Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Princess Who Couldn't Come

Hi there, sweet thing. Would you like to hear a fairy tale today? Okay, I'll tell you one, but beware, like all fairy tales, there is something relatively horrific in it.

It's not as bad as dear little Hansel and Gretel violently shoving a witch into a hot oven or the Three Little Pigs boiling the Big Bad Wolf alive. ("And as the wolf felt his flesh sear, he howled in the throes of the very deepest agony, while the pigs did a happy little dance and shouted 'Hooray!' Good night kids, sweet dreams....").

But it does involve--and please know that I can barely stand to type this--surgery to move the clitoris. Surgery to move the clitoris two times, after a first unsuccessful surgery. Primitive early 1900s surgery, which I suspect probably involved an ice pick, a rusty hook and unlicensed mesmerism.

Anyway, let us begin with our tale, shall we?

There was once a beautiful (enough) princess named Marie Bonaparte. Even though she was a great-niece of Napoleon and a princess and all, she wasn't happy because well, my friends, poor Marie couldn't have an orgasm.

Part of this probably had to do with the unfortunate (for her, at least) fact that her husband, Prince George of Greece, was a latent homosexual. According to Mary Roach in her completely delightful book Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex, the bad marital sex kicked off on their wedding night. In Marie's diary, she wrote that George mounted her "in a short brutal gesture, as if forcing [himself]...and apologized "I hate it as much as you do. But we must do it if we want children."

But Marie was a plucky sort and was determined to come. She decided she would solve her problem by taking other lovers. Several of them. But they too left her cold. Finally, she tried the most decidedly non-Princess-like move of putting her delicate fingers between her own legs, and found that lo! she could come!

Our plucky princess was also scientifically-minded and, though most of her blood by now busy throbbing desperately through her unfulfilled loins, she still had enough brain power to come up with a hypothesis. Perhaps, she thought, her problem was that her clitoris was too far from her vagina.

A royal experiment was in order. The princess found 243 willing subjects, asked them about their sex lives and somehow convinced them to let her measure the distance between their clitoris and vagina, or C-V distance. In 1924 she published her findings under the pseudonym A.E. Narjani because then, as it probably still is, Princesses don't go around sticking rulers between other women's legs and talking about it. According to this "Narjani":

--21% of women had a C-V distance of more than an inch (that translates to 2.5 centimeters for those of you in progressive countries that have somehow managed to grasp the intricacies of the metric system.). These women couldn't have an orgasm via vaginal intercourse, or did only rarely. The Princess termed them teleclitoridiennes. As Roach writes: "Teleclitoridienne means simply 'female of the distant clitoris,' but it had a lovely, aristocratic ring to it--calling to mind a career women in heels and a sweater set, cabling reports from her home in Biarritz. At the very least, it had a nicer ring to it than 'frigid.'"

--69% were paraclitoridiennes, with a C-V distance of less than an inch. These lucky-ass women were much more likely to have orgasms with vaginal intercourse.

--10% were mesoclitoridiennes, with a C-V distance of exactly an inch. These women might come...or might not, depending on a variety of factors (gay husband using "short, brutal gesture" VS. delightfully hot lover using torturously languid gestures + memories of recently seen Rudolph Valentio movie.)

The Princess's research gibes with modern data that finds that there is indeed a correlation between C-V distance and ease of orgasm during the deed. BUT, despite what porn films show and show and show, no way are 69% of modern women coming via regular ol' P in V sex. According to ABC News (and I must say it is pleasing to me to see ABC News using the phrase "sex toys, hands or tongue"):
About 75 percent of all women never reach orgasm from intercourse alone -- that is without the extra help of sex toys, hands or tongue. And 10 to 15 percent never climax under any circumstances.
But back to our story. Marie, perhaps her thinking clouded by unresolved lust, decided that the best cure for her condition was to have her clitoris surgically moved.

And when this didn't work, she tried surgery a-fucking-gain! Which also didn't work.

