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The Clitoris: Demystified

    Everyone has heard a clitoris joke. They are all slightly the same and usually end on a note of dismissive bewilderment; a sort of careless surrender. Simply because the clit is small and so super-sensitive it has become a point of fear and a mystery not worth hunting for. Like the Loch Ness monster or something. Men, (and women!), not knowing what a clitoris is and where it is located has become a symbol of society's overall lack of knowledge and disregard for women in general. We at GetLusty aim to educate our readers by increasing discussion, stimulating thought, and abandoning presumptions. So even if you think you know everything about the clitoris, you should read this in-depth article from everyday sex advice team Josie and Eli.

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    Dear Sexes: The clitoris. Please demystify.

    He Said: Ahhh, the clitoris!!! Yet another fantastic wonder of the world. My research tells me that the clitoris is a sexual organ that is present only in female mammals. In humans, the visible, button-like portion is located near the anterior junction of the labia minora, above the opening of the urethra and vagina. The clitoris is the most sensitive erogenous zone of the female. But I’m sure you already knew that.

    If you don’t know where it’s located, check out the picture to the right.

    As a man, my field studies with the clitoris tell me that the pleasuring of this organ depends on the owner. When stimulating the clitoris, sometimes a penis will do. Sometimes a tongue or finger will do. And sometimes, props will get the job done as well. Don’t be afraid to experiment! There are many combinations of possibilities, but success, arousal, and satisfaction depend mostly on the preferences of the owner (and good communication – between owner and user). But of course, you don’t want to hear about my research and field studies. You want to hear (and so do I) from our resident clitoris expert, Josie.

    She Said, take it away!!

    She Said: Thank you, Dr. Eli.

    First, let’s clarify: The clit may look like a button, but it is, in fact, not a button. Don’t press it! Don’t touch it with the expectation that you will win a prize. Imagine the all the nerve endings of your penis, but compacted together into that itty bitty little pink thing – actually there are more nerve endings in that teeny area than in your whole penis! You know that feeling after you orgasm, where you just need a second where nothing is touching you because you’re just too sensitive? That’s how the clit can feel if you don’t approach it with sensitivity.

    Of course, all women are different. Our engines rev at different speeds. Some of us are geared faster, some slower. When in doubt, take it slower, as she can always tell you, “more, faster, harder” without feeling self-conscious, but she may be less apt to say, “take it easy, that’s too much, slow down.” (Though ladies, really, say what you need to say. Sex isn’t about him, it’s about you both equally.)

    Also, as much as you read about this “pulling back the hood” thing with clitorises in less-than-reputable literature (like Penthouse), unless you are given specific instructions to do so, don’t do that either. That little bit of soft flesh is there for a reason, because it is so sensitive and so vulnerable. Leave it be, when she gets aroused and the clit starts to swell, it’ll take care of itself.

    So on to arousal. At first, it’s best to avoid any direct contact with the clitoris. Give attention to the whole area – the inner thighs, the labia, the vagina, all the soft stuff. Your relationship with the clitoris is like starting a new little love affair every time you go down there. Give it some attention, be a little aloof, keep checking in, maybe spend a quick visit. But don’t devote a whole ton of energy on the clitoris itself until you’ve gotten the signal that it’s time.

    What are the signals? First, the aforementioned swelling. All her parts are going to get soft and more pillowy, warm and pink. Second, the wetness. You should know all about that. Once you feel like the signals are all there, then move to the clit and touch lightly. As she gets more into it, you can add more pressure, but gauge how much by her reactions.

    Also, when using your tongue, the tip is great for a little flick, but the wider and less specific part of your tongue is better for more consistent pressure. Try the underside of your tongue (where it’s super smooth) to start out. Once she’s into it, kissing, licking, stroking, and even gentle sucking are all great fun. Or, as Eli pointed out, use a tool.

    Just remember that while she’s revving up, try to keep some variety in what you’re doing. Regardless of whether you’re using your mouth, hands, tool or if you’re in the middle of penetrative sex, don’t just find a spot and stick there the whole time. Be creative. Spend more and more time on the clit as she gets more turned on. Once you’ve hit the spot and are in a good rhythm, go with that. Listen to her words and her body and you will quickly become the best lover she’s ever known.

    Most women I know find that if they’ve already had an orgasm, the clitoris is more erect, which makes it easier to orgasm during intercourse. Therefore, it’s always fun to aim to have her orgasm either before penetration, or early on in penetrative sex—using a vibrator or your hands or hers—to help increase the likelihood of her achieving multiple orgasms.

    Also, there is such a thing as the internal clitoris! I think that the best practical advice about the internal clitoris involves trying different positions and different depths of penetration until you find the spot where the internal stimulation of the g-spot and/or the internal clitoris (aka “glans”) is stimulated. I’m hesitant to give specific advice about where or how this happens because it seems to be different from woman to woman. I can say that the majority of women I know, in a very unscientific poll I conducted, say that they find the best combination of internal/external stimulation of the clitoris happens with slow, almost grinding rhythmic missionary-position sex. Yes, missionary position!

    However, as much fun as anecdotal evidence is, the only way for a man to know exactly how to best stimulate either the external or internal clitoris is to experiment with his partner and be responsive to her sexual response.

    For more on the internal clitoris, you absolutely must read this awesome and informative Museum of Sex blog where Melodiusmsm gives both scientific and practical female glans advice! Also, I’d love to refer you to my favorite classic sex expert sites, Dodson and Ross: Warning, this video is about clitoral sensitivity – it is graphic and very NSFW!

    Reprinted with permission from The Good Men Project. Cross-Posted from She Said He Said.

    Josie is a writer living in Los Angeles. Though she has a tight circle of female friends, she's always been a guy's gal. This advice column came about because her best girls kept begging her to ask her guy friends for sex and dating advice on their behalf. She realized that the adice they offered was honest and direct--and completely different than the adive women offered each other.

    Eli is an indie-rock musician living in New York City. He loves his football and hockey as much as the next red-blooded male. But when it comes to relationships and love, he's really a true romantic. His friends (female and male) are always asking him for his dating/relationship advice due to his genuine caring, perceptiveness, and honesty. He always calls it like he sees it, and usually sees it very well.
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