The clitoris: still the center of my universe

Or: why G-spot stimulation is not the pinnacle of pleasure.

3D-printed clitoris organ, showing the entire external and internal structure, on a galaxy backdrop.

Hi, my name’s Epiphora, and I almost always need clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm.

I thought this was common knowledge, clueless as that may sound. I mean, I write about my genitals on the internet every day of my life — obviously people must know this about me? But something happened the other day that made me realize that may not be true. That perhaps I haven’t been explicit enough about the types of stimulation I like and how, logistically, that plays out in my sex toy testing.

Recently, I struck up a friendship with a new sex blogger. She messaged me one day seeking advice. “I think I’m broken,” she said. “Vaginally.” She had been testing a dildo, she explained, trying her best to angle it toward her G-spot… and yet, she wasn’t enjoying it. She was barely aroused. For half an hour she struggled, failing to reach orgasm.

As a sex educator, I know that sometimes the right answer is the most obvious one. So, first things first, I asked: “were you using a clitoral toy?”

“No,” she replied, “just the dildo.”

“Oh,” I said. “That’s why.”

I may not be the most tactful of people, but I do know my facts. It’s extremely common for people with vaginas to be unable to orgasm from internal stimulation alone. Study after study has shown this. I’m not an unusual case, nor is that blogger. But our interaction made me consider that in my fervor to defend the oft-misrepresented G-spot here on this blog, I may have inadvertently glossed over my biggest source of sexual pleasure: my clitoris.

My clit was my first love. First, I got off with a stream of water in the bathtub, then I graduated to circling a closed Sharpie around my clit through my underwear. Vibrators were a welcome change, especially since inserting anything vaginally hurt. I didn’t start enjoying penetration regularly until about age 23, and there’s no doubt that clitoral stimulation — gratifying and dependable — helped me get to that place.

The more I learned about the clitoris, the more I realized how phenomenal this organ is. It has 8,000 nerve endings, reportedly twice the amount as the penis. It means “key” in Greek. It serves no purpose except pleasure, like a badass. Most exciting of all: it’s a lot bigger than most people think. It extends into the body several inches, resembling a wishbone, with two bulbs that engorge and surround the vaginal canal during arousal.

Sometimes, as a sex blogger, it can feel like the world expects you to be a sexual anomaly. It is your destiny to have all the sex, to find all the ways to experience pleasure, to be a comprehensive slut. Have you tried that toy in your ass? Against your nipples? How is it for cervix stimulation? Can it reach the A-spot? Listen: at the end of the day my clitoris is far, far more necessary to my sexual well-being than any of those. My clit is where I stir arousal. My clit is where everything begins — and, usually, ends.

But what happens between is more murky.

When it comes to the art of sex toy reviewing, some people assume that each toy is tested all by itself, with no interference, as if in a vacuum chamber. I have never done this. I mix and match my toys freely during masturbation. More often than not, I’m testing two toys at once, because the clit stimulation enhances the internal stimulation, and vice versa. It’s a symbiosis that brings out the best in the toys I’m using and produces multi-faceted pleasure. I crave fullness from an insertable, which I usually squeeze with my muscles to enhance the G-spot feelings, but ultimately the sensation is driven by what’s happening to my clit.

My clit is where I stir arousal. My clit is where everything begins — and, usually, ends.
But what happens between is more murky.

I don’t judge insertable toys on how they perform alone, and I don’t believe the only “good” dildos are those that can get me off without a clitoral vibe. I feel about this the same way I feel about testing sex toys with a partner: if I held everything to that higher standard, I’d hate a lot more things.

What would it look like, anyway, to get off without a clitoral vibe? Because I pretty much never do. And here’s a secret: I don’t know what people mean when they ask me about “G-spot orgasms.” Are they referring to squirting — a gush of fluid, a physical marker of climax? What about that breathless, overwhelming rush I get when I fuck myself hard with a G-spot dildo, a sensation that ebbs and flows with the speed of my thrusts? Those can feel like peaks; they can tire me out just like an orgasm. But what if I’m using a clitoral toy, too? Does that nullify the possibility of even having a “G-spot orgasm”?

When folks ask me about G-spot orgasms, it’s usually code for “tell me about THE BEST ORGASM OF ALL” — which is incredibly dangerous rhetoric. There’s no orgasm hierarchy. Sure, squirting is an awesome release that makes me feel superhuman, and intense, targeted G-spot stimulation is a powerful sensation that can feel more full-bodied than clitoral stimulation… but I would never ever want to give up clitoral stimulation or clitoral orgasms. Ever.

Even in the rare case of me briefly eschewing an external toy to fuck myself into oblivion (usually with the aim of squirting all over the floor), my clit is the reason I’m turned on enough to do so.

When I learned that most of the clitoris lies inside the body, I thought, holy shit, that makes so much sense. The world is fixated on separating the clit and G-spot, trying to convince us that the G-spot is this separate entity with its own completely discrete response. While that can be true, it’s far more accurate to treat the clitoris and G-spot as at least somewhat linked. That’s why I think studying and considering the entire CUV complex is the future.

These days, I don’t so much separate G-spot from clitoral pleasure in my mind. If I had to categorize my orgasms, I’d probably call most of them G-spot-enhanced clitoral orgasms, or I’d go into some woo-woo spiel about the CUV and about how all that shit’s connected, man. Despite the fact that I often squirt when I come — well, “dribble” is a more accurate verb — I know that the crux of the orgasm is the clitoris. Not only because of its internal structure, but because without stimulating the external clit, masturbation just doesn’t feel very good.

That’s why the clitoris is so profoundly important to me, and why I’m making a point of writing about it today. I wanted to clarify, to go on the record, to give credit where credit’s due. Yes, many anatomical structures are activated when I masturbate, and yes, my G-spot contributes to and bolsters my sexual satisfaction. But in my heart, or maybe in my pelvis, I know: without my clit, none of that would be possible.