Here’s a long explanation of why some people get more pleasure out of different parts of their body being touched than others. Maybe listen to some K pop while you read.
Subject: Need help with female anatomy (I am a female).
Message: Hey there! First off, thanks for helping me out, blogs like this are really useful for folks like me that are new to this and don’t know who to ask.
You’re absolutely welcome and thank you for letting me know. I’ll add that to the list of nice things people say about BISH.
Okay, bit of context. I’m a lesbian, and we’re both 16. We recently had intercourse (if you can call it that), and we noticed that my girlfriend, for some reason, doesn’t seem to feel any pleasure when stimulating her clitoris, only where the g spot would be. Do you have any idea why this could be? We’re new to this and we’re honestly stumped here.
Thanks again 🙂
No worries. So I’ve already emailed you with the short answer, here is the loooooong answer! Some of it will apply to you but I’ve also written it so that it will apply to other people too.
(Dear reader. I’m not going to explain the complicated terminology of the G spot area here, so please do click the link below to learn more about that, why it’s not a spot but an area and whereabouts it is (it’s not on Citymapper))
Read more about the clitoris, the G spot area, and the vagina
So firstly: although it’s good to learn a bit from websites like mine about anatomy it should only be a starting point. Yes the outside bit of the clitoris has many nerve endings and so can be very sensitive, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will enjoy that area being touched. All bodies work in different ways, at different times, for lots of different reasons. I’ll explain some of these different reasons below.
There might be bodily reasons for your girlfriend preferring you to touch her G spot area than the glans of her clitoris. For some people the glans of the clitoris (the bit on the outside) can be so sensitive that it is actually not that pleasurable to be touched directly or at all. She might prefer her G spot area to be touched because that also stimulates the clitoris but from the inside, which can feel very different. Remember that most of the clitoris is inside the body and it can be stimulated from inside the vagina as well as outside. Additionally there is the prostate gland which is situated along the top wall of the vagina, which a lot of people get pleasure from being touched. So it could have been that.
It could also have been how you (you or you both) were touching her clitoris compared with how you were touching her G spot area. Maybe her preference is for a softer or harder touch on the clitoris but when you were touching the G spot it was just right. Maybe touching the G spot area felt good because you were touching other things before that. Perhaps it wasn’t the actual touching of the G spot that was doing it for her but where your hand or other bit of your body was resting.
Because a lot of the sex education we get is fixated on genitals, we often don’t feel like we can talk about something that felt good that wasn’t to do with our genitals. For example, from oral sex people might like the feeling someone’s hair stroking their body, or the feeling of someone’s stubble against their thigh, as much or even more than being licked. Another example is getting into a sexual position for ‘genital on genital action’ (eg the missionary position). A lot of people really enjoy the thigh on thigh, or chest on chest even more than the genitals on genitals action.
Finding the best sex position for you
The Mind (which is the body, keep up)
Don’t just think about your genitals but think about the whole body, which includes your minds too. Sex isn’t just about touch, where we do it and how expertly we do it: it’s about thoughts, feelings, imagination, all of our senses, and the dynamic between the people doing it (for sex with a partner). It doesn’t matter how expertly someone is stroking someone’s clitoris: if they are feeling a bit detached, or distracted, or nervous, or bored, or uncomfortable it’s just not going to do it for them.
So what could have been happening for your girlfriend is that when you were touching the clitoris she might not have been in the right headspace, and when you were touching her G spot area she was. During sexual activity bodies can change a lot due to arousal. When aroused, the clitoris fills with blood and expands, and it feels throbby and hard. Touching the clitoris when aroused is a lot different to touching it when it is resting (same is true for vaginas). Experiencing pleasure is as much about being in the headspace where we can feel aroused enough to enjoy being touched.
Read more about arousal and desire
Our bodies are our minds and our minds are our bodies. Related to this, our bodies can store memories which means that it can be more difficult for us to enjoy some areas being touched than others. If someone has experienced pain, or trauma, or stigma, or shame about a particular area of their body then it can be hard for people to feel pleasure from it. A lot of people feel shame about their genitals from a young age because of everything we learn about how clitorises should look and how penises should look. The same is also true for other parts of our body. So sometimes there might be areas of the body we need to avoid with people, or do other things first, or which require some preparation to make us feel okay about doing (eg lube, or turning the lights down, or them touching themselves first, or keeping pants on).
Sometimes people might have had an experience that makes it difficult for them to feel sexy about their genitals. A common example is when a previous partner really focuses on a particular area and is determined that they are going to be able to make this happen. That person can start to feel a bit of shame that their body isn’t responding in the way that it should, which can spiral and make it even more not sexy. Men have told me that this happens to them about their penises a lot, so this kind of thing might also happen for people with clitorises too.
How to feel better about your body
The dynamics of people having sex with each other can really make a huge difference to how we respond to sex. It’s worth thinking about what was going on between you both when things were feeling really pleasurable and when they were feeling less pleasurable. Were you relaxed together, what feelings were going on for both of you, what was the environment like. Also think about the roles you may have been taking on during sex: was one of you taking the lead and the other being lead; were you doing things to each other or with each other.
What Our Minds (and our bodies) Learn
Our minds (which are our bodies remember) can also be affected by what we are taught about sex and what kinds of sexual touch are okay and which aren’t. There are a lot of messages about what is normal and what we should be doing when it comes to sex. I write about it a lot at BISH, a lot of it is historical and has been around for hundreds of years and these messages are bad and I wish we didn’t have them. Often these messages can really mess with our heads and make it hard for us to tune into what we enjoy about sex. However sometimes we use what we are taught and find ways to make it super sexy.
Why penis in vagina sex is seen as default (a history lesson)
Often people find internal touching hot, in part, because we are taught that this is how we are ‘supposed to have sex’ and doing something that is seen as ‘normal’ can be hot. It might sound a bit messed up that people might prefer internal stimulation because of what we are taught, rather than the biology of how bodies work and where the nerve endings are, but it’s not.
About people not enjoying penis in vagina sex
Our bodies include our minds and our minds are in the world, listening to what everyone is telling us about sex and gender, and sexuality, and relationships, and K Pop. Sex is messy and it’s complicated. The reasons that we do or don’t get pleasure from it have as much to do with what we have learnt, and what we are thinking, as much as what our bodies are doing. Remember, our bodies are our minds and our minds are our bodies.
So what’s the answer to your question? It’s good to learn the basics about anatomy so that we can learn about how we might touch each other without it hurting each other and how we ‘might’ make it enjoyable. However, it’s only a starting point. Everyone’s bodies work in different ways at different times and our bodies are not just our bodies but also our minds and what our minds learn about what our bodies should do. It’s very complicated (sorry, not sorry) but if we pay more attention to books and websites rather than the human being(s) that we are with then we’re not going to be having pleasurable, mutual, or even consensual sex.
So the thing to do is to be an expert of your own body and what works for you and try to do the same for your girlfriend. It sounds like this is what you’re doing already, which is great. If one sexual activity isn’t working out, try a different one.
Also try to slow down during sex and be in the moment more and notice what is actually feeling nice, rather than thinking about what should always feel nice. Also do a lot more talking about the sex you have: before, during, and after. Especially after. Chat about the things that went well and the things you might prefer for next time, but also remember that how people respond to sex changes a lot both during sex but also over time.
You might also want to read
How to Make First Time Sex Better
How to Do Sex Talk and Communication
© Justin Hancock, 2019
PS for those of you wanting a guide for adults on how to enjoy sex more, I’ve written a book about that with my mate Meg-John. It’s available in shops and everything. You can see more at megjohnandjustin.com/publications