Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


See Spot Run
January 5, 2010 6:06 AM   Subscribe

A new study from the Journal of Sexual Medicine claims that "the g-spot does not appear to exist". While the study has attracted media attention from numerous sources (just like 2008's study, which appeared to prove the g-spot exists), Dr. Petra takes a closer look at this new study, and questions the methodology, the media response, and the research team's previous undertakings. (via)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing (136 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
[controls self, keeps face straight, quietly exits thread]
posted by infini at 6:12 AM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Anecdotal evidence suggests otherwise.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:21 AM on January 5, 2010 [11 favorites]


English men failing to find the G-Spot? There's a surprise.
posted by surrendering monkey at 6:24 AM on January 5, 2010 [30 favorites]


Eponytastic?

(nope, none of the researchers seem to be named Marisa)
posted by joshwa at 6:25 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


Argh. Eponysterical.

[crawls back into pre-caffeine hole]
posted by joshwa at 6:26 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like eponytastic better.
posted by spicynuts at 6:27 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wrong.
posted by availablelight at 6:34 AM on January 5, 2010


Whatever, I'm not calling off the search any time soon.
posted by splatta at 6:35 AM on January 5, 2010 [27 favorites]


I love when you're hitting it just right and you fall into the rhythm and it's like hitting the little round bumpers in pinball.
posted by Eideteker at 6:39 AM on January 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


Eponygasmic, more like.
posted by FatherDagon at 6:41 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I am saddened to find that the pleasure that I have given to lovers over the course of 30 some odd years has been a shared delusion.

::sigh::
posted by Splunge at 6:43 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Perhaps the women in the study just haven't been invited to the right parties:

"And most recently the cosmetic surgery industry has got in on the act offering g-shot parties where you can get a collagen injection into your vaginal wall to enhance the g spot (and make it easier for a partner to find)." - from the linked "questions the methodology" article.

* Amused at the possibility of "female enhancement" commercials ...
posted by nickjadlowe at 6:43 AM on January 5, 2010


Honestly, I don't think it really matters. You're doin' it right or you're not.
posted by Miko at 6:44 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


I happen to think there is a G-spot, but I am always happy to have SCIENCE! prove me wrong. I think this methodology is a little wierd (asking twins and non-twins if they have one? Why can't they just do vaginal exams?) but this response from the critic is even weirder:

"She said the researchers had discounted the experiences of lesbian or bisexual women and failed to consider the effects of having different sexual partners with different love-making techniques."

Is the alleged G-spot not an anatomical element? An actual, physical, thing? Why, then, would lesbians, bisexuals, and sexually experienced women have one and other straight women not? Or does she mean that lesbians/bis/experienced people might know they have one, whereas women who haven't had "different love-making techniques" might not know? Again, couldn't this be solved through vaginal exams? Autopsies? Actually looking at bodies?
posted by arcticwoman at 6:44 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not opposed to the idea that there is a G-spot, but I do wonder sometimes if it's a construction. There's certainly a strain of research and writing about sex which seeks to make the complex phenomenon of female sexualilty more comprehensible, more formulaic. If there could be a specific, defined region that would produce predictable results every time, wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't that make people feel like better lovers, and reduce the sexual response to a simple matter of mechanics? Find it, and you're home free!

The fact that it isn't a findable unique organ, and that the area in question is probably pretty variable person to person in terms of sensitivity, and that even if all the directions are followed it may not perform as advertised, makes me think that it's possible it doesn't 'exist' as an empirical entity, even though it certainly could as an idea or social construct that has resulted in some real positives for women in terms of satisfaction. (Of course, I've no doubt it's also resulted in some real long boring goal-oriented episodes of fumbling and some feelings of inadequacy on both sides).
posted by Miko at 6:49 AM on January 5, 2010 [23 favorites]


Well "SCIENCE" also says that the earth is warming up due to human endeavors. We all know how wrong THAT is!
posted by Danf at 6:50 AM on January 5, 2010


Like the guy from Mindhacks put it, "the new study which has been widely reported showing there is 'no genetic evidence for the g spot', in fact indicates that there is 'no genetic evidence for thinking you have a g spot' ... this study didn't measure anything anatomical, it just asked the women whether they thought they had a g spot or not with a single 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?'" That's pretty much the crux of the methodology criticism.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:51 AM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


I just don't understand why women tested under cold, sterile laboratory conditions would fail to achieve orgasm. I mean what's more condusive to climax than a chilled speculum and kraft paper up your bum?
posted by Pollomacho at 6:54 AM on January 5, 2010 [11 favorites]


The fact that it isn't a findable unique organ, and that the area in question is probably pretty variable person to person in terms of sensitivity, and that even if all the directions are followed it may not perform as advertised, makes me think that it's possible it doesn't 'exist' as an empirical entity, even though it certainly could as an idea or social construct that has resulted in some real positives for women in terms of satisfaction.

Wow, you just turned my long-standing gut sense into a coherent paragraph. Please remove your tentacles from my brain.

I'm pretty much agnostic on the subject. A few girlfriends had me go spelunking for it, without any great effect; what little I've read about it has tended towards the mystical and the overblown. But then I've met people who report with glowing eyes how much pleasure they get from it, and who am I to tell them that they are wrong?
posted by Forktine at 6:55 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


No word yet on A- and U-?
posted by Phanx at 7:04 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


So....women who sleep with women were excluded from the study "because of the common use of digital stimulation among theses women, which may bias the results."

"Bias the results"? What does that mean?
posted by rtha at 7:05 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Something I've always suspected about the G-spot:

We all generally know where the clitoris is, right? And we all generally know where the G-spot is SUPPOSED to be, right? ...If you extend the clitoris through the body and back into the vaginal wall, isn't that about where the G-spot should be?


....But feh. When it comes to human bodies there is absolutely nothing approaching universal constants, and when it comes to sexual pleasure there's even less consistency. Better to just focus on trying all sorts of different things with your specific partner, and if you find something that works, it doesn't matter whether it's her g-spot, her clitoris, or even her ear.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:08 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


The general idea is that you find the spot that makes you 'have to pee' and stimulate it along with the clitoris. You'll feel like you have to pee more and more, and then the feeling goes away and it's just pleasure. That's the "directions" you can find, and many sex shows have described.

As a female, it works. This is coming from someone who didn't believe it existed in the first place, but it's there. And it's not an organ, just a spot of extra sensitivity. The resulting liquid that is released from the pleasure comes from the bladder, not the vagina, and from what I've read on the subject it could be a result of how we're formed in the womb when things decide if we're male or female. Such as, the male "glans" tissue could have been 'placed' there.

