Fingering (sexual act)

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Illustration of fingering Wiki-fingering.svg
Illustration of fingering

Fingering is typically the use of fingers or hands to sexually stimulate the vulva (including the clitoris) or vagina. [1] Vaginal fingering is legally and medically called digital penetration or digital penetration of the vagina. Fingering may also include the use of fingers to sexually stimulate the anus. [2]

Contents

Fingering may be performed on oneself (masturbation) or by or with a sexual partner. When performed on the vulva or vagina by a sexual partner, it is a form of mutual masturbation, and is analogous to a handjob (the manual stimulation of the penis). [3] [4] It may be used for sexual arousal or foreplay, constitute an entire sexual encounter, [4] or be used as a form of non-penetrative sexual activity. [5] Fingering may be used in association with other sex acts or acts of intimacy, or to enable the woman to achieve orgasm.

Stimulation

Vulva

Parts of the vulva, especially the clitoris, are erogenous zones. [6] Massage of the vulva, and in particular the clitoris, is the most common way for a woman to achieve an orgasm. [7] [8] [9] Studies indicate that 70-80% of women require direct clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. [9] [10] The clitoral glans or shaft may be massaged, usually through the skin of the clitoral hood, using up-and-down, side-to-side, or circular motions. [11] The rest of the genitals are also stimulated by fingering. [11]

Vagina

While the vagina is not especially sensitive as a whole, its lower third (the area close to the entrance) has concentrations of the nerve endings that can provide pleasurable sensations when stimulated during sexual activity. [7] [8] [12]

Fingering the vagina is often performed in an effort to stimulate an area which may be termed the G-spot. The G-spot is reportedly located roughly 5 cm (2.0 in) up on the anterior wall of the vagina, forwards toward the navel. It is described as being recognized by its ridges and slightly rougher texture compared to the more cushion-like vaginal cavity walls around it. Fingering this spot, and in effect possibly stimulating the Skene's gland, is commonly cited as a method that may lead to female ejaculation. [13]

Some women have cited the "come hither" approach as a significant catalyst to orgasm. This technique involves the middle finger, sometimes additionally the index or ring finger, making a hand gesture like "come here" with the palm facing upwards towards her pubic bone. Medical professionals suggest washing the hands before contact with the vagina, to ensure proper hygiene, especially when moving between different orifices. [14]

Anus

Anal fingering may be pleasurable because of the large number of nerve endings in the anal area, and because of the added stimulation gained from stretching the anal sphincter muscles while inserting the finger. A good quality personal lubricant is advisable to both increase the pleasurable sensation and aid insertion. Some people prefer to simply stimulate the outer ring of the anus, while others will follow this by inserting one or more fingers. Fingering may be seen as an act in itself, or as an arousing prelude in preparation for further anal sex. Anal fingering can arouse the receiver, allowing them to relax their anus and prepare them for the insertion of a penis or any other sexual instrument.

Anal fingering is also an effective way of stimulating the prostate in males, and thus may bring the receiver to orgasm. [15] [16] [17]

Anal fingering can also stimulate the perineal sponge in women.

Safety and sexual assault

Fingering is generally considered safe sex as long as there are no open wounds on the fingers. The nails should be trimmed and filed; long, sharp or jagged nails can cause cuts, injury, or severe infection. If there are cuts, infections, or open wounds on the fingers, extreme protection and care is necessary. If finger cots are used they may slip off and remain inside the receptive partner. The hands should be thoroughly washed with soap and warm water before practicing any other activity to avoid spreading bacteria or germs. In stimulating both the anus and vagina, separate latex gloves should be used for each to avoid cross-contamination.

