“Clitoraid is proud to announce its first annual International Clitoris Awareness Week, May 6 to May 12,” said Nadine Gary, Clitoraid spokesperson, in a statement released today.
“Our first six years of humanitarian work have been dedicated to surgically repairing clitorises for female genital mutilation [FGM] victims, and on October 8 we’ll open the world’s first Clitoral Restoration Hospital,” Gary said. “This year, we'll celebrate the sexual pleasure of all women, since all can benefit from more sexual appreciation.”
She said another Clitoraid mission is to raise public awareness about the clitoris.
“It’s been ignored, vilified, made taboo, and considered sinful and shameful for centuries because of patriarchal religious values,” Gary said. “It’s time to give this beautiful organ the attention it deserves. It’s the only human organ with an exclusive sexual pleasure function!”
We don’t need to go far back in history to see why Western women still experience sexual guilt, she said.
“In the 19th century, ‘nymphomania” was considered a disease,” Gary said. “Maybe it still is! Masturbation was thought to cause jaundice, blindness and premature death, and doctors even believed that sexual arousal destroys a woman’s mental balance. The clitoris was declared the source of these purported problems, and in 1865, the president of the British Medical Society recommended clitoral excision as a cure for illnesses like epilepsy and hysteria. Amazingly, scientists didn’t really research the clitoris until the 21st century. Dr. Helen O’Connell, an Australian urologist, finally mapped it in all its voluptuous splendor 8 years ago by using an MRI device.”
Gary pointed out that the clitoris boasts the most nerve endings of any human body organ: about 8,000. (The penis has about 5,000.)
“Dr. O’Connell’s work shows that the clitoris reaches 8 inches in length,” she said. Its highly pleasurable erectile tissue is wrapped around the vulva like two magnificent arches. That’s why we can surgically restore a clitoris whose tip has been mutilated.”
For International Clitoris Awareness Week, Clitoraid is inviting women to organize special events.
“Whether through educational lectures, art exhibits, songs and dance, or a ‘girl’s night’ of sharing, each woman can celebrate sexual beauty the way she chooses,” Gary said. “Sexual expression brings self-esteem and inner balance, so let's revere the clitoris in all its glory while completely free of shame and guilt!”
Following the grotesque comments by Islamic Tunisian elected official Habib Ellouze who characterizes the excision as an “esthetic operation,” as one that has “no consequences to women’s sexual pleasure,” and above all one that is “beneficial against body odors,” Dr. Henning, volunteer gynecological surgeon for Clitoraid – a non-profit organization based in the U.S. – decided to counter these preposterous comments, hoping to educate the most influential populations and to avoid more unnecessary sufferings done to women.
“Each week, excised patients come to my gynecological office for consultation. They come with deep physical, emotional, and mental scars from their excision that they seek to cure by any means necessary. And when I hear such shameful comments by Mr. Ellouze, I cannot remain silent,” declares Dr. Henning.
Dr. Henning is a member of a growing group of doctors from around the world involved in the surgical restoration of the clitoris of excised patients. This surgical procedure is one that was perfected by Dr. Pierre Foldes. Dr. Henning has practiced as a certified gynecological surgeon for 30 years in the U.S., where an estimated 300,000 of the 140 million excised women live.
“No, Mr. Ellouze! Excision is not esthetic!” Dr. Henning emphasized, “It is devastating for the victim, for her self-esteem, and for her loved one. Did you know that many women suffer excrutiating pain during sexual intercourse due to their excision? At best, they can tolerate the suffering, but feel no sexual pleasure whatsoever. As a result, their partners feel angst for not being able to sexually satisfy them and end up abandoning them.”
“As for the beneficial aspects of the excision on body odors, Mr. Ellouze, this one defies the most elementary logic, not to mention the medical profession itself!” Dr. Henning added. “How could the amputation of a body part be recommended for hygiene purposes? The clitoris plays no role in a woman’s body odors, any more than a penis does in a man’s body odors! Every woman was born with a clitoris for the simple reason that it is essential for her to maintain her psychosexual balance. Therefore, to mutilate the clitoris of little girls is to violate children’s fundamental rights.”
