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I’m not surprised when politicians, religious leaders, military chiefs, mafia bosses, corporate CEOs or media pundits make ignorant, misleading statements with great and somber certainty. But when people who call themselves “scientists” spout toxic stupidities with similar conviction, it is rather more unnerving. One current case in point: a team of British “scientists” at King’s College London claims to have determined “fairly conclusively” that the G-spot does not exist.
Even before I finished reading about Dr. Andrea Virginia Burri (I’m not kidding; that’s her given middle name) and Dr. Tim Spector’s “G-Spot: Fiction or Friction” study, my personal Malarkey Meter was careening off the charts. Burri and Spector’s study is ill-conceived, poorly analyzed, illogically interpreted and—dare I say—just plain wrong.
Nonetheless, that “scientist” label must have gotten to me because, the first chance I had, there I was, licking my middle finger and hooking it about an inch or so into my vagina in the “come here” gesture, pressing that sensitive, spongy, bean-shaped area on the anterior wall, just to make sure it hadn’t somehow vanished overnight. Then, before I could say “bogus findings,” I was enjoying a nice, pulsating G-spot orgasm. Well, at least there are some silver linings in this black cloud of bad science. Could we say that Burri and Spector’s anti-G-spot report stimulated my G-spot orgasm that day? Regardless, it was a case of friction, not fiction.
How did Drs. Burri and Spector reach their snarky, international, headline-screaming conclusion that the G-spot is “probably a myth,” a “fiction” virtually forced upon innocent, G-spotless women by nefarious “magazines and sex therapists”? They did a survey of 1,804 British female twins aged 23-83 who answered questionnaires about whether or not they had G-spots. Or thought they had them. Or could find them. Or enjoy them. Or something. What a way to run a treasure hunt.
Dr. Burri Would Bury Our Hands in the Sand
Some of my colleagues have dismissed the survey participants just for being British. I wouldn’t disregard English lassies; they may keep their “stiff upper lip” even in the throes of passion, but they are just as likely to be able to locate their G-spots (or not) as American, French, Indian or Saudi Arabian women. Indeed, 56%—the majority!—of Burri and Spector’s particular lassies maintain they do indeed have G-spots and they know exactly where they are. Apparently, that’s not enough to stop Burri and Spector from issuing their proclamation that the G-spot is a “myth.”
Burri goes even further, stating that she was eager to remove feelings of “inadequacy or underachievement” that might affect women who feared they lacked a G-spot.” She continued, “it is rather irresponsible to claim the existence of an entity that has never really been proven and pressurise [sic] women—and men, too.”
Is this science or is this nursery school for anxiety-ridden adults? It certainly is going into research with a blatantly biased, not to mention silly, ax to grind. It’s reminiscent of 1850s-era gynecologist William Acton writing, “The majority of women (happily for them) are not very much troubled with sexual feelings of any kind.”
When are some people, especially people who call themselves “scientists,” going to accept that making great love does not always come as naturally and easily as a teenage wet dream, just as making gourmet cuisine is not as simple as stuffing a Big Mac into your mouth?
And what exactly does Dr. Burri mean by her sloppy, condescending concern over “pressurising” all these poor, fearful, sexually underachieving women and their lovers? If all the gals can’t find theirs, then just sit down and shut up about yours!
Of course, religious extremists can get quite patronizing about what they feel is “okay” sexually or “sanctioned by God.” But people who call themselves “scientists” should know better. They should know that sex, especially where a woman’s pleasure is concerned, is a learning process. Since women’s bodies constantly change, it’s a never-ending learning process. And maybe that “pressurises” some women and their partners. Poor babies! Would it be better for them to be ignorant and out of touch with the sexual capabilities of their miraculous, complex bodies? According to Dr. Burri, yes, it would.
Dr. Burri wants all of us to just bury our hands in the sand.
Dr. Spector also has some choice words for women who believe they have G-spots: “This is by far the biggest study ever carried out and shows fairly conclusively that the idea of a G-spot is subjective. Women may argue that having a G-spot is due to diet or exercise, but in fact it is virtually impossible to find real traits.”
