Download and print your own clitoris!
August 5, 2016 6:37 PM   Subscribe

Modelling and 3D printing an anatomically correct clitoris (Vimeo). Sociologist Odile Fillod teamed up with photographer Marie Docher and digital mediator (and Blender user) Mélissa Richard (from the Cité des Sciences) to create the first downloadable, printable and open source 3D model of the complete structure of the clitoris. The model was created specifically to be 3D printed in schools (in French) in order to provide science teachers with a more accurate and less anachronistic representation of the organ during sex education classes. Short text in English about the project. (All links potentially NSFW)

Odile Fillod: "The idea came as part of the preparation of non-sexist videos dealing with sex and sexuality in the high school science curriculum. In textbooks, the clitoris is often overlooked and is systematically misrepresented, if it is represented at all. The objective was therefore to show what it actually looks like, in order to be able to talk about the anatomical and physiological bases of sexual desire and sexual pleasure, and, for once, without forgetting women." Fillod would like to extend the project to the other sex organs, female and male (note the "dick" sketch at 0:18 in the video).
Anatomically correct models of the clitoris have been developed previously by Sophie Wallace and Amy Stenzel.
posted by elgilito (40 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite


 
That's some bizarrely porn-ish music in the first video, for a non-sexist school oriented project...
posted by Greg_Ace at 6:53 PM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Wow, that's cool. I mean, I knew it was a lot more extensive than what can be seen on the outside so to speak, but this really drives home just how much of it there is. Super neat.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:58 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


NSFW? Nobody complained about my figurine of Steve Irwin holding a crocodile.
posted by sneebler at 6:59 PM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


I am impressed by the research and technology involved but I must confess I am alarmed by how far The US is falling behind in sex education. I demand congressional hearings. Gentlemen, we cannot afford a clitoris gap!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:34 PM on August 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


guys someone replied to my dick pic with a file that took forever to download but won't open in my browser
posted by XMLicious at 7:42 PM on August 5, 2016 [43 favorites]


Ah, France...
posted by Artw at 7:55 PM on August 5, 2016


This is seriously great work. I really appreciate how it helps to get people thinking about the anatomical analogous features along the spectrum we've strung between the somewhat silly "male" and "female" poles.

It's one thing to see stuff in a book, but to have the physical models is quite impressive.
posted by odinsdream at 8:26 PM on August 5, 2016


guys someone replied to my dick pic with a file that took forever to download but won't open in my browser

Eh, just ignore it. It's worked for us so far!
So alone...

Seriously though, that's a cool visualization.
posted by sysinfo at 8:27 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Talk about thinking outside the box.
posted by travis08 at 8:33 PM on August 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


This was an awesome juxtaposition of 'bow chicca wow wow" music and "wah wah wah wa-wa wah" Peanuts grownup-voice pictures!
posted by eggkeeper at 8:46 PM on August 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I just keep getting a File not Found error.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:17 PM on August 5, 2016 [12 favorites]


Fillod would like to extend the project to the other sex organs, female and male

e.g.
posted by sebastienbailard at 9:49 PM on August 5, 2016


[more inside]

I see what you did there.
posted by msalt at 9:52 PM on August 5, 2016 [17 favorites]


This is only the 2nd most awesome use of 3D printing I've learned of in the last week. (#1)
but that's only because I've gotten tired of the smug attitude of the guy who puts all those "designer pancake" videos on YouTube
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:02 PM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ah, France...

We needed money, and guns, and an accurate 3d model of the clitoris, and half a chance. Who provided those?
posted by wildblueyonder at 10:22 PM on August 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


OK, great. But for me: this is what is wrong with the 21st century. Let me count the ways... no, I'm sure you can count better than me. (Yeah, I know "me" should be "I," but we're in the 21st century now. I'm trying to adapt. But I cannot adapt to this video. 1: The soundtrack 2: This is news?!!!)
posted by kozad at 10:46 PM on August 5, 2016


OK, sorry. I didn't read all the links. I learned something new. Mea Culpa.
posted by kozad at 10:49 PM on August 5, 2016


kozad: "This is news?"

