The clitoris is the sexual organ most involved with sexual pleasure – in fact that’s all it’s there for! The tip of the clitoris is on the outside of your body, but a large part of it is actually hidden away inside you.
The outer part is a small bump between your labia, where they meet at the top. It’s often about the size of a pea, but it can be bigger or smaller. The tip can be covered by a little hood. The colour of a woman’s clitoris depends on her skin tone. It can be pink, deep red, or brown.
The clitoris goes on a long way inside your body – in fact most of it is on the inside. Like a penis, it has a shaft and a sensitive head, but with a clitoris the shaft is inside the body and only the tip is on the outside.
Because the clitoris has 8,000 or more nerve endings it is the most sensitive place for a woman. Especially if you’ve never touched it before, it might feel so sensitive it’s painful.
If the clitoris is stroked, rubbed or licked, it gets a bit bigger. This gives a nice feeling, which gets more intense the longer the stroking goes on, and you can have an orgasm.
Experiment with yourself to see how you like to be touched. You might prefer to stroke or rub to the side of your clitoris or above it if you find it too sensitive to touch directly.
As you get used to the feeling of touching your clitoris and the intense feelings this gives, you become more able to feel the difference between pleasure and discomfort – for many people it’s a fine line. That’s one reason it’s good to experiment and see what you like.
Look for yourself
The clitoris head or tip is at the top of the inner labia, just where the two lips meet.
It's a little bump, measuring between about three and eight millimetres.
It's made rather like a penis, and the tip is like the head of a penis, because it’s very sensitive to the touch.
FAQ's about the clitoris
1. Is it normal that my clitoris tip is so small?
Yes, the tip of the clitoris can be as small as 2 millimetres and as large as 4.5 centimetres! Small clitoris tips are just as sensitive as big ones. Remember most of your clitoris is inside your body anyway – the tip is just the bit you can see. No two women are alike!
2. I can’t find my clitoris. Now what?
Your clitoris may be a bit hidden. Run your finger straight down over your belly, as soon as you reach your labia, you’re there. Your clitoris is right at the top of your labia. You might not be able to see it, but if you touch it with your finger, it feels nice.
If the tip of your clitoris is missing altogether, see the section on female genital cutting.
3. Does my clitoris work?
For many women, their clitoris is the most sensitive and sexually pleasurable part of their body to touch. But for some women their clitoris may not be as sensitive or too sensitive to touch.
Try using a lubricant when you are touching your clitoris. Dab a little lubricant on your finger, and gently stroke your clitoris in a circular motion. See how it feels – is it pleasurable? If it is, as you get more comfortable apply more pressure and carry on.
You’ll begin to feel more intense feelings of pleasure. If this continues, the feeling can grow until eventually you feel a release, an explosion of energy, which is an orgasm.
If you find your clitoris is not as sensitive even after experimenting, it is possible to get aroused by massaging other parts of the body as well, such as inside your vagina, the rim of your anus, or your nipples.