Getting into Bed Support Clean Sheets: Visit the Bookstore

Going Digital

by Jaie Helier

Fingering a woman -- for men who need to know, and women looking for extra tricks!
(Focus on clitoral stimulation.)

Learning Your Way Around

Which way is up? Well, I guess it depends what you're trying to do. A couple of years ago I saw a relatively frank TV program in which they showed a rough drawing of a cunt to a line of guys and asked them to put a red dot where they thought the clitoris was. Around seventy per cent of them got it wrong. Not just wrong, but radically wrong. Just as well they didn't ask them where the urethra was!

On the other hand, I remember a girl who told me about the first guy she screwed -- it was in the shed at the bottom of her parents' garden -- and how pissed off she was when he wanted to take away the cloth she had hung at the window, to let some light in. She said she didn't see why, just because she was having sex with him, he should get to look at her body.

Given the circumstances in which many guys first encounter vaginas, no wonder they don't tend to know their way around. Straight penis-vaginal sex can be wonderful but it can also be risky and frustrating with someone you don't know -- and even with someone you do know. So wouldn't it be nice to feel confident with the alternatives?

Why Finger at All?

Let's imagine she has invited you home with her and then into her bed. If you have the choice, why would you want to masturbate her instead of (or in addition to) simply screwing her? Here are a few possible reasons:

  • if you do it right she will probably enjoy it very much and may climax from it -- this will almost certainly result in her being very pleased with you.
  • it is one of the most beautiful and erotic experiences in the world, almost in the rare privilege category, watching a woman enjoy sexual feelings you are giving her.
  • it makes a really delightful in-between stage for people who haven't decided they want to go all the way, and she will learn a lot about you from the way you treat her body.

    On a more practical basis (for men):

  • if you can't get an erection or tend to ejaculate early, which happens often (especially in a first time circumstance), clitoral stimulation is a way of giving her a beautiful experience while buying yourself time, taking the tension out of it and getting to know a little more about her body and responses.
  • even if you have a monumental erection and never ejaculate early, many women have difficulty climaxing during intercourse, no matter how much they may enjoy it.

    And then there are health reasons:

  • obviously, women do not get pregnant or become non-virgins (an important distinction for some), from being digitally stimulated.
  • assuming you have clean hands (washing them before you start and afterwards), you are less likely to communicate STD's by carefully fingering her than by many other sexual activities.

    One final important reason:

  • during and after menopause, women can sometimes be very tender inside their vaginas and, for some, that can make penetrative sex very uncomfortable. Exterior masturbation, though, can be very pleasant for them.

And, of course, clitoral stimulation is great fun in addition to intercourse and other sexual activities.

How to Make it Happen

Try to get the ambience as comfortable as you can in the circumstances. Think of warmth, low light (be careful with candles in bedrooms), stroking, talking, massage, laughter, discovering her. Take your time and help her to feel relaxed -- thinking of her pleasure will often help you to feel relaxed too. Listen to her. Look at her. Make sure you're picking up the signals she is giving you. Try not to touch her cunt until you feel that's what she really wants you to do. Even then consider making her wait.

When you decide to let her have what she wants, start letting your fingers drift down her thighs. Let her draw you in. She will probably part her legs; she may shift towards your hand. Let her wait. She won't get bored if you tease her a little. Tickle the insides of her thighs, letting your hand lightly touch her pubic hair (if she has any).

Disturbing the pubic hair that grows lower down around the labia can be delightful, but don't touch the flesh there yet. Stroke her belly, tickle the crevices at the top of her thighs and let your fingers drift through the pubic hair that grows just under the bikini line. It's the beginning of her mound and, sensitized, it can give her lots of delicate erotic feelings. Let your fingers trickle down to the side of her mound.

Be light and gentle when you touch her pussy, especially at the beginning. It is better to encourage her to tell you if she wants it harder. For some women, pressing hard or rubbing too early can be quite unpleasant. The whole area around the vulva is gorgeously sensitive, which means that the skin there may respond to the slightest touch with pleasing effect, but if you are too harsh that may quickly overwhelm all those sensitive nerve-endings and just feel raw or even painful.

If you want to know how sensitive the area of her vulva is just try blowing on it. The reaction you get will give you some idea of how light your touch can be. Above all, at this stage avoid letting your finger directly touch her clitoris which, by the way, is at the top of her slit (assuming she is lying on her back).

As you gently stroke and tickle the outer labia she may be inclined to open her legs wider, which is about the most encouraging thing she could possibly do. It is a sign that you are doing it right and that she wants more. Her outer labia may also swell a little which makes them open and reveal the inner labia.

Don't be afraid to look at her cunt. It can be very erotic for her to know that she is completely exposed to you. A cunt can also be very beautiful and you should let her know that. If you kiss her there she will certainly get the idea that you like what you are seeing but let's not get into that -- we're concentrating on clitoral stimulation today.

By this stage she is probably very wet and you will notice that as you stroke her inner labia all friction ceases. Generally speaking, this is the best possible lubricant on earth. Touching her when she is wet is a fabulous feeling and once the juices are there they usually renew themselves constantly so that the silky smooth frictionless feeling stays. In some women these juices may become a little thinner just before an orgasm, which has the effect of naturally increasing the friction.

Another possibility is that, just as sometimes a man may fail to get an erection, sometimes for one reason or another a woman may not become wet or not wet enough. It doesn't mean she doesn't like you or isn't enjoying herself; it can happen for all sorts of reasons. If you're there it's because she wants you there, so don't be put off by dryness. Probably the best solution is a commercial lubricant.

