Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Everything You Never Knew About the Clitoris

Woman lying in bed and playing with herself

Think you know everything there is about the clitoris? Think again! No matter how good a lover you are or how experienced you are at masturbating, you might be surprised by these little-known facts about the most powerful button on the human body.

It's More Than Meets the Eye

When you think about the clitoris, you might think only about the visible part: the glans, which is surrounded by the clitoral hood (foreskin or prepuce). You can push back the hood to see more of the glans, but it's small either way. The important part here is that the glans is just a small part of the much larger clitoral structure. Perhaps you've seen a model, complete with the glans up top but growing down and out to form the rest of the structure. It looks something like a fleur-de-lis if you squint, but what exactly are those other parts?

The pair of “legs” stemming from the bottom of the clitoral glans is an upside down “V” shape, the legs or crura of the clitoris. The crura attach to the pubic arch and connect  to the corpus cavernosum, which are  made of spongey, erectile tissue that can fill with blood and expand during arousal and stimulation. The penis also has a pair of corpus cavernosum, so you can see how alike the clitoris and penis are.

Below the corpus cavernosum lie the vestibular bulbs that sit closely on either side of the vaginal opening. During arousal, the bulbs fill with blood, causing the vagina to expand.

Anatomy lecture aside, the inner portion of the clitoral structure is just as significant as the external portion? Why? The internal clitoris can also be stimulated through the vagina. The different sensitive spots inside the vagina merely provide access to the inner part of the clitoris, and the most notable of these is the G-spot. In a sense, vaginal/G-spot orgasms are simply inner clitoral orgasms!

The Clitoris Is Sensitive – Really Sensitive

The clitoris and penis both have many nerve endings, but the clitoris has around twice as many with between 6,000 and 8,000 usually. This explains why stimulating the clitoris can feel so damned good – and sometimes too intense. If you find that you or your partner cannot handle stimulation, try a lighter hand.

Make sure the clitoral foreskin isn't pushed back and stimulate through it, instead of directly against the glans. You can also rub or use your sex toy to the side or below your clitoris for indirection stimulation. You can also try stimulating your clitoris through your labia or underwear, or place a towel between yourself and your toy or hand if you're especially sensitive.

And It Can Become More Sensitive

Thrill seekers might be excited to learn this about the clitoris: at least one study has found that stimulation with a vibrator can cause the clitoris to grow even more nerve endings! Now that's super cool!

Some Are Lefties and Some Are Righties

If you've ever taken the time to chat about masturbation styles with your partner or friends, you've probably realized that most people masturbate with one hand, just like writing! It's often their dominant hand, but this isn't always the case.

The clitoris can also be “handed,” too! Many women find that their clits prefer stimulation either from the left or right side. It might associate with which hand they use for stimulation, but some prefer to cross over when flicking the bean, so their clitoris is actually the opposite from their dominant hand.

The Clit's Only Role Is Pleasure

Yup, you read that right: the clitoris is responsible for pleasure and nothing else. It doesn't aid reproduction or bodily function like other organs. The clitoris is just there to make sure you have a good time, which sounds pretty good to us!

Clitoral Distance Affects Orgasm Frequency

There's typically a reason why so few women consistently orgasm from vaginal intercourse: their clitoris is too far away from their vaginal openings to be stimulated from the thrusting of sex! Because so many women require clitoral stimulation to get off (not to mention the ones who simply prefer it that way), the distance between the clitoris and vagina plays a large role in whether or not a woman will climax during PIV sex without direct manual stimulation (of course, we always recommend being direct if it will equate to a better time in bed).

In fact, Princess Marie Bonaparte educated about this. She called it the rule of thumb because, as she described, if the length between the clitoris and vagina was longer than the distance from the tip of your thumb to the first knuckled (approximately 1 inch), it was unlikely that orgasm would occur during sex.

Of course, we now know how vital the clitoris is to a woman's pleasure so you can try a bullet vibrator or even a wand during sex (or masturbation). Another tool to consider is the pillow. A woman can grind against a strategically-placed pillow, and some sex pillows even have slots for your favorite toy so you can get clitoral stimulation even during positions where you're not facing your partner.

Couples can also practice positions that are specifically intended to bring pleasure to the woman. The Coital Alignment Technique is one, and Thigh Tide is another (the woman straddles her man like in Reverse Cowgirl, but he bends one knee with his foot flat on the bed beneath them, allowing her to grind against it). Another tip? When in Cowgirl, the man can split his fingers between the middle and ring finger to make a “V” (or “Spock hand”) and slide the V around the base of his penis so that his partner can grind against his penis when she's on top.

The power if the clitoris is matched only by its mystery. Although, what we do know is amazing as is. While science continues to investigate this sexual gem, we hope that you do the same with your own clitoris (or one belonging to a partner) at home. 

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r