This is why Dr. Henning chose to volunteer as a surgeon and is helping to restore the clitoris of excised women. To this end, he will go to Burkina Faso in October for the grand opening of Clitoraid’s humanitarian hospital. The hospital will be entirely dedicated to give excised victims the possibility of experiencing sexual pleasure, thanks to top notch professional surgical care and psychosexual therapy to counter the deep scars brought about by the excision.
Eliane Wurmser, person in charge of Clitoraid in the Middle-East added: “We hope that our hospital in Burkina Faso will inspire other countries to follow suit and that similar private clinics will be built to help more women. And why not in Tunisia where the government has always firmly rejected this inhumane practice?”
Clitoraid applauds an anonymous and former female genital circumciser in the small town of Odienné, Ivory Coast, who decided to give up on the practice of excision on young girls. An article published in Abidjan.net explained how she became aware that all the women she had excised before suffered from the same pain as her own. She said that this pain has negatively impacted her couple’s relationship for years because she never felt any sexual desire for her husband. Clitoraid praises this former female genital circumciser for her decision and is offering her and all former female genital cutters to have their clitoris restored through restorative surgery in order to regain their sense of pleasure.
Banemanie, Clitoraid’s representative in French-speaking Africa, explains: “Through ignorance, atrocious acts are committed and then we feel guilty. Former female genital cutters will be rehabilitated in their sexual function and this will erase centuries of traditions of female suffering. This symbolic gesture puts an end to a barbaric tradition and represents the beginning of the emancipation of women.”
Clitoraid will officially open the doors of the Pleasure Hospital in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso, this October, thanks to a team of doctors trained to give the sense of pleasure back to excised women. Dr. Pierre Foldes, who trained Clitoraid’s volunteer surgeon, Dr. Bowers, perfected this surgical operation. The mission of the Pleasure Hospital is to offer the clitoris restorative surgery to all excised women free of charge.
Dr. Bowers, OBGYN in California, specialist surgeon for Transgender people and Dr. Henning, OBGYN in New York, have already successfully carried out several surgical restorations on African women who have immigrated to the United States.
The team also includes a psychologist who helps the victims of psychological trauma and sex educators who will offer workshops so that the victims can enjoy greater sexual pleasure and find their own sexual emancipation through the methods of Tantric breathing, sensual training courses, and masturbation sessions.
Clitoraid is a non-profit and private organization founded following the idea of spiritual leader Maitreya Rael, who is a fierce human rights advocate.
London, March 19 - Following an announcement (made by Lynne Featherstone, U.K. Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for DFID) that the U.K. government will allocate £35 million to end Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), U.S.- based, nonprofit organization Clitoraid has offered its assistance in training U.K. surgeons to surgically repair the mutilated clitoris of FGM victims, thus restoring their sense of sexual pleasure.
"We've been contacted by over 20 British FGM victims in the past few years," said Nadine Gary, Clitoraid's operations manager. "But each time, we've had to send them to Paris to have the clitoral restoration surgery performed by Dr. Pierre Foldes, who developed the technique. Up to now, no surgeons in the United Kingdom have been trained to do this procedure."
Gary said Clitoraid is eager to work with the British government. "We're hoping to see the United Kingdom set up a program similar to the one our head surgeon, Dr. Marci Bowers,is using to train surgeons here in the United States," she said. "The procedure itself is relatively simple, outpatient gynecological surgery, but we also have a supporting staff of psychologists and sexologists to help patients overcome the emotional and sexual trauma of FGM. Both the surgery and the counseling are essential if FGM victims are to recover their sense of pleasure and their self-esteem."
Gary said Clitoraid has also branched out in Burkina Faso, West Africa, where it is about to open a humanitarian hospital dedicated to healing FGM victims. "Spiritual Leader Maitreya Rael inspired the launching of Clitoraid in 2006, and this hospital for FGM victims was also his idea," Gary explained. We' call it 'the 'Pleasure Hospital,' and it's scheduled to open in October. This will be the world's first clitoral restoration hospital for FGM victims."
But that's just the beginning, according to Gary. "We expect the success of our Burkina Faso hospital to trigger construction of many more such facilities throughout Sub-Saharan Africa," she said. "We especially hope to see more of them in East Africa, because so many of our British and North American patients come from that region. FGM is still all too prevalent there."
Clitoraid is a public charity and has been granted tax exempt status (section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code). US taxpayers can deduct donations to us from their federally-taxable income. Our tax-ID# is: 20-4818106