Anyway, I don't know if that's true but I do know the spot exists. Don't need SCIENCE! to tell me it doesn't.
posted by Malice at 7:09 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


I should also clarify that it's much easier to 'hit' with fingers or a hard toy.
posted by Malice at 7:12 AM on January 5, 2010


Well, I'm willing to accept some aspects of this-- that there's no discrete identifiable organ that serves this function? Fine. This is pretty much not news.

That the fun, reliable effects of doing it just right in the appropriate spot, exist and have provided my extremely-significant-other with lots of fun over the years, don't exist? Bullshit.

The problem is that talking about 'the G-spot' conflates these two categories/conflicting realities in strange and misleading ways. One's anatomical, the other's behavioral/experiential.

I really think scientists ought to be able to move on past the 'does it exist or doesn't it' phase, and get to the 'think up fun new ways to use it' phase.
posted by Erroneous at 7:16 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Am I the only person infantile enough to notice the caption?
posted by gerryblog at 7:21 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


what's more condusive to climax than a chilled speculum and kraft paper up your bum?

Um... I think you're looking in the wrong place.
posted by ComfySofa at 7:24 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Everything I know about sex I've learned from Peter Alsop.
posted by Danf at 7:29 AM on January 5, 2010


G-spot, G-spot... where, oh where can you be?
posted by Joe Beese at 7:33 AM on January 5, 2010


Miko: The fact that it isn't a findable unique organ, and that the area in question is probably pretty variable person to person in terms of sensitivity, and that even if all the directions are followed it may not perform as advertised, makes me think that it's possible it doesn't 'exist' as an empirical entity, even though it certainly could as an idea or social construct that has resulted in some real positives for women in terms of satisfaction.

The female orgasm (of the non-ejaculatory variety) can certainly be elusive. And we all know not to assume that any ole poking, prodding, rubbing, grinding, scraping, etc will lead to orgasm, and that if orgasm is not achieved, this is not proof of a non-existent or malfunctioning clitoris. The orgasm is a separate idea than the anatomy.

In the spirit of TMI...I didn't "successfully" masturbate until I was in college. And it wasn't for lack of effort. I did everything short of dressing it up and taking it out to dinner. But for some reason, I just wasn't doing it right. Needless to say, my life changed that one day.
posted by nickjadlowe at 7:39 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


rtha: So....women who sleep with women were excluded from the study "because of the common use of digital stimulation among theses women, which may bias the results."

"Bias the results"? What does that mean?


This is a very good question. It seems to me that by eliminating lesbian and bisexual women, they're biasing their own results. The G-spot is, as Malice explains above, easier to reach with fingers, a dildo or a vibrator than a penis, which may not strike or rub against the spot at the proper angle.
Andrea Burri, who also led the research, says that she is anxious to remove feelings of "inadequacy or underachievement" that might affect women who fear they lacked a G-spot.

I'd like to know if that decision was reached before or after she had the results in hand?
posted by zarq at 7:40 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's more like the BBC claims that it might not exist. What the authors of the study actually say, we don't know because this is all second-hand manufacturing of controversy.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:41 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


this is not proof of a non-existent or malfunctioning clitoris.

No; but we don't need the proof, because the clitoris is an organ, empiraclly observable, dissectable, and easily findable in all but a very few individuals.
posted by Miko at 7:43 AM on January 5, 2010


I don't really understand the concept of the G-spot, besides as a theoretical construction developed by people who don't really understand anatomy and want to explain why some women can have vaginal-only orgasms? Didn't someone post an article to metafilter about how the clitoris is really a large mass of tissue that extends all the way back along the vaginal wall? And thus there's really no such thing as a "vaginal-only" orgasm? It's all sort of one unit?

The general idea is that you find the spot that makes you 'have to pee' and stimulate it along with the clitoris. You'll feel like you have to pee more and more, and then the feeling goes away and it's just pleasure.

This really, really, really varies from person to person. This is borderline-TMI, but I've tried this and it never goes from "having to pee" feeling to pleasure. It goes from a "having to pee" feeling to "OMG I really have to pee" feeling (which really puts a damper on things), leading me to believe it's really just prodding my bladder around? I mean, that's fine - isn't the semi-mythical "A-spot" just an area that's in contact with the prostate? And if some women get off on bladder-prodding, then I'm all "yay" for them.

I guess my icky feeling comes from the research methodology, which pretty explicitly is looking to validate PIV orgasms. And I really don't see the need to do that.
posted by muddgirl at 7:47 AM on January 5, 2010


WTF spelling? "empirically"
posted by Miko at 7:47 AM on January 5, 2010


Man, I love it when I get a chance to trot out my "the G-Spot as a historical construction" speech.

There was this long-standing idea that the penis and the clitoris were biological homologues, which has been extensively critiqued because it takes men as the standard and then assumes that women must just be a variation on men.

But it was around for most of the 20th century, so when Freud was looking for a source of female pleasure, he said "it's female pleasure, so it can't come from the masculine clitoris, it has to come from the feminine vagina!" Which is where we get the idea that women who only have clitoral orgasms are immature.

Fast forward to a slightly more scientific study of pleasure, and you see that Kinsey tries to poke women with Q-tips and doesn't arouse them, so he assumes Freud was wrong--the penis and the clitoris are homologues, and they are the respective sources of sexual pleasure. Masters and Johnson even call clitoral orgasms the "hallmark of female sexual response."

Both the Freud and the Kinsey/Masters/Johnson approaches have one big problem: they only allow for one "correct" sexual response.

Dr. Ernst Gräfenberg, on the other hand, is thinking about how the women he sees have lots of different kinds of orgasms, and he publishes “The Role of Urethra in Female Orgasm" in 1950.

He does this thing that can't help but come off as a bit lecherous where he tells you about every kind of orgasm he has ever heard of.

"The entrance to the rectum can also become an erotogenic center, not for anal intercourse, but for stimulation with the finger... kissing the nipples, touching them with the penis, or inserting the penis between the two breasts [can] lead to an orgasm. Cunnilingus or even insertion of the penis in the external orifice of the ear are other illustrations of the variability of the erotogenic zones in females" [emphasis mine].

But Gräfenberg is especially interested in the anterior vaginal wall and "urethral onanism," which often causes his female patients to get hairpins and pencils stuck in their vaginas.