I’ve interviewed and read the works of many G-spot experts, but none has said “having a G-spot is due to diet and exercise.” Talk about fiction; Dr. Spector just made that one up out of the London fog. Actually, you can be fat or thin, in good shape or bad, carnivore or vegan and “have” a G-spot, just as you can be any of those things and still “have” a clitoris or a cervix. Having a body part is not a question of eating seaweed or doing kegels. It’s a question of finding it. Maybe that takes a little effort, so being in decent shape is a minor plus. I personally have seen many obese ladies who squirt from G-spot stimulation, as well as many healthy, athletic women who just aren’t interested. The biggest plus is knowing where to go and having the patience and desire to experience the sensations.
Back to the “science” of questionnaires. They are fine for measuring fantasies, memories and psychological desires. But they are almost useless for determining the existence of an internal, anatomical spot or area of which not every woman is aware. Better to conduct a Masters & Johnson-like study on the same group of women, measuring their physiological responses to different types of stimulation of the area we call the G-spot.
How to Find Your G-Spot
Keep in mind that this “spot,” or area, is located just an inch or three inside and under the roof of the vaginal cave. Thus, most common sexual activities like regular deep thrusting intercourse and cunnilingus—let alone daily life—tend not to stimulate it. Fingering does the trick, if the woman is very wet, and you hook a clever digit just inside. You can tell you’ve hit a woman’s G-spot not only because you hear her moans of pleasure, but because the rest of the vaginal walls tend to feel smooth. The G-spot is spongy (this is its most salient “real trait,” Dr. Spector), especially when wet (and you shouldn’t touch it unless it’s wet). Not that you always have to stimulate it directly to experience G-spot pleasure. But if you simply want to find the thing, well, there it is.
If you want to see it very clearly, you might want to watch my Squirt Salon(s): Secrets of G-Spot Female Ejaculation wherein several G-spots, including my own, are shown in extreme close-up in states of pre-arousal, high arousal, orgasm, G-spot female ejaculation, and the post-ejaculatory refractory period. If you’d like a clear, easy-to-read description, there are many, including Deborah Sundahl’s seminal Female Ejaculation & the G-spot. If Burri and Spector’s twins could just see or read this instructional literature, I’d wager another 30% would locate their elusive G-spots.
Early History of G-Spot Research: Aristotle to Skene
Despite the modern proliferation of G-spot media, the G-spot is not some new idea hatched by “irresponsible” ladies “pressurising” their hapless troubadours into searching for a “mythical” Holy Grail of female pleasure. Since the day of Aristotle, at least, many men and women have described the G-spot personally and scientifically. In the first century, Galen, considered the Father of Modern Medicine, referred to it as the “the female prostate.” Many Renaissance scientists, including Realdo Colombo and Regnier DeGraaf, wrote about the area we now call the G-spot and the fluids that might be emitted when a woman had a particularly powerful orgasm through stimulation of that area.
In 1880, Dr. Alexander Skene found two glands on the anterior wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra. These glands are surrounded with tissue, including the part of the clitoris that reaches up inside the vagina, swells with blood during sexual arousal and emits prostate fluid through the urethra. These paraurethral glands are now called the Skene’s glands, and most G-spot experts say that they are within the area popularly known as the G-spot. Are Drs. Burri and Spector saying that the Skene’s glands don’t exist?
The G-Spot is the Inner Part of The Clitoris!
Most G-spot experts agree that the G-spot can be considered a kind of internal extension of the clitoris. If you press up on a woman’s G-spot while pressing down on her clitoris, you can usually feel the connection, as can she. You could say that the G-spot is a part of the clitoris that you can only reach from the inside. Well, usually. I’ve known women, including myself, to have such a wild squirting orgasm that their G-spot pushes out beyond their inner labia. As such, you could conceivably touch the G-spot without penetration, though only in moments of extreme arousal.
As science writer Natalie Angier writes in Woman: An Intimate Geography, “the roots of the clitoris run deep, after all, and very likely can be tickled through posterior agitation. In other words, the G spot may be nothing more than the back end of the clitoris.” Nothing more, and nothing less.
