Sex Question Friday: Does The G-Spot Really Exist?

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Every Friday, I answer people’s questions about sex, love, and relationships. This week’s question comes from a reader who wanted to know more about the G-spot:

“Does the G-spot really exist? I’ve heard a lot of different things and I’m not sure what’s true and what isn’t.”

Good question! The G-spot was first described in 1950 by Dr. Ernst Grafenberg, who published a paper in the International Journal of Sexology detailing what he said was an erotic zone located part way inside the vagina on the front wall. Dr. Grafenberg wasn’t so bold as to name this piece of female anatomy after himself; in fact, it wasn’t until long after his death that doctors and sexologists began referring to this area as the Grafenberg Spot, or “G-spot” for short. (On a side note, it is also worth mentioning that Grafenberg is known for developing the original intrauterine device or IUD as well.)

Since the publication of Grafenberg’s seminal paper, the G-spot has been a constant source of controversy. Several scientific articles have appeared supporting the G-spot's existence, while others have claimed that it is nothing but a myth. As a result, I have often seen the G-spot described in the literature as a “gynecological UFO,” meaning that there have been many "sightings," but its existence is still unproven.

There is growing consensus among sexual scientists that the G-spot is not the distinct anatomic entity that it was once assumed to be. Indeed, a recent paper published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that reviewed all of the G-Spot research conducted to date concluded that “the existence of an anatomical G-Spot…remains to be demonstrated” [1].

So how do we explain the fact that so many women report that stimulating the area typically associated with the G-spot produces very intense orgasms? Some have argued that the G-spot could potentially have a psychological component. For example, in a 2008 study, researchers found that certain personality traits were linked to whether women reported having a G-spot, such as being highly extraverted and open to new experiences [2]. This isn’t to say that the G-spot is necessarily in someone’s head, though. It could just be that certain personality traits increase the odds of trying new things sexually, which might open the door to finding the G-spot.

That said, the growing consensus is that instead of referring to a distinct anatomic site, the “G-spot” may be more of an area—an area where the internal portion of the clitoris intersects with the vagina and urethra [1]. Most of the clitoris is on the inside of the body, anchoring it to the pubic bone. When women become sexually aroused, that internal part of the clitoris becomes swollen with blood (it contains erectile tissue, just like a penis), and it moves closer to the vaginal walls as a result. This may explain why so many women find pressure on the front wall of the vagina to be sexually pleasurable.

For previous editions of Sex Question Friday, click here. To send in a question for a future edition, click here.

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[1] Kilchevsky, A., Vardi, Y., Lowenstein, L., & Gruenwald, I. (2012). Is the female G-spot truly a distinct anatomic entity? Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(3), 719-726.

[2] Burri, A. V., Cherkas, L., & Spector, T. D. (2010). Genetic and environmental influences on self‐reported G‐spots in women: A twin study. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7(5), 1842-1852.

Image Source: iStockphoto

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