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Fingering Techniques and Vulva Massage Strokes



Written by Alice Child, Somatic Sexologist


Sydney-based Somatic Sexologist and Sex & Intimacy Counsellor Alice Child explains her top tips for fingering and how to give a great vulva massage.

A finger fingers an orange

This guide contains general advice only. If you need more tailored advice, please book in a session.


Making a vulva feel amazing is not rocket science. We need to stop the attitude that fingering is just a rushed part of foreplay, and instead turn it into the orgasmic, pleasurable experience it should be! Because when a great vulva massage is done right, it can be truly magical.

If you want to learn how to become an expert in the bedroom - you’ve come to the right place.


Whether it’s learning how to pleasure yourself or a lover, female pleasure anatomy is often shrouded in mystery. And that’s because we simply don’t get enough good sex-positive education. Not knowing what to do (or what to ask for) leaves a lot of people feeling either unsatisfied, nervous, or disconnected in the bedroom.


Despite what you might think, making a vulva feel amazing is not rocket science. We need to stop the attitude that fingering is just a rushed part of foreplay, and instead turn it into the orgasmic, pleasurable experience it should be! Because when a great vulva massage is done right, it can be truly magical.


Here are my top tips for fingering a vulva/vagina - enjoy!


What is the difference between the 'vulva' and 'vagina'?


The first step is to learn vulva/vagina pleasure anatomy; where the pleasure centres are and how they respond to different types of stimulation.


Although lots of people use the word ‘vagina’ to describe all female genitals, the ‘vulva’ is the correct word for everything outside the body (eg the inner / outer labia and the head of the clitoris that sits right at the top of the inner labia) and the ‘vagina’ is the internal part.


This is important because a lot of people -wrongly! - assume that fingering technique is all about internal stimulation in the vagina. And while that can be a very pleasurable part of a great vulva massage, nobody who actually owns a vagina wants intense internal penetration before their body is already feeling nice and ready.


Why does vulva massage / external fingering matter?

External vulva massage is often the most pleasurable part of fingering.



And I’m not just talking about stimulating the clitoris (more on that below!).


Why is lots of foreplay so important?

Just like a penis fills with blood and becomes erect and sensitive during arousal, SO DO VULVAS! This means the more aroused you get, the more your genitals swell and fill with blood, the more your body lubricates, and the more pleasurable sensation you can feel.


But unlike a penis, this process takes time. On average between 20 - 45 minutes before a vulva/clitoris is fully aroused / engorged!


It’s why slowness and lots of foreplay is key for pleasurable sex. You need to give your body time to become aroused and ready for action.


So if you are fingering a pussy don’t go straight for the clitoris/ vagina (before the body is ready). If the receiver needs time to relax, start with slower, relaxing, or teasing touches.


For example:

  • Massage their breasts/ belly / inner thighs

  • Place a hand over their vulva and just hold while you kiss them (the warmth of your hand will feel great)

  • Tease them with slow, gentle fingertips

  • Blow on their vulva (trust me)

  • Massage their inner/outer labia very gently with your fingers and lube

What are the pleasure centres on the vulva?

If you have a vulva, grab a mirror and take a look. Can you find your outer labia, inner labia, clitoris, clitoris hood (the skin that covers the head of the clitoris), urethra (pee hole), and the opening to your vagina? What does it feel like to look and explore? What sensations do each part of your body enjoy?


Pleasure the whole body

The inner and outer labia, the public bone, the inner thighs, the belly, the breasts (in fact the entire body!) are erogenous zones. A great fingering session will pleasure not just the vagina and the clitoris, but explore the whole body!



Book in a chat with a sexologist for a detailed anatomy lesson of the pleasure centres- and learn all of the sex education we should have got at school.


How to pleasure the clitoris

Many people assume the clitoris is like a button - one spot that you should aim for when pleasuring a pussy. But there’s so much more to it beneath the surface.


The head of the clitoris is incredibly sensitive, as there are more nerve endings there (over 10,000!) than anywhere else on the human body. So of course, it can feel amazing when touched, rubbed or stroked.

But for many people, direct clitoral stimulation feels way too intense or even painful! Make sure you read your partners body language and check in with them for what feels good for their body. You might want to try indirect stimulation instead (eg stroking either side) and go very slowly and gently until they are ready for direct touch.


Did you know about the internal clitoris?

What people often don't know is that the whole clitoral structure goes right inside the body. It's between seven and nine cm in size and its only purpose is pleasure! It's made up of erectile tissue - just like the penis. Like a penis, it needs to be filled with blood to become erect and that happens when you're aroused.

Once that happens, there’s a lot of extra sensitivity, not just for the visible area of the clitoris but for the vulva and vagina too. When you’ve been fooling around for a while and your partner is super aroused, the appearance of the vulva will be very different. It’ll be a lot fuller and puffier and more sensitive. And that's because these erogenous tissues and erectile tissues are becoming fully engorged. Grab a mirror and see for yourself!


The structure of the clitoris also helps explain why other places, such as the G-spot, can be so powerfully pleasurable. You hear people talk about clitoral orgasms versus penetrative orgasms. Often they are all clitoral orgasms -you're just stimulating it from either outside or inside the body!

How to read their body language

The most important thing is to give really mindful touch, staying present and reading their body language.


If they do things like moan, sigh, rock their hips, shake, and quicken their breath - they are probably enjoying the type of touch you're giving.


If they pull away or tense, they probably feel the touch is a little too intense or moving too quickly.


How to communicate during fingering

If in doubt - check in. Ask them what they like, what touch they enjoy, and what feels good for their body.


Check in with them and ask questions like:

  • How could this touch feel better?

  • Do you prefer faster or slower?

  • Does it feel better like this or like this?

  • Are you ready for internal touch?


If you receive feedback or direction, try not to get defensive or upset - You are both learning!


Have a learning mindset!

Every body is different, and what feels amazing on one body might feel uncomfortable or even painful on another. Even if you have mastered fingering on one partner, you might need to learn an entirely new technique with somebody else!


Also bodies change from day to day and month to month based on all sorts of reasons such as menstrual cycle and hormonal changes. This means what feels great one day might not feel great another.


Don't chase orgasm

We often fixate a lot on orgasm being the goal of sex, and that can be really harmful.


Many people, particularly women, can find it difficult to reach orgasm with a partner, and putting this pressure on people often makes it even more elusive (and means they struggle to get out of their head and enjoy the moment!).


The more that we try and take the goal of orgasm out of our minds, and instead just focus on how to give and receive the best pleasure possible, the better. Besides - just because someone didn't climax doesn't mean that they had a bad time.


Don't use porn as education

Porn is often where we get ideas and where we learn new positions and new things to try. And while that can be helpful, it isn't designed to be educational. It's fast, intense mental stimulation to help people get off. It isn't often representative of what feels good!


Should I use lube?

Yes! Lube makes everything feel better - more pleasurable, more sensation. If you really want to give them a treat, warm it up.


Warmth helps increase blood flow, meaning arousal, sensation and pleasure will come more quickly.


Try different strokes

Variety is the spice of life, so it’s always fun to try a new stroke every now and again. See what works for you / your partners body.


Here are some of my favourite strokes you can try!




Enjoy!

Alice


Alice Child - Somatic Sexologist, Sex Therapy & Sex Counsellor - helps people achieve happier and healthier sex lives through 1:1 sex coaching, couples sex counselling, hens parties, and workshops. Book a session here.


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