What creates pleasure for women during sexual intercourse?

It’s no secret that women tend to place more importance in penis girth over length. A recent study conducted by SPAN lab in California highlighted this fact when they found that women could more reliably judge girth over length, suggesting that they pay more attention to penis circumference. Using 3D erect penis models, they found:

In fact, women were generally very accurate in identifying the same model at both immediate and delayed recall. When they did make errors, they slightly underestimated model length. One possible explanation is that women care more about circumference, so they may attend to it more.

The way a woman’s anatomy has evolved explains the reason for this preference. The clitoris, which is usually identified as simply the small external structure that is packed with nerve endings, is actually a very large internal network of erectile tissue that responds to sexual arousal. The only part that is external is the glans clitoris, also known as the delicate little pearl that wants all the attention!

The clitoris is mostly internal and covers almost the entire pelvic floor.

The more extensive internal structure of the clitoris explains the fascination with thickness of an erection over length of an erection. Beyond the glans, the clitoris extends back and inward like an inverted “V” on each side of the vaginal opening. Next to those ‘legs’ are vestibular bulbs, one on each side of vaginal opening. These are almond-shaped areas of erectile tissue – similar to the corpus spongiosum in men – that fill with blood during arousal becoming firm and pushing outward on the labia. There are also areas of erectile tissue surrounding the urethra (just in front of the vaginal opening) and underneath the area of the perineum (between the vaginal opening and the anus).

There is pleasure in her erectile tissue when there is pressure against it.

During sexual arousal, all of this erectile tissue fills with blood to form a cuff around the entire vaginal opening. When there is vaginal penetration, a woman will feel pressure against all of this erectile tissue, resulting in a pleasurable sensation. Perhaps the best comparison is the feeling that a man has when he squeezes his erection in his hand, creating pressure against the erectile tissue. Not only is this feeling delicious all on its own, but it also that pressure also serves to create a little tugging and pulling on the entire clitoral structure when there is movement in and out of the vagina. This is a major source of stimulation for women during vaginal intercourse since the clitoris is blessed with so many nerve endings!

Learning how to create the sense of pressure can give a woman a great deal of pleasure.

It’s not difficult to see why women enjoy the sensation of girth during penetration. Men can also learn to give their female partner maximum stimulation during intercourse using the shaft of their erection to rub against the sides of the vaginal opening, creating the sensation of more thickness. Stimulation of the entire clitoral structure from penetration is the main way that women are able to reach ‘vaginal’ orgasms when not directly touching the head of the clit. It’s not surprising then why women tend to focus much more on girth than they do on length.


Dr. Castellanos is a psychiatrist specializing in sex therapy, bio-identical hormones, and functional medicine consultation. You can follow her on Facebook at The Sex MD, and Twitter at @DrCastellanos.

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