Little pleasure, if any, from my clitoris — What's wrong?

Originally Published: April 26, 2002 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: April 9, 2009
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Dear Alice,

While reading some of your responses to female arousal, you say that the clitoris is as sensitive as the penis. Why is it then that when I touch mine, I get only a little pleasure, if any? Yes, I know where the clitoris is, so that's not the problem. What's wrong with me?

-Curious

Dear Curious,

There is nothing wrong with you! The clitoris is a very special part of a woman's anatomy, with the sole purpose of providing pleasure. However, every woman's body is unique and responds differently. Some women have pleasurable sensations when their clitoris is touched, kissed, rubbed, sucked, and pressed. Other women experience pleasure over time as a result of cultivating their clitoris through masturbation, either alone or with a partner. Yet there are also women who find that direct stimulation of the clitoris is uncomfortable. Just because women have a joy button that contains between 6,000 and 8,000 sensory nerve endings doesn't mean that when it is touched, it will send rockets to the moon.

You mentioned that touching your clitoris only provides a little pleasure, if any. Perhaps you need to get to know, well, you better? You might begin by gradually becoming more familiar with what turns you on — in order to be able to enjoy and derive pleasure from the experience. Since you already know where your clit is located, you are one step ahead of the game. The next move is to relax, alone or with a partner, heat your body up, and explore! Create an atmosphere to set the mood. You may want to light some candles or put on some music. Get comfortable. Be conscious of your breath and breathe deeply, as this will help you to relax. Slowly massage your entire body from head to toes. Begin by using fingertips, lightly or more firmly, to massage your scalp, then move on to your temples, face, neck, ears, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, torso, back, thighs, and legs. If you are alone — even if you are with a partner — you may find it helpful to fantasize. When you are ready and relaxed, run your hands over your vulva and clitoris. Do what feels comfortable for you. Take the time to get to know your body and what feels good to you by experimenting with different amounts of pressure and various strokes. You may even want to insert fingers into your vagina and rub your clitoris at the same time. Perhaps using a water-based lube can help to heighten the sensations. Sex toys that provide direct contact with the clitoris might also feel good.

Chances are that this process will take time. When "getting into the groove," it may take some time to figure out the sensations that you find pleasurable. Remember, practicing can have great rewards.

For more information about the clitoris, check out Rebecca Chalker's book, The Clitoral Truth: The World At Your Fingertips. Or, for encouragement in your quest for pleasure, check out Betty Dodson Online or read her book, Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving.  Enjoy the exploration and journey to finding what works for you!

Alice

September 25, 2006

21132

Hi Alice,

I want to offer some words of encouragement and support for the reader who experiences little pleasure from her clitoris. Don't give up, and don't put yourself in a box!

...

Hi Alice,

I want to offer some words of encouragement and support for the reader who experiences little pleasure from her clitoris. Don't give up, and don't put yourself in a box!

I didn't experience much pleasure during sex for the first several years of sexual activity, and I had more or less labeled myself anorgasmic. I thought it just wouldn't happen. But that's a very frustrating way to live, and I decided to change my mind. I read everything I could get my hands on about clitoral stimulation, experimented with toys and lotions and other women, but the real difference was made when I stopped focusing on orgasms and focused instead on the pleasure I was having. One night alone, I finally decided "Okay, that might not have been an earth-shattering orgasm, but it was one."

Since then, alone and with a steady partner, I've built up into having serious, extended orgasms. I can't believe I had been telling myself I wasn't capable of this. Here's the thing: every woman's body is different, so THE only way to find out what feels good is to try things out. For example, my clitoris does not respond to direct touching — what works for me is to stimulate the shaft of the clit, which is not external, so most people (especially men) don't think about it. How would I have known all the pleasure that could be found there if I hadn't been patient and open-minded?

August 24, 2006

21124

Dear Alice,

I also seem to get little pleasure from my clitoris, relative to other women. It took me several years of experimenting and the strongest vibrator I could get my hands on before...

Dear Alice,

I also seem to get little pleasure from my clitoris, relative to other women. It took me several years of experimenting and the strongest vibrator I could get my hands on before I was able to achieve a clitoral orgasm. I've never masturbated to orgasm without toys, and the thought of a woman doing so used to seem ridiculous to me.

Conversely, I seem to achieve vaginal orgasms easier than other women. It was also several years before I got the hang of those, but now that I know what I need, I always have multiple orgasms during intercourse. It helps that my partner moves his pelvis against my clit and/or stimulates other parts of my body during intercourse.

But two things helped me most of all: (1) figuring out what my particular fetishes were and how to incorporate them into sexual acts, and (2) relaxing, not focusing on achieving the orgasm, and having fun!

May 3, 2002

20423
Dear Alice, "While reading some of your responses to female arousal, you say that the clitoris is as sensitive as the penis. Why is it then that when I touch mine, I get only a little pleasure, if...
Dear Alice, "While reading some of your responses to female arousal, you say that the clitoris is as sensitive as the penis. Why is it then that when I touch mine, I get only a little pleasure, if any? Yes, I know where the clitoris is, so that's not the problem. What's wrong with me?" I am a guy who once dated a girl who also explored her body and did not get any feeling from touching herself. I was the first guy who ever touched her, and she even told me ahead of time that she didn't expect much from me. She was wrong! I guess what I'm saying is that I guess it's very different when someone else arouses you. For the record, the girl says she masturbates regularly now that she knows what it feels like. Talk about a nice awakening! Lots of luck gets sent her way from me!