Know Your Body—and His, Too!
When it comes to experiencing a powerful, memorable—and most important of all, repeatable—orgasm, the most important thing you can do is to get to know your body and become comfortable with it. No matter how intimate you become with your partner’s—or partners’—body, you’ll never be able to fully experience the wonder of an incredible orgasm without also becoming even more intimate with your own. After all, you’re stuck with it your whole life—might as well love and enjoy it, right? In the chapter that follows, I’m going to take you on a tour of the female anatomy so that you have a solid foundation of your girlie parts before we move on to the really fun stuff. They say knowledge is power, and where better to have a little bit of power, if not in the bedroom?
So, you want to orgasm, huh? Like, really orgasm? Great! Before you get to the really fun stuff, it’s important to review some basic anatomy. This way, when I suggest different parts of your partner’s body—or your own—to stimulate in later chapters, you’ll know just where to go. Plus, this brief review will help you become further acquainted, and more at ease, with the naughty bits, which will take some of the stress out of lovemaking and make it that much easier for you to have a mind-blowing orgasm. So bear with me for a moment and pretend you’re in the best health class you never took. You’ll thank me later.
Feel Good about Your Body
Before we delve into a deeper look at what’s going on down below, let’s take a more holistic look first. How do you feel about your body? Do you feel comfortable in your skin? Do you feel confident about certain parts but not others? Do you feel shy and uncomfortable or ashamed about your body in general? Notice your posture when you stand. Do you stand straight and tall with your chest up, or do you slouch with your shoulders drooping inward and your head down? Most likely you fall somewhere between those extremes, but it’s important to realize that if you’re closer to the latter than the former, you need to make some changes to become a more confident person.
When it comes to having a great orgasm, it’s very hard to allow yourself to fully embrace the pleasure of the sensation if you don’t feel confident about your body. As a woman in modern society, feeling totally confident about your body all of the time is unrealistic. Whether your source of discontentment comes from you holding yourself to the unrealistic standards portrayed in mass media (hello, Photoshop!), a not-so-nice partner (time to say bye-bye to that one about now), or something else that’s rooted deeper, it’s important for you to embrace the amazing goddess that you are. Own it, girlfriend. Seriously.
I want you to do something for me. Go find a full-length mirror and stand in front of it naked. Yup, naked. Now, instead of focusing on what you’ve determined are “trouble spots,” find at least three things you adore about your body. Anything goes, from your eyes to your hands to your stretch marks. Do this every morning until you start to think of yourself differently and focus on the positive aspects of yourself. Not only will this help make those “trouble spots” vanish from your vision, but you’ll gain a lot more confidence in yourself both in and out of the bedroom. And how awesome is that?
Explore the Female Anatomy
While we’re talking about mirrors, let’s move on to discussing your anatomy down under. There’s a lot going on under the surface of a woman, and I’m not just talking about your inner monologue. As you probably already know, unlike men, whose sex organs are external, your sex organs are located both on the surface of your body and inside of it. We’re complicated like that. But it doesn’t take a genius to learn how our different parts work, even if they’re not as obvious as the male genitals. It just requires a little investigating. But it’s fun investigating that can help lead to orgasm! So, go find a handheld mirror so we can begin exploring and learning about your amazing female anatomy. You’ll be glad you did.
Press on the Pubic Mound
The pubic mound doesn’t sound sexy, but it is. To get you oriented from an anatomical perspective, the pelvis bone wraps around your genitals and attaches your hips to your spine and to your legs. Atop of it is a mound of soft, fatty tissue known as the pubic mound, or mons pubis. It’s located just above the Cleft of Venus, or Pudendal Cleft—known colloquially as the cameltoe. Men don’t have this fatty mound, but during sex, yours is important to achieving a great orgasm because it protects you from bruising your pelvis, no matter how vigorously you’re getting it on. In addition, some women can derive pleasure from their partner putting a significant amount of pressure on the pubic mound just before or during orgasm to heighten the sensation.
Get a Grip on the Lips
Below the pubic mound are the two softer vulva tissues known as the labia majora and labia minora, or “big lips” and “small lips.” They begin at the Cleft of Venus and run parallel to the vaginal opening to the perineum, located just behind the vagina. The labia are similar in structure to the male scrotum, though they serve a different function. Whereas the scrotum helps to keep sperm at the optimal temperature, the labia protect the vaginal opening from bacteria. If you look, you’ll easily be able to see the labia majora, as they are the larger structures. When pushed apart, you may be able to see the soft, delicate inner lips known as the labia minora, but sometimes these can be quite small. However, when you’re aroused, these—like the clitoris—become engorged and are easy to find. Some women find that having these lips gently stroked during foreplay can be incredibly arousing and can help bring them to orgasm.