He uses a different sort of homologue argument to suggest that this wall may actually be the seat of female satisfaction:

"Analogous to the male urethra, the female urethra also seems to be surrounded by erectile tissues... in the course of sexual stimulation, the female urethra begins to enlarge and can be felt easily. It swells out greatly at the end of orgasm."

And the coup de grace, the argument from evolution, which I'm just going to quote in full because it's full of so many magical phrases:

"The erotogenic zone on the anterior wall of the vagina can be understood only from a comparison with the phylogenetic ancestry... LeMon Clark is right when he mentions that we were designed as quadrupeds.

Therefore, intercourse from the back of the woman is the most natural one. This can be performed either in the side-to-side posture with the male partner behind, or better still with the woman in Sims', knee-elbow or shoulder position, the husband standing in front of the bed. The female genitals have to be higher than the other parts of her body.

"The stimulating effect of this kind of intercourse must not be explained away as LeMon Clark does by the melodious movements of the testicles like a knocker on the clitoris, but is merely caused by the direct thrust of the penis towards the urethral erotic zone. Certain it is that this area in the anterior vaginal wall is a primary erotic zone, perhaps more important than the clitoris, which got its erotic supremacy only in the age of necking."

So Gräfenberg is sort of progressive for his time, because he's into listening to the diverse experiences his female patients and allowing for different kinds of responses, but he's also buttressing his argument with reference to what's "natural."

Then people sort of forget about this paper for a while--Kinsey's Sexual Behavior in the Human Female comes out in 1953 and grabs all the attention--until the publication of The G Spot and Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality by psychologis Alice Kahn Ladas and biologists Beverly Whipple and John D. Perry in 1982.

They are awesome, because they recognize that “either/or arguments often meet our need for simple answers but rarely succeed in capturing the nature of reality” (20) and state that their research "validates the experience of both vaginal and clitoral orgasm" (29).

In part the writers return to the idea of homologues to justify their conclusions, writing that women might have two sexual foci--the clitoris and the G Spot--just like men, who have the penis and the prostate.

Their other "discoveries" are female ejaculation, the importance of pelvic muscles for orgasm, and the overarching theory that connects all of these: a continuum-based theory of the female orgasm, which says there's not just one way to do it right, there's an infinite number of ways.

"Inevitably some people are going to decide that they prefer orgasms that can be classified at one point or another on each continuum. We make no value judgment about where people are or want to be on these continuums. We do want people to be aware of their options and the various means of achieving them. As we have said before—but it is certainly important enough to repeat several times—don’t use the information in this book to set up new standards for yourself or your partner because, by doing so, you may undermine the pleasures that are already yours" (158-159).

I'm also particularly fond of this quote:

"As a culture we have gone from the tyranny of Victorianism, to the tyranny of the clitoral-vaginal transfer theory, to the tyranny of the central role of the clitoris, to the tyranny of having to have an orgasm, and even perhaps to the tyranny of having to be sexually active. Because we have reached a new synthesis with regard to certain aspects of sexuality, let’s not establish another tyranny involving the G spot, female ejaculation, multiple orgasm, or the male prostate” (174).

Every time I see another study about "does it or doesn't it exist?" or another article about "find your G-Spot and bring your love to the next level!" I can't help but think that they didn't get their wishes.

Maybe this is in part their fault for describing it as a wholly new organ ("the G-Spot") rather than just "the anterior vaginal wall, sensitive in some women, not in others," which is where I've personally thrown my ring in the debate.

(I hope somebody read all of that.)
posted by besonders at 7:47 AM on January 5, 2010 [281 favorites]


So....women who sleep with women were excluded from the study "because of the common use of digital stimulation among theses women, which may bias the results." "Bias the results"? What does that mean?

It means that this study apparently conflated "existence of G-spot" with "ability to orgasm through hetero intercourse." Check it out:
Analysis revealed that women reporting orgasms through intercourse did not necessarily report the presence of a g spot, and those who reported having a g spot noted they were likely to orgasm through other forms of stimulation such as kissing or breast stimulation. The researchers conclude “the g spot is rather a perception created by non physiological factors that can cause a heightened sexual sensation”.
So, if you have a G-spot, you will know because you will orgasm during hetero intercourse. If there is any other type of stimulation involved during said intercourse -- kissing, etc -- then you don't really have a G-spot, because for a G-spot to be a G-spot, it has to be able to (1) induce orgasm, (2) with no other added stimulation, (3) through hetero intercourse only.

Perhaps I'm missing something -- after all, I don't have access to the original study, just the analysis -- but what the hell? These premises are completely fucking stupid. Essentially, this study has nothing to do with women's sexual pleasure -- it is just another rehashing of the extremely irritating male-focused question, "Can women orgasm through hetero intercourse alone?" Once and for all, let me settle this for you: sometimes women do, sometimes women don't, every woman is different, just because a woman doesn't orgasm from intercourse alone doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't enjoy it, and really the best thing to do is just fucking ask her. Can we stop now?
posted by ourobouros at 7:48 AM on January 5, 2010 [22 favorites]


Doctors saying that they haven't found the "G-spot" is like saying there's no scientific evidence to support that humans have faces. Nope, can't find a physical organ called the "face," and despite the widespread concept of the "face," there's no scientific consensus of what makes up the "face."

Investigations into the "smile" phenomenon are on-going.
posted by explosion at 7:49 AM on January 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


Fantastic, informed comment, besonders. You made me smarter. Very interesting, too.
posted by Miko at 7:51 AM on January 5, 2010


(I hope somebody read all of that.)

I did. Awesome comment, besonders.
posted by ourobouros at 7:52 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Favorited for "the melodious movements of the testicles like a knocker on the clitoris".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:54 AM on January 5, 2010 [7 favorites]


which is where I've personally thrown my ring in the debate.

Do you mean something about throwing your hat into the ring? Or is "throwing your ring" another one of those sexual euphemisms I don't understand?
posted by pracowity at 8:08 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


(I hope somebody read all of that.)
posted by besonders at 10:47 AM on January 5


I did as well, great comment. Thanks for confirming that I can help my partner's achieve orgasm by sticking it in their ear. Every instinct in my body told me that skullfucking was a legitimate copulatory technique! Take that, Stacy!
posted by Pastabagel at 8:11 AM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


The BBC article, like so many news articles, is in three parts: it presents the most salacious side first regardless of plausibility (in this case pro); the other side second, but always closes with a political appeal that has nothing to do with the actual science:

"It's telling people that there is a single, best way to have sex, which isn't the right thing to do."

