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Heather Corinna replies:
I am in my upper 20's and I have never had an orgasm. I have been sexually active since I was 16. I have mastebated both with and without vibrators and other toys. I enjoy sex, and masterbation, but I can't seem to get aroused enough to orgasm. I have tried what many sites say, squatting over a mirror to get aquainted with my pink parts. I really can't see my clitoris. I see the urethra opening, but nothing else. I don't have any hightened sensation there, and can't find a "Gspot." Only rubbing fingers side to side while pressing hard an inch or two above my clitoris seems to get the sensation, but not strong enough for me to cum. A friend told me I could have a hooded clit and that I would have to have surgery to get it fixed. What is a hooded clit and can it be fixed. Any suggestions on how I can get to the big O. I try to relax. Sometimes I get the feeling that it is close to happening and then I just get distracted and totally lose the feeling.
I get the feeling you (and your friend) are misunderstanding some things about your anatomy.
Here is our article on the female genital anatomy, and you may find keeping the window open so you can see the illustrations helpful while I try and explain things better for you.
For starters, there isn't anything abnormal, or which requires surgery, of all things, about a clitoral hood. A clitoral hood is a normal and integral part of the clitorial anatomy, just like a foreskin is a normal part of the penis. That hood serves a protective purpose, and also often plays a part in sexual stimulus: when we stimulate the clitoris by moving our fingers or anything else over the hood, or move the hood, it provides stimulus to the clitoris. In terms of the size of the hood and the size of the clitoral glans, there is a lot of variety amoung women: some have hoods that totally obscure the glans, and others have smaller hoods which don't cover it much at all. Too, just as with penises, with clitorises and hoods, size varies from woman to woman. Some of the reason you may be having trouble finding your clitoris could just be because you have a clitoris that's on the smaller side.
Too, the urinary opening is VERY small, so being able to see it easily isn't likely. I can't help but wonder if you're not looking at something else, so let's give something a try, much in the way your anatomy is explained in that article.
If you sit down, with your legs open, and place your hand on your mons -- the upper part of your vulva where most of your pubic hair is -- and move your fingers in a line down the center, as you get to the end of your mons, where your outer labia split the very first thing your fingers will encounter is your clitoral hood, and under it, the glans of your clitoris. A little bit below that is your urethra, or urinary opening, and a bit more below that is your vaginal opening.
On to the G-spot: the G-spot, or Grafenberg spot, is inside the vagina or vaginal canal. Usually, it's just an inch or two inside, and it's located on the anterior (front, towards your belly rather than your back) wall. If you slide your fingers inside your vagina and towards the front, you'll feel a spot that feels a little more textured and "spongy" than the rest of your vaginal canal, and that's the G-spot. Understand that it isn't a magic button. While most women do enjoy G-spot stimulation, it doesn't equal any sort of magical instant bliss or guaranteed orgasm. The clitoris isn't a magic button either, but it's far more rich with sensory nerve endings, and that is the one part of the genital anatomy which is most likely, for most women, to result in high sexual sensation, arousal and orgasm when stimulated.
That said, orgasm is about a lot more than simply finding the right parts and touching them. If you're really distracted when you're masturbating, and your mind isn't all that into it, then you're not likely to get or stay highly aroused enough to get to orgasm. Too, when we masturbate or have any sort of sex for the sole or primary purpose of reaching orgasm -- rather than enjoying every part of the process, in the way that, say, we'd enjoy a long run, not just the endorphin rush after -- that often makes orgasm less likely to occur. Orgasm is the end result of a whole process of sexual response, and without the process, we rarely see the end result.
So, do be sure that when you masturbate, you do because the whole works feel good, and you do only when it's something you are giving your full attention to, but without overthinking it. Do perhaps reevaluate your anatomy in light of this conversation, and you can experiment some more, with or without a vibrator, whatever your preference. Too, as is the case in partnered genital sex, lubrication also tends to make a difference: if you're not using a lubricant, I'd suggest you try that as well.
Too, in your late twenties, you most certainly should be getting yearly reproductive health exams -- and if you're sexually active with a partner, your annual sexually transmitted infection tests -- so if you haven't started those yet, now would be a good time to (really, it's far past time if you haven't started yet: it's important for your reproductive health). The extra bonus in doing so is that you can ask your gynecologist or other sexual healthcare provider to show you which parts are what on and inside your genitals, if you still need that illuminated more concretely.
In the interim, just do what feels good to you, and do try not to focus overmuch on the orgasm. Make sure that you're masturbating (or having partnered sex) when you are feeling aroused and relaxed: not during times you're distracted, stressed-out or just bored. While certainly, orgasm isn't irrelevant with any sort of sex, including masturbation, when what we're doing feels very good, in the moment, it really often IS inconsequential, and if we can get in and stay in those moments without distraction or without thinking about orgasm the whole time, not only is orgasm far more likely, we're going to be enjoying ourselves more throughout, which is the whole point!