FGM/C and orgasm
I understand that a vagina that has undergone female genital cutting has low arousal, or rather it takes more time to orgasm and a man cannot enjoy it.
‘But I have gone through both types of vaginas and enjoyed the one which had her clitoris removed more. What’s the logic behind female genital cutting?’
What is female genital mutilation?
Hmmm, the million dollar question! I will split your question into two parts. First, the vagina does not ‘undergo FGM’. Rather female genital mutilation* involves the vulva. The vulva is everything that you can see when you look at a woman’s ‘private parts’ (i.e. the inner and outer lips, and the little button we call the clitoris).
Depending on the type of FGM that a girl or woman goes through, they cut pieces of the vulva out. According to Jomo Kenyatta in Facing Mount Kenya, the Kikuyus would only cut off the part of the clitoris you can see and leave the lips intact. In her autobiography Desert Flower, Waris Dirie states that in Somali culture, they cut off the clitoris and the inner lips, then stitch the outer lips together.
FGM/C and sexual pleasure
A few months ago I asked several women who have been cut to tell me about their sex lives and specifically whether or not they experience orgasm. Then, I also asked men like yourself to share their experiences and was glad to find that, yes, cut women can and do have orgasms regularly.
The reason I brought up the different types of FGM is that they impact sex life differently. For women whose outer lips were stitched, it may be more difficult, but certainly not impossible, to enjoy sex and even have orgasms.
Second, FGM is mainly performed to ‘tame’ women. It’s thought that our clitorises make us wanton pleasure-seeking creatures who are likely to stray. Sealing the outer lips is also a guarantee of virginity because any ‘breach’ prior to marriage is physically evident. The male pleasure isn’t thought to be inhibited by FGM, in fact, some people believe that FGM enhances it.
More to the clitoris than we think
What the advocates of FGM did not know is that what we see of the clitoris is but the tiny tip, and it, in fact, stretches back into a woman’s pelvis by about 4 to 6 inches. So amputation of the tip does not mean that a woman will never enjoy sex.
FGM is an archaic custom that aims to control women. For most young girls, the trauma of being held down and cut without anaesthesia, and the pain they endure while nursing their bodies to health, serve as an excruciating deterrent to sexual activity.
More and more young men are coming out and talking about the differences they have experienced between sex with circumcised women and uncircumcised women. Some like yourself are surprised to find that they enjoyed sex, while others (especially if the girl is a virgin) report that they hated causing someone so much pain as they broke through the FGM seal of scar tissue.
I love that you asked this question and now that you know that FGM is a mechanism of control, I hope you will speak up about it and try to end it within your sphere of influence.
Have you or your partner undergone female genital cutting? How has it influenced your sex life? If you need any assistance, you can ask our discussion board moderators for help.
* Note from the editor: Female genital mutilation (FGM) is also referred to as female circumcision and female genital cutting (FGC). Love Matters Africa prefers FGC, or FGM/C. You can read more about these terms and our rationale behind usually using FGC here.