The Anatomy of Pleasure
We've all had the "birds and bees" talk by now, right? Sperm meets egg, fetus is created, 9 months later a baby is born. Of course, it's not as simple as that but you get the picture. What we don't talk about nearly enough is that your genitals and sexual organs aren't just about reproductive health. They're also designed (some more than others) to make you feel good.
When you have a good knowledge of which parts of your body are meant to make you feel good, it's easier to understand what turns you on (and off). And that is powerful. Getting to know your body can help you have a healthy sex life (solo or partnered). Without further ado, let's talk about pleasure and anatomy!
Mind Over Matter
Before we get into the physical parts of your body that contribute to pleasure, let's talk about your biggest sexual organ — your brain. Inside your brain (besides every song lyric you've ever heard) is a section called the hypothalamus. This control center regulates and distributes hormones that contribute to your sex drive and sexual desire like serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, and vasopressin. Your brain also processes pleasure and pain, and communicates with your nervous system to decide what feels good and what doesn't.
Most women, especially, need mental stimulation and emotional connection (also processed by your brain) before they feel sexually aroused. Men, on the other hand, are typically more visually and physically stimulated. Either way, a little mental foreplay always helps to set the mood.
Your genitals are a well-known pleasure zone but getting turned on can be a full body experience by understanding which parts of your body are primed for sex vibes. AKA erogenous zones. That is, non-genital parts of your body that have a high concentration of nerve endings that send signals to your brain alerting it of pleasant sensations.
So, what are your erogenous zones? Everyone is different but, generally speaking, your neck, lips, breasts, and inner thighs can all be used to make you feel tingly below the belt. You can experiment by touching yourself in these places or having a partner do that. Try light touch, more firm pressure, or kissing, licking, and (gentle) biting to see what feels best for you.
Once you understand which parts of your body feel good, you can incorporate them into foreplay.
Ok, so let's get down to some basic pleasure facts, shall we? The clitoris is the only part of your body that is designed for one reason and one reason only — to feel good.
Located right under your mons pubis (where the majority of your pubic hair is) lies your clitoral hood (or glans). Underneath that is the tip of your clitoris. It's a few inches above the opening of your vagina and right in between where your labia meet at the top.
A lot of people go on thinking that this little love nub is all there is to it but that's just not true. Only a quarter of the clitoris is showing and the rest extends back into your body making a wishbone shape that is about 3 inches long.
This part of your vulva is the key to pleasure, at least for the majority of women. According to a study done by Cosmo, 38% of women say that they don't get enough clitoral stimulation needed to orgasm. That's because it's a lot harder for most women to orgasm from intercourse alone, without some clitoris action.
More fun facts about the clitoris (and vagina):
- There are 8000 nerve ending in clitoris (the penis only has 4000)
- 50 to 75% of women who have orgasms need to have their clitoris touched
- The clitoris varies in shapes and sizes
- Clitoris is the Greek word for key (makes sense!)
- A vagina can grow to up to two times its normal size when aroused
- Most of the nerve ending in vagina are located in 1/3 from the vaginal entrance
Obviously, your clitoris is the anatomical key to your sexual pleasure and your erogenous zones are there to lend a helping hand. The other major part of your anatomy that assists in feeling good is your G-spot.
If you were to insert a finger a few inches into your vagina and make a "come here" motion with it, you'd be able to find your G-spot. It's 2 to 3 inches from your vaginal opening on the front wall of your vagina. That being said, many women can't come from intercourse or vaginal stimulation alone (that's why the clitoris is so important).
Though some people have been debating on whether the G-spot exists, it does. Just not all women find it pleasurable, which is totally normal.
Your clitoris, G-spot, erogenous zones, and brain are only a part of what can make you feel good. Your whole vagina is full of nerve endings that, when stimulated, can feel really good. The same is true for the rest of your body. Just because something isn't labeled as an erogenous zone doesn't mean it's not one for you. What's most important here is that you take time to get to know your body and figure out what feels good for you personally.