Sexperts are always advocating for “communication,” but it’s not always clear what exactly we’re supposed to communicate about. How often, for example, do we tell our partners the nitty-gritty details of how our genitals like to be touched?

Well, we should be telling them this. Since many people still erroneously believe that vaginal penetration is the key to women’s pleasure, speaking up on your clit’s behalf can go a long way. If your partner’s worthwhile, they’ll appreciate you offering some instruction, and you’ll appreciate that they’re hitting it right. Life is too short not to get exactly what you want in bed.


Toward that end, here are some things about your clitoris to share with every new partner you sleep with. 

1. If you need it to be stimulated in order to orgasm 

Given that only about a quarter of women reliably orgasm through penetration, you’d hope your partners would provide clitoral stimulation by default. But unfortunately, we live in the world we live in, where the majority of female "orgasms" in porn occur through vaginal or anal penetration and only 44% of men can locate the clitoris. So, it can never hurt to spell out that you need clitoral stimulation — not just as an appetizer for intercourse but as the main course (or at least one of several main course dishes). Even if you don’t need clitoral stimulation to orgasm, speak up if it makes the experience even better for you.


2. If it can be touched post-orgasm 

For some women, stopping after one orgasm leaves them hornier than not having one at all. If that’s you, don’t feel like you’re only entitled to one. Ask your partner to keep going until you’re satisfied. For others, continuing after an orgasm is physically uncomfortable because the clitoris becomes hypersensitive. If that’s you, make sure your partner knows to ease off afterward or at least try a lighter touch (here are some ways to do that). 

3. If it can be touched directly 

Some clitorises are so sensitive that they can’t be touched directly, so stimulation over the hood feels best. Others require lifting up the hood to get the most sensation. Your preferences may also depend on what you’re doing. For example, the light touch of a tongue might feel great directly on the clitoris, but the pressure of a finger may be too much. Experiment with different styles until you figure out what feels best. 

4. What type of touch it likes 

Maybe you like when a partner rubs your clitoris in circles. Or maybe you prefer their finger to move left to right or up and down. Or maybe you’re not into fingering at all and are all about that oral. You may even want to demonstrate what kind of touch you like on yourself so that your partner can emulate it, or put your fingers over theirs so they can see exactly what you mean.

5. What part of it is most sensitive 

If you imagine your clitoris like a clock, certain hours may be more sensitive than others. Experiment on your own to see if one o’clock feels extra intense, eight o’clock always makes you cum, or you prefer for the clock hand to move all the way around. Then, let your partner know which area to focus on.

We’re taught that it’s unsexy to communicate during sex, but how are we supposed to get what we want if we can’t say what that is? Explain how you want your genitals to be touched and ask your partner about theirs, too. It will only help both of you give and receive more pleasure.