I've also heard it called the sacral nerve, but the pudendal is technically a specific portion of it. The dorsal nerve (a branch of the pudendal) is more closely what I would call a genital nerve, as it gives the sensation in the glans of the penis or clitoris.
I think this is just one of those cases of Latin roots popping up in language with little to nothing to do with their modern-day meaning. Kind of like the word "hysterical" just to give one example of many that come to mind. It's definitely interesting to consider how words have evolved. I'd never thought of this one before :]
Note: I also just realized that "sacral nerve" comes from the Latin root sacr as in sacred. Very interesting indeed.
I've never heard anyone who works in sexuality refer to the pudendal as the genital nerve, most likely because it's only one of many nerve endings that innervates the genitals.
That said, I hear you on the word roots, and love geeky language discussions. There are so many words -- obviously not just around sexuality and anatomy, but certainly including those areas -- where the origin of the word feels problematic. For example, the etymology of "vagina" is "sheath." But sheaths are for swords, so what...oh. Oh, bleh. Right?
On the other hand, the roots of penis actually come from the word tail.
Alas, my feeling from a science end is that it's important we use the words/terms/names we have when it comes to anatomy and sexuality, since as it is, it's all so murky and unclear for so many people.
That said, when it comes to naming your own body parts, by all means, I think everyone should use whatever creative language they feel is most true and they like, whether that's about reflecting gender identity or about just wanting all the terms for their body to be linked to positives.
-------------------- Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen About Me • Get our book! Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead Posts: 68006 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
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That's awful about vaginas! I really like the word corona, so much better than hymen. Sacral Nerve is lovely. I have thought about hysteria before, being uterus (so much better than womb), but its used differently now - thank heavens!
-------------------- 'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) Posts: 1285 | From: England | Registered: Oct 2010
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