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The Ultimate Guide to Fingering a Woman: 11 Tips from our Sex Experts

9 min read
The Ultimate Guide to Fingering a Woman: 11 Tips from our Sex Experts

When done right, fingering can be an incredibly pleasurable, earth-shattering, orgasmic experience. However, when it's done incorrectly, it can be THE WORST. I remember a hookup with a nice beard and purple beanie who put his hands down my pants and immediately went full-jack hammer with no warm-up - I think he mistook my look or horror for that of pleasure. 

I will also never forget this gorgeous man I met at the bar who was a smooth talker, but when things got heated, he had the grossest, longest nails and cut the inside of my vagina. Instead of a night of pleasurable sex, I decided to go home, get some New York pizza and question my life decisions.

Some folks may think that fingering is a pretty basic part of foreplay. However, trust me when I say that it can be a vital part of a sexual encounter and make or break determining if a sexual encounter will escalate. 82% of women can’t orgasm during penetration without clitoral stimulation. 

This so-called “foreplay,” which should involve touching a vulva in a pleasurable way, can often be our “main act.” 

As a result, we brought together experts in the field to discuss steps one can take to become an exceptional fingerer.

The Importance of Understanding Vulva Anatomy

Before we get into the specifics of becoming a fingering master, it’s essential to understand how the vulva works. 

 

As sex and relationship therapist Kat Kova explains:

“Just like if you were trying to get a car running, you would need information about the car's parts to do so, you need to know what the vulva is to make that kitten purr!”

It is incredibly helpful to have words to discuss different body parts.

For example, Jacee Niblett, a Certified Sex Coach & clinical sexologist, shared it would be helpful to ask,

"how do you like your clitoris to be touched?" or understand what a partner means when they say, "stroke my labia."

Indeed,  Niblett shared, 

"Becoming familiar with the different parts: where they are located, how sensitive they are is going to give you the foundation necessary for touching one.”

Many of us don’t understand vulva anatomy. Research shows that 37% of brits could not identify the clitoris on a diagram, and more than half of folks were unsure how many holes women have below (three)!  Also, 58% of people were unsure what a urethra does, 47% didn’t know what the labia are, and 52% didn’t know what the vagina is.

There has been a focus on male pleasure above female pleasure in research, porn, and our sexual scripts. For example, pornography shows significantly more blow jobs and hand jobs than cunnilingus and fingering.  Doctors didn't even bother to map the internal structure of the clitoris until the 1990s when a female doctor finally investigated our main pleasure center. So let’s go through the anatomy basics to help shift this discrepancy and give you the tools necessary to pleasure a vulva.

Anatomy of the Vulva

Figure 1

Anatomy of the Vulva Diagram

Figure 2

Anatomy o the Female Genitalia Diagram

 

BODY PART

 FUNCTION

Vulva

The vulva is the outer part of the female genitalia. It includes the labia majora, labia minora, vaginal hole and clitoris.

    Vagina

    The vagina is the internal part of the female genitalia, including the cervix, uterus, etc.  This is the hole that you would put a tampon or penis inside but does not include the external structures that often feel the most pleasurable for women.

      Clitoris

      The clitoris is the key to pleasure for people with vulvas.  The clitoris includes an external nub (the head) and a vast internal structure that wraps around the vaginal hole and the anus.

        Labia minora

        The labia minora are the two inner folds of skin that surround the opening of the vagina.

          Labia majora

          The labia majora are the outer lips - encompassing the labia minora, the clitoris, the urethra, and the vaginal opening.

            Perineum

            The perineum is a sensitive area between the anus and the vulva.

              Anus

              The anus is the opening of the rectum to the outside of the body.  It is also a sensitive area.

                Urethra

                The urethra is a duct that releases urine from the bladder.

                  G-Spot

                  An area about two inches inside the vagina - on the anterior wall can be pleasurable when stimulated.

                     

                    1. Take your time

                    The more time you wait before touching the vulva, the more excited your partner will be to feel your touch.  Take your time touching your partner's breasts, thighs, and other body parts as you slowly get closer to the holy grail. As Dr. Nazanin shares,

                    "Consider what you can do to get your partner turned on so that they beg for you to start fingering them rather than going in cold and potentially hurting them.” 

                    I can not think of one time that a partner took too long on foreplay, but I can think of many times when someone jumped to the genitals far too fast! Dr. Nazanin recommends:

                    “Spend ten to twenty minutes arousing your partner with a massage, kisses, or other caresses before beginning to finger them—and always ask to ensure they’re ready.” 

                    Even once you are ready to begin fingering the area, see if you can start by touching them over their clothes so that they are truly aching for it!”  Kova agrees, suggesting that you “Stay near the opening of the vagina for a while.

                    This can feel like a nice, slow tease, and it can also build trust and safety, which are essential to feeling and staying turned on for most people.”

                    2. Explore different parts of the vulva

                    The vulva has similar erectile tissue as the penis.  As arousal increases, the area becomes engorged with blood. Dr. Moali, shares that:

                    “This “erectile network” includes not only the clitoris but also vestibular bulbs, a urethral sponge surrounding the urethra, otherwise known as the “g-spot,” and is accessible along the top side of the vagina, from the inside".

