We’ve somehow gotten it into our heads, societally speaking, that femininity is an enigma. If men are dogs, then women are cats—fickle, inscrutable, and liable to swat at you if you touch them wrong. Turns out, though, it’s pretty clear what women like, sexually. All it takes to figure it out is a partner who’s willing to pay attention.
So listen up. A new study surveyed over 1,000 women about their sexual preferences, and it turns out they’re pretty consistent.
Most people with vulvas and vaginas enjoy direct clitoral stimulation with a medium to light touch in a up-down or circular motion. Congratulations—you’re a sex genius now. Of course, everyone is different, gender is weird, bodies are wild, and your results may vary. Some people will orgasm from very atypical things, and some people won’t orgasm at all—no matter how much they enjoy sex. Then again, heterosexual, cisgender men have variations in sexual stimulation preferences, too—and somehow avoid gaining a gender-wide reputation for being impossible to please in bed. There’s broad advice that anyone will offer: pay attention to the penis. Repeat things that elicit positive responses. Listen to feedback. What if… what if that worked on people without penises, too?
Clitorises (or clitori, if you prefer the faux-Latin) are kind of like tiny penises anyway. When human fetuses develop, there’s a bit called the genital tubercle, which sounds like a particularly virulent STD but is actually the precursor to both the penis and the clitoris. If the fetus produces testosterone, the genital tubercle turns into a penis. If not, it becomes a clitoris, which forms from exactly the same tissue as would have otherwise become the glans and upper shaft.
So: if you encounter a clitoris, treat it as you would the tip of your penis. Direct stimulation is a popular choice, as this recent survey highlights, and consistency is the key to getting most people over the edge. Plenty of folks can climax…