Female Pleasure FAQs with Psychologist Dr. Zhana
Female pleasure isn’t complicated, but it can be complex. Which is probably why there are so many Google searches about this topic. We reached out to one of our favorite psychologists, Dr. Zhana, to help us answer the most frequently asked questions surrounding female pleasure.
What would you like to know about female pleasure?
Hi everyone, this is Dr. Zhana and it’s time to answer some of your amazing questions about female pleasure.
Before we get to all the questions, I do want to acknowledge that this is a strange time, there’s a global pandemic going on and we’re asked to physically distance from other people in ways that our societies have never experienced. But that actually makes it a good time to focus on sexual pleasure, whether by yourself or with a partner.
Q – Everything!
This not-exactly-a-question question is probably my all-time favorite. It’s basically saying ‘tell me everything about female pleasure’! It shows how needed this kind of information is and how not readily available it is to so many people. Unfortunately, we don’t have time for “everything,” but we will cover a lot!
Q – How many different types of orgasms can a female body experience?
Vagina-owners most commonly come in one of three types of orgasms: 1) External clitoral, 2) internal or vaginal (often knowns as the G-spot) orgasm, and 3) a combination of the two, which is often called a blended orgasm.
However, there are other types of orgasms that some people can have. There’s the anal orgasm that comes from stimulating the anus, the cervical orgasm that comes from stimulating the cervix, the breast orgasm orgasm just from breast simulation. Then there’s a coregasm that you can get by engaging your lower abdominals, the breath or Tantric orgasm that you get through a certain type of breathing, and a couple of other ways that are less common.
Feel free to experiment with these different types and see what your body can do, but don’t worry too much if one or more of these types of orgasms proves elusive – we’re all wired in slightly different ways.
Q – Why is it so difficult for some women to climax during traditional intercourse?
Traditional penile-vaginal intercourse is indeed not the best way for a lot of vagina-owners to orgasm. This is because the typical intercourse action—the simple in and out, in and out motion—does not engage either the external clitoris (which would require some sort of rubbing) or the internal G-spot (which would require some come-hither type motion). And, as I said above, one or both of these types of stimulation are necessary for most women to have an orgasm.
Luckily, some external clitoral stimulation is super easy to incorporate into intercourse, whether it’s your own hand, your partner’s hand, or a hand-held clitoral orgasm (anything from the smaller LILY 2 or SIRI 2, to the super powerful Smart Wand).
Q – Is masturbation illegal under a certain age in the UK?
The most reliable way for most vagina-owners to have an orgasm is to do it themselves through masturbation. Research shows that most women who struggle to reach an orgasm with a partner don’t have trouble having one when masturbating. It’s also the safest form of sexual pleasure when it comes to unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, so it’s really a great tool for pleasure.
Luckily, masturbation is not illegal for anyone of any age in the UK, or the US. (As long as it’s done in private; public sex of any kind will get you in trouble with the law pretty much everywhere in the world.) There are very few countries in the world that have laws against masturbation (although a number of countries have laws against sex toys); if you’re not sure about your particular country, make sure you google it!
Q – My hand doesn’t make me come anymore. What do I do?
If your hand no longer makes you come, which can totally happen, there are thousands of different “masturbation helpers”, that is, different kinds of vibrators, that can help you. Browse LELO’s site for some truly amazing options. (Unless you’re living in a part of the world where they’re illegal.)
Q – Three best LELO toys?
Well it’s hard to talk about some of the best toys objectively, because what’s best for you depends on your anatomy and your sexual preferences. But I can give you my personal favorite three LELO toys: it’s SONA, the SORAYA, and the TOR, which is LELO’s vibrating cock ring, which gives me a lot of pleasure when my partner wears it on his penis during penetration.
Q – How is the sensation different in the SONA vs. the SORAYA?
The two toys are quite different. First of all, the SONA is only for external clitoral stimulation, whereas the SORAYA has an internal vaginal as well as an external clitoral part each with it’s own vibrating motor (it’s a dual action vibrator). But more importantly, the sensations that these two produce are actually quite different.
The two SORAYA motors are typical vibrators so they create vibrations on the inside and the outside, whereas the Sona uses sonic waves and pulses that create this sucking-like sensation that’s honestly pretty mind-blowing and goes really deep. So deep, that a lot of vagina-owners have reported squirting just by using the Sona!
Q – Feel worried about my first time (i’m a lesbian). Is there anything I can do to alleviate my nerves?
Five quick tips for that:
- Accept that it is completely normal and natural to feel anxious before your first time. Nobody was born an expert at sex.
- Keep your expectations realistic. This probably will not be the best sex you ever have nor will you perform like a porn star.
- Let your partner know it’s your first time so they know what to expect and can support you in that.
- Take it slow. Engage in lots of foreplay, spread it out over several sessions. Do not rush it.
- Don’t get wasted. People often think alcohol or other drugs can help them relax during their first time, but too much intoxication is likely to lead to a far worse, not a better experience. If you are going to consume some substances, keep them at a minimum.
Q – Is porn healthy? I watch it often while alone. Is that weird?
If you find porn hot, which a lot of us do, there’s nothing inherently problematic or unhealthy or wrong about watching it and watching it often. It also doesn’t matter if you do it alone or with a partner. Actually, most people watch porn alone so there’s definitely nothing weird about that. But if you have a partner who’d be interested, I highly recommend watching porn with your partner, it can be a really fun way to do something new and different.
Watching porn could become problematic for some people, but only if that’s all you were doing, day after day for hours on end; you have no Interest in doing other things, and you’re trying to stop because it’s destroying the other parts of your life, but you can’t and feel really out of control. For the vast majority of people, porn watching does not reach these unhealthy levels.
Q – How do I turn a female partner’s fantasy of anal pleasure to reality? She has a low pain tolerance.
There’s a big misconception about anal sex—that anal sex will hurt—and if you have a low pain tolerance, you can’t have anal. Anal sex, when done right, should not hurt. It might be a little uncomfortable, but it should not hurt. What does done right mean? Two main things.
The first rule of anal sex is go really, really slowly. You don’t start by ramming a big dick down someone’s ass. You start with one finger, then once that’s comfortable and pleasurable, you add a second one Then, once two fingers feel comfortable and pleasurable, you add a third one. You can also use different size butt plugs to slowly open up and relax the anal sphincters. And then even after the penis goes in, go really slowly. Put it in a little bit then pause for a while, then put it in a bit more and pause again. Do this as slowly and as gently as your partner needs it. Be in constant communication and let them be in the driver’s seat on the pace.
The second rule of anal sex is use LOTS and lots of lube. Too much lube is almost enough. Re-apply generously throughout the experience. Water-based lube works for everything. Silicone-based lube is often nicer for anal sex because it lasts longer (but only use it if you’re not using any silicone-based toys: silicone-toys and silicone-lube don’t mix well).
Q – Do you recommend the TIANI for couples’ pleasure?
Yes, I love the TIANI. The TIANI is a couples’ vibrator you can wear hands-free during penetration with the larger part going inside which stimulates the G-spot and the smaller part going over the external clit. It’s not going to work for all positions and all bodies, but it does work for a lot of people and a lot of positions, so give it a shot!
Okay folks, that is it for today. I hope this was useful and you learned something about female pleasure. Please stay safe, stay indoors, socially distance, play with yourselves, your toys, your partners and we’ll see you next month.
Donna is a Volonté contributor and freelancer who lives in San Francisco with her understanding husband and not-so-understanding teenage sons. Her work has been published in The Journal of Sexology and she is currently writing a book on love languages.