Oh, that's where I got the idea for vaginal intercourse.

Also, the picture of the grinning lips captioned by "Some doubt the existence of a G spot at all" is pretty funny.
posted by TheLastPsychiatrist at 8:18 AM on January 5, 2010


My girl's so oldskool about fuckin', hers is the OG spot.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:25 AM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


Every instinct in my body told me that skullfucking was a legitimate copulatory technique!

There is a continuum of skullfucking, and the way you fuck one person's skull might not work for another person's skull.
posted by fuq at 8:26 AM on January 5, 2010


which is where I've personally thrown my ring in the debate.

As do I. I agree that perhaps there would be less divisive debate if it were referred to as the G-Zone or something.

Besides... I would like to think the real center of orgasm is in the brain.
posted by nickjadlowe at 8:28 AM on January 5, 2010


Dr. Ernst Gräfenberg, on the other hand, is thinking about how the women he sees have lots of different kinds of orgasms, and he publishes “The Role of Urethra in Female Orgasm" in 1950.

I would have LOVEDED to been a fly on the wall for those 1940s dinner conversations. "So Doctor, what do you all those hours studying?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:30 AM on January 5, 2010


Or is "throwing your ring" another one of those sexual euphemisms I don't understand?

It's kind of like this game, except, you know.
posted by little e at 8:31 AM on January 5, 2010


Does it really *matter* if there's a G-spot or not as long as you both go to sleep with a smile on your face?
posted by mrbill at 8:33 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


That was awesome, besonderes, thank you. Read it twice, even.
Yes, ditto on the "melodious... like a knocker" being just... poetic. I can't wait to yell out "HOW MELODIOUS! Try ringing the doorbell as well!"
Certainly the researchers just wanted to make a headline with something completely converse to what we we've heard. Maybe it's all about selling magazines. And it's a shame we get so wrapped up in the analysis that we forget the point of everything is to have fun, whichever way you feel like doing it. Experiences are all subjective... but to come to a "scientific" conclusion simply by asking if a woman thinks she has one? Just kind of moot.

Thanks to surrendering monkey as well for making me LOL. Though you've killed all my Colin Firth fantasies in one fell swoop.
posted by mostlybecky at 8:36 AM on January 5, 2010


besonders, I totally read all that! Awesome.

And despite the patient explanations offered by those of you in an effort to dispel my confusion over how women who sleep with women were excluded from the study because we might bias the results, I'm still having a very hard time wrapping my head around why the researchers would do this.

Scientists want to research whether or not the g-pot exists. Okay. But they only want to test women who have penetrative sex with penises (that sounds funny) rather than test women who have penetrative sex with fingers and/or dildos and/or penises. But then wouldn't they just see results of how well (or not) penises stimulate (or not) the g-spot (g-area, whatever)? How does that provide any useful information about whether or not the spot or area exists at all?
posted by rtha at 8:38 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


But.

Um.

(Looks at fingers. Thinks a bit.)

Um. I'm pretty sure... See, there was this time... and just the other week...

Er.

(Gestures with his hand vaguely underhanded.)

You see, it's sort of a rough patch... I'm pretty sure something happened...

(Drops hands.)

Never mind.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:44 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


This just in from SCIENCE: Your partner will like some things, not like some things, and different women like different things so do those things she says she likes and not the things she doesn't like.

You can go ahead and run that, BBC, that's an official press release.
posted by The Straightener at 8:46 AM on January 5, 2010


You see, it's sort of a rough patch...

Right. "I was tweaking SOMETHING that produced some pretty spectacular results. To hell with your scientific method..."
posted by mrbill at 8:47 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not only it exists, but the engineers at Steorn have figured out how it can be harnessed to generate unlimited free energy.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:21 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Here's what irks me about the G-spot controversy:

Is it a physical thing, like a bundle of nerves or tissue? Then autopsy a bunch of dead chicks' vaginas and you'll either find it or not. Boom, the G-spot either exists or not. We do not need to interview a bunch of twins to see who has "vaginal orgasms." We do not need to look at orgasmicitity at all. No. All we need a scalpel and some dead folks who in life were not opposed to being chopped up for science. Seriously, this is like asking "Does the eardrum exist?" and trying to prove it by interviewing hearing and non-hearing individuals.

And if you can't find it during an autopsy, I'm inclined to believe that the G-spot, like so much else having to do with sexuality exists... in people's brains. Which is just fine. Let's all stop worrying and have more orgasms.
posted by Never teh Bride at 9:33 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now, what I want to know is why so many people want to have sex before they go to bed. What's up with that? Wouldn't you rather go to sleep at night when you're tired, and drunk and stoned and etc, and wouldn't you rather have sex the next day in the morning, then in the afternoon, and then a quickie in the evening before (or.../and) after dinner? Right before going to sleep seems like the lowest-energy time to have sex. How did nighty sex become the standard?
posted by fuq at 9:37 AM on January 5, 2010


Right before going to sleep seems like the lowest-energy time to have sex. How did nighty sex become the standard?

Just a guess, but it often makes people drowsy and can help them sleep more soundly.

Also, as a parent, I can report that my toddlers (who don't sleep through the night all that much anyway,) wake up at dawn. If I have to wake up in the middle of the night to have sex, I might as well not go to sleep beforehand.
posted by zarq at 9:50 AM on January 5, 2010


NSFW. Graphic, practically useful video instruction on pornotube, how to manually give a G-spot orgasm. NSFW. And that's all I have to say about whether the G-spot exists or not.
posted by nickyskye at 9:51 AM on January 5, 2010 [12 favorites]


“Both the Freud and the Kinsey/Masters/Johnson approaches have one big problem: they only allow for one "correct" sexual response….continuum-based theory of the female orgasm, which says there's not just one way to do it right, there's an infinite number of ways.”
Thank you.

“…the anterior vaginal wall, sensitive in some women, not in others,"
Noticed this as well. Some women you make the ‘c’mere’ gesture in the right spot(s). Nada. Others, bam, you’re a glazed donut. Paradoxically, sex researchers seem not to get laid much.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:55 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


"G-spots? In my vagina?"
posted by gene_machine at 9:55 AM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is this akin to people trying to argue that you can't have orgasms from anal too?
posted by june made him a gemini at 9:59 AM on January 5, 2010


How did nighty sex become the standard?

