Look at this and guess what it is (hint—it’s not a penguin, it’s not a banana peel, and it’s not a flower).
Have you guessed yet? Seriously, guess.
“I want to get that image out,” says Seattle artist Lynn Schirmer. She was sitting in her loft in the Tashiro Kaplan Building the other day, drinking tea. “I want everybody everywhere to know what that shape is.”
That shape is a human clitoris. If what you see when you close your eyes and picture a clitoris is merely a nubby button, then (A) you are normal, and (B) you are wrong. The nubby button is connected to a neck the size of the first joint of your thumb, and stretching from that neck are two arms that flare like a wishbone—arms that can be as long as three-and-a-half inches. The two bulbs that also extend from the center, which make the clitoris look like a penguin, were thought to belong to the vagina until recently. In the 1990s, Australian urologist Helen O’Connell “initiated the mainstream medical profession’s rediscovery” of the clitoris, Schirmer says, “and it took until just a few years ago to see it fully mapped via MRI and other noninvasive imaging technologies.” The result? The discovery that the clitoris has 10 times more erectile tissue than anatomy textbooks or the illustrations at the doctor’s office show.