Adult Sex Ed

All About the Clit

To love the clit means knowing what it is, how it works, and what to do with it.

• The clitoris has about 8,000 nerve endings — twice as many as there are in the glans of a penis, and more than the fingertips, lips or tongue. While the clitoris is quite small, its powerful sensations can spread across a woman’s pelvic area by affecting 15,000 other nerve endings.

• Only one quarter of the clitoris is visible. Only the clitoral head and the hood are located outside the body. The rest of it is inside the body and is made up of many different parts — the clitoral head, the hood the clitoral shaft, the urethral sponge, erectile tissue, glands, vestibular bulbs and the crura (or the clitoral legs).

• Upon conception, all babies have the exact same genital tissue. At about 12 weeks, each baby’s genitalia begin to differentiate into a penis or labia. So, in a sense, the clitoris and penis are the same materials put together in a different way. The clitoris even swells when it’s aroused.

• The clitoris actually grows during a woman’s lifetime. No, it isn’t getting stretched out from too much sexy fun. The growth occurs as a result of hormonal changes in the body. When a girl’s puberty begins, the clitoris will start increasing in size. By the time puberty ends, the clitoris will be about 1.8 times larger. By the time a woman is 32 years old, the clitoris will be almost four times as big as it was at the onset of puberty. After menopause, the clitoris will be about seven times larger than it was at birth. Don’t freak out – this is still a very small area, so the change in size won’t be very noticeable. It might help to explain why older women often report such hot sex. Once it is mature, the clitoris remains at the peak of its power for the rest of a woman’s life. A woman has the same orgasmic capacity (and many swear increasing pleasure) at 95 years old as she did as a teenager.

• All clits are different. Some are smaller than a grain of rice, and others are the size of a lima bean (talk about flicking the bean). Some are very shy and rarely peek out of the hood, and others are big show-offs. Some disappear into the hood once they’re aroused, and others pop out when she is turned on. Some increase in size when aroused, and others hide under the hood. Some require a lot of pressure, others prefer a very gentle touch. Each little love bud is as unique as the woman attached to it.

• Clitorises have mood swings, too. What’s too much on Monday may feel just right on Wednesday. It’s a matter of experimenting — on yourself or your partner — until you find what works.

• Because the clitoris is so extremely sensitive to touch, diving in and honing in on the clitoris to start with might not be the best plan of attack for some women. Stroke her thighs on your way and caress the areas on either side of her clitoris, including her labia, before gently making the first contact. A lot of women may find direct pressure uncomfortable, so try aiming just below or just above her clitoris and making small circular movements

• Aside from rubbing the clit, use two fingers in a V shape and slide them down either side of the clit with fingertips towards the vagina, then slide towards and away. This moves the clitoral hood to and fro which gets her going in the same way as easing a man’s penis foreskin back and forth to turn him on.

• If you’re looking to move past the basic flick and swirl of the tongue during oral sex, try creating a bit of suction by taking her clitoris into your mouth with some gentle sucking or pulling away when she’s close to orgasm. Then gently blow on it to heighten her sensation and prolong the encounter.

• For extra sensation, try using a clitoral pump to increase blood flow and increase skin tension – They’re available at most good sex toy stores and websites. Note that whatever the adverts claim, like the equivalent for his penis, such pumps won’t increase clit size permanently.

• Before penetration, have your woman lay on her back with her legs clamped together tightly and slide your penis between her legs right where they meet with her pelvis. Moving back and forth in this position lets your penis rub between her labia and, more importantly, directly over her clitoris. Having her straddled on top and rubbing the penis up and down works well, too. Not only do these tricks feel great for both of you, but it’s sure to heighten collective arousal and result in possible orgasms for both of you.

• The clit doesn’t have to be ignored during penetration. Good intercourse positions for climaxing with clit stimulation are woman on top (she can reach down), rear entry (he or she can reach down), or for a man to put his weight on her in the missionary position and move up and down so his pubic bone is giving friction to her clit.