REVIEWS
The Clitoral Truth

By Marianna Beck

Even if you’re an old hand at clitoral knowledge, this book offers up a juicy anatomical tour. Author Rebecca Chalker not only provides detailed descriptions of all of its 18 parts (O.K, how many of your sex-perts out there knew there were that many!), but also furnishes some intriguing historical material. The Greeks, for instance knew all about the clitoris and the major role it played in female orgasm. The physician to Louis XIV confidently insisted that "what is inside women, likewise sticks out in males…" and an English midwife noted in 1671 that "the clitoris will stand and fall as the yard (penis) doth and makes women lustful and take delight in copulation."

So why was all this knowledge suppressed and nearly forgotten after the Renaissance? Chalker tracks down the clitoral truth and along the way, assembles a highly readable compendium full of valuable references and sources. This book is both serious and fun — even for all of those who think they know just what happens to the bulbocavernosus muscle during orgasm.

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The Clitoral Truth: The Secret World at Your Fingertips by Rebecca Chalker (Seven Stories Press 2000), $19.95, 256 pages.

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