The Rule of Thumb: Vagina Types and Variability of Female Orgasm

Posted on November 18, 2011 by

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In 1924 a revolutionary research paper on the female orgasm was published in Europe under the pen name A. E. Narjani.  But as it turns out, the real author was actually Princess Marie Bonaparte, great-grandniece of Emperor Napoleon I of France and daughter of Prince Roland Bonaparte.  After she married Prince George of Greece and Denmark in 1907, her official title became Her Royal Highness, Princess George of Greece and Denmark.

Sadly, the Princess suffered from what many women today still do – the inability to reach orgasm solely through vaginal intercourse.  Defying the social mores of her era, she discovered she could reach orgasm through masturbation.  While this led her to blame physiology and not psyche, it still left her deeply frustrated with her husband and eventual four other lovers.  But the Princess refused to accept such fate as a permanent condition!  Instead, she began some of the most revolutionary work of her time on female sexuality and anatomy while also embarking on her quest for orgasm by penetrative sex.

She first examined and interviewed 243 women.  One by one she measured the distance between their clitorises and the vaginas, then compared the distance to their frequency and ease of orgasm.  What she discovered was a direct correlation between the ability to orgasm through vaginal sex and the measurement of space between the vagina and the external part of the clitoris.  She categorized the findings from her subjects in three ways: paraclitoridiennes (para meaning “alongside”), mesoclitoriennes (meso meaning “in the middle”), and téléclitoridiennes (télé meaning “far”).

Paraclitoridiennes were the fortunate ones.  The space between their vaginas and clitorises measured less than one inch.  For the 69% of her test subjects that fell into this category, vaginal orgasm was easier than ever to reach.  However, similar studies conducted in modern times prove this statistic extremely high.

Mesoclitoriennes had a space between their vagina and clitorises that measured exactly one inch.  Only a mere 10% of women in her study fell into this category.  These women did not have it as easy as the paraclitoridiennes but they could eventually reach orgasm with enough practice and position variation.

Téléclitoridiennes had clitorises located farther than one inch from their vaginas.  This was the group in which the Princess belonged, along with 21% of her test subjects.  They had the most difficulty reaching orgasm solely by penetrative sex – if ever at all.

The evidence of such anatomical nuances in relation to the ease and ability of vaginal orgasm persuaded the Princess to try something extreme.  In 1927 she sought out Viennese doctor Josef Halban to surgically detach her clitoris and reattach it closer to her vagina.  Inspired by Marie, two other women would undergo the same operation.  The results were published under what was called the Halban-Narjani Operation, complete with before and after photos.  While the surgery did not work for Marie, the two other women deemed it a success, leading Marie to attempt the operation yet a second time.  Much to her disappointment, the second operation proved to be no better for the Princess than the first.

Since Marie’s research, consistent findings in numerous similar studies have led to the development of the Rule of Thumb.  Evolutionary biologist and professor at Indiana University, Elisabeth Loyd, describes the Rule of Thumb based on the length between the tip of your thumb and it’s first joint – if the space between the clit and vagina is shorter than this length, vaginal orgasm is easier; if the space between the clit and vagina is longer than this length, chances are penetrative sex alone won’t do the trick.

Emory University professor of psychology and behavioral neuroendocrinology, Dr. Kim Wallen has also re-created the Princess’s research, supporting the prevailing theory of the Rule of Thumb.  However, he says women with a large distance between their clitorises and vaginas should not be discouraged.  “Personally, I don’t think the inability to experience no-hands, penis-only intercourse with orgasm says anything about a happy sex life,” he says. “Maybe it could allow couples to be a bit more inventive in how they have sex.”

The good news?  Princess Marie the téléclitoridienne finally did get her happy ending later in life!  Thanks to her own determination and creativity, she discovered sitting on her partner face to face enabled the best chance for vaginal orgasm.

So for all you teleclitoridiennes out there: don’t give up hope.  Check out the MoSex bookstore, pick up a book on sexual positions, and get to experimenting!

Thumbs up!

-Ms. M

Posted in: Archive, Sexology 101