psa: the clitoris


I don’t know if this is the same for every woman, so bear with me. A random sampling of my girlfriends made up this argument in the form of Public Service Announcement; your results may vary with other women.

We’ve all heard the bit of truism that says lovers tend to touch each other’s genitals (at least at first glance) in the way that they themselves would like to be touched. I’ve tested this bit of wisdom against many of my (and my girlfriends’) past relationships and found it to be generally accurate. First time you hop in the sack, girls tend to want to touch the penis beside them very gently. In other words, for most men, Not Hard Enough. And most men, by contrast, touch the clitoris very firmly. In other words, for the women I’ve spoken to about this, Too Damn Hard.

And so, Vikki’s absolutely unscientific tips for touching the clitoris.

1. Firmness

Let’s assume a scale of 1 to 10 here. Think of it as a stereo volume dial. At 1, you’re touching her so very lightly you can barely feel her against your fingertips. Like how you’d stroke a newborn baby’s eyelids. At 10, you’re touching her just as hard as you’d ever imagined touching a woman there.

With that scale in mind, we’ve found via our random sampling that a great many men start at about 8.

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

For the most part, 8 is going to be far too hard for any time but about six to fifty seconds before climax, or during more strenuous activity like full-out fucking. First of all, if you start at 8, what on earth are you going to build up to? And with women’s bodies, it’s most definitely all about “building up to”. And secondly, if you start at this level, it may not just be uncomfortable but actively painful. The kind of painful that makes us lose all desire to be touched down there for a while. Guys, it’s akin to when your cock bends the wrong way during sex. Ow.

Yes. That bad, at least for some women.

We have this lovely scale in out minds, yes? Let’s use it. Start with 1. Spend some time there. Enjoy the scenery.

Then progress to 2. Et cetera.

A big hint for guys: with a regular tempo, and following the other guidelines below, a lot of women (myself included) can come to orgasm with only a #2 touch. What’s more, sometimes those orgasms are more powerful and body-rocking than ones accomplished with a firmer touch.

So remember: newborn baby’s eyelids. Would you press your finger down there? Of course not. And so it goes with the clitoris.

2. Location, location, location

Knowing where to touch can be just as important as knowing how to touch. And before you jump salty on me and say “of course I know where to touch!”, keep reading.

The clitoris, as I’ve said before, has more nerve fibers than any other part of the body – male or female. 8,000 nerve fibers all screamingly close to the surface. Thankfully, this incredibly sensitive little bugger is covered by a clitoral hood. That’s the little “hood” of flesh that is over the “button” of the clitoris.

The clitoris extends up underneath the clitoral hood by at least a finger-length in most women, kind of like a tiny penis.

Hey. Did you notice I said finger-length here? That’s a hint!

Generally, a lot of women find the clitoris itself (the “button”) far, far too sensitive to be touched most of the time, even at the height of arousal. Stimulation on that spot can vary from very intense to uncomfortable to downright painful.

If we think of the clitoris and hood as your nose, for just a moment… touching the very bridge of the nose can be highly pleasurable. Ditto with the sides of the nose, the little creases on either side. But you want to avoid touching the tip of the nose. You don’t even want to get near it unless your lady asks for it. Think a good finger-width higher up, and you’re getting into safer territory.

And don’t forget, newborn baby eyelids. Would you want a woman to grind your balls up into your pubic bone?

3. Moisture

Moisture is the next most important thing. Don’t even think of going near the clitoris without wet fingers. The closest thing I could liken it to is this: would you want your woman to shove a finger or two up your ass without lube? No? Same thing applies here. The clitoris is just far too sensitive to be touched dry, most of the time. It hurts, fellas.

Luckily, Mother Nature provided a repository of lube nearby for you, all handy and everything, no external lube required, most of the time. Yes. Just move those fingers a little lower first, dip ever so lightly into the very entrance of her pussy, and you’ll likely get all the lube you need. There are exceptions of course – if she’s not turned on enough yet, there won’t be much, and some women just don’t manufacture that much lube on their own. Ask your lady when in doubt. She may just happily pass you a bottle of her favourite lube, or ask for a little more playtime first.

Regular and careful re-applications of this moisture are also important. If you’re down there playing for a while, her clit and your fingers may get dry again. Make sure you keep everything smooth and slippery. You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much lubrication.

4. Tempo

Luckily, boys, we’re a lot like you in this department, so this stuff is easier to figure out. We need a regular tempo to get off. It doesn’t have to be blindingly, finger-painfully fast. It just needs to be steady. Again, even very light (#2) pressure with wet fingers and a slow, steady tempo is enough to take a lot of women over the edge.

