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The Quickie
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The love button. The bean. The hooded lady. The sweet spot. No matter what you call it, the clitoris is a remarkable part of human anatomy. It is, in fact, the only organ that is designed solely for pleasure.

From the outside, the clit appears to merely be a pea-sized nub at the top of the vulva—but don’t let appearances fool you! Home to an estimated 8,000 nerve endings—up to double the number found in the glans of the penis—the clitoris is a literal powerhouse of sexual sensation. While many people like getting their nipples licked or their g-spot stimulated, the “pleasure button” is the number one driver of orgasms for people with vulvas.  

The clitoris is a literal powerhouse of sexual sensation.

Where Is The Clitoris?

So where exactly is this mighty master of sensation and pleasure? The clitoris is located at the front of the vulva, at the top of the inner labia where they meet. Its head is tucked under a piece of skin called the clitoral hood. If you’re interested in getting better acquainted, you can gently pull the hood back to see the round-ish head of the clitoris underneath. You may also see a small, upside down “V” underneath the head where the skin comes together. This piece of connective tissue is called the frenulum.

How To Touch The Clitoris

Together, the head and frenulum are the most sensitive parts of the clit, so this area can feel great to touch. Sometimes, however, this area is so sensitive that touch can actually be painful! To avoid pain, be gentle, touch the clit indirectly or through the clitoral hood, and make sure to use plenty of lube.

Touch the clit indirectly or through the clitoral hood, and make sure to use plenty of lube.

And there’s so much more to the clit than meets the eye! People often don’t know about the full structure of the clit, and think that the head and frenulum are all there is to it. In fact, the full structure of the clitoris is hidden beneath the skin. The head is attached to a cylinder shaped shaft that extends back toward the pubic bone. The shaft, which can be felt under the clitoral hood, then divides into two wings that stretch down either side of the vulva in a wishbone-like shape. Running parallel along the inner sides of the wings are the clitoral bulbs. The bulbs swell on either side of the vaginal entrance during arousal.

Most of the nerve endings in the clit are in its head, but there are also a bunch of nerve endings in the wings and bulbs too. This means that touching the head of the clit gives the most intense sensation, but touching other parts of the vulva—including inside the vaginal cavity—can make the inner structures of the clit also feel really good.

There’s so much more to the clit than meets the eye!...The full structure of the clitoris is hidden beneath the skin.

How Big Is The Average Clitoris?

The head of the clit varies in size from person to person. Typically it’s about ⅕ inch (5mm) wide and long. But the whole clitoris is about 3-4 inches long (8-10cm), much bigger than what you see at first glance. The clitoris gets erect and increases in size when a person is turned on. During arousal, blood flows to the tissues of the clit so that it swells up and gets firmer. It can get up to three times larger!

Understanding the clit and how it works will help you become a better lover (whether to yourself or to a partner!). If you’re ready to learn more, check out O.school’s Clitoris O.riginal, for more clit information, videos, graphics, and gifs!

Related Articles:

O.riginal: The Clitoris

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What is your Vulva? What are the Parts of a Vagina?

Types of Orgasms: Clit Orgasm vs G-Spot Orgasm

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References

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Video transcript

So this is my sort of vulva puppet, right? And so this is the hood of the clitoris. Now what's usually visible, or well, each vulva looks super different first of all. And I do want to be very clear and specific to state that, I am speaking specifically about a vulva and that having a vulva doesn't necessarily make you a woman and being a woman doesn't mean that you necessarily have a vulva, alright? So, so this is the hood of the clitoris, and then this part right here is the clitoris. Now what's usually visible is sort of like the tip of the iceberg. There's about four inches that extend into the body kind of like a wishbone, and it connects to the pelvic bone and all that jazz. And this is actually what the clitoris looks like. Ta-da! It's not green, I colored it green because if you can't tell it's kind of my favorite color. So I decided to color my clitoris green. And so the clitoris actually sits like so, but behind, behind the external part of the vulva, right? So, these, I may actually put those a little bit closer, these are the legs of the clitoris right here and they, it kind of sits this way along the body, and this part connects to close to the pelvic bone. This part right here is called the clitoral bulbs or the vestibular bulbs, and they sit kind of behind the vaginal lips. Now when the clitoris is getting stimulated and it is getting really excited, there is all of this fluid that's coming inside the clitoris and fluids, plasma, blood, and it is essentially becoming erect. So if you have a vulva if you've ever looked at your vulva when it has not been stimulated versus when it has been stimulated, you might notice that everything looks a little bit darker because it's engorging with blood, the vaginal lips might also be a little more puffy, and that is because your clitoris is expanding.