                    Women have a vast sexual playground, and not everybody will feel pleasure in the same areas.

                    In addition, there is a perineal sponge located between the vagina and anus, which can be stimulated through the bottom of the vagina, around 0.5-1.5 inches in.” Women have a vast sexual playground, and not everybody will feel pleasure in the same areas, so when you finger a vagina, explore different areas and see how your partner reacts.

                    3. Incorporate the clitoris

                    The clitoris is the major pleasure center. As a result, for most people with vulvas, finding a way to incorporate the clitoris while you finger your partner can make it much more pleasurable. You can start by softly rubbing the clitoris before putting a finger inside your partner. While fingering your partner, see if you can use your other hand to gently rub the clitoris or switch back and forth from fingering them to rubbing their clitoris.

                    4. Communicate

                    There is no one correct way to pleasure a vulva because each person is unique. Kova shares,

                    “Know that each person is going to vary in their likes and preferences, which include whether or not they like their vulva to be touched or their vagina fingered in the first place, how fast, at what angle, with how many fingers and use of/amount of lube"

                    The best way to learn what feels good for your partner is to ask them.

                    If they are unsure, you can explore together while keeping the communication open.  You can develop a system where they share how pleasurable the sensation feels by rating it on a scale from one to ten, or if that feels too technical, have a conversation about what sensations feel the best. Get comfortable checking in with your partner throughout the sexual encounter.

                    Ask them if they prefer softer or harder, one or two fingers, and which angle they prefer. They are the only ones who know what feels best for them, so checking in with them. Communication is the most essential way to increase pleasure for your partner!

                    Explore the World of sexual intimacy and relationship with your partner

                    5. Wash your hands and cut your nails

                    Wash your hands before touching anywhere near a person's genitals. Otherwise, you increase the chance of bacterial infection, among other things.  Also, please cut your nails! Trust me, nothing is more uncomfortable than feeling someone's sharp nail inside you.  I would also make sure to clean between your nails so there is no dirt. 

                    Cleanliness is sexy, and something seemingly small, like forgetting to cut your nails, can be a huge turn-off!

                    6. Explore the Anal and Perineal area

                    The perineum and anus both have a lot of nerve endings, so finding a way to incorporate that area can feel fantastic. Remember, you don’t have to finger the anus, you can simply rub your fingers around the area to increase sensation. This can feel fantastic in conjunction with fingering, as it simultaneously activates many pleasure centers.

                    Kova also suggests touching another sensitive area. “At the bottom of the inner folds of the vulva, right above the perineum (which separates the vagina from the anus), is a sensitive area called the fourchette, which you can also trace with your fingers at first. Slow and steady at first, and then if your partner likes faster stimulation and ask if they would like more fingers and increased speed or a different angle.”

                    7. Use Lube

                    A common myth is that if the simulation is right, lube is not necessary. I’m here to tell you that simply isn’t the case. Not all vulvas become wet when aroused; even if wet, lube makes fingering smoother and easier. Nothing feels worse than someone trying to put their finger inside a dry vagina, so I recommend showing up to a sexual encounter with lube and putting a little bit on your hand before putting a finger inside someone.

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                    8. Include G-spot stimulation

                    The G-spot is the textured patch of erectile tissue about 2-3 inches inside the vagina towards the front wall facing one’s stomach. It is an angle that is difficult to reach during solo play without a toy, so it can be a great way to provide your partner pleasure that they can’t receive without you. 

                    The G-spot is the textured patch of erectile tissue about 2-3 inches inside the vagina towards the front wall facing one’s stomach

                    If you employ the come hither motion with your fingers and engage in harder stimulation, your partner may also squirt. Remember, not everybody enjoys harder, faster fingering, so I recommend checking in with your partner if you are going to speed it up too intensely!

                    9. Watch your partner touch themselves

                    The best way to learn exactly how your partner experiences pleasure is to watch them touch themselves. Jace shares:

                    “Fingering is an art form, and if you want to be really good at it, one of the best things you can do is watch your partner self-pleasure with their fingers.”

                    Not only do you get a free show, but you also can see what feels pleasurable for them and mimic their movements.

                    10. Use toys!

                    Can your fingers vibrate?  I didn’t think so!  It can be really fun to finger your partner while using a toy.  For example, you can finger their vagina while using a toy on their clitoris.  Or you can finger their anus while they use a dildo in their vagina. Or you can rub their clitoris while they put a dildo inside their vagina. The possibilities are endless, and additional tools can help intensify the pleasurable stimulation.

                    11. Don’t switch it up near orgasm

                    The best thing you can do when your partner is showing signs they are getting close to orgasm is to keep doing exactly what you’re doing! Do not vary the speed, angle, or motion at all! For penises increasing speed before orgasm often feels good, but for most vulva owners, consistency is KEY. I don’t care if your arm is hurting. Once we are getting close, please do not stop or switch it up!

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                    Summary

                    With a basic understanding of anatomy, healthy communication with your partner, and some specific tips - you will be able to master the fingering game. Remember to focus on your partner's verbal and non-verbal cues to ensure they enjoy what's happening. With some enthusiasm and an openness to learning, it can’t go wrong.  Happy Exploring :)

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