BUT this tale has a happy ending (and can for you as well, if you're a sweater set-wearing teleclitoridiennes.) Marie finally figured out some twisty Kama Sutra-ish positions, unfortunately lost to the ages, that did indeed get her off.

And our little Princess came and came and lived happily ever after.

P.S. There is a trick to discovering your C-V distance. An inch just happens to be the distance between the tip of your thumb and your first knuckle. So, if you measure using this "rule of thumb"... left already?


(photo: Albert Arthur Allen, 1929, source) Note: This is actually not a photo of Marie Bonaparte, but c'mon, the chick looks unsatisfied and she's wearing a friggin' crown. I HAD to use it.


Unknown said...

I saw the title of this post and, at first, thought you were talking about my girlfriend. For the first 23 years of life, she was (sadly) orgasm free...

Then I came along...

This is a fantastic story. The power of the orgasm turned a good woman into a great one. And what a fun study! All that 'research' must have been taxing...

Tony Van Helsing said...

She spent far more time worrying about the position of her clitoris than was good for her.

Gia said...

cringe! I HATE hearing about clitoris surgery always.

Cinderita said...


i found myself looking at my thumb...

Pish Posh said...

I read this with my legs crossed. I was just listening to women from Egypt talking on the radio tonight about female genital mutilation and my imagination is very vivid... argh!!

Ellie said...

For a second there, I thought you were going to tell a story about the genital mutilations that still take place in Africa.. and I cringed for a second.

Great post! You're amazing Jill!

not exactly "Saint" Michael said...

OMG, this is awesome. Sad day for that princess but she persevered. In my own travels I've come across several women who I could at least occasionally convince to believably fake an orgasm or actually have one... never can be fully sure but I like to think I'm not an easy sell on fakes. anyway, I'm going to have to start measuring with all women henceforth and call it science should they question: "DAMNIT WOMAN, I'm a scientist!"

Touche on this post. Huge, throbbing touche.

Vesta Vayne said...

Oh my. You warned us that something horrific would happen, but for Pete's sake! I was cheering for the Princess until she decided to (twice, waaa?) surgically remove her bits. What dedication to science!

dirtycowgirl said...


But I'm glad it had a happy ending.

Anonymous said...

If only she had known that most of her clitoris was INSIDE her she never would have bothered with surgery to move the tip around.

ValdVin said...

I don't know if you are familiar with SmartBitchesTrashyBooks, but
they're a bunch of smart women who like their trashy novels.

They talk about them smartly. Currently they are trying to come up with a term for when romance writers erroneously put the hymen way, way up the vagina.

Seeing as how this blog is another place that likes its sexuality more real-world, I thought the two were a natural fit. (/rimshot)

in bed with married women said...

Ah Lost--you then are the Handsome Prince.
Tony--I think the worrying was better than when she decided she would actually Do Something About it.
Gia--Sorry. Does it make it any better than it was completely voluntary?
Cinderita--I know! One must immediately run to measure. It's just how it is.
Pish--Guess I focused to much on the surgery part. The main point is distance = difficulty.
Ellie--Thanks! And sorry about the cringiness.
Ninja--I am fond of throbing things, as a general rule so thanks.
Vesta--The girl wanted to come. Really really wanted to.
Dirty--Another cringing! Probably not good for gaining more readers. Must rethinking marketing plan...
betty--fo' shizzle. but we all knew that since, well, a week or so ago.
valdwin--running off anon!

Girly Jona said...

Know how many times I moved my hand over my mouth in horror just to remove it for laughter while reading that? Plenty! It's all wet and sticky now. The later might be my fault for eating strawberries while reading..

You write exceedingly well! Not that I'm really telling you, I suspect you already know that. I'm telling myself. Out of pure joy. I love finding blogs on topics I love, written in a way that I love. These things don'r always go together. Love love love love.

caitlingrace said...

Just wrote a blog about orgasms and quoted your blog