The search for the G-spot, and the controversy around its existence, has been going on for a while now in the scientific community and beyond. You may have heard about a new study that claims to have located the physiological existence of the G-spot. It is getting quite a bit of hype in the media, which is no surprise, but it is important to really understand the implications of this research.
The study, based on one autopsy of one 83-year-old woman’s cadaver (that’s right, one deceased woman), was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Sexual Medicine by gynecologist Dr. Adam Ostrzenski and is the first documented scientific account of the anatomic existence of the G-spot.
According to Dr. Ostrzenski, the structure is a distinct, well-defined, blue grape-like structure within a sac located on the back of the vagina. Specific dimensions of this particular woman’s G-spot were provided, alongside pictures of the structure as it was dissected.
Although we can gain some scientific benefit from this dissection, it is premature to draw conclusions and generalize to women as a whole. When I heard about this study, I got in contact with a colleague of mine, Dr. Jonathan Huber, an Ottawa-based obstetrician/gynecologist and Associate Professor at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, to get his insight into this study. He also had some concerns about the implications of the study, stating:
We know nothing about the sexual functioning of that cadaver as a living person, so its presumptuous to make the connection between the described anatomical feature and how it might have functioned or felt to her in the context of her life. More importantly, though, the search for the anatomical basis of the G-spot de-emphasizes potentially more important factors that contribute to sexual pleasure.
If we use the clitoris as an example of another anatomical structure of which the location, nervous anatomy, and function is well-described, Dr. Huber says,
Simply knowing about or having a clitoris isn’t necessarily the panacea of sexual pleasure for all women. There are a number of important sociocultural influences that can lead to sexual dysfunction, even in women with perfectly functioning clitorises. Similarly, simply knowing the location and anatomy of the G-spot won’t necessarily lead to sexual pleasure or better sex for all women, and it’s important to keep that in mind when evaluating the importance of this research.
Its premature to draw any conclusions about all women from a dissection of a single cadaver. However, Dr. Ostrzenski claims he is currently currently conducting studies to identify the G-spot in women of different ages and believes the G-spot can weaken or rupture, most commonly through trauma experienced during labor.
If we create hype around the existence of the G-spot as the central pleasure point, we will see an unwarranted increase in potentially dangerous (and expensive) procedures for “G-spot amplification” such as the “G-shot” that temporarily augments the G-spot. The problem with treatments like this is that there is no scientific evidence to indicate that having this procedure done actually has any positive impact on pleasure or satisfaction, not to mention the lack of any research on risks or complications.
What is even more troubling to me is that Dr. Ostrzenski is a cosmetic gynecologist, and leading the public to believe that female sexual function will be improved by this discovery has the potential for major profit for his practice. Claims are already being made based on this research that you can “regain your self-confidence with genitalia rejuvenation”, despite these procedures having tragic consequences for many women.
Instead, more emphasis should be placed on the diversity found in women’s sexual pleasure and directed away from one anatomical structure being responsible for pleasure. There are a lot of interpersonal components that go into a pleasurable sexual experience. If focus is placed on finding some grape-like structure that was found in one cadaver, my concern is that pleasure might be replaced with disappointment for a lot of women.
This post first appeared on the KinseyConfidential.com website on April 25, 2012.
Kristen Mark, MSc, is a doctoral candidate in Health Behavior at Indiana University. She is the Statistical Consultant and a Project Coordinator for the Center for Sexual Health Promotion, the Survey Director for Good in Bed, a writer for Kinsey Confidential and has written for websites and magazines. Find out more about Kristen on her website KristenMark.com, read her blogs on SexpertReMark.com, follow her on Twitter, and Pintrest.