10K a day
posted by Mitheral at 11:03 PM on August 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


What a neat project, and I suspect one with the potential to change some lives for the better.
posted by Dip Flash at 11:30 PM on August 5, 2016


The really amusing thing, if that is the word, about all this, is that until the intervention of "modern" Western medicine, European scholars were well aware of the internal mass of the clitoris, and the fact that the clitoris and penis are both manifestations of the same phalloclitoris, functioning in the same way. The genitals of men and women were understood to be the same structure, just one more of an "innie" and one more of an "outie!"

It was the contemporaneous development of gynecology and Victorian separate sphere ideology, with its belief that the female libido was ideally next to nonexistent, that led to the reimagination of the clitoris as a tiny external structure, so small that it was to be expected that only doctors could regularly even locate it.

By the way, if the penis were to have been redefined scientifically as only consisting of that part of the structure that projects beyond the foreskin, it would have been scientifically understood as a very small structure, too. . .
posted by DrMew at 12:36 AM on August 6, 2016 [15 favorites]


What a neat project, and I suspect one with the potential to change some lives for the better.

Speaking of which, does anyone have pointers to succinct primers on how to, you know, access and stimulate these less visible wings of the clitoris? Seems like that is the real practical value here unless I'm missing something.
posted by msalt at 1:12 AM on August 6, 2016


So cool! And the music!
posted by mumimor at 1:32 AM on August 6, 2016


I like the way the machine is rubbing the tip at about 1:30ish in the first video.
posted by mikelieman at 2:47 AM on August 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


The really amusing thing, if that is the word, about all this, is that until the intervention of "modern" Western medicine, European scholars were well aware of the internal mass of the clitoris, and the fact that the clitoris and penis are both manifestations of the same phalloclitoris, functioning in the same way. The genitals of men and women were understood to be the same structure, just one more of an "innie" and one more of an "outie!"

The "one sex" model was the conclusion that classical, medieval, and early modern scholars arrived at, but they arrived at it from premises that are utterly untrue. The female organs were internal because they were imperfect and incomplete; the larger sense of homology was driven by an affiliation to Aristotle, who made much the same claim in order to suggest that masculinity was the default and femininity its flawed, inferior, incompletely developed counterpart.

Even proponents of sexual difference internalized some of these notions. For example, Galen believed that the uterus was a sort of internal scrotum, that women and men generated sperm, and that the prepuce in men was the pudenda in women. In fact, Galen used this homology to claim that women got no pleasure from sex at all! (After all, their counterpart of the sensitive areas of male genitalia were internal and incomplete.)

This was extended into medieval and early modern medical theories that explained sexual difference and aging by positing a fixed quantity of radical heat and moisture that was less so in women (and that decreased with aging, hence the "dried, cold" bodily experience of old age.)

Avicenna, setting the tone, had claimed that there was a male semen and female semen, with the male semen the true germ of life and the female semen merely unrefined matter it acted on. In general, the "one sex" theory that stretched from Aristotle and Hippocrates through Avicenna and into early modern medicine was predicated almost entirely on the theory of female imperfection; even the term "inversion," so central to the visualizations of this anatomical model, was hierarchically intended and employed (to the point that it had a second existence as a term for male homosexuality, the sense of physical inversion being translated into a psychic one).

In other words, they got the homology entirely backwards from the start and arrived at it less by anatomical examination than by (initially) a belief in pseudo-Platonic and Aristotelian idealism. And the idea that it's just "Innie vs. outie," while it would do Hippocrates proud, is simply false. Instead, there are shared originating cells during embryonic development, but to claim that the clitoris is "literally" an inverse penis is simply, well, wrong.

A good analogy would be Immanuel Velikovsky successfully predicting that one of the moons of Jupiter emitted radio waves, but getting to that right guess from absurd premises that created many, many more false predictions along the way.

The early moderns inherited an idea of anatomical and biological homology, yes, but one that was built on a theory of one ideal type whose manifest differences in real bodies were the result of "accident" diverging from the true essence. And that essence was, invariably, the male body. The mechanics and use of the "one-sex" theory bears little resemblance to modern ideas of embryological development, and to the phylogeny-ontogeny more generally. There is a genealogy, of course, but one that is more aesthetic and linguistic: the terms with which European medicine began have never stopped shaping the way ideas and evidence, even ideas and evidence that are quite different beneath the surface, are interpreted and initially expressed. What today's biologists and medical researchers mean by "homology" is not much like what their medieval and early modern counterparts meant.
posted by kewb at 3:20 AM on August 6, 2016 [47 favorites]


Download and print your own clitoris!