Truth: Some of us just aren't all that sexy in the morning.
posted by thivaia at 10:06 AM on January 5, 2010


"G-spots? In my vagina?"

Apparently it's not as likely as you think.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:25 AM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


As a female, it works. This is coming from someone who didn't believe it existed in the first place, but it's there. And it's not an organ, just a spot of extra sensitivity. The resulting liquid that is released from the pleasure comes from the bladder, not the vagina, and from what I've read on the subject it could be a result of how we're formed in the womb when things decide if we're male or female. Such as, the male "glans" tissue could have been 'placed' there.

Huh. I saw some sex show (Real Sex?) ages ago where they tested the fluid produced from stimulating a woman's g-spot and showed that it was ejaculatory fluid, not urine, suggesting that the g-spot could have been the female version of prostate tissue, which always made more sense to me than anything else I ever heard.

I love that there are big honking mysteries about the human body still. In 2010!
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:30 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


How did nighty sex become the standard?

Truth: Some of us just aren't all that sexy in the morning.


Clearly not a fan of the Starland Vocal Band.

PS: Watch out for Ron Burgandy
posted by Pollomacho at 10:32 AM on January 5, 2010


melodious movements of the testicles
melodious movements of the testicles
melodious movements of the testicles
melodious movements of the testicles
melodious movements of the testicles

I'm just gonna keep saying that to myself all day. THANKS, METAFILTER.

/sarcasm
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:48 AM on January 5, 2010


I just don't understand why women tested under cold, sterile laboratory conditions would fail to achieve orgasm. I mean what's more condusive to climax than a chilled speculum and kraft paper up your bum?

Actually around the turn of the century women would go to the doctors office to have orgasms
posted by delmoi at 10:53 AM on January 5, 2010


Yeah, well, delmoi, you can forget that under Obamacare's new death to orgasms panels.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 10:59 AM on January 5, 2010 [4 favorites]


Actually around the turn of the century women would go to the doctors office to have orgasms

A HA! THAT EXPLAINS IT.
posted by zarq at 11:05 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Cunnilingus or even insertion of the penis in the external orifice of the ear are other illustrations of the variability of the erotogenic zones in females

On further study that ear thing turns out to be the result of women turning their head quickly because they don't want it in their mouth.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:19 AM on January 5, 2010 [5 favorites]


On further study that ear thing turns out to be the result of women turning their head quickly because they don't want it in their mouth.

What?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:46 AM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Malice and PhoBWanKenobi, I learned a lot of the ideas on where female ejaculate comes from and what it is made up of in this AskMe thread (NSFW). The last comment seems to speak to the theories you both mentioned.
posted by juliplease at 11:48 AM on January 5, 2010


Cunnilingus or even insertion of the penis in the external orifice of the ear are other illustrations of the variability of the erotogenic zones in females

What excellent timing for today's comic.
posted by Cogito at 12:19 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meh, the main authors of the study are quoted to be Andrea Burri, MSc & Timothy Spector, MD of the Department of Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, King's College London, St. Thomas' Hospital.

While they may be reasonably qualified in their particular niche, I am not convinced that sexuality is their forte.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:39 PM on January 5, 2010


"Bias the results"? What does that mean?

We used to call it 3rd base back in my day.
posted by chillmost at 12:56 PM on January 5, 2010


All those hysterical women imagining they were having orgasms! Silly rabbits.
posted by Billegible at 1:25 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


We used to call it 3rd base back in my day.

These days I think the kids call it 3rd grade.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:31 PM on January 5, 2010


I am not convinced that sexuality is their forte.
posted by UbuRoivas


Unless Andrea and Timothy have been... uh...researching together?
posted by infini at 1:40 PM on January 5, 2010


practically useful video instruction on pornotube

Huh. And all this time I was using the "c'mere gesture" (as described by Smedleyman). I will have to do some additional "research" on this.

Also, it makes me happy that there are instructional videos on this sort of thing. It's just a shame that they get relegated to the likes of pornotube. Seems like something you should get taught in sex ed class, but alas it's all STDs, pregnancy warnings, and artful renderings of genitalia cross-sections... For technique you're on your own, kiddo!

No wonder so many women are dissatisfied with sex.
posted by LordSludge at 1:41 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


I must say that amid all the quality lulz & other great observations here, I'm a little disappointed that nobody seems to have bothered looking up or criticising the study itself.

As far as I can see, only MarisaStPT has addressed the methodology at all, with this:

this study didn't measure anything anatomical, it just asked the women whether they thought they had a g spot or not with a single 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?'" That's pretty much the crux of the methodology criticism.

But that's not all. Apart from the shortcomings that the study was about self-reported sexuality (a dodgy enough thing at the best of times), and apaprently on the basis of a single question, the actual findings were that a majority of women reported that they do believe they have a g-spot.

But, as I pointed out, these people are into Twin Research and Genetic Epidemiology, so all they did was find that there was no significantly strong statistical correlation between identical twins both reporting belief in the existence of their g-spots, so the conclusion was that there is no evidence of a genetic basis for its existence.

Once again, a newspaper report of a scientific study completely fails to properly describe the actual findings, in favour of sensationalistic & salacious headlines.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:36 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ubu, it is impossible to look up and read a journal article which has not yet been published. If you've found a copy online, please share it with us. Barring that however, all we have to go on at the moment are the media reports about and relevant quotes from the people who conducted it.
posted by zarq at 2:49 PM on January 5, 2010


“I'm a little disappointed that nobody seems to have bothered looking up or criticising the study itself.”
I think it was snorted off pretty early on.

"Cunnilingus or even insertion of the penis in the external orifice of the ear are other illustrations of the variability of the erotogenic zones in females"
Suddenly that Iggy Pop song makes sense.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:56 PM on January 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


tmi, anecdotal, non scientific answer - when i'm not aroused, on the inside wall of my vagina, it's fairly smooth. when i'm aroused and swollen, that same area has pronounced ridges (to me it feels like a miniature güiro). when that part gets rubbed with the right amount of lubrication, i'm off to the races - orgasms stack up in the 10s-20s. maybe it's the back of the clit, maybe it's swelling around my urethra, maybe it was put there by aliens. i don't really care what it is, i just like it. i call it a g-spot for ease of pointing others to it.

it's also not all about the women and their parts, but the parts of their partners as well. it's not the size of the ship, or the motion in the ocean - it's the angle of the dangle (or the size and dexterity of the fingers).

as many have suggested, having orgasm be the barometer of if it exists or not is so beyond stupid. add to that the questioning twins angle and keeping women who sleep with women out of it - it's like the male porn "research" from a few weeks back - 'we found 20 guys at college who all said they watch porn, ergo - all men watch porn!"
posted by nadawi at 3:05 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


Even if the G-spot doesn't exist as a physically distinct organ, isn't it possible that the brain could interpret stimulus to one patch of nerves differently than stimulus to a neighboring patch of nerves? In that case, it's as physiologically real as fingers and kidneys—it's just a matter of neurophysiology rather than vagino-physiology.

