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Is my clitoris broken? Orgasm Troubleshooting 101

The clitoris is hardly the only source of female pleasure but it might easily be the most powerful and complex of all.

da Aurelie | 23 April 2020
Flower's petals that recalls a clitoris
The clitoris is hardly the only source of female pleasure but it might easily be the most powerful and complex of all. Some women find it easy to truly tap into its impressive potential; others struggle a little more. We listed a few of the major issues we tend to face and a few suggestions that might help overcome them. Ever since it was discovered in its entirety as a powerful organ that spreads much beyond the surface, the clitoris has often been likened to an iceberg. For a long time we only paid attention to the tip; nowadays we know just what a crucial part it plays in giving us all sorts of sensations during vaginal penetration. While we don’t wish to ignore its potential and the range of possibilities, we have chosen to focus on the external part, the glans clitoris, protected by the clitoral hood that forms a barrier of sorts around the head. The best tools to achieve a clitoral glans orgasm (often just referred to as a clitoral orgasm)? Almost all vibrators are well-suited for that job but then some are more specifically created for it than others. Our favourite? Yumi. Beyond its convenient travel size (you bet we always keep it in our carry-on), it was designed to complement the lines of the vulva and to be easily handled to provide targeted stimulation on key places. If you have the right tools but still aren’t totally happy with the quality of your orgasms or simply struggle to reach one at all, here are a few easy suggestions you may want to consider before eventually reaching out to a sex therapist.

Issue: My clitoris feels too sensitive, it’s almost painful!

Suggestions:

  • Touch the vulva more broadly rather than focusing directly on the clitoral hood.
  • Rub through the clitoral hood rather than on the head of the clit directly.
  • Rub to the side of the clit rather than on the head.
  • Try some lubricant. Remember to use a water-based formula; silicone-based gels don’t work well with silicone toys such as ours.
  • Use a lighter, gentler pressure.

Issue: My clitoris doesn’t really respond to touch.

Suggestions:

  • Rub the head of the clit directly. To do so draw back the skin of the clitoral hood and touch the clit underneath.
  • Try stimulating the frenulum – this is the underside of the head of the clit that looks like an upside down V. This area can be highly sensitive for some people.
  • Use a clitoral balm, possibly arginine-based. These formulas are designed to increase sensitivity by promoting microcirculation and comes with a heating effect.

Issue: My clitoris feels itchy, as if it’s somewhat irritated.

Suggestions:

  • Use lube!
  • Apply a lighter, more gentle pressure.
  • Take a break and come back to it.

Issue: After a while, my clitoris feels numb.

Suggestions:

  • Give it a rest and come back to it later.
  • Try “edging” – rather than providing continued stimulation, pause regularly. This can be tantalising and gives your clit a break from getting overworked.
  • Use different tools, by alternating between fingers and vibrators.
  • Use a different technique, by switching between movement patterns (from back-and-forward strokes to circles).

Issue: I’m nearly there, but then nothing happens.

Suggestions:

  • Keep the pressure and rhythm consistent when you’re nearing orgasm. Try not to change technique when you feel you’re on the brink.
  • Focus on the pleasure and sensations. Close your eyes if it helps and focus on the here and now as you would during your meditation practice.

Issue: It takes me ages to reach orgasm.

Suggestions:

  • Take as long as you need and want. 20 minutes? Great! 40 minutes? Fine! One hour? No worries, why not take two!
  • Get realistic information. There’s no “normal” amount of time in which to reach orgasm. Factors like your environment and health can also have an impact on how long it takes.
  • Tell your partner it’s important that you don’t feel rushed.
  • Don’t buy into the orgasm dictatorship. Not every sexual experience will and must culminate in a climax. It doesn’t make that moment any less valuable, nor does it mean you should dismiss the pleasure you felt even without an orgasm as a final conclusion.
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