Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms – Which are Better?

Vaginal vs. clitoral orgasms – which are better?

I get this question all the time. A lot of people – men and women – are really confused about female orgasms.

Mike’s Story – Wife Doesn’t Orgasm from Penetration

-35yo, married 8 years, 2 kids

Mike    My wife never comes during sex. I think I just don’t turn her on.


Me       She never orgasms at all?


Mike    No, she orgasms. Just not during sex. It always takes either oral or manual.


It’s really bugging me. What am I doing wrong?


I don’t bring it up anymore cause she gets so pissed, says I’m putting pressure on her.

Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms – Which are Better?

I don’t write much on specific sexual techniques because good sex is mainly about attraction.

Basically, when attraction is low, you can do no right; and when attraction is high, you can do no wrong.

That said, this topic really messes with people’s minds, both men and women, and comes up often enough that I want to move away from concept and theory and jump into technique.

What we’ll cover:

  1. Difference in vaginal and clitoral orgasms
  2. Why she does – or doesn’t – orgasm from intercourse
  3. #1 factor for vaginal orgasms
  4. 8,000 nerve endings!
  5. Techniques that can help

A Brief Orgasm Primer

Vaginal vs. Clitoral O’s

For women, orgasms are typically divided into 2 different types – vaginal or clitoral. (More on that later.)


Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms – Which is Better?

She needs some level of clitoral stimulation to orgasm

A vaginal orgasm is defined as an orgasm that occurs through intentional stimulation of only the vagina.

Clitoral orgasms, on the other hand, require some level of stimulation to the clitoris, whether that involves hands, toys, mouth, or penis.

(In case you’re wondering, the most common pronunciation puts the accent on the first syllable – KLIT’ or ris )



How She Orgasms

For guys, orgasms are fairly simple. Stimulate the penis long enough, especially the head, or glans, and orgasm is almost inevitable – 95% of heterosexual men reach their peak through penetrative sex.

For women, the basic structures are not all that different.

A woman’s clitoris is analogous to a man’s penis, complete with glans. She needs some level of stimulation to her glans in order for her to hit that O.

(Picture trying to orgasm with no stimulation to your glans. Probably not going to happen.)

Her clitoral corpus cavernosum is composed of the same type of erectile tissue as yours and fills with blood as she gets aroused, just as yours does.

But she has 8,000 nerve endings packed into that tiny area, compared to the 4,000 you have in your glans!

So, the overall mechanics are basically the same; however, there are a couple of different routes she can take to get there.

Clitoral Geography

The visible part of the clitoris you can see is just the tip of the iceberg.

Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms – Which is Better?

Orgasms are all about the terrain

Whereas on you, basically everything is out in the open, her clitoris is mostly buried deep below. 

Picture her clitoris as a 3D model.

The glans and hood lie within easy reach, but look at the underlying wishbone-shaped structure that lies below the skin’s surface (darker pink in the image).

Those structures extend internally for another 1cm and as you can see, are quite spread out.

(That’s why it can feel so good – once she’s aroused – for you to take the palm of your hand and press quite firmly over the whole area.)

Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms – Which are Better?

In the orgasm wars, the clitoris comes out the clear winner.

A whopping 70% of all women don’t orgasm via penetration. They need clitoral stimulation in order to get there at all. And even if they can hit that peak via intercourse, most women say clitoral stimulation intensifies their vaginal orgasms.

One study puts the number even lower, with only 1 in 5 women able to orgasm from vaginal sex alone.

So, what gives with that? Why do some women get there with penetrative sex and some need clitoral stimulation?

It’s All About the Terrain

Here’s where it gets interesting.

Whether she orgasms from penetration alone depends on her anatomy – specifically, how close her clitoris is to her vagina.

Turns out that the small minority of women who climax during intercourse have a clitoris that is close enough to the vagina (C-V distance) that the penis moving in and out provides enough stimulation to the clitoris to trigger orgasms.

Interesting aside … looks like C-V distance is likely determined by testosterone exposure in utero, with women who were exposed to higher levels of testosterone having a longer C-V distance and thus being less likely to orgasm from penetration alone.

Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms – Which are Better?

So, in a sense, the whole vaginal vs. clitoral thing is basically a moot issue because all orgasms are technically clitoral orgasms, with the only difference being whether the clitoris is being stimulated internally or externally.

If she doesn’t get there from penetration, it’s nothing you’re doing right or wrong; it’s not because she’s frigid or not into you. It’s just simple mathematics.

Hopefully, knowing this takes a lot of pressure off … for you and for your wife.

Techniques that Can Help

That said, a lot of guys really want the sensation of those vaginal contractions on their penis as she orgasms.

If it’s super important to either of you that she orgasms from intercourse, you can always try adding some manual stimulation with your or her fingers, or a toy.

You can also try changing positions or try changing the angle of penetration using pillows, so your penis comes into closer contact with her clitoris.

Positions Better Suited for Vaginal Orgasms

1.   Spooning

Try spooning her from behind so your hand is free to stimulate her clit while you thrust.

You’ll probably need to switch up positions to reach your own orgasm.

2.   Her Legs Closed

Have her close her legs during penetration with your legs on the outside. Sometimes the tighter squeeze is enough to intensify sensation to her clit.

3.   Face-to-Face Lying on Sides

This one works well for a lot of people.

Start in missionary and then without pulling out, roll her so you’re both partially on your sides facing each other.

Then use your hand to provide the extra clitoral stimulation she needs.

Side benefit – also allows for breast play.

It’s not exactly a vaginal orgasm because you’re not really thrusting while she orgasms, but it does let you feel her contract around your penis.

4.   From Behind

Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms – Which is Better?

Orgasms are good, no matter where they originate

Penetrate from behind and have her stimulate her own clit with either her fingers or a vibrator. 


Penetrate from behind but have her lie flat on her stomach. This can change the angle and add just enough pressure to get her there, especially if she uses her fingers to stimulate her clit.

 5.   Her on Top

Her on top, whether facing you or facing away from you, is a classic and works well for a lot of women.

Women who enjoy intense sexual leadership tend to not like being on top, so this is a trial-and-error thing.

6.   Alternate Slide & Thrust

During regular penetrative sex, try sliding out occasionally and gliding your penis over the top of her clitoris. Sometimes the added stimulation does the trick.

Although honestly, it may break the rhythm so much that she just wants to kill you, especially if she likes vigorous thrusting.  : )

A woman either loves or despises this one, there’s no in-between.

7.   Timing

Not a position, but make sure to try all the experimentation when she’s ovulating and more sexually open.

That can make a huge difference!

And remember, if attraction needs shoring up, none of this will work as well. Focus on building attraction first, and then come back to this.

Vaginal vs. Clitoral Orgasms – Which are Better?

At the end of the day, orgasms are lovely no matter from whence they come.

She’s not broken, and neither are you.

In fact, at least one study suggests that, “Women who reported primarily stimulating their clitoris to reach orgasm reported higher trait sexual drive and higher sexual arousal to visual sexual stimulation and were better able to increase their sexual arousal…”

So there’s that. It’s all good.

Have fun; play hard! And let orgasms rain!

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