Steady is the key. Mixing it up, when you’re learning her body, is one thing. But when she’s getting close to orgasm (and again, if you’re not sure – ASK!), you need to keep a steady rhythm. It does not have to be as fast as you pump yourself when you’re jerking off. Or even close to that. A slow steady tempo is much more effective than irregular bursts of a faster tempo.

And men, if she says “oh, god, don’t stop” – do exactly what you’re doing. Please don’t stop, or change direction, or change tempo, or firmness.

So there you have it, one completely unscientific look at how to touch a woman. Yes, there are some women who want or need more things, or different ones, than the techniques described above. But this is a very safe primer that should work for most women at first. If they need more, they’ll tell you.

Or as always, feel free to ask them!

About the author

Vikki McKay


  • *Stands up and claps* I just may have to save this post to point to in my (soon to be available again) newsletter – would that be OK?

  • This unscientific bit of advice will come in very handy I hope. I knew some of them but it’s difficult to keep them in mind at times. The “buildup” theory is one I don’t want to forget. It’s similar to guys but we tend to go from 8 to 10. I don’t know how many times I’ve said, “Tighter. Tighter!” or pressed my hand against hers to get the point across.
    Start at 1 for her. Can do. Thanks!

  • Ah, so I HAVE been doing it fairly right for all these years!
    Might I add a few enhancements? I’ve found that a very, very light touch (perhaps a .5 to a 1) up and down the lips does wonderful things towards providing the needed lubrication. A bit of that, followed by a slow, soft stroking between and then along the inside edges of the lips, seems to work wonders.
    And as for the clitoris itself… once things are properly warmed up, I had enormous success with about a 5-6 pressure and a very, very, very slow rolling of the clitoris between (well-lubricated) thumb and index finger. And when I say slow, I mean about 4-6 seconds between each roll — almost a pinching and squeezing motion. I increase the pressure slowly on one side of the clitoris and roll my fingertips until it “pops” between my tips and on to the other side, then back again.
    Thanks for letting me share (I haven’t actually had the opportunity to practice this in about 9 months). Now it’s time for a cold shower…

  • Thanks for the very useful information. With luck, you’ve made many couples much happier. I did sort of remind me of a golf tip on grip pressure though, but I guess we should invest at least as much in good sex as good golf!

  • vicki,
    i am truly amazed at the depth and breadth of your articles and have enjoyed them for quite a while [maybe 3+ yrs; forgot when i first found you via jane’s net sex guide].
    this little quote is an excellent example of why i continue to come back to your site.
    “You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much lubrication.”
    humor subtly mixed into the lucid, personal and intense!
    may positive energies continue your way.
    even for you and your new “man of my dreams”, unless that’s really a tounge in cheek article.

  • Linked to your site, and a friend has already linked it from my site. 😀 What a phenomenal meme to send around!
    Well put! I honestly thought that I might be the only woman out there who didn’t like having someone go right for the button.

  • Thank I thought that somthing was wrong with me but after reading this issuse I now understand my body better my boyfriend was going wright straight to nu. 8 that was every hurting to me .

  • Hey there, really enjoyed your style. I’m 68 and it’s amazing I;m still learning how to love a woman. It’s an enjoyable journey.
    Just a word for us mature guys. We are not all dirty old men, but very mature lovers. You young ladies should give us a try. I have had many ladies in the 20-40 year age group, and have never heard any complaints from them of my sexual prowess.
    As Jerry Lewis says ‘”It’s the girl” that brings any man to a position of sexual prowess.
    Now for some advice from you, if you please.
    My wife is a beautiful 42 year old who has lost her sexual desire, due to have a complete V, and could care less about sex.
    I have tried seduction, wine and dine, tenderness, different environments, vacations, cruises, etc,, with very little in the way of arousal to her.
    She does however, sometimes get the urge and when she does, and we use lubricants, for the dryness, oral stimlation, fucking, ass fingering, this lady of mine, goes bonkers, and can have many multiple orgasms.
    Oh if this was just 2 to 3 times a week, instead of maybe once every 3 to 5 months. This really drives me crazy, but love goes deeper than sex, and I live with it, though it drives me crazy, because I could go everday and sometimes multiple times a day.
    Any suggestions! She want take any medications or anything, I thought about getting some good pot and try that, but I’ve lost all contacts there.
    She’s my wife, I love her, and would never be a cheater on her, this is love, but with a horny needing man here.
    Thanks for any suggestions…

  • It took me many years to learn that Patience is the key to good lovemaking. No Need to Rush. I wait until my GF Begs Me before I give her a Much Needed Orgasm. When she finally Does Cum,she has Multiple Orgasms that leave her Panting, Breathless, and Totally Satisfied. Me? I reap the rewards by seeing her Satisfied.

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