The Female Hard-On

To understand why some of us have an easy time of it and others don't, we first have to understand sex and girls: female sexual anatomy (folks still can't agree on how big or far-reaching the clitoris is); desire and the experience of arousal and pleasure; the complexities of the female orgasm; plus, the emotional and psychological aspects of sex and how they play a role in arousal and satisfaction. You see, we don't even have the 411 on this stuff, so how can we expect to figure out how to fix the leak when we don't know how the plumbing works in the first place?

I will say it again—we need more research, folks. There are promising options on the table beyond Viagra: other drugs that work for men being tested on women, several creams designed to increase blood flow to the vagina and clitoris, a testosterone patch that seems to increase sex drive but has problematic side effects. The most interesting little item in the Newsweek article was a new, recently FDA-approved device called EROS-CTD, designed to pump blood to the clitoris. Reminiscent of a penis pump, which gets blood flowing and pumps up a man's erection, the EROS-CTD is basically a clit pump. It reminds me of a butch dyke I know in San Francisco, sex educator Karlyn Lotney, a/k/a Fairy Butch. Fairy Butch has an innovative technique for clit pumping in which she employs a penis pump to make her clit (temporarily) the size of two short fingers—her own female hard-on. Whoops, there I go: describing female arousal in men's terms, but the truth is that the tissue is the same, and we do get hard-ons, too. I'm going straight to my HMO in hopes of securing a prescription for this expensive, doctor-approved sex toy. Then I'm gonna take her out for a spin. I'll try to come up with another word for my big clit while I'm at it.

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