If you don't have any lubricant, don't panic, just be careful. You can stroke her, but to counter an unacceptably high level of friction stay very light and, even though it may seem that you're scarcely touching her at all, you will probably find she's getting lots from it. It is also extraordinary how well saliva can function as a lube. It actually lasts quite well, and once you have moistened her this way sometimes her own moisture production may get the message and take over.

Let's assume she is beautifully soaking wet and she's enjoying every move you've made so far. This is probably a good time to explore the folds and crevices of her pussy. Don't feel you have to enter her with your finger unless she really wants you to. Every woman is different, but entering her is not always going to be the most desirable thing or the thing that gives her the most pleasurable feeling. (Of course, there are also those women who don't enjoy direct clitoral stimulation and/or prefer vaginal fingering. We'll leave that for another article.)

For now, explore the area around the opening of her cunt, concentrating on the lower area and on the area down near her anus. The perineum, the area between her asshole and her pussy, can have lots of sensitivities. Often the anus itself can be very erotically sensitive, but keep in mind that to enter her anus with your finger if you are then planning to use that finger on her cunt is never a good idea. There is a serious risk of contamination that only a thorough washing will reduce. Even gently rimming the area round her anus with your finger can carry a risk of infection so try not to use the same finger that you will use anywhere near her vagina.

Just at or above the opening to her cunt you will feel you are pressing on something hard -- bone, to be precise. Pressure there can give strong feelings and I am told that some women can climax from pressure on this area alone -- I don't know how true that is but it can certainly give pleasure. Be careful about pressing hard and moving your fingers at the same time.

Press with different parts of your hand. Alternate this with stroking her. Use long delicate strokes over the whole length, disturbing the flesh and letting the folds of it close around your finger. Let your fingers wander around that whole soft wet area and up towards her clit. Try not to touch her clit yet but begin instead to stimulate the area around it. Little circular journeys around her clitoris will take her into a new phase of arousal.

Don't forget the mound itself. If you press on the outside of her vulva with two or three fingers, closing it, and gently move your fingers in a circular motion then all the surfaces on the inside will rub together -- this, combined with the pressure of your fingers, is good and can give her strong feelings without any friction on the tender inside surfaces. Experiment with the pressure to find what she likes.

After a while, lay three fingers flat pointing downwards over the length of her pussy. One will automatically tend to slip between the lips while the other two stay on either side of her mound. Move them softly up and down the whole length, staying on the surface. Be aware of the fact that part of the palm of your hand may also be lightly brushing on the fleshy area around her clit and causing a little friction there. This will help prepare her clit for you to able to touch it soon. Allow your middle finger to sink between the lips of her cunt. It should be very wet inside there at this stage.

Move your finger up and down in long strokes that use the whole length of the finger on the whole length of her pussy. Again you may be gently brushing the clit at this stage -- you will hear and feel from her reactions whether and how much she wants this. Alternate this with little fingertip explorations of her clit area, again without pressing too hard or rubbing on the clit itself. The more you do this, the more she will begin to let you know when she wants more direct stimulation.

When she does, be careful how you approach any direct rubbing of the clitoris. For most women the clitoris, like the nipples, becomes more resilient as sexual arousal increases. In other words, if you touch her clit too early it may be uncomfortable but later in the process when she is much more aroused, it will swell a little and she may want you to rub it quite hard. But remember, every woman is different and needs to be treated as such. Above all, listen to her!

By this time you may have the feeling that she is very aroused and therefore that once you begin to touch her clitoris directly she will come quite quickly. That is not necessarily the case, so make sure you are being measured about this stage of the process. Try not to let yourself get into the pattern of going faster and faster. It is often more arousing for her if you maintain slow full strokes that take in the full length of her slit with your whole finger sliding over her clit in the process and then coming back the same way.

Her reactions may become much more extreme when you're directly touching her clit, but that doesn't necessarily mean she's on the edge. Realize that if you allow yourself to race and she doesn't come quickly then there's a limit to how fast you can go and how long you can keep it up. There is absolutely no rule to when any woman will climax and your sole purpose in life is just to go on giving her a great time until, for whatever reason, she's ready to stop. So stay calm -- let her be the one to get carried away.

The chances are that she will climax at least once and, assuming she does, don't just drop her and expect a pay-off. She may like you to go on stimulating her, even for a long time, though very probably she will find it uncomfortable if you continue direct contact with her clit. In any case she will be very happy if she feels you are taking care of her. Often, just holding her and stroking her afterwards is fantastic.

She feels good because she's just had a beautiful climax; you feel good because you gave it to her. Again it is important to stress that the idea here is to enjoy every moment of this -- her reactions, the closeness and trust, the sight of her body, the scents and feel of her, the knowledge that she is reacting to you and appreciating what you are doing. Don't try to hurry it up. Go at her pace.

Remember, you're not there simply to make her come -- you're there to create erotic feelings for you both to enjoy. If she feels you are enjoying it too she will be more likely to relax, probably climax, perhaps climax again. She may eventually utter those most wonderful words, 'Now, what would you like me to do for you?' If she does, ask for what you really want. She's saying you've earned it.

©1998 by Jaie Helier

In the coming months (or maybe years, who knows?) we hope to travel many byways of sex and sexuality. Whether the sex is gay, straight, or other, our main purpose will be to explore some of the ways to add excitement to sex and relationships. We don't claim to know everything, but we'll do our best to find the people who do have answers for you (or sometimes we'll just tell you what we think). You can join in too -- send us your ideas, questions, opinions, and perspectives to

-- Jaie Helier and H.L. Shaw




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