They have files for everyone's clitorises?
posted by cardboard at 7:06 AM on August 6, 2016 [12 favorites]


Resusci Fanny.
posted by pracowity at 7:19 AM on August 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Point of information, chair - clitoris takes clitorides (pronounced clit-or-ee-days, not clit-o-rides, although that would make a decent fairground attraction) as the plural, not clitorises. See also iris -> irides, hence iridescent, being like the iris of the eye.

Honourable mention to the the Clitorides Awards for erotic fiction.
posted by Devonian at 7:51 AM on August 6, 2016 [8 favorites]


Devonian, as an English word, it is free to take the -es. In Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck writes of the penii of the tractor attachment planting seeds, but penises is good enough for most of us.
posted by rikschell at 7:59 AM on August 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Well, of course - the plural is whatever people want it to be, I'm no prescriptivist. I was wrong to say otherwise.

But in this case, I think clitorides is preferable as we're talking anatomy, which like much science with deep roots uses terms with a continuous history. See antenna, which I prefer to pluralise as antennae when talking about the organs of insects, and antennas in usage appertaining to radio. (The OED agrees with me on this, but I think it just embodies more context for free).

It's also fun to know where iridescent comes from, and I have a policy of always taking any opportunity to say or type clitorides. It's a word that like its referent deserves to be joyfully celebrated.
posted by Devonian at 8:10 AM on August 6, 2016 [9 favorites]


"Penii" is jocular; the Latin plural is "penes". "Penises" is fine in English.
posted by zompist at 8:19 AM on August 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


English has the inestimable benefits of having so many options and encouraging so may styles.

I think the lesson is - the more things you can do with your tongue, the more fun everyone has.
posted by Devonian at 8:43 AM on August 6, 2016 [18 favorites]


Touché
posted by odinsdream at 8:52 AM on August 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Wow...y'all weren't kidding about the music on that first video. How did they leave out increasingly louder female moans and utterances, climaxing (I know...) as the printer finishes off the tip at 1:26?
posted by the sobsister at 9:03 AM on August 6, 2016


See also iris -> irides, hence iridescent, being like the iris of the eye.

Like a rainbow. And -esco usually means "becoming" rather than "being" (see "quiescent", "nascent"). But in "iridescent" (cf. "fluorescent"?) it has the meaning of resemblance (I think the diachronic dimension of "becoming" is coerced into something like, "approaching in similarity space").
posted by grobstein at 9:45 AM on August 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Come again?! First I'd heard about this! It seems someone's been keeping tight-lipped about this project.
posted by Dub at 10:01 AM on August 6, 2016


I mean I love Cura as much as the next girl, but I sure could have done without reading the message "slicing clitoris", oof!
posted by Iteki at 1:29 PM on August 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


I just spent all weekend getting certified to teach sexuality education to middle and high schoolers through the OWL program so this is extremely relevant to my interests.
posted by emjaybee at 5:27 AM on August 8, 2016


Steinbeck probably did use penes. I didn't bother to look it up.
posted by rikschell at 2:16 PM on August 8, 2016


On today's Deutsche Welle Spectrum science and technology podcast (in English) was an interview with Dr. Mihaela Pavlicev of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, a co-author of a paper in the Journal of Experimental Zoology proposing that the female orgasm that occurs in many species originally evolved as a necessary trigger for ovulation between 65 million and 80 million years in what was probably a common ancestor of mice and primates. The interviewer says by way of explanation that originally "the clitoris was inside the vagina".
posted by XMLicious at 1:51 AM on August 9, 2016


So it seems that the guardian was a little quick in presenting how this will be deployed in french schools... They really wanted to highlight the difference between the French and us sexed, and overlook all comments as to how French education is lacking. From Odile fillod Facebook (in French)
posted by motdiem2 at 1:14 PM on August 16, 2016


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