Wednesday, June 15, 2005

the complicated clit

Q: What if masturbation just doesn't do it for you? I've tried a number of times, but nothing, not even direct clitoral stimulation when I'm turned on does it for me. It's not interesting or pleasurable in the least--it's about as interesting as brushing my teeth, and even if I'm lubricated and very aroused, penetration with a finger isn't really comfortable. I've learned more about my body through masturbation (ie, where the clitoris actually is), but I've never gotten any pleasure out of it.

I've done some sexual experimentation with my boyfriend, basically "dry" sex, which doesn't do much for me either. If I'm turned on, it starts out rather pleasurable and arousing, but I'm nowhere near an orgasm, even if he's touching and sucking my breasts, neck, and ears which are the biggest turn-on for me. By the end I usually start to get a bit sore though and just want it to be over. He really wants to please me, but I don't know how he can. I'm not very experienced--I've been with him for awhile, and he was the first guy I ever kissed. So I don't know exactly what I want or what will be good for me. I'm committed to staying a virgin until marriage, so sex (including oral) is not an option. I'm still not sure about fingering, but I honestly don't know if I *can* have an orgasm.

My boyfriend says he doesn't want to do things if I don't enjoy it too. I feel pretty comfortable with him, and we've talked about it, but I'm still not sure. Rubbing feels better than nothing, even if I don't get a lot of pleasure out of it. I wonder if it may improve with time or if there's something I can do to make it feel better. At the same time, I also worry that nothing sexual (beyond kissing/making out) is ever going to be pleasurable for me.

A: Sorry for the delay; I just got back from Mexico :)

Your problem is not unusual. Many women find direct clitoral stimulation to be uncomfortable or even painful. The clitoris contains somewhere around 8000 nerve fibers (a higher concentration, by far, than anywhere else in the body). The very energetic movements that we tend to associate with sex (the porn style: “do me hard baby”) often come from a male sexual perspective; fast and hard stimulation is often what makes men climax. But there is a whole separate set of rules when you’re talking about the female anatomy. Stimulating all those clitoral nerve fibers too vigorously (like with direct stimulation or “dry-humping”) is very likely to not “do it for you,” and can often be a rather unpleasant experience.

I suggest that you address the matter at hand (pun intended) from an entirely different perspective. Play with the intensity and amount of pressure that you apply. A very light touch can feel completely different than energetic rubbing. Try getting the tip of your finger very wet, and stroking it softly, barely touching, against the very tip of your clitoris. Do this slowly. If it feels uncomfortable, make your touch even lighter, softer, slower, wetter. See what it feels like. Move your finger around the area, on the top, the sides, etc. Indirect pressure can be amazing. Ask your boyfriend to try touching you like this.

And have fun with it! Sometimes if you are concentrating really hard on a goal of “feeling good,” it can take a lot of the pleasure out of sex play. I know that this was the case with me for a long time. Your mind is going: “Ok, this needs to feel good, but it doesn’t feel good, what’s wrong with me? Will I EVER find this pleasurable? Aaagh!” There’s all kinds of pressure, because you want to feel good, and you want to please your boyfriend by making HIM feel like he’s making you feel good, and then it’s just no fun at all. And the more often you experience this frustration, the more your brain finds it to be a chore instead of a treat.

Ask your boyfriend to spend a looong a time stimulating your nipples (and neck, ears, etc) before any clitoral contact is made. Just feel how good that feels. The longer he spends on that, the more lubricated and turned on you will become, making your body more receptive to the joys of clit play.

Something else you can try is tricking your brain by playing little games. Try to resist it feeling good at ALL. Dare your boyfriend to make you moan, and then try as hard as you can to not feel any pleasure, and not make any noises. Or, ask him to tease you, and to tell you that he is NOT going to touch or rub against you down there at all, no matter how much you beg. These kinds of tricks can have the effect of releasing the pressure of trying to achieve something, and then your brain can sit back and let your body just enjoy the sensations. Even if they are just mildly pleasurable feelings at first, once you are able to relax and let the sensations flow through you, you may well find that they start to build.

Another thing you might ask yourself is whether you have any guilt around sex? If you want to wait until marriage for intercourse, do you think that you feel bad when you do any kind of sexual experimentation? I have no idea, so I am just throwing this out there. But guilt can be another major turn off for yourself. If you feel bad about doing it, then how can you enjoy it? If this is the case for you, think about where your guilt lies, work it out in your head, and try to let it go (easier said than done, I know).

So try these little tricks, and I think that you will find that you’ll never be sore from dry-humping again… unless you want to be ;)