Awaken the Clitoris
Sometimes known as “the little man in a boat” or “the shining pearl,” this tiny, roundish knob located at the top of the vulva, just above the urethra opening, is more than likely what holds the key to having an amazing orgasm. As far as scientists and anthropologists have discovered, the clitoris exists solely for sexual pleasure. Wahoo! And, though the entire clitoris is sensitive, the part of the clitoris with the most nerve endings per square inch is the glans. This is what you see when you pull back the clitoral hood that protects it from being touched directly. If this sounds at all familiar, that’s because the clitoris is almost structurally identical to the penis. The glans of the clitoris corresponds to the glans of the penis, and the clitoral hood to the foreskin. However, whereas much attention is lavished on the shaft of the penis—or rather, how much shaft there is—this part of the clitoris is buried underneath the surface of the vulva (the collective name for all the external female sex organs in this area of your body). The clitoral shaft is attached to the pubic mound, is approximately one to two inches long and just over half an inch wide, and extends in two branches—called the crura—around the vaginal opening.
When you get turned on, the shaft becomes engorged with blood, and if you’ve ever felt a pleasurable throbbing around your vagina, this is the cause of it. Though as women we’ll never understand just what a male erection feels like, I can imagine it’s a similar sensation.
Delve Into the Vaginal Opening
I’m pretty sure you’re familiar with the vaginal opening, but just in case, right below the urethral opening, you’ll see the opening to the vagina—known in Latin as the introitus (feel free to drop that knowledge at your next cocktail party … or not).
When you’re born, the vaginal opening is often at least partially covered with the hymen, a thin membrane that provides a barrier to protect the vagina from infection. And while the phrase “popping the cherry” still exists as a way to refer to losing one’s virginity, a hymen can tear long before you ever have sex. It can be broken by the insertion of a tampon, finger, or sex toy, or even if you engage in activities like horseback riding. More than likely, the breaking of your hymen went unnoticed.
The vaginal opening is the narrowest part of the vagina, but this and the first internal third of the vagina itself together make up nearly 90 percent of the vagina’s nerve endings! This is the primary reason why penis length, for the most part, doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, it’s more the girth—or circumference of the penis—that can make a difference in the intensity of orgasm. That said, you don’t have to make love to a man who’s particularly wide to enjoy a great orgasm. That’s because during sexual activity, the vaginal opening will tighten as the nearby vestibular bulbs swell, and you’ll feel the object inside of you that much more strongly. On the receiving end, your partner will feel a pleasurable gripping sensation. This gripping sensation can be further exaggerated for an even more profound orgasm, but I’ll discuss that more a bit later.
Explore the First Part of the Vagina
For some women, this is where the magic happens. For others, the sweet spot is tied most directly to the clitoris or the vaginal opening. Sex—and orgasm—is all about personal preference, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to find out that penetration is what works for some women but not for others.
Either way, the vagina is an integral part of your female anatomy, so let’s take a moment to understand how it’s designed. The vagina is a cylindrical, muscular structure that expands to its full potential when one is aroused. It’s also able to stretch to accommodate large male members as needed. And, though it is just one structure, it has different textures. The outer third is composed of numerous ridges and folds and has more nerve endings than the rest of the vagina. And when you’re aroused, the Bartholin’s glands located near the opening of the vagina release a slippery fluid that lubricates the area and makes penetration easier.
Explore the Depth of the Vagina
As you go deeper into the vagina, you’ll discover that the inner two-thirds are much smoother and less sensitive than the outer third. However, they do respond pleasurably to pressure. Finally, at the very end of the vagina is the cervix. This is the small tube through which sperm passes on its way into the uterus. Some women find it pleasurable when their cervix is bumped during sex, while others find that sensation wholly uncomfortable. You’ll have to try a position that allows your partner to penetrate you deeply to find out which you prefer.
Discover the G-Spot and the A-Spot Pleasure Zones
I’m going to explore the G-spot, or Gräfenberg spot, and the A-spot in more depth later in the book, so for now, here are the basics. The G-spot is a mound of erectile tissue located two to three inches inside the vagina on the side facing the navel. When you’re turned on, this area becomes engorged with blood and enlarges. If stimulated in a certain way, the Skene’s glands located within it will ejaculate a clear or milky fluid. Yes, this is what has been nicknamed squirting.
Another sensitive location within the vagina is known as the anterior fornix erogenous zone, or the A-spot. This spot is located beyond the cervix where the vagina curves upward. The gland lubricates the vagina and, when stimulated, can deliver an intense orgasm.
Get Down with the Male Anatomy
Now that we’ve explored your anatomy, let’s take a look at what the guys have going on. Unlike the female anatomy, the male sex organs—with the exception of the prostate—are all located on the outside of their body. And while each man has his own way he enjoys being pleasured, the easy access makes their anatomy a bit easier to find and stimulate.
Take a look at your partner while he is naked. Just like you, your partner should love his own body unconditionally—and you should love it, too. You will be in a much better place to give and receive orgasms from him if you do. Much like the earlier activity you did with your own body, look at your partner and make a verbal list of all the things you love about his body, whether it be the curves of his thighs, the smoothness of his hands, the length of his fingers, etc.—you may just orgasm right there, hearing all of his sexy attributes out loud!
