Why Does My Clit Hurt?

The clit is made to feel good. But what if it feels bad? Clitoris pain is common, but you don’t have to tolerate it. Explore causes of clit pain and their solutions.

Why Does My Clit Hurt?

Why Does My Clit Hurt?

Why Does My Clit Hurt?

4 minute read

The clitoris has just one purpose, and that is pleasure. So experiencing frequent clitoral pain (officially called clitorodynia) can be confusing and disheartening. As with other vulva pain (officially called vulvodynia), a sore clit is incredibly common. However, that doesn’t mean it’s normal and should just be ignored or suffered.

The Clitoris Is Bigger Than It Looks

To troubleshoot pain, it’s a good idea to know more about the part of the body that’s hurting. The clitoris is more than just a little bump a couple inches above the vagina—that part is just the head (glans). The rest of the clit is internal, and it wraps around the vagina. The penis and the clitoris have the same number of nerve endings, but in the clit they’re condensed into a much smaller space, making it even more sensitive.

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Clit Sensitivity

Because those nerves are bundled together, some people are hypersensitive to touch and stimulation. That sensitivity could be the culprit for the discomfort. For some, directly touching the clitoris can be painful just because this area is so sensitive. This sensitivity is different from clitordynia - which is chronic pain - and easier to manage!

For some, directly touching the clitoris can be painful just because this area is so sensitive.

This is an opportunity to take your time and explore what you like. When your body gets aroused, your pain threshold changes. Sometimes a clit may hurt when directly touched at the beginning of sexy time - before the person has become aroused - but a little later - as that person has become aroused - the clit touch can feel really good. Go easy, gradually circle around until it feels good to touch, and stroke over the clitoral hood, rather than on the head directly.

Be Gentle With The Clitoris

Most clits don’t enjoy the DJ treatment right off the bat: rubbing hard and fast like you’re scratching a record. Go slow, go easy, and increase the pressure and tempo only if you feel like it.

If you’re someone that chooses partnered sex, it’s a lot easier to tell a partner what you like if you’ve already figured it out for yourself. Bodies are different, and not every clitoris likes the same treatment. You get to figure out what feels good to you.

Use Lube On The Clit

The clitoris doesn’t produce lubricant, like the vagina does, so you’ve got to bring your own! Dryness increases friction, which causes pain. Use your own natural wetness, or a store-bought variety of lubricant (our fave is Good Clean Love's Almost Naked Organic Personal Lubricant) to make fingers glide across the clit.

Most clits don’t enjoy the DJ treatment right off the bat: rubbing hard and fast like you’re scratching a record. Go slow, go easy, increase the pressure and tempo only if you feel like it.

If lube and gentle touch take care of the problem, then congratulations! If you’re still experiencing pain, though, or even hurting when you’re not having sexy time, there are some other things to check:

Itchy Clit?

Tight clothing can rub uncomfortably, so try looser pants and underwear for a while. Because clitoral tissue is sensitive, it is easily irritated.

Laundry detergents can be irritating, so check what you’re using to wash your underwear. Avoid scented soaps or sprays on the vulva and vagina. Many of the products marketed as vulva cleaning products contain ingredients that can be irritating to the delicate skin. Your clitoris (and the rest of your vulva) only need warm water and your hand for effective cleaning.

Seek Medical Advice

There are also health conditions that can cause a clitoris to feel pain, some which mimic allergic reactions. Urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and some sexually transmitted infections can make clitorises feel sore, itchy, or burning. And remember, it’s important to see a health care provider for an accurate diagnosis before self-treating.

There are also health conditions that can cause a clitoris to feel pain… urinary tract infections, yeast infections, and some sexually transmitted infections can make clitorises feel sore, itchy, or burning.

Pain is common, but it is the body’s way of saying that something is wrong. Listen to your body and stop when it hurts. You don’t have to suffer through the pain.

Lydia M. Bowers

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

With over 15 years of Early Childhood Education experience under her belt, Lydia M. Bowers now focuses on educating families to better understand childhood and adolescent sexual development. Additionally, Lydia's personal experience with pelvic pain has motivated her work with individuals dealing with pain, as well as trauma and/or shame, to reclaim pleasure.

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