Asking if the “G-spot” exists can be a bit like asking if God (the other G-spot) exists: It depends on who you ask. And in both cases, science is (thus far) ill equipped to adequately measure either G-spot.
For the women’s G-spot, lack of scientific data is due mostly to a lack of guts or interest in measuring a woman’s vagina while being penetrated (no one has done anything close to this since Kinsey). As a result, tales of the G-spot is to this day are seen by scientists as anecdotal at best.
In an attempt to study to G-spot empirically yet “safely” (given the testy political climate for sex researchers), a group of British researchers decided to investigate the question by …
- Observing women having penetrative sex?
- Asking women to keep detailed sex journals?
- Giving women physical exams looking for variations in vaginal interiors?
- Asking women to test for themselves the area known as a G-spot, and report back to researchers?
- Investigating a possible relationship between women’s level of curiosity and openness to sexual pleasure, and their understanding of their “G-spot”?
No. The researchers simply created a survey and asked a bunch of female twins if they “believed” they had a “so called G-spot.” Guess what they found?
They found that 56 percent of respondents answered “yes” and that there was no genetic correlation (CNN).
To translate: by “genetic correlation” researchers simply mean that identical twins didn’t give the same answer to the question of whether or not they believed in a “so called G-spot.” (Even though this could simply mean that these twins haven’t had exactly the same sexual partners, exactly the same sexual experiences, and exactly the same sexual education).
Let’s put this into context. What if researchers asked instead if subjects “believed” there is a “so called God”? And what if there was not a statistically significant correlation for twins who both believed in God? Would this mean that scientific researchers could conclude that a) God is not real, and b) that God (not a belief in God, but that God) is NOT is genetic? Of course not. The question itself is absurd, as belief systems are not genetically ingrained. They are learned within particular social contexts.
Here’s the point: data about “beliefs” can only be generalized to beliefs and not extended to make absolute truths claims. Despite news headlines now claiming that the “G-spot doesn’t exist,” all this survey tells us is that some women believe in the G-spot, and some don’t. While a sample of identical twins offer researchers the joy of being able to control for biological variation, in my opinion that this study was a waste of the twins’ time.
These are the kind of sexual research methods that drive critical sexuality researchers CRAZY.
Thank “god” there are other sexual researchers who can help us interpret these results. These critical researchers include Debby Herbenick (quoted below in an article from CNN):
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.
Thank “god” we also have sex-positive sexual health educators to also help interpret these data, such as the folks at Babeland, a women-owned sex toy store. Babeland bloggers immediately hit upon this story yesterday (they were also interviewed for a local TV news show in their Manhattan location). Babeland blogger Dallas had this to say about the British study:
I have to take serious issue with this research. First, the researchers (or the author of the article) apparently don’t know what the G-spot is. It’s not nerve endings only, but a collection of glands and ducts that surrounds the urethra. Anatomical dissection has already proven that this exists. Defining the G-spot as nerve endings leads me to believe what the research really wanted to know is “do all women experience pleasure from G-spot stimulation?” which is a very different question. Every day when I talk to customers, I have to remind people that everyone is different. What may work for one person won’t work for the next. Thus, I would not be surprised to find that many women didn’t really feel much pleasure when stimulating the G-spot. That’s not the same thing as saying it doesn’t exist.
That said, the researchers relied on women’s self report of whether or not they felt anything. Although I’m all for listening to what women have to say about their bodies, I’ve also talked to hundreds of women about their G-spots and many of them had misunderstood where their G-spot was or how to stimulate it. They were under the impression that their G-spot did nothing for them when in fact, it may have just needed a different touch. Self report can be a terrific way to do research, but in a world where misconceptions about the G-spot abound, it may not accurately reflect women’s G-spot pleasure potential.
Sounds like a perfectly reasoned challenge to me! Scientific G-spot researchers: I encourage you to collaborate with Babeland educators in your next round of investigations.