The definitive guide to the clitoris
How to stimulate a woman to orgasm
Stimulation of the clitoris and surrounding tissue has got to be the singularly most important activity for bringing a woman to orgasm. The key is to stimulate her clitoris with a finger, vibrator or your mouth. Without this, a woman is unlikely to orgasm.
Finding the clitoris
The clitoris nestles in the folds of skin where the outer lips of the vulva meet above the vaginal opening. If the hood of the clitoris is pulled back, it reveals underneath the clitoral glans, a nub of tissue about the size of a large pea and that looks similar to a tiny penis. When the clitoral glans is stimulated it becomes aroused and pokes out of the hood.
Photo: Patrick Hansen / Creative Commons
Most of the clitoris, however, is hidden beneath the surface – under the skin above the glans is a 2-4cm-long clitoral shaft, which feels hard like a short piece of cartilage.
This splits into two legs running on either side of the vaginal opening, under the labia, for about three inches. The entire clitoris – the glans, the clitoral shaft and the legs – fills with blood during arousal and becomes firmer.
How to stimulate the clitoris
Here are some good pointers:
- The longer the build-up to reaching her clitoris, the better. Don’t head straight for her clitoris (unless she asks you to).
- Make sure your fingers are clean and the fingernails short, clean and smooth.
- Try gently touching and massaging her vulva (her external genitals – the inner and outer lips or labia, the clitoral head, the vaginal opening, the urinary opening and the mons (fatty pad covering the pubic bone).
- Indirect stimulation of the clit is often better, at least to start out with, as it is highly sensitive (it has 6000 to 8000 nerve fibres, about twice that of the penis).
- If you don’t know what she would like, ask her. Alternatively, ask her to take control and ‘demand’ from you the stimulation she would like.
- Rather than heading straight for the tip of the clit, tease the edges of the clitoral glans using circular movements and build up slowly.
- If you’re giving her oral sex, use your palms and fingers to stimulate her simultaneously.
- Some women don’t like direct stimulation of the clit and may prefer you to pull the hood down first. Some also have a favourite side that they prefer being stimulated.
- Stimulation of the clitoris should be light and well lubricated (with her natural lubrication or a good water-based glycerin-free lube), using a steady, rhythmic motion.
- Try circling the clit with a finger, or rolling it gently between two fingers, or tapping it gently with two fingers. Alternatively, rub a few fingers over it by moving rapidly from side to side or up and down, or moving in a circular motion over the clit.
- Women differ vastly in their preference for pace and pressure, so experiment by changing these.
- A good rule is that if she’s really enjoying what you’re doing, keep up exactly what you’re doing – don’t change tack, speed or stop.
- Generally, the more aroused she is, the more stimulation her clitoris can take.
- If you don’t know if you’re getting it right, watch her body language and listen for verbal clues – or ask her to guide you.
- The same goes for the next time, as what she enjoys today might not be the right path or technique tomorrow.
- When she orgasms, she may want you to keep up a steady pace during the orgasm, or to increase the speed or pressure, or to gradually slow down, or to stop what you are doing as she orgasms. She may even want you to continue until she has a second or third orgasm. You may need to ask – but she’s highly likely to let you know if you make the wrong move…
- If at any stage you opt for penetrative intercourse, keep stimulating her clitoris using your fingers or a vibrator, or try a position where she can take charge of stimulating her clit.
More information about the clitoris can be found in the following books:
The clitoral truth: the secret world at your fingertips by Rebecca Chalker
Sex for one: the joy of selfloving by Betty Dodson.
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Sources of information:
Go Ask Alice! – Alice!, Health Promotion Program, Columbia University
Supersex – Tracey Cox
The Big Bang: Nerve’s Guide to the New Sexual Universe – the writers at Nerve
The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex - Cathy Winks and Anne Semans
How to help your female partner have orgasms and Are you having trouble reaching orgasm? A guide for women - David Delvin and Christine Webber (authors of The Big ‘O’) in netdoctor
The sex inspectors masterclass – Tracey Cox and Michael Alvear
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