Elsewhere in this rag you will find an article on being young and gay. But what about those of you who are young and straight? What sort of advice can we offer you? Chances are, very little, since the entire world is pretty much straight--the recent influx of gay-saturated Bravo television programming notwithstanding. One thing we can offer young straight people, however--specifically young straight males--is information on the ever-elusive clitoris: namely, where to find it, and what to do when you get there.

Now, when I mentioned to my girlfriend that I had been assigned an article on telling young people all about the clitoris, her response was, "They should probably assign it to somebody else." She was merely being--or attempting to be--funny by saying this, but she did have a point: What do I, as a male, really know about it? Wouldn't someone who, you know, actually has a clit be better to pen such an article?

Answer: Yes, if one is writing flowing, flowery poetry/prose on the clitoris, but not necessarily if one is penning a bit of advice to straight young men who have never really encountered a clitoris before--advice on what it is, where it is, and, most importantly, how it should be treated. After all, I once encountered a clitoris for the first time, and a bit of foreknowledge would have certainly been appreciated by both me and the owner of said clitoris before my, uh, mishandling of the situation had occurred.

So here we go--for those who were home-schooled/educated under a prohibitive religious umbrella/asleep during health class, or who are merely gay and curious, I am going to answer all your clit questions. Those who already know all they need to know (or all they think they need to know) about the clitoris should feel free to skip ahead to another section of this paper.

What is the clitoris, and how do I find it?
Answer(s): The clitoris is a small organ located above the vaginal and urethral openings--which is to say, the top of the vagina--that is chock full of nerve endings. It is tucked under a hood, called (unscientifically) the "clit hood," and while the size of the organ varies--you may encounter large ones, or ones that are damn near impossible to locate without help--they all rest in the same spot. To the touch, the clitoris will feel almost like a small button, and as a woman gets turned on, it will generally become engorged and grow in size (not much bigger--it ain't like a hard-on--but noticeably larger nonetheless). [See diagram.]

Why is the clitoris important?
Answer: Imagine the head of your dick, only much more sensitive--and enjoyable--when touched. Many women are unable to have an orgasm without stimulation of their clitoris, which means knowledge of where it is and what to do with it is of utmost importance to you--unless, of course, you have no desire to do right by women in the sack, which would make you pathetic and an asshole, or gay.

What should I do with the clitoris?
Answer: Caress it and lick it and whatnot. Specifics will depend on the woman-- each generally likes her clit touched/ stroked/licked a different way--but given that you are young, and presumably fooling around with someone also young, conversation on clit handling may be hard to muster, which means a standard game plan is in order. To wit: Start light and slow, then adapt to her response. If she appears to be enjoying it--and you should be able to tell--then keep doing what you're doing. If she offers no response, you're probably doing it wrong. Don't despair; perhaps you've merely missed the clit, which means you should slowly run your finger/tongue up her vagina until you find it.

What else?
Answer(s): Don't be afraid to ask for advice, which should become more comfortable for you once you get to know each other better. Word to the wise: Early on in a sexual relationship, asking, "How does that feel?" instead of something cheesy like, "That feel good, baby?" is always preferable. Also, never ever treat the clitoris roughly unless you are asked to. Oh, and trim your fingernails.