January 6, 2010

G Spot: Fact or Fiction? Wait, What?

News, OMGWTFBBQ, Opinion, Research 7 Comments

“Women everywhere have read or heard that they may possess a secret pleasure zone inside their bodies that, if stimulated correctly, yields intense pleasure and even orgasm,” CNN reported yesterday, adding: “But this so-called G-spot has never been precisely identified as a concrete biological entity. Scientists are still arguing over what it is and whether it exists at all.”

The g-spot (or g-ridge)–named so for Ernst Gräfenberg, a German scientist best known for his studies of female genitalia–is an area located on the anterior wall, one to three inches above the vaginal opening, which, when stimulated, reportedly leads to intense orgasms.

Now, research conducted by a team at King’s College London of over 1,800 female twins is suggesting that there is no genetic basis for a g-spot and that pleasure experienced from its stimulation may be more related to psychology than anything–meaning, it’s a bit like the placebo effect.

The existence of the g-spot has been the subject of contention since Gräfenberg’s day and now that this research has surfaced, media outlets are positively in a feeding frenzy over it.

Here’s my issue with the research: clinical psychologist Andrea Burri, who authored the report for the Journal of Sexual Medicine, and her team did not physically examine the women in the study to see whether they had a g-spot–they only gave participants a survey asking whether they believed that they had one.

To say there is no genetic correlation in a study of twins based on perception and not anatomy is to essentially say: in genetically similar or identical women, one may believe she has a g-spot while the other does not.

This is a study about perception, not about whether a g-spot exists.

They found that 56 percent of respondents answered “yes” and that there was no genetic correlation. But only about 30 percent said they were able to achieve orgasm during intercourse, which may indicate that women were confused by the G-spot question because stimulation of the G-spot is supposed to induce orgasm, she said.

The definition of G-spot in the study is too specific and doesn’t take into account that some women perceive their G-spots as bigger or smaller, or higher or lower, said Debby Herbenick, research scientist at Indiana University and author of the book Because It Feels Good.

“It’s not so much that it’s a thing that we can see, but it has been pretty widely accepted that many women find it pleasurable, if not orgasmic, to be stimulated on the front wall of the vagina,” said Herbenick, who was not involved in the study.

The study also found correlations with personality components in women who did report having G-spots: For instance, these women tended to be more extroverted, arousable and open to experience, which may indicate a psychological component to the G-spot, Burri said.

Certainly our perception of our bodies is critical to sex research, but to call into question that the g-spot exists without the proper examination of study subjects is bad science reporting at best.

“Initially, it was a good concept, because who wouldn’t like the idea of ‘push a button and get the best orgasm ever?’ ” Burri said, to which CNN’s Elizabeth Landau added: “But those women who can’t orgasm from vaginal intercourse may feel inadequate, and knowing that the G-spot may not exist can take some pressure off.”

That makes perfect fucking sense. Let’s tell people the clit doesn’t exist next so women who can’t orgasm through its stimulation and men who can’t find it don’t feel pressured, either.

God help me.

AV Flox

Your humble editrix-in-command.

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Sex and the 405 is what your newspaper would look like if it had a sex section.

Here you’ll find news about the latest research being conducted to figure out what drives desire, passion, and other sex habits; reviews of sex toys, porn and other sexy things; coverage of the latest sex-related news that have our mainstream media's panties up in a bunch; human interest pieces about sex and desire; interviews with people who love sex, or hate sex, or work in sex, or work to enable you to have better sex; opinion pieces that relate to sex and society; and the sex-related side of celebrity gossip. More...