The corpora cavernosa are cylindrical structures within the shaft of the penis that run down either side of the urethra (the central tube that urine and semen comes down). The corpora cavernosa are mentioned in both Kinsey’s work and Hite’s. So they have been known about for some time. It has also been established that the body of the internal clitoral organ has similar structures. The corpora cavernosa are involved in the process of the penis becoming erect. So it seems logical to assume that they have a similar role (even if defunct or of lesser efficacy) in the clitoral organ.
Most of the sexual responses we experience, occur within the body or the brain. So it is difficult to provide hard evidence of the process involved. From observing my male partners, men clearly start by getting an erection. The flaccid penis has little sensitivity. A man can enjoy having his flaccid penis stimulated gently by mouth. But the pleasure probably comes from the turn-on of having a partner interacting with his genitals. It is primarily once the penis is erect that men seem to enjoy the optimal pleasure of stimulation. Men always stimulate the penis directly in order to achieve orgasm. Intercourse, fellatio and male masturbation all stimulating the penis directly. The stimulation technique is consistent. It involves massaging the shaft of the penis (containing the corpora cavernosa) and over the glans.
I have found that female masturbation involves emulating the male role in intercourse. The clitoris is never erect but the clitoris can be tumescent. I could see and feel my physical arousal in middle age (unconnected with any mental arousal). When masturbating, I feel ‘stirring’ sensations that I interpret as my body becoming aroused by the fantasy I am thinking about. The male response to turn-ons is rapid. A responsive woman needs to generate arousal consciously, which takes time and depends on being alone.
When I masturbate, as I get close to orgasm, I push my fingers down into the spongey tissue either side of the labia majora. I also thrust forward with my hips and tense my buttock muscles from behind to create internal pressure. This stimulation technique didn’t make any sense to me. But it always had to be the same. As part of my research, I came across references to the corpora cavernosa. These are the structures within the shaft of the penis that trap blood and cause an erection. The clitoral body (or shaft) has equivalent structures. I concluded that my stimulation technique must involve massaging (as much as anyone can) the body of internal clitoral organ. This would mean that there were parallels be-tween my own and the male experience of arousal and orgasm. It is a fairly convincing theory.
Nature is relentless and unchangeable, and it is indifferent as to whether its hidden reasons and actions are understandable to man or not. (Galileo Galilei)
Excerpt from ‘Understanding Sexual Response’ (to be published 2023)