Oh, the complex mystery of female sexuality.
While men’s bits are all out on display, and are such visual beasts that they’ll happily jizz at the sight of some breasts poking out of a nice beer girl costume, women’s sexual pleasure is hidden away in a dark, narrow cave. We’re not sure if the G spot even exists.
Apparently we’re supposed to stimulate the clitoris, but how are guys supposed to do that when they’re thrusting their penises back and forth? It’s all so complicated. …except not really. A lot of people like to say that women’s sexual needs are impossible to work out because they can’t be bothered to try – or they’re frozen by fear of getting it wrong that they throw their arms up in the air in exasperation and declare that women simple don’t like sex or are incapable of orgasm.
It’s not that tricky, really. Yes, women don’t tend to orgasm as easily as men, but figuring out what works for a partner can be as simple as just asking them. To make the mysteries of the clit a little less intimidating, we asked a bunch of people with vaginas what they actually want sexual partners to do to their clitoris. Read on, pick up some tips, and, most importantly, learn that everyone’s different and it’s okay to ask what feels good.
Hey, people with vaginas. A lot of people underestimate the clitoris. Do you tend to orgasm through clitoral or vaginal stimulation?
Roxanne: ‘Never vaginally.’
Holly: ‘Always through clitoral stimulation.’
Rebecca: ‘Clitoral, always.’
Hayley: ‘Both! Lucky me.’
Marianne: ‘Both but usually clitoral.’
Sam: ‘Clitoral stimulation.’
Paula: ‘I would say vaginal.’
Notice a pattern there? Okay. Next question. What percentage of sex you’re having with another person results in you having an orgasm?
Roxanne: ‘Hmm… 75%?’
Holly: ‘Probably about 40%’
Rebecca: ‘Maybe 5-10%.’ Hayley: ‘Probably about 70% but that not including actual sex, more including sex sessions with foreplay.’
Marianne: ‘It’s changed tons as I’ve moved through my 20s so difficult to estimate. Now, probably 70% because I think I choose partners better and am more confident about making sure I also have a good time but it was probably more like 20% when I was in my early 20s.’
Ella: ‘With past partners, 0%. With current partner, around 40%.’
Liv: ‘0% unfortunately.’
Sam: ‘60%’ Molly: ‘70%’
Nina: ‘Pretty much all the time.’
Paula: ‘Definitely about 70% perhaps a bit selfish but you know, a girl has to get her rocks off too right?’
Megan: ‘I would say about 40%, until I met my now husband.’ Lucy: ‘Like 1%, very sad.’
What specific actions on your clitoris tend to get you off?
Roxane: ‘Fingers are best.’ Holly: ‘Rubbing in circular motion with a finger but ONLY if they get the pressure right; not too rough or too gentle. Oral stimulation as well but again only if they get the right spot and aren’t too rough.’
Rebecca: ‘Vibrators, always. I can make myself orgasm in seconds. Otherwise it’s just a matter of grinding away on top on a guy while he reads an entire novel or something.’
Hayley: ‘Most apart from poking. Licking. Rubbing. Vibrating. It’s not fussy.’
Marianne: ‘Rhythm always with not too much direct pressure. Not feeling rushed makes a massive difference as well.’
Ella: ‘Licking with a flat tongue, rubbing with a lubed finger, tapping once I’m already really turned on.’
Liv: ‘Rubbing in a clockwise motion.’ Sam: ‘Oral.’
Molly: ‘Vibrator but a very strong one. Missionary position stimulation is the only way I can orgasm through sex.’
Nina: ‘Rubbing, a vibrator.’
Paula: ‘For me anything that is slow and sensuous. Too much prodding and poking is a massive turn off.’
Megan: ‘The smaller, slower and more precise the movements, the better. Varying pressure, sometimes delicate, sometimes firmer. Rhythm is important. Focus…. and that includes eye contact…(not with my clit, obvs! but with my eyes) because it’s massively important to me to feel desired. No physical touch could counteract feeling like someone was just going through the motions.’
Lucy: ‘Circles kind of around it, and vertical.’
And what’s one thing you really, really don’t want someone to do to your clitoris?
Roxanne: ‘Most men rub far too hard (perhaps most women touch their penises too softly?) and they seem unable to recognise the difference between speed and pressure! Faster doesn’t mean harder! They also tend to go in too fast, with no build up.’
Holly: ‘Bite it. Rub their penis against it – it does NOTHING and tends to lead to a UTI.’
Rebecca: ‘I really don’t like it when men feel obliged to go down on me till I come, it takes so long I get bored and feel too pressured. Let’s just stick to the action!’
Hayley: ‘Go straight for it without any warm up. Poke it. Burn it. Bite it. Maybe it is fussy.’
Marianne: ‘Anything involving teeth makes me cross my legs at the thought of. I hate when people think isolating it and sucking on it is a good idea – hate that.’
Ella: ‘Rubbing back and forth or tapping the second my underwear’s off. It’s seriously uncomfortable.’
Liv: ‘It’s not super sensitive, I’m into direct stimulation so I suppose the only thing that I wouldn’t like is aggressive flicking or biting… not that that’s ever happened.’ Sam: ‘Rub the f*** out of it.’
Molly: ‘Bite it. Touch it when it’s too sensitive after orgasm.’ Nina: ‘Hurt it, biting, or too much pressure.’
Paula: ‘Anything that is really rough or applying too much pressure, I respond best to delicate treatment in that area.’
Megan: ‘Bite it, pull it, anything painful.’ Lucy: ‘Bite it and in general be really harsh.’
Is there anything a partner’s done to your clitoris that absolutely blew your mind?
Roxanne: ‘Oral sex can often be a bit dull, but when it’s good it’s great!’
Holly: ‘To be honest, no. I’ve always been better at stimulating it myself. The only thing I would say is that I’ve had perfect oral sex ONCE where the guy was like making out with my clit instead of just licking it in the same way for 20 minutes. That was amazing.’
Rebecca: ‘I told a guy that I couldn’t orgasm through sex and he laughed and said “you haven’t f***ed me yet!”, to which I also laughed thinking he was far too cocky (pun intended). He ordered me to come while I was riding him… I orgasmed 3 times that night! Not clitoral per se, but it certainly blew my mind.’
Hayley: ‘Not really, but I have high standards.’
Liv: ‘Aside from licking/sucking on it during oral the only thing that has “blown my mind” clit-wise wasn’t a person but a toy.’
Ella: ‘Rubbed, licked, and breathed on to my clit through my underwear. Any kind of teasing is great, but that was especially brilliant. Also, any kind of vibrator meant for the clit used during oral or full-on sex.’
Sam: ‘My boyfriend massages my clitoris during regular intercourse and it’s incredible.’
Molly: ‘Used a cock ring in doggy style so it stimulates the clitoris!’
Paula: ‘I like a combination of tongue & the occasional vibrator, I find vibrating rings are marvelous.’
Megan: ‘Stimulating it with really small movements, varying pressure, slight variation in speed, using fingers and tongue, sometimes both sometimes one or the other. And I would say just treated my clit (and my whole body) with reverence (in a good, quiet, understated way). And in so doing, making feel like a goddess.’
So, what can we learn from all this?
First off, the clitoris tends to be pretty important, so it’s not a wise choice to avoid it entirely because you’re not entirely sure where it is. Different people like different things, so your best bet is try things out and ask what feels good. If you’re not sure where to start, ask them – they likely have all kinds of masturbation techniques they know work for them. Also, no biting unless it’s expressly asked for.