How to Give a Woman an Orgasm: Techniques & Tips

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "She Comes First" by Ian Kerner. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

Like this article? Sign up for a free trial here.

Want to know how to give a woman an orgasm? What makes women feel aroused?

In She Comes First, Clinical Sexologist Ian Kerner answers what gives women orgasms: cunnilingus. He lays out techniques that will help make a woman’s experience in bed more fun and enjoyable.

Continue reading to learn how to give a woman an orgasm.

How to Achieve Female Orgasm

Now that you understand the basic functions of female sexual anatomy, it’s time to focus on when, how, and where to touch your female partner so you can walk her through each stage of the sexual response process until she reaches orgasm. Kerner breaks this process down into three steps: foreplay, cunnilingus, and after-play. 

We’ll lay out Kerner’s techniques on how to give a woman an orgasm with foreplay, how to make her orgasm with cunnilingus, and how to continue the fun with after-play.


Kerner defines foreplay as everything that comes before clitoral stimulation. He explains that stimulating your female partner before touching her clitoris is necessary because women require anticipation to become properly aroused

Kerner recommends several techniques to pique her anticipation and arousal:

  1. Drop hints throughout the day with sexy messages, phone calls, whispers, and touches.
  2. Fantasize together—talk about the things you both crave and incorporate them into your next session. For example, lingerie, restraints, candles, music, and so on.
  3. Touch her body tenderly—romantic touches such as stroking her hair, kissing her forehead, or rubbing her feet can increase mental and physical arousal. 
  4. Touch her body sensually—touching sensual areas like her breasts, nipples, inner thighs, and labia majora once she’s aroused can quickly intensify her anticipation. Kerner adds that using artificial lubrication can help. 

Kerner says sufficient foreplay should last at least 10-15 minutes, and you should wait until her arousal and anticipation have peaked before moving to cunnilingus. However, he notes that the typical indications of arousal like natural vaginal lubrication aren’t always accurate indicators—some women may get wet without being very aroused, and others may be very aroused but not very wet. To more accurately judge when to move to the next step, look for changes in her breathing pattern (like irregular breathing) and tightening of her abdominal muscles.


Once your female partner is sufficiently aroused, Kerner says that it’s time to move on to cunnilingus where you’ll build her arousal even further until she orgasms. We can break Kerner’s process down into four major steps: making first contact, establishing rhythm, introducing manual stimulation, and bringing her to orgasm. This process should take anywhere from 15-45 minutes, not including foreplay.

Step #1: First Contact

Kerner places special emphasis on the moment you first make contact with your partner’s clitoris because this is the moment she’s been anticipating—Kerner calls this the “first kiss.” This will be important in giving women orgasms.

The first step in making contact is getting into a comfortable and practical position. Kerner says to avoid any positions that could make things difficult, uncomfortable, or distracting. Instead, she should be on her back with her legs slightly bent and spread just enough for your head to fit between them. You can prop a pillow beneath her neck, head, and buttocks to direct blood flow to her vulva and increase her comfort—the pillow under her buttocks will also make it easier for you to reach her sexual parts.

Next, give her a final burst of anticipation. You’ll be in position at this point so she knows what’s coming—but make her want it even more. Kiss her inner thighs, outer corners of her vulva, outer lips, and even the top of her clitoral head. Make sure to use short, pursed kisses with no tongue. You can also do this through her panties before removing or pushing them aside for first contact.

Then make contact. Your first lick should be a slow and soft one starting at the vaginal entrance, moving lightly over the clitoral head, and ending at the commissure where you should press the clitoral shaft with the tip of your tongue for a moment. 

Step #2: Rhythm

After you make first contact, start to create a rhythm with your tongue strokes. Kerner emphasizes that it’s important to strike a balance between action and stillness when performing cunnilingus. If you move too fast, you’ll sabotage her anticipation and may overstimulate her, ultimately decreasing arousal. 

Taking this into account, Kerner recommends a system to establish rhythm and increase arousal:

  1. Press your tongue against her vulva, break contact for a split second, perform the same long, slow lick from first contact, and repeat for a few minutes. 
  2. Next, perform half-licks and stop before the clitoral head so that you avoid it and don’t overstimulate her—it should then go back into the hood. You can focus on other regions like the labia, but maintain a rhythm. 
  3. When the head re-emerges, press the tip of your tongue against it for a long moment at the end of a lick.
  4. Repeat steps two and three for a few minutes.

