Our society is so obsessed with women reaching orgasm through intercourse that many people will feel inadequate or “broken” if the woman can’t get there just through penetration. This is true even if that same woman is very orgasmic either by herself when masturbating, or with her partner during either oral sex or manual stimulation. What goes along with this is the confusion between vaginal and clitoral orgasms. It’s true that the closer the tip of the clitoris is to the opening of the vagina, the easier it is for a woman to reach orgasm with just penetration, but this is not the end of the story.
The whole idea of vaginal versus clitoral orgasm predates our understanding of the full extent of the anatomy of the clitoris. Now we know that what is visible on the outside is just the tip of a much larger structure that extends into the woman’s body. That tip is called the glans and it is where most of the nerve endings are located (8000-10,000 as a matter of fact). We also know that it is made up of erectile tissue just like a guy’s penis. The clitoris is shaped like an inverted “V” with the glans clitoris (the tip that is external) being at the bottom of that “V”. The two legs of the clitoris go down either side of the vaginal opening and are connected to even larger network of erectile tissue.
On either side of the legs of the clitoris are two sacks of erectile tissue called the vestibular bulbs. There are two more areas of erectile tissue directly in front of the vaginal opening and directly behind the vaginal opening, known as the urethral sponge and the perineal sponge respectively. When a woman is aroused, all of these structures fill up with blood just like a man’s penis and create a kind on internal erection. Together they form a cuff around the opening that is stimulated with pressure. This is where it gets good!
Most people associate a clitoral orgasm with stimulation of the glans clitoris located on the outside of the body. But the truth is that most of the women who have orgasms with penetration are also getting a kind of clitoral orgasm, not really a vaginal orgasm. With penetration, all of this erectile tissue together gets pushed and tugged so that the nerve endings at the tip of the clitoris are stimulated indirectly. The sensations from the tip of the clitoris and the other areas at the opening of the vagina all end up going to the brain through the same nerve, so these are really clitoral orgasms. There are real vaginal orgasms that are transmitted to the brain through a completely different nerve, but now we know that these are much less common.
So what’s a girl to do if her glans clitoris is not so near the opening of the vagina? First, it helps to be fully aroused. This way you get maximal tugging of the clitoris with in-and-out action. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself an orgasm first or getting some oral from your partner to insure that your erectile tissue is completely full! Also, knowing that the glans is naturally where most of the nerve endings are, it is perfectly reasonable to reach down with a finger or thin vibrator to give it the stimulation it wants and needs. Certain sexual positions that allow a woman to rub her clitoris against her partner’s body or perhaps have the guy’s shaft have more contact with the clitoris make it easier to reach orgasm just with the activity of penetration. It’s all part of nature’s design.