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Associate Professor Suzanne Belton wants everybody to become more “cliterate”.

“Half the population has a clitoris – and most of the other half love clitorises,” she says.

“And yet we know very little about this beautiful organ that is designed for sexual pleasure.”

Suzanne and two expert medical professionals, urologist and surgeon Professor Helen O’Connell and Dr Ea Mulligan, have formed a training and education company called Anatomical Models.  

They sell life-size biodegradable models of the clitoris to health professionals and medical and nursing students, plus offer teaching and training packages.

Half the sales are to the United States, Britain, New Zealand and Singapore. “We’re still testing the market and like hearing back from our customers,” says Suzanne.

“Just to be really clear: these are not sex toys. The models are anatomically correct and are used by educators to teach or by therapists when they provide counselling.

“The first thing that surprises everyone is the size. The clitoris is huge.” The company was one of the winners at the inaugural Women’sInnovation Pitch, which was staged by the Territory Government at the Darwin Innovation Hub.

“I asked the audience of about 50 people how many of them were learning new information today about the clitoris, ” says Suzanne. “About half put their hands up.”

This reflects her own experience.

“I was not taught about it in school. I trained as a nurse and midwife and not once was the anatomy of the clitoris explained to me. It often is mentioned only rudimentarily in textbooks.

“But it is something that we should know as the basis of normal sexuality education.”

The Women’s Innovation Pitch is designed to encourage more women-led businesses to develop and commercialise innovation and strengthen representation of women in STEM – science, technology, engineering and maths – industries.

The three winners received placement in the Government’s Business Innovation Program, which includes a $30,000 grant to help develop and commercialise their business concepts.

They are also receiving one-on-one professional advisory services from the Northern Territory Government’s Innovator in Residence service.