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CLOSE UP ON THE CLITORIS

CLOSE UP ON THE CLITORIS

Where’s the clitoris, why is it there, and what are the best methods of clitoral stimulation? Sex educator Alix Fox answers the most pressing questions about this ‘magic button’…

Where’s the clitoris, why is it there, and what are the best methods of clitoral stimulation? Sex educator Alix Fox answers the most pressing questions about this ‘magic button’…

The clitoris is a truly fascinating part of the female anatomy, with amazing potential to make anyone who owns one feel fabulous!

Yet for many years, because society unfairly and unfortunately placed much more emphasis on men’s sexual satisfaction over women's the clitoris was sidelined by science. Medical researchers have only recently started examining its structure and properties in depth – and they’ve discovered some surprising and fascinating things about how it’s built, how it works, and how to have a clitoral orgasm.

Plus, as attitudes have started to become fairer and we’ve realised the importance of sexual equality and #OrgasmsForAll, it’s become less taboo for women to share information about what styles of clitoral masturbation make them climax. Today, we have greater knowledge than ever before about the different techniques that can produce a clitoral orgasm. Boom!

Intrigued to learn more? Then consider this article a must-read piece of ‘cliterature’…

What’s the clitoris? Where’s the clitoris? And what does it do?

  • For starters, the clit is not as c-little as you might think

The part of the clitoris that you can actually see is found between the top of the labia (the outer and inner folds of skin that make up the vulva – a woman’s external genitalia).

It looks like a little ‘button’ or ‘bump’ of flesh – officially called the glans – which varies in size, but is usually comparable to a small pea. There’s a soft, protective flap of skin over the top of it, named the hood, which can be gently pulled back to expose the clit fully. Some women’s clitorises naturally peek out from under the hood; other women’s are entirely hidden beneath i.

Beyond this itty bitty visible part, however, we now know that there is much larger portion of the clitoris that runs deep inside a woman’s body.

Two thin ‘legs’ of erectile tissue – the clitoral crura – stem from either side of the glans, as do two thicker columns – the clitoral bulbs – which are buried in the flesh around the vagina. During arousal, these bulbs fill with blood, which can cause the vulva to look ‘puffy’ or ‘plumped up’, and

increases the sensitivity of the area. The glans of the clitoris can become plumper and harder too, and stand up stiff and erect – almost like a miniature penis, which we’ll get to later…

  • It grows over time, too.

The clitoris gets bigger over the course of a female’s lifetime. Hormones released during puberty start the process, and by the time adolescence is over, the clit is around 1.8 times larger than it was at birth. By a woman’s early 30s, it’s four times as big; then after menopause, it’s seven times the size. These changes don’t look as dramatic as they sound, though, because the external part of the clitoris is so tiny to begin with.

  • It’s the female equivalent of a man’s penis.

Clitorises and penises both begin life as the very same thing – a miniscule growth on a human embryo called the genital tubercle.

If the embryo carries a Y chromosome and is male, then the growth develops into a penis. If the embryo carries two X chromosomes and is female, then the growth changes into a clitoris instead.

Because both sets of genitals start off the same way, they have some similarities: the clitoral glans is similar to the head of a penis; and the hood is a bit like a foreskin. That helps explain why clitorises can become erect, too.

  • Its primary purpose is to provide pleasure.

While men use their penises to urinate, as well as to ejaculate, clitorises have one main reason for existing: to make women feel wonderful!

Scientists are still debating whether they could play additional roles in reproduction or wellbeing, too, but medical professionals are unanimous in agreeing that the clit’s key job is simply to make ladies feel lovely.

So how do I make these luscious feelings happen? How do I masturbate the clitoris?

No two clitorises (or women and orgasms) are precisely the same, so a type of touch that makes one woman delightedly gasp “Ohhh, woah!” can make another grimace “Oh no!” Something that feels earth-moving for one person may leave another entirely unmoved.

That said, lots of ladies report that the following trio of techniques work for them, so experiment yourself, or get your partner to try them with you. Give all three a whirl, and see what rocks your world.

  • Tick tock, tick tock, time to try the ‘Clit Clock’

Picture a clock face on your clitoris, with the number 12 at the top, up towards your bellybutton. Many women find that they have an especially sensitive spot at either the ’11 o’clock’ or ‘1 o’clock’ location. Some can even feel a teeny weeny indentation or ‘pocket’ in the flesh there, where the clitoris joins to the hood.

Repeatedly stroking from the base of the clitoris up and over this ‘power point’ can feel glorious, especially using the very tip of your finger, and starting incredibly lightly – imagine that your skin is dusted with a fine powder that you don’t want to rub off. Continue delicately, or increase the pressure as you desire. You may soon find yourself losing track of time…

  • Flick the V

Using two fingers in a V shape, slide them up and down either side of your clitoris. This should move the hood back and forth over the top of it, which can feel fantastic.

Make things slicker and sleeker with a pump of lube such as Durex Play More or add a couple of drops of Durex Intense Orgasmic Gel to add waves of tingling, warming or cooling sensations that help heighten and enhance the experience.

  • Play, then delay, then play, then delay…

‘Edging’ is the process of bringing yourself almost to the point of orgasm, then stopping, before beginning again, over and over, until you can’t help but explode. Delaying your climax this way allows plenty of time for the clitoral tissues to become completely engorged with blood, as well as build up anticipation – so when you do come, your orgasm will be beautifully, burstingly, head-spinningly strong.

Live life on the edge!

Alix Fox

Alix Fox is a multi award-winning journalist, broadcaster and sex educator. She fervently believes in open, honest conversation about sex, and thinks everyone should have access to dependable information to help them become their most liberated, healthy, happy sexual selves.