A woman’s clit is much bigger than what we actually see and feel. It’s 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). What we see is about ¼ of the clitoris, if that much.
In some ways, the tip of the clitoris is a lot like the tip of a penis, only much smaller and packed with a lot more nerve endings – about 8,000. That’s twice as many as there are in the glans of a penis, and more than the fingertips, lips or tongue. Only a small part of the clitoris peeks outside of the body. Its powerful sensations can spread across a woman’s pelvic area by affecting 15,000 other nerve endings. The rest of the clitoris is inside the body.
Not all clits look alike and some can be hard to find. Some are small as a grain of rice while others are big as a lima bean stick out like a small penis when they’re aroused. (Talk about flicking the bean!) Each little love bud is as unique as the woman attached to it.
Like penises, clits get hard and erect during arousal. 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 a woman is turned on. Some increase in size when aroused, and others hide under the hood.
The clitoris actually grows during a woman’s lifetime. No, it doesn’t get 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 having really hot sex. Once it’s 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.
Because not all clits are alike, don’t be afraid to masturbate or take time to understand your partner’s clit. Here are some great ways to find, explore and just plain fun ways to have a hell of a good time.
Sex tips: Because the clitoris is so extremely sensitive to touch, diving in and honing in on the clitoris at the get-go might not be the best plan of attack for some women. 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 the clitoris and make 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 pleasure. A warming or cooling lube (like one with peppermint, a natural cooling and tingling ingredient) are fun ways to tease and tantalize the clit.
• 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.
• 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. Having a man on his knees and a woman on her back with her legs up in the air or straddling on his shoulders (a love sling is a great way to make this position easy and comfortable) is way awesome, too.
• Guys, while you’re going deep down into your woman, use a vibrating cock ring. The little bullet vibrator that rubs against her clit while you’re pressing the front of your pelvis against her is as fun for you as it is for her.
• There are lots of other great sex toys that are designed for clit play, too. There’s a reason why rabbit vibrators are some of the most popular sex toys for two-for-one fun. Some vibrators are made just for the clit. For those who like to mix and merge their pleasure with pain, there are also clit clamps.
• For extra sensation, try using a clitoral pump to increase blood flow and increase skin tension. Note that whatever the adverts and product descriptions claim, like the equivalent for his penis, such pumps won’t increase clit size permanently.
Keep in mind that some women may not like clitoral stimulation because it’s too intense or distracting. I know this might disappoint some people, but I’ve heard some women say having their clitoris toyed and played with feels like they’re being tickled. There’s no fun in that. If that’s the case, move on to some other sensually sensitive parts of the female genitalia like the G-spot or the labia minora. The clitoris isn’t the only ride in the amusement park of a woman’s genitalia.
And did you know …
• 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.
• 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.