Thus Dr. Spector’s conclusion that G-spot is a “myth” because it is probably “just” an internal extension of the clitoris is ludicrous. The internal part of my genitalia is called the vagina and the external part is the vulva. So why can’t the internal part of the clitoris be called by a different name? After all, a woman and her lover have to approach these two parts of a woman’s pleasure system in different ways from different directions. What’s wrong with calling this interior section of the clitoris “the G-spot”?
I can just hear the Neanderthals, including the “scientists” among them, grumbling “first, these demanding bitches make us focus on their clitorises, which do our penises very little good when what we really want to do is to plunge inside and pump away. Now they’ve come up with this damn G-spot which, though tantalizingly inside our favorite hole, isn’t conveniently located to be easily stimulated by our natural, thrusting moves.”
‘Tis true. G-spots are really only good for those men or women who enjoy giving their female lovers a very special type of pleasure. Those deep, thrusting moves of regular intercourse are marvelous for vaginal orgasms and that awesome feeling of being filled and banged (sometimes causing a cervical orgasm). But they just don’t usually stimulate a pure G-spot orgasm, at least not directly, and not as precisely as a finger.
G-Spot Modern History
In 1950, a German obstetrician, Dr. Ernest Gräfenberg found a very sensitive spot inside the vagina which he immediately named after himself. Dr. Gräfenberg’s G-spot was handily located in the same place that Skenes, Aristotle, DeGraaf and all the others had discovered. Dr. G found that stimulation of the G-spot could lead to expulsion of fluid from the urethra. “Large quantities of a clear, transparent fluid expelled not from the vulva, but out of the urethra in gushes…” he gushed, “At first, I thought that the bladder sphincter had become defective by the intensity of the orgasm. But the fluid was examined and it had no urinary character [rather it was] secretions of the intra-urethral glands correlated with the erotogenic zone along the urethra in the anterior vaginal wall.” Sounds like Mrs. G was a gusher…
Despite Dr. G’s discoveries, G-spot fever didn’t take hold of 1950s Western society. Even the sex-positive feminists of the sexual revolution of the 1960s and ’70s pretty much ignored it. Feminists proclaimed women’s essential equality with men in and out of the bedroom, but somehow missed the fact that a woman can squirt like a man, sometimes with even greater force. Most women who did ejaculate were quiet about it, often mistaking it for urination.
In the 1980s, the bestselling book The G-Spot by Dr. Alice Kahn Ladas, Dr. Beverly Whipple and Dr. John Perry broke through the dykes and a wealth of information about women’s sexuality, including G-spot female ejaculation, gushed forth. Since the 1990s, several studies have been done by Perry and Whipple, as well as Dr. Milan Zaviacic, Dr. Gary Schubach and Dr. Cabello Santamaria, regarding the liquid expelled during female ejaculation to determine the chemical makeup, reported to contain fructose and sucrose, two natural forms of sugar. It also includes very low levels of creatinine and urea (the two primary chemical components of urine, found in high levels in pre- and post-ejaculatory urinalysis). Most interestingly, it contains prostate-specific antigen (PSA), the fluid produced by males in the prostate gland, which forms the base of male ejaculate.
In 2002, Dr. Emmanuele Jannini of Italy’s L’Aquila University conducted a study that found that the Skene’s gland openings vary in size from one woman to another, and some women appear not to have them at all. If Skene’s glands do cause G-spot female ejaculation, this may explain why some women can do it profusely, while others can’t at all, or just produce a little spurt (though a little spurt can feel mighty good!). It also explains why some women feel their G-spots very intensely, and others not at all.
It’s not just Westerners that appreciate the G-spot. Throughout Eastern history, the G-spot has been recognized as an important area of normal female sexual physiology. Tantric sex practitioners often refer to the G-spot as the Goddess Spot or sacred spot.
Twinology and The G-Spot
Burri and Spector hypothesized that if there is a G-spot and it is a physiological/anatomical phenomenon (as opposed to psychological or the result of conditioning), then there should be a genetic component to it. So they did a standard type of genetic analysis, surveying identical and non-identical twins. If the G-spot is biological, they theorized, then identical twins should be more likely to share the presence or absence of a G-spot than non-identical twins, since identical twins share more DNA than non-identical twins.
