The mystery of the female orgasm has been with us since Freud. Vaginal or clitoral…or both? To this day, this ambiguity confuses women. The absence of vaginal innervations has left few alternatives other than reliance on subjective accounts of vaginal orgasms that don’t necessarily prove the presence or the absence of the vaginal orgasm.
The G-Spot came into being in 1981 after a case study on female ejaculation (Addiego, Belzer, Comolli, Moger, Perry and Whipple, 1981) prompted its label after German gynaecologist Ernst Gräfenberg. Controversy has followed the female ejaculation studies. The controversy surrounding female ejaculation concerns gynaecologists who are in disagreement over the reality of female ejaculation. Some gynaecologists even dispute the existence of a G-Spot. This disagreement is centred on the absence of relevant innervations within the vaginal canal to support. It won’t be a first time that subjective self reportage has been proven incorrect; people tend to have difficulty pinpointing the exact locus of a sensation.
The initial research on female ejaculation (Addiego et al 1981) documented the experience of a woman who initially thought herself incontinent. The research subject also described “an erotically sensitive spot,” that was palpable through the anterior wall of the vagina. The simplest way for a woman to locate this spot is by inserting two fingers inside and curling them in such a way as to feel the pressure on her bladder or feel a slight urge to urinate. Addiego et al describe their observation:
“four of us (Addiego, Belzer, Perry, and Whipple) were able to observe her response to digital massage of her Grafenberg spot, which led to expulsion of liquid, and reportedly and apparently to orgasm, on several occasions. On none of these occa- sions did stimulation of the clitoris, direct or otherwise, appear to occur.”
It should be noted that the research didn’t support an earlier hypothesis of female ejaculation being followed by a refractory period, as is found in the male sexual response but it indicated that the phenomenon of female ejaculation existed – without visible stimulation of the clitoris. But other researchers haven’t bought into the idea due to the lack of wider reportage; not all women ejaculate upon orgasm.
It’s not surprising to see further study. Research that offers new constructs tends to promote ongoing research, that may affirm or refute early research constructs. Take Sigmund Freud’s view of the two female orgasms. Most women may disagree with the idea of a vaginal orgasm if they have difficulty experiencing, what they perceive to be a vaginal orgasm and this perception is put forth by subjective viewers. Those who either have something to gain (financial) by maintaining the age old orgasmic dichotomy.
In 2005, extensive research on the structure and arrangement of the clitoris was presented in a paper titled, The Anatomy of the Clitoris (O’Connell, Sanjeevan and Hutson, 2005). The comprehensive presentation of the clitoris in this paper is unlike the socially approved and limited representations of the clitoris. Frankly, the usual representation of the clitoris, as a button-like feature still prevails in most literature. In their paper, O’Connell et al acknowledge the G-Spot and its sensitivity, as indicated by ultrasound studies. Further , they note that the G-Spot focus may be due to the “erectile tissue itself as it wraps around the distal urethra and vagina.” In their MRI scans, the researchers didn’t find additional structures that could be classified as a ‘G Spot,’ in terms of a space, not a structure.
In 2008 (Giovanni, Brandetti, Martini, Carosa, Di Stasi, Morano, Lenzi and Jannini, 2008), more research followed with Italian researchers proclaiming to have located the actual region of the G-Spot via ultrasonography. The researchers stop short of describing the orgasm a la Freud and opt for the term ‘vaginally activated orgasm.’ The research follows from O’Connell et al (2005), with the Italian researchers making their measurements in the area described by O’Connell et al (Figure 1). The researchers propose that womens’ orgasmic responses vary due to individual differences in anatomical arrangement with differences in orgasm being “partially attributed to differences in the extension and reciprocal relationship” of nerve endings, Skene’s glands and the corpora cavernosa of the bulb of the clitoris. Further into the article, the researchers opt to use the term vaginal orgasm, which is like a back-flip. They state that women experiencing ‘vaginal orgasms’ have a thicker urethrovaginal space but stop short of attributing any orgasmic mechanism in this area. What can be made of this?
Foldes and Buisson (2009) present more recent research via a sonographic study of the ‘clitoral complex’ to visualise movement of the ‘clitoral complex’ during a voluntary perinea contraction. They too find a link between the experience of G-Spot related pleasure and the internal root of the clitoris, confirming the anatomical relation to orgasm, but they too refrain from making any decisive conclusions.
Despite the recent research and improved imagining technologies, there is no general consensus and, unbelievably, the antiquated Freudian categories of vaginal vs. clitoral remain part of the sexual vocabulary.
Addiego F; Belzer EG; Comolli, J; Moger, W; Perry, JD; Whipple, B. (1981). “Female ejaculation: a case study.” Journal of Sex Research 17 (1): 13-21
O’Connell, H; Sanjeevan K V; Hutson J M (2005). “Anatomy of the clitoris.” Journal of Urology 174: 1189-1195.
Giovanni GL; Brandetti F; Martini P; Carosa E; Di Stasi S; Morano S; Lenzi A; Jannini E A. (2008). “Measurement of the thickness of the urethrovaginal space in women with or without vaginal orgasm.” Journal of Sexual Medicine 5 (3) 610-618.
Foldes P and Buisson O. (2009). “The clitoral complex: A dynamic sonographic study.” Journal of Sexual Medicine 6: 1223-1231.If you enjoyed this post, make sure you subscribe to my RSS feed.
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