Step #3: Manual Stimulation

Once you’ve established a rhythm that increases her arousal and continues to build anticipation, Kerner says you can introduce manual stimulation with your hands and fingers. You should maintain tongue strokes while doing so. 

Kerner recommends introducing manual stimulation gradually. Start by tracing her labia with your fingers, gently pinching them, stimulating the front commissure, tapping the frenulum, and teasing her fourchette and vaginal entrance. Then, slowly insert your index finger about two inches into her vagina and hold it still. Your other free hand should go under her buttocks to keep her in place. You can squeeze them together for a more advanced move.

Once she’s adjusted to your finger, you can curl it up toward her belly button in a “come here” motion and press against the vaginal ceiling with your fingertip—this will stimulate her internal clitoral nerves. Once she’s adjusted, you can insert your middle finger as well. While you do this, you can integrate a more advanced move by pressing your hand to her mons pubis and pushing slightly upward—this will expose the clitoral head and make her more sensitive to your tongue strokes.

Kerner recommends a few more advanced moves that you may want to consider integrating at this time: 

(1) Switch up your tongue strokes. You can integrate horizontal strokes, diagonal strokes, quick, repetitive strokes, gently suck the clitoral head, or press a flat tongue against her so she can move against you. 

(2) Adjust your fingers. You can add a third finger depending on what’s comfortable for her. You can also use your thumb to stimulate the anus or press her perineum.

Step #4: Approaching Orgasm

Kerner says that to give women orgasms, increase pressure on her clitoris and provide her with a point of resistance to increase muscular tension. To do this, press your gums against her front commissure. This will allow you to provide direct pressure to her clitoral head with regular tongue sweeps. It will also create a point of resistance that she can move against to create her own rhythm if she desires. Kerner says you should also place your hand back under her buttocks if you previously removed it—this will keep her in place and provide another point of resistance.

Kerner says you must maintain pressure on the clitoral head and internal clitoral nerves as she approaches orgasm. This will make the orgasm more powerful by essentially giving her two orgasms at once—one internally and one externally—called a blended orgasm. The following are indications that she’s about to orgasm: her breathing and heart rate are rapid, her muscles are in a high tension state, her ears and face are flushed, her hands and abdomen are hot, and you can feel her vulva pulsing. 

Don’t stop your tongue strokes until you know her orgasm is over. During her orgasm, apply light, quick swipes over the clitoral head. Kerner says you’ll know she’s orgasming when her vagina contracts and releases repeatedly, her muscles are tensing and releasing, her breathing and heart rate have soared, and (with some women) she ejaculates clear fluid. You’ll know she’s done when she’s come to a complete stop and recoils from your tongue.


Kerner explains that women can orgasm repeatedly, so once she’s achieved her first orgasm, you can move on to other forms of sexual play that will make you orgasm as well. However, before moving on, give her a few minutes to cool down. To do this, return to foreplay activities—kiss her, embrace, and share soft touches.

When she’s back to her aroused state, you can move on to other forms of play such as penetration. Kerner says certain positions can improve her likelihood of having another orgasm, such as having her on top facing you. This will press her clitoral head against your pubic bone and stimulate her internal clitoral nerves with your penis.

(Shortform note: While vaginal penetration is a great way to produce multiple orgasms after cunnilingus, experts recommend a few other options. For example, you may want to try anal penetration—this will stimulate the penis while providing a different form of stimulation to your partner. You can also try exaggerating your breathing or syncing your breathing with your partner’s.)When your session is over, make sure to give your female partner proper aftercare. Whereas men are usually tired after orgasm and want to sleep, women want to maintain intimacy. To sustain and deepen your sexual relationship, spend 10-15 minutes cuddling or talking.

How to Give a Woman an Orgasm: Techniques & Tips

———End of Preview———

Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Ian Kerner's "She Comes First" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full She Comes First summary:

  • Why traditional sexual practices leave women unsatisfied
  • Why men should ensure their female partner orgasms first
  • An instruction manual on how to satisfy women and engage in the best sex possible

Katie Doll

Somehow, Katie was able to pull off her childhood dream of creating a career around books after graduating with a degree in English and a concentration in Creative Writing. Her preferred genre of books has changed drastically over the years, from fantasy/dystopian young-adult to moving novels and non-fiction books on the human experience. Katie especially enjoys reading and writing about all things television, good and bad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.