This idea might have come to them partly because twins are all the rage in “scientific” surveys since they are born with exactly the same anatomy, and Burri and Spector happen to be “twinologists” with “the UK’s only adult twin registry and the most detailed clinical adult register in the world.” I imagine they were tired of using that impressively huge registry of female twins for obscure studies in eyesight and arthritis, and wanted to study something that might grab some big, sexy headlines, like G-spots.
Why might identical twins not be able to feel their G-spots with identical ease and intensity? Because though they have the same anatomy, they have had different sexual experiences and levels of desire to explore their sexuality. G-spot co-author Dr. Beverly Whipple put it succinctly when she said that “the biggest problem with [Burri and Spector’s] findings is that twins don’t generally have the same sexual partner.”
Recreation, Not Procreation
And so the Great G-spot Debate thunders on. You can tell what side I’m on. Those of us who have experienced the power and glory of G-spot orgasms—giving or receiving—know that it exists. This is not a matter of faith. G-spot female ejaculation has been documented, researched and chemically analyzed. You can see it and you can hear it on our videos and others’, and if you’re fortunate enough to have or be with someone having a G-spot orgasm, you can smell it and you can feel it. And it feels good.
This *feel-good* aspect of the G-spot is perhaps another reason that naysayers like Burri and Spector have held sway, over the years. G-spot orgasms are a pure recreational pleasure that have no apparent direct role in procreation, except that women who have them may, over the millennia, have procreated more, simply because we tend to enjoy sex more. Then again, since we can experience our G-spots sometimes more easily through masturbation or lesbian sex, maybe not.
G-spot orgasms are not “necessary” for female sexual pleasure or marital happiness. That said, the G-spot is real and G-spot pleasure is a healthy, normal, natural, feminine experience that some women have without even trying. But just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean any woman can have one without help. Just as many women (like me) needed to learn how to have a *regular* orgasm, most of us need to learn how to have a G-spot orgasm. We need to learn a combination of technique and relaxation. And partners who are interested need to learn how to help. It’s a bit of work for most of us, at least in the beginning, and another motivation to forget the whole thing and focus on shopping, prayer or raising the kids.
But just because you don’t want to put in the time and energy to find and feel your G-spot doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! Just like how most of us don’t want to put in the time and energy to get “killer abs” doesn’t mean we couldn’t have those abs if we worked at it. And maybe some people just don’t have the physiology to get themselves a washboard stomach, even if they work out every day. But that doesn’t make killer abs a “myth” any more than the unpracticed inability to find the G-spot makes it a “myth.”
Drs. Burri and Spector, who interviewed women aged 18–85, say that the women who can locate their G-spots tended to be younger and more sexually active. Well, duh. No offense to seniors, but most ladies over 80 (Dr. Betty Dodson notwithstanding) are more concerned with finding their medications than their G-spots. Young people tend to be sexually curious and more likely to read the literature, experiment sexually, attend classes on the subject, or have sex with partners who have learned where the G-spot is. As for G-spot owners being “more sexually active” than those who can’t find theirs, well, that’s just too obvious to even answer.
Spurn the Debunkers, Join the Spelunkers!
Why would “scientists” carry out a dumb, misleading study like this? First, so that they can get the keyword “G-spot” into their titles and catch the attention of people like you and me in an attempt to make their own names famous. Second, so they can “debunk” sexually revolutionary discoveries and make their conservative, not very sexually adventurous patrons, not to mention their mothers, happy.
Women of the world: Don’t let them take your G-spot away from you, like some sort of anatomical repo-men! Tonight or tomorrow morning, go spelunking in your vaginal cave with someone you love (even if that someone is you). Make sure it’s nice and wet, feel that spongy area on the anterior wall and make your own discoveries.
Dr. SUSAN BLOCK is a sex therapist and author of The 10 Commandments of Pleasure, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. Commit Bloggamy with her at http://drsusanblock.com/blog/ Email your comments to her at firstname.lastname@example.org
© January 2010. Dr. SUSAN BLOCK is a sex therapist and author of The 10 Commandments of Pleasure, occasionally seen on HBO and other channels. Commit Bloggamy with her at http://drsusanblock.com/blog/ Email your comments to her at email@example.com