Whereas women derive pleasure from stimulation of the labia, vaginal opening, vagina, and clitoris, men primarily derive pleasure from the stimulation of the penis. The penis is composed of three main sections: the shaft, the glans, and the corona glandis. On average, the erect penis is six inches in length and approximately five inches in circumference at its widest point. Interestingly, some men grow a lot in size from flaccid (or limp) to when they’re fully erect, while others grow very little. Additionally, despite the claims of countless spam e-mails and Internet advertisements, it is not possible to enlarge the penis without undergoing cosmetic surgery. But you know the saying: It’s not the size of the wave, but the motion of the ocean that matters when it comes to reaching orgasm.
Grip the Shaft
The shaft is made of three columns of spongy tissue—comparable to the tissue found in the clitoral shaft—that become engorged when a man is turned on and cause the penis to become erect and stand away from the body. When the penis is relaxed, or flaccid, the skin is loose and stretchy, which helps prevent it from becoming chafed during regular daily activities. But when it becomes erect, the skin becomes more taut and the shaft’s sensitivity heightens greatly. One of the most sensitive areas on the shaft is known as the raphe. The raphe is a long line that runs up the shaft lengthwise and is filled with nerve endings. But, like with women and their sex organs, that may or may not work in turning on your partner, so make sure to play around and try all sorts of different touches and techniques to bring him to orgasm.
Tease the Glans
Sometimes referred to as the mushroom tip, this is the rounded part of the penis that is at the end of the shaft. It is developed out of the same tissue as the head of the clitoris, and as a result, for most men, this is an extremely sensitive area filled with many nerve endings. At the top of the glans lies the urethral opening through which both urine and semen are expelled, and just under the head of the glans is the frenulum. This frenulum is an area that is highly sensitive to touch. In uncircumcised males, this part of the penis connects to the foreskin and helps pull the protective hood over the glans.
But, you may still be wondering, why does it have that distinctive, mushroom-like shape? One theory is that the rounded head developed during human evolution so it was capable of pulling out any remaining semen from other males that had mated with the female so that their own sperm could impregnate her. In fact, across the animal kingdom, penises come in all shapes and sizes. But humans are the only species that have this mushroom cap. Another theory—which is not mutually exclusive—is that the mushroom shape increases friction and tension by stretching the vaginal opening, thus heightening female pleasure and the potential for orgasm.
Cue In on the Corona Glandis
This ridged “crown” of muscle—also sometimes referred to as the coronal ridge—is the part of the penis at the bottom of the glans. It is wider than the glans and any part of the shaft, and from an evolutionary perspective, it is the part of the penis responsible for collecting and removing the sperm of any competing male. But it is also extremely sensitive to the touch, as it is composed of thousands of nerve endings, and extremely sensitive to light touches, as well as pressure and temperature changes. To get your man hot and bothered, try stroking it lightly or exhaling, using your hot or cool breath to work him into a frenzy.
Okay, size does matter a little bit. Men with longer penises are able to deposit their sperm further into the vagina (and closer to the cervix through which sperm can make their way to fertilize the egg) in a place where less well-endowed men would have a harder time scooping out their seed.
Feel the Foreskin
This small bit of skin—also known as the prepuce—is what covers the head of the penis and protects the urethra from bacterial infection when the penis is not erect. If you’ve lived in the United States your whole life, you might be surprised to discover that it is estimated that only one-sixth to one-third of the world’s male population have had their foreskins removed in a surgery known as circumcision. Though in the United States it seems that circumcision is a customary procedure, despite its long-standing history (it dates back to at least the time of the Egyptians and is a commandment from God to those who practice the Jewish faith), it is not as popular around the world as you might believe. In fact, the act of circumcision has recently become a subject of debate in the United States as to what impact the practice has upon a child’s emotional and psychological development, as well as the potential dulling of the glans.
Despite those concerns, if your partner is uncircumcised, you can help him to reach orgasm by running the foreskin back and forth over the glans of his penis, teasing him with that sensation.
Fondle the Scrotum and Testes
Below the penis lies the scrotum, the muscular pouch containing two sperm-producing, testosterone-making factories known as the testicles. Because the testes are very sensitive to touch and their ability to make healthy sperm is dependent on remaining at a temperature just lower than the male’s internal body temperature, the scrotum raises and lowers the testes with the help of the cremasteric muscle. When it is too cold outside for the testes, the cremasteric reflex kicks in and the scrotal sac pulls the testes in toward the body; and when the body is very warm, it distends to let them cool off.
During oral or manual stimulation, run your hands gently over the scrotum and pull lightly on it to give your partner pleasure. You can also bite the skin gently, but be careful not to bite the testes themselves, as this could have quite the opposite effect that you were hoping for.