Just throwing my own anecdotal experience on the pile: it exists, all right.
posted by ixohoxi at 3:14 PM on January 5, 2010


Ubu, it is impossible to look up and read a journal article which has not yet been published. If you've found a copy online, please share it with us.

I linked to the abstract in my earlier comment. Here it is again.

It's from the upcoming issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine; those with access to Wiley Interscience may be able to preview it.

(I guess I just wanted to see people go to town on the research, that's all)
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:21 PM on January 5, 2010


I think it was snorted off pretty early on.

Now that's kinky.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 3:42 PM on January 5, 2010


One thing this study is good for: asking your date what they think of the study.
posted by yohko at 4:11 PM on January 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


insertion of the penis in the external orifice of the ear

Shhh... I hear someone coming.
posted by toadliquor at 4:30 PM on January 5, 2010 [10 favorites]


What is REALLY surreal in this continued "ear sex" tangent is that I've been listening to a song called And A Bang On The Ear while reading this thread.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 PM on January 5, 2010


One thing this study is good for: asking your date what they think of the study.

Remember kids, while scientific exploration and investigation requires an education to pull off reliably and well, anybody can set up and attempt to falsify testably hypotheses.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:42 PM on January 5, 2010


Now, this work was done by trained professionals. Do NOT attempt this experiment at home, kids.

Oh wait. Do.

In other news, WTF do you mean the world is round, Mr. Columbus?

(besonders, that was a freakin' awesome comment, should be sidebarred.)
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:02 PM on January 5, 2010


I've been listening to a song called And A Bang On The Ear while reading this thread.

Suddenly, I realise what She Bangs the Drums was really about.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:03 PM on January 5, 2010


that same area has pronounced ridges

Having explored a couple of partners using the, uhm, two-finger method, this is exactly how I would describe it. Spongy, ridgy, with a definitely different texture when things are getting interesting.
posted by mrbill at 5:59 PM on January 5, 2010


It's from the upcoming issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine; those with access to Wiley Interscience may be able to preview it.

Ah! Thank you!

(Apologies. I missed your link upthread.)

I may be able to access it and get in pasted to Scribd tomorrow at my office. Will check.
posted by zarq at 6:32 PM on January 5, 2010


practically useful video instruction on pornotube

Its a very interesting video, but did anyone else find it off-putting the way he talked to the girl? "Good girl, good girl" - I felt like he was speaking to her the way most people talk to dogs.

And its a shame, because otherwise he was saying some really interesting and useful stuff.
posted by anastasiav at 8:10 PM on January 5, 2010


xkcd
posted by danb at 9:08 PM on January 5, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ironically, becoming over-focused on locating the g-spot takes away from actually enjoying having some great sex.

Also: practice makes perfect. Even with sex.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:10 PM on January 5, 2010


Thanks for the sidebar, everybody!

Another thing I remembered, with regard to the continuing discussion on lesbians, is that the 1982 book was obsessed with quoting lesbians to prove their theory, at one point stating that many of their best ethnographic subjects were members of a lesbian community in Miami.

I suspect that this was in part a pre-emptive strategy, because the authors knew that certain members of the radical feminist community were going to be pissed about their proposal that there was a spot that could only be hit through some sort of penetration.

So they figured they should quote a lot of lesbians about the G-Spot and how much fun it was for them, so that the "This implies hetero sex!" critique was irrelevant.

Which makes the "hetero women are the only ones who matter" focus of the new study even more depressing.
posted by besonders at 12:08 AM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


when [...] aroused and swollen, that same area has pronounced ridges (to me it feels like a miniature güiro).

That would be, uh, pretty much my description.

The fact they excluded whole rafts of women for "biasing the study" on the grounds of their orientation and the quote
Andrea Burri, who also led the research, says that she is anxious to remove feelings of "inadequacy or underachievement" that might affect women who fear they lacked a G-spot.
...leads me to be comfortable in dismissing this "research" as a steaming mound of shite.
posted by rodgerd at 12:45 AM on January 6, 2010


> Does it really *matter* if there's a G-spot or not as long as you both go to sleep with a smile on your face?

I mean, yeah. I wanna know what to DO to get off, I don't want to just try this and that every damn time. Some physiological shortcuts would be nice.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:02 AM on January 6, 2010


(that's my take on the physiological feminine mystique.)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:09 AM on January 6, 2010


I may be able to access it and get in pasted to Scribd tomorrow at my office. Will check.

I'd have to purchase it for $30. Not worth it.
posted by zarq at 7:12 AM on January 6, 2010


ahem

Remember: if you like the product, buy it!
posted by Zigurana at 7:52 AM on January 6, 2010


But Gräfenberg is especially interested in the anterior vaginal wall and "urethral onanism," which often causes his female patients to get hairpins and pencils stuck in their vaginas.

A small correction in besonders superb comment. The hairpins and pencils would be stuck in the urethra, not the vagina.
posted by nickyskye at 8:56 AM on January 6, 2010


Which reminds me of a story from a parent about their toddler female barging in on a dinner party shouting "Look, Daddy! I have a pocket! It can hold a pencil!"
posted by five fresh fish at 10:10 AM on January 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


posted by besonders at 8:47 AM on January 5

This has my vote for BEST COMMENT EVER. I'd even be willing to go corrupt in order to vote multiple times.

Thank you, besonders, for putting into words something that I've instinctively believed since forever and had the lucky opportunities to run into bits of most the studies you mention - helping to buttress my belief and helping me raise my daughters with a continuum-type understanding of human sexuality.

I once had the best HAND (i.e. all touch was on my hand) ever. I'm still half in love for that alone.
posted by _paegan_ at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2010


I mean, yeah. I wanna know what to DO to get off, I don't want to just try this and that every damn time. Some physiological shortcuts would be nice.

