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Orgasm, relationships, sex

Male GYNO claims to find G-spot in a dead woman. Female GYNO found it years ago in a living one.

An article was just published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in which a male “cosmetic” gynecologist claims to have found the G spot by dissecting the cadaver of an 83-year-old woman and the news media have flocked to the story. The amazing Dr. Petra Boynton does a wonderful job of looking at the bias and back story as well as the Journal of Sexual Medicine’s continual need to sensationalize the G-spot (It exists! It doesn’t exist! It exists!). Her post is definitely worth a read.

It’s hard for me to believe that there is an elusive, discrete structure that has been missed by thousands of highly skilled anatomists (people who spend their careers dissecting the human body) lo these past hundred or so years, but now found in an 83-year-old cadaver. I myself have dissected several cadavers never finding a discrete G-spot, and over the past 22 years of performing surgery on and around the vagina I have never found a piece of tissue that I would call a G-spot.

What does exist in the space between the vagina and the bladder (where the G-spot is reported) are blood vessels and autonomic nerves (autonomic nerves control responses and body functions that are not directly in our conscious control, like sweating, blood flow, and yes, many aspects of sexual response). The autonomic nerves look like a tennis net. In some women, the net is collapsed and these nerves are closer together while for others the net of nerves is more stretched out. Some women have more of these nerves than others (but it’s not a competition, we’re just all built a little differently) and there may be individual variations in nervous system responsiveness to stimulation. Blood vessels in the area also vary in size and exact location as does the response of these blood vessels to pressure.

Given these variables, it’s not surprising that there are a variety of sensory responses to stimulating the front wall of the vagina. Some women will orgasm, some will find it insufficient stimulation by itself but when combined with other stimulation will achieve a more intense/better/different orgasm, and some may find the front wall of the vagina does nothing. And on different days it might be different, because topography changes as the vagina becomes engorged with blood during arousal. In addition, hormonal changes throughout the month affect not only blood flow, but also how the nerve endings, spinal cord, and brain respond. Finally, foreplay, arousal, belief, desire, stress, mood, and a host of other dynamic factors also affect nervous system responsiveness.

In the interest of scientific discovery I am going to make a disclosure. I have confirmed a pleasurable zone in the front wall of one (meaning my) vagina. But wait, this is not just a case report!  Over the years I have asked many female colleagues about the G-spot, and I get one of the following answers:

  • it allows me to orgasm without clitoral stimulation
  • it doesn’t do it for me on it’s own, but combined with other stimulation makes my orgasm better/stronger/more intense
  • sometimes I like it, other times not so much
  • doesn’t really do it for me, I prefer clitoral stimulation

People need to stop thinking so literally about the G-spot (it’s not a small button on a mythical orgasm remote control). In addition, surgeons need to stop thinking/wishing it were a discrete structure to enhance, journals need to stop sending out press releases that sensationalize case reports about the G-spot, and reporters need to know that while case reports have a place in the medical literature, they’re not newsworthy.

For the record, I describe the sexual responsiveness of the front wall of the vagina/G-spot more like rabbit ears. You might have to fiddle around to get the most satisfying reception, although for some, optimal reception doesn’t require an antenna. As long as you’re getting the picture you want, that’s all that matters.

If something is safe and feels good sexually, we should be empowered to try it. What we don’t need is the implication that if stimulating one specific spot doesn’t result in immediate orgasm that there must be something wrong.

Satisfying sex is about exploration and communication and that’s certainly not something you can learn from the dead.

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Discussion

7 thoughts on “Male GYNO claims to find G-spot in a dead woman. Female GYNO found it years ago in a living one.

  1. *eyeroll* at the cosmetic gyno’s discovery.

    What is your opinion that the G spot may be the crux of the clitoris?

    Posted by MomTFH | April 25, 2012, 10:48 am
  2. i remember my (newly-wed) health teacher in grade 9 answering a secret ballot question about the g-spot by assuring us that they had certainly tried to find it and he didn’t think it existed. hilarious and probably not quite appropriate!

    worth a personal experiment, at the very least! who cares if there’s an actual blob of something in there or not? i kinda wonder what on earth this object was that the dead lady had. that someone is selling gynecological improvements is so skeevy to me!

    Posted by reddressgnome | April 25, 2012, 12:40 pm
  3. I wonder how many readers understood the reference to “rabbit ears” to mean the old fashioned antenna we had on top of our TV’s growing up?
    You know, those TV’s that our dad’s had to go to the store to buy tubes for, not the “Rabbit Ears” of their little companion they keep in their bedside drawers. ;)

    Posted by BookLover62 | April 29, 2012, 9:57 pm
  4. http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/g-spot-discovered-not-so-fast/

    I was just writing on the poor science journalism post that your posts are very similar to some found on science based medicine and things discussed on the skeptics guide to the universe (a podcast; until my post got lost), and then I see this post. really, there is so much overlap, I think you would enjoy both the blog and podcast.

    Posted by magra178 | May 11, 2012, 10:43 am

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: Friday Coffee Break « Nothing in biology makes sense! - April 27, 2012

  2. Pingback: Fact checking is optional when it comes to health information and the media « Dr. Jen Gunter - April 28, 2012

  3. Pingback: Science online, this does not follow edition | Jeremy Yoder - July 1, 2014

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