Dear Aunt Vadge,
My girlfriend claims that she cannot get a vaginal orgasm and has only experienced clitoral orgasms up to this point. I love her and want to make her feel amazing in every way that I can.
What can I try?
You have asked a sticky question that doesn’t have a quick or easy answer. Settle in, and I’ll give it my best shot.
Every woman has slightly unique anatomy. When we’re built in our mother’s womb, we’re stitched together from cells, and this cell-stitching is not uniform amongst all humans – we are short, tall, have big ears and misshapen toes. We have freckles and hair in weird places. When it comes to the shape and size of the vulva and vagina, and internal organs, the same applies.
Perhaps her cervix tilts, or her urethra is closer to her vaginal canal, or her pelvic nerve clusters are rearranged in a particular way, or her visible clitoris is very sensitive due to more nerve endings in it, or because it protrudes more or less than another woman’s. All of these tiny differences in our bodies mean what sex feels like varies. What gets one woman off may not do a thing for another. Because we can’t see what we’re doing, the differences are often not taken into account, and we think doing the same thing to each woman will work sexually. This is not the case.
Female ejaculation is one such variance – some women can squirt very easily and it happens without any input from them besides sexual activity (and that can be in lieu of an actual orgasm – ejaculation and orgasm are actually separate functions). It is generally thought that this ability to squirt, or not to squirt, is largely down to anatomy. We should all, in theory, be able to do it, but not everyone finds it as easy as the women you see squirting like crazy in porn – they are squirters. It’s just not like that for most women. You can follow the instructions to a T, and still have no luck. Some women are squirters, others just aren’t.
This is the same sort of idea with orgasms. Apparently there are 26 different types of female orgasm, not just ‘clitoral’ or ‘vaginal’. An orgasm is an orgasm, and they often feel quite different to one another, each and every time. The discussion of the vaginal and clitoral orgasms is fraught with a complete lack of evidence for any differences in orgasms, since even when they’ve put cameras inside the vagina to see what the vaginal orgasm looks like, they can’t see what the woman describes or can only see it some of the time. This means the discussion of different types of female orgasm is largely subjective, at least for now. That is, a woman can only report her sensations during orgasm, and classify it herself. There is no definitive way to know what orgasms are what type.
If your girlfriend has never had a vaginal orgasm, she has nothing to compare her clitoral orgasms to, and won’t know what to look for and seek out during sex. So here’s a few ideas.
The clitoris is actually enormous
MRIs of the clitoris have discovered that the clitoral structure is actually huge, and is more like the Starship Enterprise than the little button on the outside. (Go to our clitoris and orgasm article, and watch the video in its entirety.) It has these little legs that get erect, and actually wraps around the vaginal canal. This is the likely source of vaginal orgasms – the stimulation of the other clitoral structures from inside the vaginal canal.
The cervix is orgasmic
The cervix – right up at the top of the vagina – is actually an orgasmic structure in many women. Well, like the squirting, technically in all women, but not everyone feels it the same due to the angle of the cervix and uterus. You know how some women love it from behind, but some women don’t? This is often because the angle and depth of the penis gets closer to a cervix on a certain tilt, and also pushes more firmly on the so-called g-spot.
The g-spot is probably part of our enormous clitorises and pelvic nerve clusters
So the infamous, undiscovered g-spot. The g-spot has never, ever been found as a singular item. The best they’ve found is that it is a broad area on the top wall of the vaginal canal. It has been studied a lot, but no doctor, researcher, scientist, layperson, nobody, has ever found a particular area that is better than others.
Women report all kinds of different sensations – or no sensations – when this ‘magical’ area is stimulated. It makes a lot of women feel like they need to pee, and it can feel quite unpleasant. To other women, when the internal structures of the clitoris are erect, it can feel amazing.
When you’re poking around trying to find the g-spot, think about how big the clitoris is, and what you are actually trying to do. Which is to stimulate all areas of the clitoral structures from the inside. This is something you and your girlfriend will need to do together, super slow, and as a sort of sexual science project rather than a super sexy session. Check the diagrams in Vag Basics and the clitoris article for help with anatomy.