I suspect that many women are like me... some stuff works for most of the time, little is guaranteed all the time. But I've discovered that trait in my male partners, too.
posted by _paegan_ at 12:44 PM on January 6, 2010


Yeah, well it's not like this is strictly fun and games. There are stakes. Orgasms are healthy for you, possibly a crucial component of well-being. I'm just about disgusted with how poor understanding of female orgasm remains. If the fact is x minutes of direct clit stimulation of some kind produces one result Monday and a different result Friday, I want to have some idea why so I can gain mastery of the process. Of course there are hormonal and psychological components, but fuck, can't they at least settle on the anatomical functionality? I'm talking what contributes to genital neural function. I'm talking vascular layout. I'm talking about do women get prostate cancer? Why or why not?

I have my doubts that there's as much physiological variation in women's sex organs as their differing sexual experiences would imply. I guess it's unromantic, but that's the way science is. I don't believe in pussy humours.

I know, sisters been figuring it out for themselves, and that's the status quo, but I believe studies would verify women are less successful at figuring out orgasm than men in the first place, and attaining it overall to satisfactory levels, and if any component of that gendered disparity stems from anatomical ignorance, that's practically a human rights issue in my eyes.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:03 PM on January 6, 2010


All men and women start off the same in the womb, and I believe that most of the parts are well-formed and female before the male fetus "inverts" and becomes dangly instead of innie. Surely we've got information on which parts become which parts.

I suspect that if it's easier for men to learn how to have great Os, it's because the most important parts are on the end of a big stick, instead of hidden inside the body.

The answer, of course, is to have a long-term partner with whom to practice over and over and over again, until you both know what does and doesn't work. Practice makes perfect, IME, YMMV.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:34 PM on January 6, 2010


You forgot IANAD. Becuase I'm pretty sure monogamy isn't the cure for anorgasmia.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:37 PM on January 6, 2010


long term partner doesn't actually indicate monogamy - just that one of your partners is someone you've been with for a long time. :)
posted by nadawi at 1:44 PM on January 6, 2010


I have my doubts that there's as much physiological variation in women's sex organs as their differing sexual experiences would imply.

I dunno, there's a whole lot of variation, even if you just look at simple outward anatomy. But on the whole, I don't think women's variety of experience has anywhere as much to do with physiology or a lack of scientific understanding - it's all pretty well mapped - as it does with social factors that inhibit exploration, and the "psychological and hormonal" factors you mention. Those who say it all happens in the brain are right.
posted by Miko at 2:36 PM on January 6, 2010


Well, Miko, I disagree. If it were all in the brain, we wouldn't bother getting our fingers dirty. There is another system at the other end of those nerves and it has a lot of functions we don't understand well and discuss even less. The structural features of the sex organs are pretty standard, we're (almost) all born with clitorises, labia minora, etc. Size, shape, color vary, but HOW and WHY do these variances come to bear on function? This is seemingly not well known within the specialty and certainly not widely known by the users of the parts. Can we all learn to squirt? Who knows the functional difference between Skeins and Bartholins glands? Heck, WHY women orgasm is still under discussion.

I wouldn't call it "well-mapped" because, correct me if I'm wrong, but the map of female sexual pleasure as it is today is: "mushy area of feel-good all through here and also yonder. Close your eyes and fiddle with it, take notes of what works in case you get lost later." There don't have to be so many variables, and that the variables in the orgasm equation seem so substantially greater for women is unacceptable to me.

There is a gap between understanding of male sexual pleasure and female sexual pleasure, and the predominant coincidence of male sexual pleasure with reproductive function is part of the reason. Kids in schools typically learn where the prostate is, at least, but not the clitoris. Of course, whether sexual pleasure should be introduced to kids/young adults or whether they should be left to figure it out on their own is a complex matter, but I tend to think hey, we aid their exposure to the pleasures of art and sport don't we? I dunno, maybe this is my grief process over being a late masturbator! :P

Ideally, we should strive to know how seratonin, dopamine, oxytocin, progesterone, estrogen, etc. etc. contribute to sexual wellbeing, and many more things. Knowledge IS power, and dissuading curiosity about the details of female sexual function is... well, I'm hard-pressed to see why it's not backward, puritanical or privileged.

I don't mean to prescribe that MORE orgasm is BEST here, though I will opine it. I happen to think so, but that's juuuust me. Your sexual outlook may vary, absolutely. But libido and satisfaction aren't necessarily laissez-faire, and the resources available to women to understand mastery over their sexual pleasure are still restricted by the slow progress of physiological study.

Perhaps these questions will remain unanswered. Perhaps the pleasure system is random mush, but I can't bring myself to accept that. /perfectionist hedonist feminist
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:09 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


oops, Skenes not Skeins! Skeins glands sound like they'd shoot yarn like spinnerets. That would be cool if vaginas could knit though.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:17 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


There don't have to be so many variables...Perhaps the pleasure system is random mush, but I can't bring myself to accept that

Whereas I'm completely OK with that, so we have a fundamental disagreeement, fin. I'm sure we'll all carry on all right.
posted by Miko at 6:55 PM on January 6, 2010


Kids in schools typically learn where the prostate is, at least, but not the clitoris.

Also, that's really not true. I learned about the clitoris starting in middle school in the early 1980s.

I think everything I would say about female sexuality is also true for men; I don't think we have a better understanding of men than women.

So, you know, different strokes for different folks.
posted by Miko at 6:58 PM on January 6, 2010


There don't have to be so many variables, and that the variables in the orgasm equation seem so substantially greater for women is unacceptable to me.

The fact that ask.mefi can't seem to go a week without a "help! my boyfriend doesn't come from ..... what do I do?" seems to counter this point.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:20 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


That would be cool if vaginas could knit though.

They probably do in Bangkok.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:27 PM on January 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't call it "well-mapped" because, correct me if I'm wrong, but the map of female sexual pleasure as it is today is: "mushy area of feel-good all through here and also yonder. Close your eyes and fiddle with it, take notes of what works in case you get lost later."

Who says that men aren't the same way, though?

I once found an erogenous zone on one of my exes that a) he hadn't even known was there, b) he hadn't ever thought to try before, and c) none of his other partners had ever tried either. I strongly suspect that this discovery was due not to my having any sheer mojo powers above and beyond any other woman, but more due to he and I stepping outside the idea of male sexual pleasure being "mapped" to a finite group of places.

Men may not have as good an idea of the map of their own sexual pleasure either, in other words. That's because there is no one-size-fits-all map that works for any category of people when it comes to sexual pleasure -- everyone is different.

