Where, oh where has the G-spot gone?

This article first appeared on the Good Vibrations Magazine.

Every time I think we’ve sorted out the question of whether the G-spot exists, some new study gets published and the media takes it and runs with it. The Times (UK) has reported that a team of British researchers has shown that the G-spot doesn’t exist. But when you dig a bit deeper, a few interesting methodological problems come up.

First, here’s what the research team did: they interviewed about 1800 women, all of whom were pairs of twins, either identical and non-identical. The scientists assumed that if one member of an identical twin pair reported G-spot experiences, her sister should be more likely to also report it since identical twins would probably be similar. The non-identical twins were the control group. And their results showed that identical twins were no more likely to both report having a G-spot than non-identical twins.

But here’s where this gets interesting. According to Dr. Petra, the study excluded 71 women ‘who reported they were homo or bisexual were excluded from the study because of the common use of digital stimulation among these women, which may bias the results. Also excluded were women who had never engaged in vaginal intercourse’. Given that “digital stimulation” (which means using fingers, not using a computer) is one of the best ways to explore the G-spot, it seems reasonable that women who had been on the receiving end of it would be more likely to have explored G-spot sensations. But rather than interviewing all of  the women about their experiences with “digital stimulation,” these scientists simply dropped queer women from the study. I understand that it’s important to simplify research questions, but this seems like the wrong way to do it.

In addition, the study asked this question:

“Do you believe you have a so called G spot, a small area the size of a 20p coin on the front wall of your vagina that is sensitive to deep pressure?”

This is problematic for a few reasons. First, starting off with “do you believe” and “so called” makes this a leading question by casting doubt on the existence of the G-spot. If you were interviewing people about their allergies, would you ask “Do you believe that you have so called allergies?” or would you ask them to describe their symptoms?

Second, thinking that you have a G-spot, experiencing G-spot sensations, and actually having a G-spot aren’t the same thing. After all, two twin women could have very similar bodies and still have very different sexual histories, simply because of having had different partners. And some women have experienced G-spot sensations without knowing exactly what was going on, perhaps because they didn’t know about their anatomy or because their partner didn’t tell them what they were doing.

Third, this research doesn’t explain the reported experiences of hundreds of thousands of people, if not more. I’ve spoken with too many people who have felt a partner’s G-spot with their fingertip to doubt that there’s something to these stories. And I’ve spoken with too many people who have experienced a  sensation from G-spot play that’s different from anything else they’ve tried to claim that there’s no such thing.

In all fairness, one of the hopes of the research team is to reduce the anxieties that many people have around not measuring up. I’ve spoken with plenty of women who think that there’s something wrong with them because they don’t have the “blow your mind and curl your toes” G-spot orgasms that they’ve heard about. But rather than discounting the experiences of people who enjoy G-spot pleasures, what if we just made room for sexual diversity?

Here’s an example: some people enjoy G-spot sensations, some don’t, and some don’t even notice anything from G-spot play. Bodies vary a lot and personal preferences vary a lot, so rather than comparing yourself with what someone else does, how about finding the things that work for you?

It’s a crazy idea, but it just might work.

Personally, I think that this study is interesting, in that it shows that even women with (presumably) very similar bodies can have very different experiences. But I’m not convinced that the G-spot has actually gone anywhere. 🙂

In the meantime, if you want to find out more about the G-spot, check out this page, this book, or this DVD.

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