Yes, I’ve been swept up in the month of love but it’s not flowers or chocolates or the heart shaped cupcakes that smack you in the face as you enter any grocery store this week that I want to discuss. It’s your clitoris.
If you just spit out your coffee, grab a napkin and read on!
If you’ve never introduced yourself to your clitoris, now is the time. If you are comrades for life, you still might appreciate some of the nuggets below.
Learning about your body is a responsibility you owe to yourself whether you are in a committed relationship, flying solo, or somewhere in between.
So let’s dive right in 😉
The clitoris’s only job is sensation (unlike the penis which also lists penetration, ejaculation, and urination on its resume) which means we as women were designed for PLEASURE! There are two external parts of the clitoris that you can see (the glans and the hood) and three internal parts that are not visible (the body, the crura and the vestibular bulbs):
- The glans of the clitoris is a pea-sized nub located at the top of your vulva, above the vaginal and urethral opening and below the mons pubis which is the fleshy part of the pelvis lying over the pubic bones where you would find pubic hair if you have it. While it is the most innervated and sensitive part of the clitoris, it does not have erectile tissue and thus cannot swell or grow like the rest of the clitoris.
- The clitoral hood is a flap of skin that surrounds and protects the glans of your clitoris and can vary in size and shape from barely covering your clitoris to completely covering it. Check out this link for pictures of variations so you can see there really is no “normal.”
- The body of the clitoris slants upwards and attaches to your pubic bone via ligaments before splitting in half to form the crura (or legs) and the vestibular bulbs which straddle the urethra and vagina and contain erectile tissue that swells with blood during female arousal.
In her book, Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski, PhD points out that clitoral stimulation is the most reliable way to elicit an orgasm.
But intercourse is not a very effective way to stimulate the clitoris.
In fact, less than a third of women are reliably orgasmic with vaginal penetration alone and even 80-90% of women who masturbate typically do so with little or no vaginal penetration (even when using vibrators).
So what’s a girl to do?
- Experiment to learn the art of self pleasure. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the online program OMG Yes where you can explore the latest science about the specific ways women find and enhance pleasure through 62 short videos and 11 touchable videos.
- Try a toy. Consult with Jen Klimek of Pure Romance to find one that suits you best.
- During sex, try positions that stimulate the clitoris:
- The “riding high” position: You lie on your back while your partner positions themselves higher up on your body so that their penis or dildo is angled in such a way that their shaft slides your clitoral hood up and down with each thrust to stimulate your clitoris.
- Cowgirl: Straddle your partner and try sliding back and forth on them (versus up and down) with altering speeds and angles to stimulate your clitoris