The Clitourist

The ClitouristSynopsis: Penis envy? P’shaw. From bestselling author Karen Salmansohn comes (ahem) The Clitourist, a witty and empowering guide to the hottest spot on earth – and a woman’s body.

For a little spot so important to so many, there is a shocking lack of information available on the clitoris. The Clitourist boldly steps in to fill that void, educating and entertaining the reader on every level, from structure and function to care and upkeep – not to mention handy-dandy arousal methods. And though funny, The Clitourist is not afraid to ask the really tough questions like, “If we can put a man on the moon, why not on a woman’s clitoris during intercourse?”

An intimate biography of a girl’s best friend, The Clitourist is essential reading for anyone who has a clitoris, and for anyone who loves someone who has one. Which probably means YOU!


The Clitourist, by Karen Salmansohn 7.25

‘The Clitourist’ is a quirky little travel guide for anyone interested in learning about (and hopefully visiting) femaledom’s greatest and most memorable tourist attraction: the clitoris. It was written by Karen Salmansohn, an author whose calling card is “self-help for people who would never be caught dead reading self-help”.

I found it in a local second-hand shop and was immediately pulled by its cover and title. As a clitourist myself, I thought it might be useful to have this handy guide around. It would be a good refresher before my next trip – the last thing I want is to come off as an awkward tourist, unaware of local customs. Next thing I’ll know, my passport will be revoked.

Plus which I’m always looking for unusual little books for my personal library.

I really enjoyed perusing ‘The Clitourist’. Having said this, it wasn’t an especially demanding read: the rapidity with which one can get through this book belies its 112 pages, which are composed sparsely and enhanced with lovely illustrations by Trisha Krauss. It’s all about the design, not so much about its content, which is appropriate but superficial.

Salmansohn did cover a lot of ground in her general overview of this little love button, mind you, along the way dispelling a few suppositions and misconceptions that the less well-traveled might have. She also peppered the book with humour (I loved her bit on Vahs vs. Vaize), including all manners of puns that pertain to the topic at hand.

There were a few instances that made me wonder about the author’s understanding of the subject, however. For one, she didn’t understand where the expression “blue balls” comes from and decided to invent the expression “blue labia”. Personally, I’ve never heard of a woman feeling pain in her labia from unfulfilled sex play. This is a total misnomer.

I was also disgusted by her description of an orgasm as being equivalent to “fireworks + shoe shopping”. You know what? I’m sick to death of these clichés. I wish we would stop perpetuating the notion that the height of ecstasy for a woman is shoe shopping. That’s like saying that a man’s orgasm is something like target practice and buying a sports car.


In any case, the book’s success rest primarily in the design by Annemarie Gilligan. The way she judiciously spread the material across multiple pages made it a fun read: she used Krauss’ art to highlight the material, but she sometimes broke the material apart in playful ways, which in turn made you want to turn the page. And turn it again. And again.

Otherwise, ‘The Clitourist’ is a decent but very basic glimpse at this sexual hot spot. Would it make the unadventurous want to visit? I would imagine so: it’s amusing enough that it should at least stimulate one’s curiosity. Would it be a satisfying read for those already familiar with the region’s mysteries and delights? Well, whether one is a mere tourist or a resident, is there such a thing as too much clit?

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