The clitoris, with its 8,000 nerve endings, exists to give you pleasure. A climatic way to enjoy make the most of it is, unsurprisingly, a clitoral orgasm. But what exactly is a clitoral orgasm, and how does it differ from vaginal orgasms? Most importantly, how can you achieve one? New research suggests the clitoris has legs that extend beyond the hood and down towards the vaginal opening, so basically all orgasms owe credit to the clit. “It turns out that all orgasms are clitoral,” says sex therapist Dr. Holly Richmond. “They discovered that the clitoris actually has legs. These nerve endings are expanding all through the vagina, all through the pelvic floor muscles.” Rather than look like a button, the clitoris is wishbone shaped. The external nub is just the part that we can see.
Here’s something that probably won’t shock you: Most people with vaginas, about 75 percent, need more than penetration to come. Those who can come from penetration alone likely have a clitoral hood that is closer to the vaginal opening. “Many women’s anatomies may prevent more frequent vaginal orgasms due to the space between the external portion of the clitoris and the vaginal opening,” says psychologist and sexologist Dr. Denise Renye.
Therefore, to enjoy a clitoral orgasm during penetrative sex with a partner, most people needed added stimulation of a hand or vibrator. A study shows that there is an orgasm gap, meaning that research proves what we already know: men have more orgasms than women. To help close that gap, people with vaginas may need to take the matter into their own hands. “Having a masturbation practice allows a woman to know more deeply what type of touch works for her,” Dr. Renye says.
Regardless of if you’re single or partnered, to have more clitoral orgasms, it’s important to take time alone to get to know your anatomy and touch preferences. Some people’s clitorises are so sensitive that they don’t want to be touched directly but prefer circular hand motions above the external clitoris. Others want an intense vibration directly on the clit. The only way to find out is to explore, which luckily, is a fun homework assignment.
You will definitely not regret adding a vibrator into your sex life, and no, you don’t need to worry about “ruining” your orgasm abilities by becoming dependent on the toy. Just switch up your touch, so your body enjoys variation. Try different vibrators, and also use your hands, or while you’re with your partner, have them go down on you (more on that later).The Squish vibrator ($99) from Unbound, a sexual wellness company created by women, is an ideal clitoral vibrator. Its vibrations become more intense the harder you squeeze it. The waterproof toy works fabulously for a solo night in, but it’s also small enough to hold against your clit during partnered penetrative sex without getting in the way. If you’re looking for a cheaper option, try Lovehoney’s Erotic Rocket 10 Function Clitoral Vibrator ($20). For those who want to level up on their clitoral pleasure game, sex toys such as the Satisfyer Pro 2 ($50) uses pressure waves placed directly on the clit to give you an orgasm, unlike anything you’ve experienced before. We-Vibe, which is a couple’s vibrator that hooks inside the vagina and around the external clitoral hood. It gives you both internal and external vibration, and also basically turns your vag into a vibrator, so if your partner has a penis, they can enjoy the vibrations as well.
To share how you like to be touched, either casually discuss beforehand based on what you learned from masturbating or integrate instructions into your dirty talk. “Some couples really get off on that dirty talk, and other couples are gentler about it,” Dr. Richmond says about sexual communication. “It’s just finding your rhythm.” If your partner starts to get Freudian on you and acts disappointed that you can’t get off solely from their penis, show them the studies and remember that you have science on your side. However, at the risk of sounding pretty kinky, often men enjoy being given instructions, as most of them are mama’s boys at heart.