"I'm late! I'm late!
"For a very important date!"
for May 6-12, 2013, to be exact. International Clitoris Awareness Week.
How could I have missed it? Me with such a good clit story to tell.
Oh, well. Oh, well. I can't resist. I'm going to tell you anyway.
Come back with me to New York, 1973.
The sexual revolution is still hot and heavy.
Feminism is into its second wave, focusing on, among other things, sex.
And I've just published MARCELLA, the first novel written in English to use female masturbation as its main theme.
In 1970, the radical feminist Anne Koedt published her "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm." In her article, she attacked Sigmund Freud's idea that the "mature" woman only has orgasms when her vagina, but not her clitoris, is stimulated. Other feminists take up Koedt's battle cry: no more faked vaginal orgasms, only clitoral orgasms.
I encountered the clitoral craze in the radio studio of WBAI, New York's liberal station. The tall, patient feminist sitting at my side explained it to me in whispers. She's happy to interview me, but I can't read about Marcella's orgasms on the air because they're all--gasp--vaginal orgasms. Politically incorrect.
So I didn't read "Marcella's First Orgasm" in New York City in 1973. Nor did I read it at my next opportunity, Orleans, Nebraska, 1989, where the locals stampeded my book.
Not until 2006 did I read "Marcella's First Orgasm" out loud, now in Omaha, in the Lit Festival, albeit under cover of darkness at 11 p.m.
Here's the irony. I never mention Marcella's clitoris in that book. But now we know that female orgasms, by definition, engage the clitoris and its 8,000 nerve endings. Rub a dubbing that little bud of the clit that pokes out of its vagina hood is one way to build to orgasm. Three-quarters of the four-inch-long clitoris disappears in the vagina's back wall and can be rub a dubbed to orgasm back there.
I'll save you the trouble of close reading my novel to determine what kind of orgasms Marcella has. I'll tell you. Her orgasms may seem like the impossible vaginal orgasm so feared by the feminists, but she was engaging her clit through her vagina's back wall. She had to be, or she wouldn't experience her orgasm "coming upon her like the crashing of a hurricane, like the clapping of thunders, like the crescendo of a great herd of buffalo tramping, like . . .oh! like Mrs. Robinson's organ, when she plays it full blast, and even the floorboards, underfoot, tremble."
That, my dear Alice, is a clitoral orgasm.
(You've never heard of clitorises? Come on. Even female ostriches have them.)
"No time to say hello, good-bye,
"I'm late, I'm late, I'm late"