The journey to discovering our hot spots can take a long time
Many women take a while to learn how to masturbate (compared to boys), and a lot haven’t spent long hours investigating their mostly-invisible vaginas and vulvas. This means her knowledge of her sexual anatomy may still be happening. Taking the time to really investigate, taste, smell and caress your girlfriend’s body and vagina will go a long way to expanding both of your understandings of her sexual response, and bring you one step closer to making her come like she has never come before. The key to mindblowing female orgasms is getting her erect from the inside out, and how that occurs is going to be up to you both to discover.
Working as if you are in a perpetual sexual experiment is the only real way to learn what gets each other off, including things we never knew we liked. Find weird stuff on the internet and try it on each other. Rate it out of 10. Give it a review. Talk about how it feels, what was good about it, and what was weird about it. Become each other’s student.
Timing is everything
The key is to get her really turned on so that her orgasms are big, so picking the time of her cycle that you experiment can make the difference between a successful experiment and a bit of a dud. Understanding when sex-enhancing hormones are in abundance in your girlfriend’s blood means you can make the most of her cycle highs and lows.
The men who understand women’s cycles have a better time with women, since once you get it, it’s pretty predictable. The reason women can seem so changeable and mysterious to men is often because we change over the course of a cycle in sometimes minor, sometimes major ways, but almost always in the same ways. We have predictable patterns. Learn them.
How to learn her patterns
Keep track of the first day of your girlfriend’s period, which is classified as Day 1 of her cycle. Then, you’re going to need to establish when she is ovulating. (If your girlfriend is on hormonal birth control, which is ironically a libido dampener for most women, she won’t ovulate at all, so this won’t apply, but it’s good to know anyway.)
The time between Day 1 of her period and the day she ovulates can change, but the time between when she ovulates and her next period is almost always the same in the same woman, and is between 12 and 16 days. That means you’ll need to know how long her cycle is, to count backwards to establish about the time she would be ovulating.
Once you know how many days there is in the last half of her cycle (between 12 and 16 days), after ovulation, you can then with relative ease establish her patterns. The medical world talks about the 28-day cycle of women, but this is very rarely true. It’s just an average. A normal cycle can range from 24 to 35 days, and each cycle in the same woman can vary by up to a week, but mostly it will vary only by days.
If we take this mythical 28-day cycle, you can make a wild guess that on Day 14 – exactly 14 days before her next period – she will ovulate. If everyone had 28-day cycles this would be easy, but as you will see in real life, this is a bit less straightforward. But, it’s still easy when you know what to look for.
When a woman ovulates, her cervix squirts out a blob of this special fluid called fertile cervical fluid (it’s alkaline so sperm don’t die in the normally acidic vagina). This stuff feels amazingly smooth and slippery, and she’ll feel wet that day, even if nothing much is going on. You likely won’t be party to this slipperiness – you’ll need to discuss this with her so you both know.
She will be able to tell, usually because of the sensation of wetness in her underwear, and when she wipes after the toilet it will need a few extra wipes to get rid of it. It’s just a blob, and then it’s gone. It’s around this time that your girlfriend’s sex-related hormones are increased (a day or two before and after), to increase the likelihood of her getting pregnant – obviously we need to want to have sex to get pregnant, biologically speaking, so our body does a little sexual magic to increase our chances. Ovulation makes women more confident, feel sexier, and makes their bodies more responsive to touch and suggestion. She will also be more orgasmic.
The times when (in theory – everyone’s a bit different) she will be least interested in sex and least responsive to your manliness is immediately after her period ends, which is when all hormones are in a lull, as the cycle prepares to ramp up again. Plan a sex date for mid-cycle and save your movie dates for the last days of her period.
You can take an educated guess that in the middle of your girlfriend’s cycle, she will be more responsive to sex. Her body and mind will be geared for sex, more so than other times. It’s not a given, but trying to have sex with your girlfriend when she is not biologically (hormonally speaking) very interested is probably not going to get her a vaginal orgasm.