How digital penetration without consent is classified legally depends on the jurisdiction. For example, penetration without consent of the vagina or anus with a finger is called "rape" in Australia [18] and "forcible rape" in the US. [19] In Scotland, the term "rape" is only used for penetration with a penis, [20] whereas penetration with a finger can be "sexual assault by penetration". [21]

See also

Related Research Articles

Anal sex Insertion of the penis into the anus, or other sexual activity involving the anus

Anal sex or anal intercourse is generally the insertion and thrusting of the erect penis into a person's anus, or anus and rectum, for sexual pleasure. Other forms of anal sex include fingering, the use of sex toys for anal penetration, oral sex performed on the anus (anilingus), and pegging. Although anal sex most commonly means penile–anal penetration, sources sometimes use anal intercourse to exclusively denote penile–anal penetration, and anal sex to denote any form of anal sexual activity, especially between pairings as opposed to anal masturbation.

Clitoris Female sex organ

The clitoris is a female sex organ present in mammals, ostriches and a limited number of other animals. In humans, the visible portion – the glans – is at the front junction of the labia minora, above the opening of the urethra. Unlike the penis, the male homologue (equivalent) to the clitoris, it usually does not contain the distal portion of the urethra and is therefore not used for urination. The clitoris also usually lacks a reproductive function. While few animals urinate through the clitoris or use it reproductively, the spotted hyena, which has an especially large clitoris, urinates, mates, and gives birth via the organ. Some other mammals, such as lemurs and spider monkeys, also have a large clitoris.

Orgasm is the sudden discharge of accumulated sexual excitement during the sexual response cycle, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region characterized by sexual pleasure. Experienced by males and females, orgasms are controlled by the involuntary or autonomic nervous system. They are usually associated with involuntary actions, including muscular spasms in multiple areas of the body, a general euphoric sensation and, frequently, body movements and vocalizations. The period after orgasm is typically a relaxing experience, attributed to the release of the neurohormones oxytocin and prolactin as well as endorphins.

Sexual intercourse Copulation for reproduction or sexual pleasure, or other penetrative sex acts for sexual pleasure.

Sexual intercourse is sexual activity typically involving the insertion and thrusting of the penis into the vagina for sexual pleasure, reproduction, or both. This is also known as vaginal intercourse or vaginal sex. Other forms of penetrative sexual intercourse include anal sex, oral sex, fingering, and penetration by use of a dildo. These activities involve physical intimacy between two or more individuals and are usually used among humans solely for physical or emotional pleasure and can contribute to human bonding.

G-spot Anatomical detail of human female sexual organ

The G-spot, also called the Gräfenberg spot, is characterized as an erogenous area of the vagina that, when stimulated, may lead to strong sexual arousal, powerful orgasms and potential female ejaculation. It is typically reported to be located 5–8 cm (2–3 in) up the front (anterior) vaginal wall between the vaginal opening and the urethra and is a sensitive area that may be part of the female prostate.

A sex position is a position of the body that people use for sexual intercourse or other sexual activities. Sexual acts are generally described by the positions the participants adopt in order to perform those acts. Though sexual intercourse generally involves penetration of the body of one person by another, sex positions commonly involve penetrative or non-penetrative sexual activities.

Missionary position

The missionary position or man-on-top position is a sex position in which, generally, a woman lies on her back and a man lies on top of her while they face each other and engage in vaginal intercourse. The position may also be used for other sexual activity, such as anal sex. It is commonly associated with heterosexual sexual activity, but is also used by same-sex couples.

Woman on top Sex position in which a woman is on top of another person

Woman on top is any sex position in which the woman is on top of her sexual partner during sexual activity. The position most commonly associated with the woman on top is often called the cowgirl or riding position, which derives its name from the image of the woman "riding" the man as a cowgirl rides a bucking horse. In that position, a man typically lies on his back with his legs closed, while the female partner straddles him, usually in a kneeling position facing either forward or back, and either the man or woman inserts the man's erect penis into the woman's vagina or anus. The cowgirl position is commonly cited as one of the more popular sex positions, especially by women, because it gives them control over the rhythm and pace of vaginal stimulation and the extent and duration of penetration and because of its ability to adequately stimulate the clitoris. There are other positions in which the woman may be on top, including the 69 position and the pompoir sex position.

Erogenous zone Area of heightened sensitivity of the body, touching which may elicit a sexual response

An erogenous zone is an area of the human body that has heightened sensitivity, the stimulation of which may generate a sexual response, such as relaxation, sexual fantasies, sexual arousal and orgasm.

