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Sex Life 101: A Woman’s Guide to Fingering

This article comes from our Sex Life 101 series. Here, Sensuality Coach and Sex Educator Eleanor Hadley takes readers on an evidence based journey through the world of intimacy, relationships and desire.

Ah, the lost art of fingering. A timeless sex act that often flies under the radar and doesn’t get nearly as much press as it deserves. I’m here to change that. Now, you may think of fingering as a simple stopover on the way to the final destination. Perhaps in high school, you were indoctrinated into the idea that it was simply the third base on your race to a ‘home run’. But instead, I’d like to encourage you to shift your perspective of hand stimulation and suggest that perhaps we don’t need to see sex acts in a strict hierarchy, and instead revel in the glory that is fingering itself.

RELATED: Want Better Sex? Slow Down

In my work, I’m lucky to hear from hundreds of people about their preferences, desires, likes, dislikes and downright icks when it comes to all types of sex acts. And time and time again, I’ve had my students, clients and followers share how they feel fingering is underrated and underutilised.

Unfortunately, though, many of us with vulvas have had plenty of subpar experiences with fingering. As a popular meme by Claire Parker shares, “We won’t have true equality until dry fingering gets the same PR as toothy head got.” More on the topic of dry fingering later, though. So, I’m on a mission to bring back the art of fingering – and to give you some pointers about how to provide the most pleasure possible for your lover with just your digits (and maybe your tongue, too!). I present you with the ultimate guide to fingering – you (and your lover) can thank me later.

Melissa jeanty

Image: Mélissa Jeanty

Get Your Hands in Order

First things first, fellas. Please make sure your fingers are in tip-top shape before you even think about putting them inside someone. A vagina is an incredibly delicate space. Not only is the internal tissue very sensitive, but any type of bacteria from your hands could disrupt our pH levels, causing infections quite easily. So, make sure your hands are freshly washed and scrubbed – yes, that means getting all that gunk and grime out from under your fingernails. I don’t care if you’re a tradie and it’s stubborn, for the sake of our vaginal flora, get your scrub on. Next, make sure to trim your fingernails nice and short and ensure they’re smooth. Nobody wants to get a scratch all up inside them during an act that’s meant to be pleasurable.

Take Your Time

As we’ve discussed before, the importance of slowing down when having sex with women really can’t be overstated. Just like you need a chance to get an erection before penetration, we also need time for the blood to flow to our genitals before we’re ready to receive any type of penetration – be that fingers, dildos or a penis.

Yep, we’ve also got ‘erectile tissue’ just like you, but for us it generally takes 20-40 minutes to be ready for penetrative sex of any kind. So, don’t go straight for the goods, instead take your time to seduce her and work your way down. Have a long make-out session, massage her, play with her breasts and nipples (if she likes that), tease her, lick her out. Have her aching for your fingers inside her before you even think about it. Remember, there’s no rush, enjoy the journey.

Choose the Right Fingers for the Job

Now, this topic is a contentious one, and there is no indisputably correct answer here either. Generally, the go-to number of fingers is two, however, it can be nice to begin with just one and then see if your partner would like more. When using two fingers, many people choose to go with the classic pointer and middle finger combo as they tend to be the strongest digits with the most endurance for the job. However, a personal fave combo and a popular choice according to my followers is the middle and ring combo. If this is news to you, hear me out.

They may not have the same endurance level, but they do provide the opportunity for extra stimulation. With the middle and ring fingers inside, the pinky and pointer fingers act as a frame for the vulva, essentially massaging the labia at the same time. Now, since roughly 90% of the clitoris is actually internal and ‘underneath’ the inner and outer lips of the vulva, you’re inadvertently stimulating the clit, too. Bonus!

Davidcohen

Image: Davidcohen

Never Forget the Clit

Having said that, my guy, never forget about the clit. By which I mean, the head of the clitoris, the bean, the pearl, the magic button. A vast majority of women require clitoral stimulation to come, so don’t be relying on just penetration with your fingers (or penis for that matter) alone in order to get her there. While your chosen fingers are inside, you might like to use the thumb of that same hand, get your other hand involved for a cheeky rub, or make it extra special by licking her clit while you work your magic with your fingers.