Is Period Sex OK?

Is it ok to have sex on your period? It sure is! So if you want to, go for it. Read on for tips on comfort, pleasure, and mess management.

Fact No. 1
Fact No. 2
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Fact No. 4
The Quickie
4 minute read
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It seems like menstruation is slowly becoming more talked about and normalized. It’s about time! Most people with a uterus menstruate at some point in their lives, so why not discuss it? The days of being embarrassed to buy tampons and pads are over. Now there are many more choices like cups and sponges and everything in an abundance of sizes and styles.  

Sex On Your Period Is A-Okay!

Speaking of choice, it’s high time we discussed period sex. Here’s the bottom line, if you want to have period sex, there is no reason not to. If you don’t want to, well then don’t. If you might want to but have some questions, then read on.

If you want to have period sex, there is no reason not to. If you don’t want to, well then don’t.

It’s a lot more fun talking about sex than about cramps, and some people’s libidos are super charged during period days so wanting to have sex while you’re menstruating is a common thing. If this is you, go for it with a few tips on communication, safety and, of course, pleasure.

Start By Discussing Period Sex With Your Partner

Let’s say either you, or your partner, wants to try period sex. Anytime you want to try something new in the bedroom, it’s a good idea to begin with a conversation. Don’t assume - discuss!

Be kind and always talk about how you feel, not how your partner should feel. Listen. If you just quiet down and listen, you’ll be surprised at how much information you are able to receive from your partner.

What Sort Of Period Sex Are You Comfortable With?

Decide on your comfort levels for period sex. Just touching, yes or no to oral, penetration with fingers, or with a toy or penis? Then you have a guide and you will be able to push the envelope through agreement and not surprise.

Safer Sex When Menstruating

Just like other body fluids, your menstrual blood will carry STI’s. It’s always a good idea to make sure you and your partner have been tested. During your period your cervix is higher and more open, so bacteria flows more freely.

Decide on your comfort levels for period sex. Just touching, yes or no to oral, penetration with fingers, or with a toy or penis?

Condoms are still the most effective way to prevent STI’s from spreading. And, yes you can get pregnant during your period, so you should still consider using birth control.

Why Am I Horny When I’m On My Period Anyway?

Remember, it’s normal to feel extra horny after you begin menstruating. Progesterone, which has been building up to help fertilize an egg, is at a low point when you don’t need to fertilize that egg and you get your period. Progesterone lowers libido so your libido builds when progesterone is low. It’s science.

Estrogen and testosterone will soon kick in and put your libido at its high point around week two of your cycle. That’s when you’re most likely to conceive. Get it?

How To Deal With The Blood During Period Sex

Worried about the blood? Did you know that during your entire period, you only release 3-4 tablespoons of blood? It doesn’t all come out during sex either.

During that communication part you may find that neither of you are really bothered by the blood and you’ll both enjoy the added lubrication from more fluids in your vagina. In which case, just put a dark towel underneath you and go for it.

Or, if you want an easier clean up, shower sex is a great option! Let the blood wash straight off down the drain.

Just put a dark towel underneath you and go for it... Or, if you want an easier clean up, shower sex is a great option!

Still not convinced but want to try? Using a menstrual disc or a sponge that sits up high, closer to your cervix, will absorb most of the blood before it flows out of you. These methods are different from a tampon FYI - you do not want to leave a tampon in during penetration! A tampon is great for external play or oral sex though.

Best Sex Positions When On Your Period

Try out different positions to see what feels best when you have your period. Since your cervix moves up a little bit higher during menstruation, the feelings may be different. If doggie style is normally painful, it may not be because of the extra lubrication and higher cervix. Also, missionary style or anything where you’re on your back will result in less blood on the sheets.

Orgasms Can Help Ease Cramps!

There is no biological reason to avoid sex during menstruation. In fact, if you have cramps, sex may be just the thing to lessen them since orgasms release endorphins and help to relax the uterus. Period sex may be a whole new adventure for you. Remember to stay safe, try different positions and use a dark colored towel. The rest is just another sexy exploration. Enjoy!

Related Articles:

Pussy Massage Techniques

Tips For Stimulating Your Clit To Orgasm

Why Am I Having Pain During Sex?

Fingering Techniques

What Is Your Vulva? What Are The Parts Of A Vagina?

I Want Sex! How To Get The Pleasure You Desire

References

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