And the only way you can find what works for an individual is trial and error. Fortunately, the experimentation is hella fun.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 PM on January 6, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh good lord... Pleasure is certainly not random mush. I know Mefites want to believe everybody is a special and unique snowflake, but there is such a thing as variation without utter randomization. Nobody is saying "All women like X, end of story." But pretending it's impossible to understand what gives many or even most women pleasure is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Even if we can't nail a pleasure pattern for every single woman, it's still useful to know that "most women like X", "many women like Y", "some women like Z", and "a few freeky-deekies like XYZ with a half-twist".

(Actually, it'd be cool have a pie chart of what percentage of women get off on what. REFERENCE MATERIAL, LADIES!)

Variation, of course, but random?? Total rubbish. If I want to show a girl a good time, it's a good bet I won't start by licking her knee caps or fingering her eye socket!
posted by LordSludge at 8:30 AM on January 7, 2010


Is anyone arguing that it's random? Or that physiology has nothing to do with it?

I think the take-away point has been that a freaking twin study is a terrible way to prove whether or not a physical "G-spot" exists, because even between two identical twins there are TONS of environmental and social factors that will affect their sexual experiences. Like all human biology, it's a LOT more complicated than "stimulating zone X for Y minutes will always result in orgasm." This is true for both women and men.
posted by muddgirl at 8:38 AM on January 7, 2010


And as far as I can see, no one is claiming that we should leave it all a mystery, or that it's un-study-able. We're just pointing out that this study, as far as I can tell from an abstract, made some really dumb assumptions and followed them up with a crappy methodology.
posted by muddgirl at 8:40 AM on January 7, 2010


Perhaps I interpreted the interchange between Miko and Ambrosia Voyeur incorrectly -- this one, in particular, set me off:
AV: Perhaps the pleasure system is random mush, but I can't bring myself to accept that

Miko: Whereas I'm completely OK with that, so we have a fundamental disagreeement, fin

Agreed on the craptacularity of the study. It's frightful that we're in 2010 and haven't nailed down statistical variations in both female AND male sexual arousal any better than we have.
posted by LordSludge at 8:52 AM on January 7, 2010


It's frightful that we're in 2010 and haven't nailed down statistical variations in both female AND male sexual arousal any better than we have.

The last third of Mary Roach's Bonk gets into why it's so hard to study human sexuality. Imagine the kinds of experiments with human subjects you'd need to do to determine the nature of the g-spot (as has been said in this thread, self-reported sexual response isn't reliable), and then imagine getting someone to fund that research and house it in their university. Add to that the fact that your work will culminate in a paper rather than something you can sell to people. I absolutely understand why biologists aren't lining up to be the person who convinces couples to have sex in an MRI machine. I wish we were studying human sexual response, but I don't know how that research can happen without turning it into the search for the next sexual enhancement pill.
posted by gladly at 9:38 AM on January 7, 2010


I learned about the clitoris starting in middle school in the early 1980s.

Apparently you didn't.

Here are working versions of some broken links from the end of the linked interview:
New Scientist (1998)
Journal of Urology (1998).

(The BBC has an overview of O'Connell's more recent (2006) work, here.)
posted by sentient at 10:30 AM on January 7, 2010


Are there any men here who have a "g-spot" — a dime-sized patch that, if rubbed exclusively, gets you to orgasm? I don't believe I do.

John Cage is the only composer who gets musical works by pressing a single key repeatedly. Everyone else uses the entire organ. Play the entire organ, gentlemen!
posted by five fresh fish at 10:32 AM on January 7, 2010


That would be cool if vaginas could knit though.

They probably do in Bangkok.


However, it is still not true that the banana sticks to the wall.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:01 AM on January 7, 2010


Are there any men here who have a "g-spot" — a dime-sized patch that, if rubbed exclusively, gets you to orgasm? I don't believe I do.

I am not a man, but a man I know definitely has a dime-sized patch on the base of his penis that is very, very, very sensitive. It's sort of an insta-orgasm that if, rubbed exclusively, will give him an orgasm much faster than any other method.

So yes, there are men who have a "g-spot".
posted by muddgirl at 11:32 AM on January 7, 2010


So yes, there are men who have a "g-spot".

Prostates can work pretty well in that regard, too.

Or so I've heard.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 12:03 PM on January 7, 2010


Yeah, I hear ya, gladly. Too true. It's just sooooo frustrating that something so important to so many people's daily happiness is so difficult to research properly. Certainly, "research" will be performed and distributed, whether via bragging sessions adecdotal evidence, Maxim/Redbook articles, or pornotube vids -- and there will be some legit, good info there. (I'd bet half of all men in the world don't know that many women can ejaculate, let alone the technique to make it happen -- pornotube to the rescue!) It's just such a shame that we, as a civilized, enlightened society, can't seem to wrap our arms around this. so to speak.
posted by LordSludge at 12:14 PM on January 7, 2010


Actually, I suppose I'd O if the frenulum were exclusively stimulated, but I don't think it'd be a very satisfying O.

Isn't the male O mostly the result of a lower-spine nerve cluster, an autonomic response that's largely independent of the brain? Kind of like burning oneself on the stove, where the reaction bypasses the brain: the nerve signal travels fingertip to spine, spine to fingertip, no brain involvement.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:30 PM on January 7, 2010


I know Mefites want to believe everybody is a special and unique snowflake, but there is such a thing as variation without utter randomization. Nobody is saying "All women like X, end of story." But pretending it's impossible to understand what gives many or even most women pleasure is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Even if we can't nail a pleasure pattern for every single woman, it's still useful to know that "most women like X", "many women like Y", "some women like Z", and "a few freeky-deekies like XYZ with a half-twist".

Fair point.

I think my reaction against that kind of thinking is more out of a concern that too many people already treat women not as people but as formulas to be figured out (i.e., "do women like X" or "how would a woman feel about Y"), which then leads to frustration for them and for us (because then we have so many AskMe questions where people ask us "do you think my girlfriend would like blah blah blah" and we all end up saying "why don't you ASK HER DIRECTLY").

It's possible to focus too much on the map and not the flesh of the person in front of you, is my fear. But you're right, there is a middle ground.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:22 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's possible to focus too much on the map and not the flesh of the person in front of you, is my fear

very well said, having just fired the navigator
posted by infini at 9:12 PM on January 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


posted by besonders

Eponysterisch!
posted by chillmost at 11:22 PM on January 7, 2010


« Older Leo Gallagher is an American comedian of some reno...  |  Is television holding back the... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments