Will science ever find the female G-spot?

We've cured polio, gone to the moon and cloned sheep. But what kind of research innovations will it take to find the G-spot?
Written by Rose Eveleth, Contributing Editor

Ah the female G-Spot. That elusive, mythical area full of untold treasures. In 2001, a psychologist called the G-spot a "“gynecologic UFO: much searched for, much discussed, but unverified by objective means.”

And today, we have another sighting. This time in the form of a study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine. Gynecologist Adam Ostrzenki claims, in this paper, to have finally located the elusive structure. He says he found it in a cadaver of an 83 year old woman from Warsaw, and it, apparently, looks like a "string of purple grapes within a bluish sac, near a white cord," according to Scientific American.

Okay, you probably have a few questions. First of all, why use an 83 year old dead lady? The answer to that one is pretty simple, Ostrzenki had access to an 83 year old dead lady. He needed someone who wasn't preserved, since preservation can alter the tissues. He needed someone he was allowed to dissect. And he also needed someone who's vaginal tissues were still intact. This woman was unpreserved, available to him, and had died from blunt force  trauma to the head.

Right, so back to the autopsy. Ortrzenki spent seven hours going layer by layer through the woman's tissues. He found the little structure deep within the vaginal wall, in the fifth and sixth layers. To him, they looked a lot like structures you find in the male penis.

Of course, Ostrzenki understands that just having one example isn't good science. He's on track to dissect a series of cadavers next month in search of confirmation for his grape like G-spot. But many scientists suspect that he won't find any more little grape strings, and even if he did, they're skeptical that what he has in his hands is actually the female G-spot at all.

In the LA Times, author Beverly Whipple says that the G-spot itself is a myth all together. "No, there is not an 'it'" she told the paper. "It is not one entity." Debby Herbenick, a researcher at Indiana University and author of five books on sexuality, put it this way to Discovery News. "This study now claims to literally have found this anatomical entity in a single case history of an 83-year old woman who is dead and we don’t even know if this area was ever sensitive for her.”

Now, the G-spot, in some form, might exist. There are several studies in which women report sensitive areas sort of like what one might expect from a G-spot. But the probability of it being a single, identifiable organ is relatively slim, according to most experts. Here's Herbenick, writing at the Daily Beast:

OK, so stimulation of the G spot area feels good to many women. But why? Well, we haven’t quite figured that out yet. Some researchers have pointed out that the only anatomical structures in the vicinity of what we think of as the G spot are the Skene’s glands and periurethral tissue (tissue around the urethra). The Skene’s glands secrete fluid during sexual stimulation and may contribute to what’s popularly called “female ejaculation,” experienced by an unknown proportion of women.

So no matter what the "G-spot" is - if it exists at all - it's probably not a small grape like thing buried in the vaginal wall.

But there's another problem here. Ostrzenki himself has created a business around plastic surgery on women's genitalia, something the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists condemned in 2007. And yes G-spotplasty is offered (in fact, it's on Ostrzenki's own website) despite there being no evidence that the G-spot itself even exists.

This might seem like a lot of fuss for no reason, but figuring out if there is a G-spot and what it might be made of does have some applications. If it's real, understanding it could help women who have trouble achieving orgasms. Ostrzenki told Scientific American that it could alter the way vibrators are made, and that he's working with patients to "alter techniques for better gratification" in a way that involves switching from tapping to circling.

So, Ostrzenki probably hasn't found the G-spot. But what would it take to find one? Better sensors? Brain scans? Robots doing autopsies? Probably not. Even before more human lead autopsies are done, researchers will need a better understanding of female sexuality. Because even if Ostrazenki finds more little grapes, he will then have to prove that those structures cause pleasure, which is hard to do when your subject is dead. Without understanding how women experience sex, no amount of innovative machines or skilled autopsies will be able to find the elusive G-spot. And until then, the G-spot will probably remain that same gynecological UFO.

Via: Eurekalert

Photo: Kristina Nilsson, Flickr

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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