 PM · Report this
stormagnet 66
I'd like to chime in that 15 is by no means too young to start seeing a gynecologist- you don't have to be sexually active to want to take care of your reproductive health! If it's too hard for you to bring up with your parents, that's what Planned Parenthood is for, (no, not just free condoms and sliding-scale abortions.) They have excellent gynecologist and do sliding-scale annual exams, and even if there isn't one near you, their website is a great resource. (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/) They even have a page specifically addressing teenager's (extremely common) anxieties as to whether their equipment is 'normal' (http://www.plannedparenthood.org/teen-ta…)
Posted by stormagnet on December 9, 2009 at 11:28 AM · Report this
stormagnet 67
...aaaand two typos prove it's time for me to get off the internet and get some sleep.
Posted by stormagnet on December 9, 2009 at 11:30 AM · Report this
68
CLIT doesn't mention any other possible symptoms aside from feeling horny (not uncommon when you're 15) and maybe having large junk (compared to what?). Shit, when I was 15 I was masturbating several times a day and my clit is so small that it's hidden entirely. Clits must vary quite a bit in size. Nobody has ever commented that mine is nonexistent (visually speaking), so I doubt most boys will notice or care if you don't look like a porn star.

If she has a medical disorder related to androgens, she's going to have other symptoms similar to those of steroid use. She's most likely perfectly healthy if nothing else is going on. If she's growing a beard, she could bring that up with her parents instead of her genitals as a reason to see the gyn.
Posted by osoborracho on December 15, 2009 at 1:21 AM · Report this
Under The Radar 69
Really now, people- at 15, she'll be lucky to find a guy that even knows what a clit IS. :)~
Posted by Under The Radar on January 8, 2010 at 9:05 PM · Report this
Milbury 70
Lucky, lucky girl. And when she decides to have sex with her first lover (hopefully, a man or a woman, not just a person with big boy or big girl parts), that person will feel just as lucky. Big clits rock, and the few women who I've met whose clits were big enough to tongue-roll have been permanently embedded in my mind. CLIT, you've got nothing to be ashamed of in the least, and if someone in your future tells you that it's "ugly" or "freakish", make sure to tell them exactly where they can go.
Posted by Milbury http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rLkEsoO6t0 on January 13, 2010 at 5:50 PM · Report this
71
"I would ask CLIT if her big one causes over-sensitivity or even pain if it presses up against clothing or while seated."
Don't wear tight panties or trousers. And don't let anyone cut on your vulva (the whole external thing, including your clitoris). And just WHAT is "OVERsensitivity"?
Posted by Gerry on February 7, 2010 at 4:00 AM · Report this
72
Its like your another me, im in the same position as you and i am also 15...weird!
Posted by justme15 on April 5, 2010 at 5:42 PM · Report this
73
Ms Clit,

Speaking from Expierence....Most Men adore a Lady with Generous attributes down there. At Fifteen your mind is only focusing on size of your clit. Revisit this thought 10 years from now and you will probably laugh. You are blessed but please do a little fact finding yourself on the Web. There are a few well known Hormonal disorders that could be, I say COULD BE, brewing so my advice is to do your research and stay informed. You are blessed. Remember, information is power. Research Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome disorders.

I know of two ladys that had an early imbalance of hormones that had very large beautiful clitoris's. They both had this disorder. Testosterone imbalance can quickly effect Clitoris size. Just go to any Porn site that has muscle women featured.(Steriods used) Be cool, enjoy your best friend, and do not do anything irrational. You will find a partner that will worship it in the near future.
Posted by SV on April 19, 2010 at 10:04 AM · Report this
74
"boring kind of clit," really? You know, it is possible to reassure this girl that there is nothing wrong with her body without making other people feel crappy about theirs. That just causes more problems.
Posted by Becky on November 12, 2010 at 11:20 AM · Report this
75
alice pleaz help me I have big clit too i cant speek english very well i live in iran i marrid(4years)
he dosent know ebout that things (size of clit in every body) but he undrestand it some daye i want to have sergury can i? is it be good?i want to have normal clit can i pragnent?
Posted by tanha on January 21, 2011 at 3:45 PM · Report this
76
alice pleaz help me I have big clit too i cant speek english very well i live in iran i marrid(4years)
he dosent know ebout that things (size of clit in every body) but he undrestand it some daye i want to have sergury can i? is it be good?i want to have normal clit can i pragnent?
Posted by tanna on January 21, 2011 at 3:57 PM · Report this
77
I've got a big clit (shaft definitely longer than my pinky finger, inner labia longer than that) and I'm absolutely certain it's the reason I'm easily and multiply orgasmic during penetrative sex. No one ever has any trouble finding it. Guys do not care what your junk looks like, and they'll love it no matter what it looks like because they are just out of their minds happy to be in the general vicinity (especially because they'll find it easily!) unless they are ignorant judgemental little jerks who think all women should look like porn stars in which case you shouldn't be in bed with them anyway. It sure as hell makes oral sex easier for them too. As a teenage girl I think the possibility she's misjudging is pretty high, because when the hell do you get to look at these things when it's not porn (which as you know totally shows a huge and realistic range of real women body types - that was sarcasm)?

This is a great documentary to watch on the general subject:
http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/perfect-v…

There's a vagina gallery somewhere out there too from this show, and plenty of breast galleries too if you want to get an idea of real natural range.

There's another one out there called "My penis and I" which is good too, if you want to see the other side of things.

P.S. If you go to a surgeon, they will be happy to cut you. Surgeons are generally happy to cut anyone for the slightest reason. Don't do it. There is no way it could help you and plenty of ways it could hurt.
Posted by gnot on December 8, 2012 at 8:33 AM · Report this

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