The 15 Best Arousal Gels to Make the Clitoris Feel Freakin' Amazing
"If you've had sexy time with someone who has a vulva, you've most likely put some tender loving care into stimulating their clitoris. During sexual arousal, the clitoris swells up and looks like a small nub at the top of the vulva, right where the inner labia touch. But it’s actually much bigger than that, extending to around five inches internally. This “pleasure center” has about 8,000 nerve endings, which is almost twice as many as the penis.
It makes sense, then, that the right touch on the clitoris can feel pretty damn good. Enter: Clitoral arousal stimulants. These topical balms, gels, and oils are meant to magnify pleasure by increasing blood flow and sensation around that area, according to Dr. Jennifer Lincoln, board-certified OBGYN in Portland, OR, and author of Let's Talk About Down There. A very small 2016 study found these topical gels to be promising in enhancing sexual pleasure, and although more research should be done, “they can potentially turn up the volume in the bedroom," Lincoln says.
Some arousal gels increase blood flow through ingredients that act as vasodilators—a type of medicine that opens blood vessels—while others have ingredients that cause a warming or cooling sensation like peppermint or capsaicin, which is found in chili peppers. "When the clitoris gets more attention and is happy, hardly ever is that a bad thing, since about 80% of people with a clitoris orgasm from clitoral—not vaginal—stimulation,” Lincoln says. Many products can also be used around the nipples or earlobes for more heightened body sensations.
Lincoln warns people to be careful when applying products around the vulva, since it is a sensitive area. Read the label to see if there are any parabens or fragrances you're allergic to, and even if not, test the gel on a not-so-sensitive body part so you can assess for any kind of reaction. If you use an arousal gel and notice any itching, rashes, change in vaginal discharge, or other medical concerns, stop usage.
Remember, these products aren’t meant to be used internally, like lubricant. (If you need lube, check out this list instead.) Less is more when it comes to arousal gels. And make sure to read the instructions to see if the gel is safe to be used on sex toys and with latex condoms.
At the end of the day, these gels are for enhancement, and “not a magic bullet” to fix issues like lack of attraction or trouble orgasming, according to Lincoln. If you and your partner are struggling in the bedroom, don’t be afraid to reach out to a doctor for help. “Sometimes what's in a bottle isn't enough, and there's no reason we can't help you figure out what's going on and get you feeling good ASAP,” Lincoln says.
Now that we’ve got the basics covered, here are 15 clitoral arousal stimulants to spice up your pleasure chest."