Lube It Up

Trust me when I say this. Lube makes everything better. Less friction, more pleasure. Now I know you wouldn’t want a dry handjob or blowjob, right? Ouch. Same goes for dry fingering. Yes, we do tend to be self-lubricating, but often we require, or desire, a bit more to make it extra comfortable and ultra-pleasurable. So, use some high-quality, body-safe lube (try to avoid those flavoured kinds as they are just waiting to give us an infection – you’d be surprised just how many products actively cause disruption to our pH). Remember too, that everyone has different levels of natural lubrication, some women just aren’t naturally as wet as others. There’s absolutely zero shame in using lube, in fact, it shows that you care about her pleasure.

They’re Fingers, Not a Faux Dick

There’s often an assumption that anything remotely phallic that we use for penetration, like fingers or dildos, simply get used as though they were replacing a penis. This is so far from the truth. Your fingers can bend and move in so many different ways, and provide so many sensations that penises cannot. And so, use them accordingly. There’s no need to just mimic how you would use your cock with your fingers.

For the love of god, chill out with the fingerbang. You know what I mean. The intense in and out motion. In my very scientific research with my Instagram followers recently, I found that only about 1% of them actually enjoyed a fingerbang moment, with the majority of people lamenting about how awful – and sometimes straight-up painful – the fingerbang can be. So, the key here is to communicate and check in to see if your partner is down for that motion before you go hell for leather and totally ruin the mood.

Use the ‘Come Hither’ Motion

If you’re not already gently hooking your fingers to massage her g-spot, allow me to introduce you to the ‘come hither’ motion. Dual stimulation is a surefire way to increase her pleasure potential, so by pressing up against her g-zone at the same time as touching her clit, you’ve got double the power. To find the g-spot, you’ll want to slide your fingers inside and then gently curl them towards the front of the body.

Everyone has different length vaginal canals and the placement of the g-spot may be closer or further from the vaginal entry, but is generally one to two inches in. You’ll know you’ve found it when you feel a spongy disc-like area. Gently applying pressure, tapping, pressing or massaging this zone can be extremely pleasurable, and sometimes even induce squirting (though there’s more to squirting than just stimulation, so never pressure someone to squirt).

Cottonbro studio

Image: Cottonbro Studio

Add Your Tongue

A great fingering is made even greater with a touch of tongue. Pair your eating out with some finger magic and you’ll be sending her to heaven in no time. Perhaps start out by going down for a while, teasing her and getting her nice and wet, then when she’s ready you can add fingers. A tongue on the clit, while your fingers are doing their thing inside, is a total winning combo.

Use Both Hands

There are plenty of options to put your other hand to work. You could rub her clit, place the palm over her pubic bone, gently pull up as you lick her clit, grab her boobs, squeeze her nipples, grab her head as you kiss her, or use one in her ass at the same time for some dual stimulation.

Ask Her What She Likes

Probably the most important part of a great fingering is communication. Ask her firstly if she actually wants fingers inside her, if she’s ready and how many fingers she likes. Always be sure to check in about pressure, movement, pace and be sure to watch her body for cues too. Communication makes sex better every time, promise.

So there you have it –  the ultimate guide to fingering. I trust you’ll use this information wisely, and I do hope it’s a pleasure for everyone involved. Let’s bring back the lost art of fingering. Enjoy!


Eleanor Hadley is a Sensuality Coach and Sex Educator, specialising in & sensual movement and embodied lap dance. Through 1:1 coaching, group programs, retreats, workshops, writing and speaking, Eleanor is passionate about helping you to enhance your sex life and elevate your relationships.

AUTHOR

Eleanor Hadley

Eleanor Hadley is a Sensuality Coach and Sex Educator, specialising in & sensual movement and embodied lap dance. Through 1:1 coaching, group programs, retreats, workshops, writing and speaking, Eleanor is passionate about helping you to enhance your sex-life and elevate your relationships. The Sensuality Academy Podcast is where Eleanor shares juicy gems from her own life, stories of clients' success along with tangible techniques to help you discover your sense of self-love, cultivate self-intimacy and boost your self-esteem.