Sexual penetration Sexual activity that involves inserting a persons body part into another person

Sexual penetration is the insertion of a body part or other object into a body orifice, such as the vagina, anus or mouth, as part of human sexual activity or animal sexual behavior.

Forced orgasm Consensual BDSM play involving powerlessness and orgasms

A forced orgasm is consensual BDSM or kinky sexual play whereby a person consents to be forced to orgasm in a way that is beyond their control. The person being brought to involuntary orgasm would typically be put in physical restraints to deprive them of the ability to control the onset and intensity of orgasm, and to increase the feeling of helplessness, a situation which some people find sexually arousing.

Strap-on dildo Device used for sexual penetration or other sexual activity

A strap-on dildo is a dildo designed to be worn, usually with a harness, during sexual activity. Harnesses and dildos are made in a wide variety of styles, with variations in how the harness fits the wearer, how the dildo attaches to the harness, as well as various features intended to facilitate stimulation of the wearer or a sexual partner. Strap-on dildos can be used by people of any gender or sexuality.

Vibrator (sex toy)

A vibrator, sometimes described as a massager, is a sex toy that is used on the body to produce pleasurable sexual stimulation. There are many different shapes and models of vibrators. Most 2010-era vibrators contain an electric-powered device which pulsates or throbs. Vibrators can be used for both solo play and partnered play by one or more people. Devices exist to be used by couples to stimulate the genitals of both partners. They can be applied to erogenous zones, such as the clitoris, the vulva or vagina, penis, scrotum or anus, for sexual stimulation, for the release of sexual frustration and to achieve orgasm. Vibrators may be recommended by sex therapists for women who have difficulty reaching orgasm through masturbation or intercourse.

G-spot vibrator

A G-spot vibrator is a sex toy with female and male varieties. The female version of the device is built to massage the G-spot, described as a bean-shaped area of the vagina. Some women report that it is an erogenous zone which, when stimulated, can lead to strong sexual arousal, powerful orgasms and female ejaculation. The male version of the G-spot vibrator is used for massaging the prostate for both sexual and health-related reasons.

Non-penetrative sex Sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration

Non-penetrative sex or outercourse is sexual activity that usually does not include sexual penetration. It generally excludes the penetrative aspects of vaginal, anal, or oral sexual activity, but includes various forms of sexual and non-sexual activity, such as frottage, mutual masturbation, kissing, or cuddling. Some forms of non-penetrative sex, particularly when termed outercourse, include penetrative aspects, such as penetration that may result from forms of fingering or oral sex.

Lesbian sexual practices Sexual practices between women

Lesbian sexual practices are sexual activities involving women who have sex with women, regardless of their sexual orientation. A woman who has sex with another woman may identify as a lesbian if she is sexually attracted to women, or bisexual if she is not exclusively sexually attracted to women, or dispense with sexual identification altogether. The term may also be applied to a heterosexual or asexual woman who is unsure of or is exploring her sexuality.

Human female sexuality encompasses a broad range of behaviors and processes, including female sexual identity and sexual behavior, the physiological, psychological, social, cultural, political, and spiritual or religious aspects of sexual activity. Various aspects and dimensions of female sexuality, as a part of human sexuality, have also been addressed by principles of ethics, morality, and theology. In almost any historical era and culture, the arts, including literary and visual arts, as well as popular culture, present a substantial portion of a given society's views on human sexuality, which include both implicit (covert) and explicit (overt) aspects and manifestations of feminine sexuality and behavior.

Handjob

A handjob is a sex act, performed as either foreplay or as non-penetrative sex, that involves the manual stimulation of a man's penis or scrotum by another person to induce an erection for sexual pleasure, sexual arousal and sometimes resulting in orgasm and ejaculation.

Cunnilingus Oral sex on the vulva or vagina by a sexual partner

Cunnilingus is an oral sex act performed by a person on the vulva or vagina of another person. The clitoris is the most sexually sensitive part of the human female genitalia, and its stimulation may result in a woman becoming sexually aroused or achieving orgasm.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to human sexuality:

References

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