02.28.2008  BY DR. KATE
Freudian theory of the vaginal orgasm, meet modern technology. As Em & Lo mentioned this week, a new study has come out of Italy that attempts to locate the elusive G-spot. Nine women who report having vaginal orgasms (defined as coming without clitoral stimulation) were compared, using vaginal ultrasounds, with eleven women who don't.  Researchers found that women with vaginal orgasms have thicker tissue on the top wall of the vagina below the bladder, where the G-spot is rumored to reside.  

I can agree with some of the conclusions of the study--women are anatomically different from one another, inside as well as outside. In addition, we shouldn't let the pharmaceutical industry talk us into using drugs to treat any supposed sexual dysfunction. I'm also thrilled to see any research conducted in the area of female sexuality; there's still so much to learn about what makes us tick (and what makes us go off).

I hesitate, though, to make any sweeping conclusions based on a study of essentially nine women. This study doesn't prove that a thicker spot on your vagina leads to intercourse-induced orgasms with any regularity (correlation doesn't equal causality, in statistics-speak). And I don't want folks to call their gynos and request an ultrasound to look for their own g-spot--though I heartily encourage looking for it yourself and with your partner, if you're so inclined. Every woman knows what feels best for her--no test will tell her anything different--and her partner should focus on that.  Do any of you feel that you get as much (or more) pleasure from a spot other than your clitoris?


3 Comments

Lindsey said:

"In addition, we shouldn't let the pharmaceutical industry talk us into using drugs to treat any supposed sexual dysfunction."

I realize that this is an old post, but I find it very discouraging whenever I see this kind of attitude coming from someone who is supposed to support healthy attitudes toward sex. Sexual dysfunction DOES exist. I should know, I have vulvodynia and vaginsmus, and I promise you that if the pharmaceutical industry offered me a drug that would bring me ANY measure of relief, I would be all over it in a hot second. Sexual dysfunction includes a wide range of conditions, including pelvic pain and anorgasmia. For women suffering these conditions, like myself, it's not a matter of being "talked into using drugs," it's a matter of wondering when the hell someone is going to start caring enough to manufacture those drugs and useful cures. It's even more painful to have people who are supposed to be on "my side," those who are feminists, who support comprehensive female health care, etc., be so patronizing--as if the millions of women who experience sexual dysfunction don't know any better and are victims of big pharma.

I am sure that you are aware of pain conditions like these, so I am not sure why you (and many others--Our Bodies, Our Blog springs to mind as the most offensive in recent memory) overlook them when looking down your nose at "supposed" sexual dysfunction.

Dr. Kate said:

Lindsey, I hear what you're saying. I've posted several times on vaginismus and vulvodynia, and I don't doubt for a second that these are agonizing conditions. What angers me is when these conditions are equated with "difficulty orgasming" (not anorgasmia, but requiring more than 3 minutes of sex to come) as all the same sort of sexual dysfunction. You're dealing with true pain, and therapies the industry can come up with to help you are long overdue. But I can't stand when women's HEALTHY sexual functioning is cast in a dysfunctional light. Many women feel that they should be able to climax as fast as their male partners--and if they can, hooray, but if they can't, there's nothing wrong with them. I never meant to imply that there's no such thing as sexual dysfunction...I just don't think that all women suffer from it.

Lindsey said:

Thank you very much for the clarification. I've been reading a lot lately about this issue, and I suppose it's been getting to me.

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Em & Lo, more formally known as Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey, are the self-proclaimed Emily Posts of the modern bedroom.

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City.

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