Is the G-Spot – the fabled female erogenous stimulating which is supposed to send women into orgasmic oblivion – really just a myth? Yes, says a team from King’s College London, who recently published a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine after studying the sexual functioning of 1,800 women. According to Professor Tim Spector, a co-author of the study, thicker tissue in the G-Spot area may simply be part of the clitoris and is not a separate erogenous zone as it often labelled. Sexologists and other researchers disagree with the study’s findings and argue that even though the study had the largest sample size compared to previous ones, the study’s design- using self-reports from identical and fraternal twins- lacks validity and thus cannot be generalized. Naysayers of the study stand firmly in their belief of the existence of the revered G-Spot as its own entity.
The G-Spot controversy is nothing new: Researchers have been disagreeing about the G-Spot for decades. Some studies swear by it and maintain that it is a separate and distinct part of the vagina, while others, like the British study, believe that if it does exist, it is simply an extended part of the clitoris. While it may sound like some simple game of semantics, the G-Spot discussion-and whether it exists or not- has powerful ramifications not only on people’s sexual performance but in their whole perception of sexual pleasure.
A Convergence of Science and Culture
If the so-called G-Spot does exist, pop culture didn’t know what it was missing until 1981. That year, the term ‘G-Spot’ was coined and was named for Dr Ernst Grafenberg, a German gynaecologist best known for developing the original intrauterine device (IUD) and for his studies of the role of the female urethra in orgasm. In his 1950 article, ‘The Role of Urethra in Female Orgasm’, Grafenberg stated that based on his observations, ‘An erotic zone always could be demonstrated on the anterior wall of the vagina along the course of the urethra.’ Several decades later, when researchers in 1980 came to a similar conclusion while studying female ejaculation, the term G-Spot was born in a study published in the Journal of Sex Research.
In 1982, American culture was introduced to the G-Spot in a book called The G-Spot and Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality. With that came a new treasure hunt for lovemaking: Finding one’s G-Spot became the new objective aside from achieving orgasm. Since then, books, magazines and the media have catered to the G-Spot mystique, with advice and tips on how to locate it and maximize pleasure.
The G-Spot consciousness has generated mixed reviews; some women swear by its existence, some are unsure about it, some deny its existence; some are frustrated by it being a barometer for good sex. Some women may feel dysfunctional if they can’t find their G-Spot: Men may experience performance anxiety or feel inadequate, thinking they haven’t provided their partner with an optimal sexual experience because the G-Spot wasn’t part of the experience.
It’s All About Perception
Upon publishing a 2011 study by researchers at Rutgers University that challenged the notion of a specific G-Spot location, head researcher Dr Barry Komisaruk stated, ‘I think that the bulk of the evidence shows that the G-Spot is not a particular thing…. It’s not like saying, ‘What is the thyroid gland?’ The G-Spot is more of a thing like New York City is a thing. It’s a region; it’s a convergence of many different structures.’
Perhaps this way of thinking- that the G-Spot is not a ‘spot’ but more of an ‘area’- would be more beneficial in increasing sexual pleasure and fostering a mind-set that is conducive to sexual satisfaction. Every woman is unique, but for most women the clitoris is highly erogenous and its stimulation can yield an orgasm. Some women can experience an orgasm through intercourse alone, though statistically most do not. Nevertheless, both the inner and outer vaginal walls have many nerve endings- with varying amounts for each woman- and can thus provide a sensual experience when stimulated in the right places.
Whether you call it a G-Spot or not, the key to increasing sexual pleasure is by being open to experimenting with different positions and levels of stimulation. Every woman is mapped differently so it takes patience to find out what is satisfying. While the quest may be physical, maintaining a relaxed mind-set is an essential component as well, as arousal and orgasm piggyback smoothly when the mind and body are in sync. Sexual satisfaction can certainly be an enjoyable treasure hunt. But don’t let labels and cultural constructs become the defining forces of what is a gratifying experience.
Rachel Hercman, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) is a psychotherapist specializing in sexuality, dating, and relationships. She works at the Medical Center for Female Sexuality in New York, a center that provides cutting-edge medical and psychological treatment for female sexual dysfunction, where she helps women improve their sexual functioning, body image and relationship satisfaction.