Everything you need to know about stimulating the clitoris

When it comes to pleasure during sex, the clitoris is pretty key.

But knowing that you should stimulate the clit is one thing. Actually knowing how to do it is another.

And when you’re new to the world of clitoral stimulation, it’s normal to feel a lot of fear around doing it all wrong.

So, to help you out on the path to clitoral enlightenment, we spoke to Mia Sabat, the in-house sex therapist at Emjoy, to get the lowdown on everything you need to know.

Why it’s important to stimulate the clitoris

When it comes to reaching orgasm during sex, it’s very difficult for those with a vagina to hit the spot with penetration alone.

One study from OMGyes found that just 18% of women can orgasm from penetration alone.

While clitoral stimulation doesn’t raise that orgasm rate to 100% – loads of other factors are important, too – it does bump up the likelihood of experiencing pleasure during sex.

That same OMGyes study found that 36% of women said they need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, while many others said it adds to their overal enjoyment.

So, yes, it’s important.

How to find the clitoris

Don’t panic, the clitoris is not actually so hidden away it’ll take an expedition team and a treasure map to find it. You really do just need to have a look, have a feel, and pay attention rather than haphazardly rubbing a random spot and hoping for the best.

‘While clitorises might vary in shape and size visually, anatomically, all clitorises are located in the same place,’ Mia tells Metro.co.uk. ‘When the vulva and inner labia are open, you can find the clitoris by locating the point where the inner labia meet and form a little cover. This spot is called the clitoral hood and, right under it, you’ll find the clitoral glans, which might look like a little round bud.

‘This is the area where stimulation is typically focused, and is what most people are looking for, or referring to, when discussing the clitoris in a sexual-stimulatory context.’

Best ways to stimulate the clit

Before you get stuck in, remember that arousal isn’t as simple as just pushing a button. Make sure you and your partner are turned on mentally, too, then build up to clitoral stimulation by exploring other erogenous zones, such as the neck and lips, rather than heading straight for that one spot.

Okay. Now once that’s done, it’s time to get to know the clitoris.

We’re sorry to say that as with so many sexual things, there’s no one easy routine you can roll out that works for absolutely everyone.

The most important thing is that you try things out, either alone or with a partner, and see what works.

That being said, Mia has a few techniques to get you started. Try the movements below with your hands or a vibrating sex toy and see what feels good.

Up and down

‘Place a finger just above the clitoria hood, and move it in a gentle, consistent, downwards motion for a few centimeters before re-tracing this motion back to the top of the clitoral hood,’ Mia explains. ‘Repeat this motion, and remember to be patient while the clitrois becomes aroused, as it takes time for this region to feel pleasure.

‘Kick it up a notch by placing an additional one or two fingers on either side of the clitoral bulb.

‘Make the same, steady up-and-down motion, on the left, and/or right side of the clitoris, while keeping a primary finger on the clitoral bulb itself, to further stimulate her vulva and clitoris at the same time.’

Circular motions

This move is super popular. Start at the top of the clitoral hood and move in a natural circular motion, with the clitoris at the centre.

Mia says: ‘Whether you choose to up the tempo or keep it at a slower rhythm, you can try making bigger or smaller circles to generate different sensations.

‘Pleasure can be increased according to the size of the circle that is being traced, with smaller circular motions producing the most intense sensations.’

Side to side

‘Using one or two fingers, use the clitoris as an anchor whilst making a side-to-side motion over the clitoris, staying within the inner labia,’ Mia advises. ‘Depending on each individual’s sensitivity and preference, the speed can be incredibly slow, or rather fast.

‘I recommend starting off slowly, and gradually increasing the speed as excitement and arousal builds.

‘I also recommend playing with different patterns of side-to-side motions: some people only like left-right moves, others prefer both, and some might prefer only right-left moves.

‘Embrace your instincts, curiosities and creativity – each technique can be as varied and specific as your body desires.’

Pulsating

Mia says: ‘There’s a reason sex toys simulate this sensation! Many people with vulvas have been pulsating directly on their clitoris for quite some time, and it can be a wonderful way to maintain excitement and practice edging.

‘If you’re trying your hand with pulsating techniques, start by placing anywhere from one to three fingers directly onto the clitoris, playing with the amount of coverage the fingers provide to see what’s the most stimulating. Then, start with a gentle tapping type of motion, keeping the fingers in contact with the clitoris the whole time.

‘Play with pressure, increasing the pressure and gently edging off to simulate a ‘pulsating’ or ‘throbbing’ sensation. Repeat this move, varying levels of pressure and speed to find your ideal level of simulation.’

Pushing/pressing

Again, keep that communication open and go gently to see if this move works – some people love it, some find it doesn’t do the trick.

It’s a great one to try out through solo masturbation.

‘You can achieve orgasm through this technique by applying pressure to your clitoris with a couple fingers, or even your whole hand, before exploring different movements with your body,’ says Mia. ‘You can move your hips back and forth, side to side, in circles, or up and down – whether you’re on your front, back, or side, just let your body do the work whilst your hand maintains pressure on your clitoris.

‘This is an especially excellent technique to try whilst going solo. Kick things up a notch by lying face down on a bed, and using your whole hand or a pillow to find a motion that applies pressure exactly where you want it.’

Combination

Try mixing up clitoral stimulation with internal play.

‘The internal structure of the clitoris surrounds the vaginal canal, so penetrating the vagina with your fingers, or with a sex toy, can be very pleasant when paired with external clitoral stimulation,’ Mia explains. ‘Try stimulating the clitoris at different points of its structure with any of the above techniques the next time you’re pursuing internal pleasure – it’s sure to help you feel even more simulated.

Exploration and communication is everything

Remember with all of these techniques that what drives one person wild does nothing for another.

That’s why when it comes to clitoral stimulation – and all sexual play, really – it’s essential to try things out and get comfortable with saying (and hearing) ‘actually, I don’t love that’.

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