What You Should Have Learned in Sex Ed
Whether you sport a dong or a vulva, there are certain things you learned in your middle or high school sexual education class… and certain things you didn’t. You probably can recognize the goat head-shape of the fallopian tubes, but what about the only organ on the body that is there solely to provide pleasure: the clitoris? That sucker is more than just a tiny pearl; she’s an entire complex! Or how about the scrotum? You know that exists and it just kinda comes with the package (no pun intended), but when face-to-face with the one-eyed snake, what do you do with his two buddies that are tagging along?
Don’t worry… even the sexperts who teach courses or offer advice to the sex positive community were pretty clueless at one point. Sex educator (and champion squirter) Lola Jean said she thought her labia minora was her clitoris for the longest time and she wasn’t the only one who thought that based on her conversations with other women.
Like much of what we learned in math or social studies, what we learned in Sex Ed isn’t super useful on a daily basis. Sex Ed taught you on the same level as finding the hypotenuse of a triangle, but we’re going to teach you the sexual equivalent of balancing your bank account or comparing unit prices in the grocery store.
So, what should we know?
The Clitoral Complex
Ah, the clitoris! The only organ in the body whose sole function is to provide pleasure… but don’t underestimate what you might think is a tiny pearl. Oh no, the clit is blingin’, baby. Like, jeweler to the stars!
The clitoris has erectile tissue, just like a penis, but it isn’t as easy to get to (think of a vagina versus an erect penis in your face…one is more literally in your face than the other). The erectile tissue on vulva-owners extends into the body and around the vulva like a wishbone.
Basically, this is the map:
Everyone is set up a little differently. Your genitals don’t look like your friend’s and you probably orgasm differently, too. (Any involuntary muscle flutter is an orgasm, so let’s not worry about getting it “right.”) I have a friend who is always concerned about her “extra-long labia,” but everyone is beautifully unique in shape, size and color.
It Taint What You Think
During her presentation at the 2017 Sex Expo, Ducky Doolittle called the perineum “the unsung hero near your butthole.” It’s an extension of the erectile tissue in both male and female anatomy, so have at it. Play with it and experiment with different touches like softly running your nails on it (no fucked up claw hands… keep your nails snag-free), licking it or pressing a vibrator on a “thump” setting against it. The perineum also responds well to stroking, much like the shaft of the penis.
If you’re trying to hit “the” spot, you want to insert your fingers (into the vagina typically for women or the anus commonly for men) and curl them in a “come here” motion. The G-spot isn’t in the same place in every body (penis or vagina owners), but a good place to start for women is under the bellybutton (from the inside, of course). Also, the first inch or so of the vagina has lots of lovely nerve endings, so the out-stroke can be a magical touch even if the G-spot sits this round out.
Face Your Fears Head On
The head (glans) of the penis is the most sensitive part. It is packed with nerve endings. Typically, foreskin acts like a clitoral hood, so if the person is circumcised, the glans might not be as sensitive. Cut or not, the glans loves to be licked, sucked and responds well to temperature play.
The frenulum is sort of the face of the penis and it connects the glans to the shaft. This is a no pressure zone! You don’t want to bruise any plumbing inside, so stick to licking and sucking here:
The shaft is like the quarterback of Team Genitals; it gets all the credit, so most people spend most of their time working the shaft. The QB works well under pressure, so (while communicating with your partner and paying attention to their reactions) give this a nice grip.
Sticking with the sports analogies (which is hilarious because I know very little about sports), don’t forget the balls. The testicles are often left out. Not cool, man. You might not pick them first for your team in gym class; they aren’t MVP like the shaft, but they are at least as important as a water boy or bat girl.
Please do not suck the testes into your mouth, no matter how fun it is to pop them in like grapes. That suction you might get a kick out of is painful and can cause damage. Having said that, the hanging skin is tougher than you think, so again, communicating with your partner, you can tug on it or clamp it (clothespins work great here… put them on and remove them with your teeth).
The testicles also respond to a bit of pressure, some licking and light sucking.
(Un)Cover Your Ass
Whether the anus is connected to a vagina or a penis via the perineum, this could take oral sex to the next level. Always consider hygiene and don’t mix butt germs into the vagina, for example, but you can stimulate the prostate through the perineum (get out that thumping vibrator) or insert a finger into the rectum. A rocking motion or gentle in-and-out is nice.
Remember: Lube is your friend. If you are practicing safer sex with barrier protection, hospital-type latex or vinyl gloves are muy useful.
“But Kim, I’m not into butt stuff!”
OK, fine. Skip the anus… but first give it a try. Make sure everyone involved has pooped, showered, shaved and (if available) freshly from the bidet. The anus has lots of nerve endings that can be accessed without penetration. Just a lubed finger flicking or rubbing over the anus or an exploratory lick or two can create shockwaves.
Confidence is sexy and knowing your own body can help you pleasure another person, but communication is key to making sure everyone gets what they want. Spice it up as part of the dirty talk (as you would consent) or explore your lover’s body and watch their reaction to see what sets off fireworks.