Researchers declare G-spot a myth

The world's most controversial body part gets scrutinized again

Published January 4, 2010 4:05PM (EST)

You can call off the search party. British researchers have declared that the G-spot, like phoukas, the lost city of Atlantis and compassionate conservatism, is a myth. But wait, you say. Last night, when he did that and then I did that and it all went whoosh? OK, just stop right there. That was just your imagination running away with you.

The BBC reports today that a forthcoming study for the Journal of Sexual Medicine failed to find proof of the elusive area's existence. Researchers asked 1,804 women between the ages of 23 and 83, all of whom were identical or fraternal twins, whether they had a G-spot, on the presumption that identical twins would give identical answers. But they didn't. Despite having identical genes and therefore presumably, identical pleasure zones, they were no more likely to be in agreement than fraternal twins. So there.

In her ostensibly reassuring explanation of the results, the study's coauthor Andrea Burri said,  "It is rather irresponsible to claim the existence of an entity that has never been proven and pressurize women -- and men too." As irresponsible as suggesting that sexual inquiry is "pressure"?

Professor Tim Spector, the other coauthor, similarly stated, "This is by far the biggest study ever carried out and shows fairly conclusively that the idea of a G-spot is subjective. Women may argue that having a G-spot is due to diet or exercise, but in fact it is virtually impossible to find real traits." Well, it must be science if the authors are using words like "fairly conclusively," "subjective" and "virtually" to describe it.

And what's this about diet and exercise? I too have heard many arguments about the G-spot, but that is a new one. I was heretofore unaware that anyone ever suggested that you could create a body part from force of will -- even the most enthusiastic of Kegeling.

But here's where the real news -- like a nebulous bit of spongy matter in the front of the cervix -- gets lost. Over half of the women surveyed -- 56 percent -- said they did possess a G-spot. So when Burri talks about women's feelings of "inadequacy or underachievement," to whom is she referring? Because it would appear the majority of her subjects are doing just fine, Grafenberg-wise.

Until the study itself is released in full, it's hard to fully tell how the researchers arrived at their conclusions, and why they seem so quick to debunk something so many women claim to enjoy. Did they ask their subjects if they'd ever experienced ejaculation -- a scientifically verified phenomenon and, sometimes, a byproduct of stimulation of that nonexistent G-spot? Did they ask the women if they'd ever attempted to find and stimulate it -- either with a partner or alone? And most important, did the authors put on their miner's hats and go looking for it themselves? There also seems to be a blur between defining a part of the anatomy and insisting it perform in a certain way. The so-called "pressure," after all, isn't about having a G-spot -- it's about using it.

In Babeland's fresh, earthy new book "Moregasm," authors Claire Cavanah and Rachel Venning explain that the G-spot can be tough to locate if a woman is unaroused, but can be coaxed with the right stimulation. They also remind that like everything else to do with sexuality, some people love stimulating it there and some prefer it left alone.  

So, while we're in favor of research that reassures women that having bodies that behave differently is not an automatic symptom of dysfunction,  we'll also take real, quantifiable data over polls. And for recreational purposes, we'll say that whether you believe something exists or not is no reason to stop enjoying the quest for it.

By Mary Elizabeth Williams

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a senior writer for Salon and author of "A Series of Catastrophes & Miracles."

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