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Off the Mark on the G-Spot

Jan. 26, 2012
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Anyone who does research knows that it is extremely important to start out by asking the right questions. If you don't begin by looking for the right sort of information, everything that follows afterward is worthless. That is why I was so frustrated to read about the latest sally in the ongoing war against the G-spot, published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine on Jan. 12. My immediate reaction to this article's claim that the G-spot does not exist was to scream into a pillow for several minutes, because the researchers weren't even looking for the right thing.

The G-spot is often described as “an area on the front wall of the vagina.” This description is essentially shorthand for the area of the body through which it is easiest to stimulate the G-spot, not the G-spot itself. Unfortunately, researchers have taken that description at face value and spent their time biopsying vaginal tissue, of course coming up with nothing.

I am puzzled as to why they would do this, because of the many published works out there that identify the G-spot as an internal structure, not a spot inside the vagina. Do these scientists read? Do they talk to sexuality educators who are teaching about the G-spot before formulating their research questions? I am a fan of Deborah Sundahl's work (read my interview with her here, and for decades she has been teaching that the G-spot is analogous to the male prostate, that it consists of glands surrounding the urethra that fill with fluid during arousal and become sensitive to indirect stimulation, which can be achieved by placing firm pressure on the front wall of the vagina or on the lower abdomen. In the MyHealthNewsDaily.com article linked above, author Lauren Cox writes, “Komisaruk said that pressing on the area proclaimed to be the G-spot also presses the urethra and a structure called Skene's gland, which is analogous to the male prostate.” YES, YOU IDIOT. So why did you spend all your research dollars poking around inside people's vaginas?

Other educators cite the work of urologist Helen O'Connell when discussing the G-spot. Dr. O'Connell's research focuses on the internal structures of the clitoris that are often ignored when discussing female pleasure. Vaginal penetration may indirectly stimulate the parts of the clitoris that extend into the body, rather than the small clitoral head or glans on the outside. So the “G-spot” may be nothing more than an extension of the clitoris. Again, we are talking here about an internal organ, not something that can be found on the surface of the vagina.

A couple of years ago, another study came out claiming that the G-spot did not exist, and I ranted about it then too, with a bit more technical explanation about what the G-spot is and how to stimulate it. Read that article here.

One thing I agree with the researchers about is their statement that women who do not have orgasms through vaginal penetration alone are perfectly normal. This is true, and one of the unfortunate side effects of our culture's obsession with the G-spot has been a return to the Freudian idea that it's somehow “better” to have an orgasm through some kind of internal, vaginal stimulation than through clitoral stimulation. For most women, the easiest way to achieve orgasm is through clitoral stimulation, and it's important not to lose sight of that in a phallocentric culture that tends to define “real sex” as penis-vagina penetration and make women feel badly about themselves if they don't get off solely from that.

Want Laura to answer your questions in SEXpress? Send them to laura@shepex.com. Not all questions received will be answered in the column, and Laura cannot provide personal answers to questions that do not appear here. Questions sent to this address may be reproduced in this column, both in print and online, and may be edited for clarity and content.

Laura Anne Stuart has a master's degree in public health and has worked as a sexuality educator for more than a decade. She owns the Tool Shed, an erotic boutique on Milwaukee's East Side.


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