5 Ways To Enjoy Penetration More If You Don't Feel Much Sensation

Ashley Batz for Bustle

You sometimes hear that only a quarter of people with vaginas consistently orgasm through intercourse alone. What you hear about less often is that many not only don't orgasm but don't feel much at all during vaginal penetration. This is actually really common and not a problem unless it bothers you. But it also doesn't destine you for a lifetime of pleasure-less intercourse. While the vagina doesn't have as much sensitivity as the clitoris for many people, it can be an erogenous zone if you learn how to touch it pleasurably.

First of all, though, if you're experiencing pain during intercourse, that is an issue worth addressing. It could point toward a medical issue, overly deep penetration, or insufficient arousal. "If woman isn’t fully aroused to have sex, she won’t be wet and sex might hurt," NYC-based intimacy expert and relationship coach Lia Holmgren tells Bustle. "There are different reasons for painful sex, and it can be anywhere from lack of lubricants to muscle tightness. Of course, there are also more complicated medical reasons. If you are having pain with penetration, as boring as it might sound, the classic missionary is the best position to go. Or woman on top, where she can choose the angle of the position and speed or depth."

But if the issue is a lack of sensation altogether, here are some strategies to feel more pleasure.

1. Delay Your Orgasm...

A lot of couples follow a "ladies first" policy for orgasms, which is nice and considerate and all but can reduce arousal and desire for some. "Everyone recommends to play with the clitoris before — that the man should lick the woman and tease the clitoris — but from my own experience, if a woman comes before penetration, the excitement is gone," says Holmgren. "Although she might be wet, she won’t be enjoying penetration sex too much."

If you tend to orgasm during foreplay and then don't enjoy penetration as much as you'd like, it might help to aim to orgasm either via a toy or manual stimulation during intercourse or via your method of choice after intercourse.

2. But Get Close Beforehand

While you may not want to orgasm before penetration, getting close beforehand can increase your excitement. Holmgren recommends edging — getting really close to orgasm, backing off, and repeating. "You can be teased with toys, tongue, or fingers," says Holmgren. "Let yourself come close to the orgasm with clitoral stimulation, then stop and do it again and again multiple times, when you might be so excited, begging for penetration."

This technique might also give you the chance to orgasm during intercourse if you grind against your partner's pubic bone or get some other form of clitoral stimulation. "This orgasm is very intense because it’s a double the pleasure," says Holmgren.

3. Stimulate Your Clitoris Simultaneously

The easiest way to enjoy penetration is to get clitoral stimulation at the same time. In fact, while only a quarter of women regularly orgasm through intercourse alone, most do orgasm through intercourse plus clitoral stimulation. Don't feel like it doesn't count as an intercourse orgasm just because there's other stuff going on!

A few ways to get clitoral stimulation during intercourse include using the coital alignment technique — a position that can let your clitoris rub against the base of the penis — and using a couples' toy like Dame Products' Eva or WeVibe's Sync (though honestly, any toy you like will do), Astroglide's resident sexologist Dr. Jess O'Reilly tells Bustle. Or, you can literally take matters into your own hands and rub your own clit. Your partner can also lend you a hand, to keep the pun going. Options!

4. Get Other Kinds of Stimulation

It's not just your clitoris that can provide additional stimulation during intercourse. You've got a whole body to work with. "Play with your nipples, press on your perineum, kiss with passion, or engage in any other physical activity that is pleasurable during penetration," Dr. Jess says. "You’ll likely find that multi-tasking is exciting and may help you to associate penetration with the experience of pleasure over time."

5. Find Out Which Parts Of Your Vagina Are The Most Sensitive

Some sexperts talk about the G-spot, a region on the upper wall of the vagina that some people find especially sensitive. However, there's some debate among experts over whether the G-spot exists, and people with vaginas themselves describe very different experiences with it. Most likely, what people are feeling when they describe G-spot pleasure or G-spot orgasms is stimulation of the internal clitoris.

Whatever you call it, some people enjoy stimulation of the upper front wall of the vagina, which you can experience via a curved dildo like the Njoy Pure Wand or fingering in a "come hither" motion. "Women often report that a G-Spot orgasm feels different from a clitoral one, as they experience sensations of bearing down or pushing out with their pelvic floor muscles," says Dr. Jess. You can also try shallow penetration to see if the outer portion of your vagina is most sensitive.

Another area that gives some people pleasure is the anterior fornix, also known as the A spot, which is on the front wall of the vagina all the way up near the cervix and can be stimulated with very deep penetration. Yet another region you don't often hear about is the Cul-De-Sac, says Dr. Jess. "Located opposite the A-Spot on the back wall of the vagina at its deepest point, this sensitive region is associated with dual stimulation of the vagina and the rectum," she says. "As the uterus tents upward during sexual response, the Cul-de-Sac may become more responsive to pressure and stimulation."

But while stimulation of these areas drives some people wild, plenty others feel nothing at all. So don't feel like you're defective if these techniques don't do much for you.

That goes for vaginal stimulation in general. There are plenty of ways to enjoy sex without penetration. "You may not enjoy penetration because it’s simply not your cup of tea," says Dr. Jess. "Just as some people love chocolate (or anal penetration), others are indifferent to it, and others dislike it. Your personal tastes need no justification. You are the expert of your own body and your own individual preferences. You do not have to learn to enjoy any specific sex act in order to align your sex life with heteronormative cultural norms."