The G-spot Revisited
As far as I know, I have never had a G-spot orgasm nor have I ever ejaculated. However, I do know many of my orgasms have been deep, powerful and satisfying. I've also enjoyed those little ten minute maintenance orgasms that release tension. There is no such thing as having a bad orgasm- they all put a smile on my face. Maybe the vaginal orgasms that I managed to squeak out in my twenties would classify as G's. Some were quite accidental and non-repeatable. Others required a thirty minute erection owned by a handsome young man who promised he'd only have sex with me. Oh yes, I had to get on top and Ride ‘em Cowgirl, which wasn't easy in the fifties and early sixties. They called us "ball busters" back then.
Okay, I'm aware that as a PhD sexologist, I'm not supposed to talk about my personal sexlife. However, I love to break rules. Just think how informative it would for all of us if more people shared details of their sexlives. In my personal opinion when academics or researchers talk about sexuality, we often are referring to our own experiences to one degree or another, consciously or unconsciously. So let me say upfront that my bias (or favorite kind of orgasm) is a combination of direct clitoral stimulation with vaginal penetration. Thanks to America's sexual revolution, I discovered this combination worked best with most people that I was fortunate enough to share sex with in the groupsex parties of the sixties and seventies.
At the beginning of the eighties, a lot of weird things happened that ended the sexual freedom many of us had enjoyed since the mid-sixties. Theories still circulate as to what curtailed our sexual liberties. Some say it was the AIDS virus that made sex equal death. Others claim it was a backlash over too much sexual freedom for women. Feminists complained that the sexual revolution was for the benefit of men, not women. All in all, I felt caught in the middle of a sexual disaster that seemed to be master-minded by some secret government agency- maybe the CIA.
As if things weren't bad enough, The G-Spot book by Ladas, Whipple and Perry came out in '82 heralding the return of a new kind of orgasm from vaginal stimulation that included female ejaculation. The book was full of glorious personal testimonials one more ecstatic than the last. The three authors claimed the G-spot freed us from thinking about vaginal vs. clitoral orgasm. Just like there were two ways for men to climax, from the penis and the prostate gland; the same was true for women. Well, I don't know about all men, but from experience I do know that damn few will allow anyone near their precious assholes, let alone inside them to vigorously stimulate a prostate. That's some advanced action for most straight men.
Just when I thought the clitoris had been reinstated thanks to seventies feminists, women and their lovers dived back inside vaginas searching for a magic spot. Once it was found and briskly stimulated it would bring forth a "divine liquid" that proved she'd come good and hard. To me, G-spot orgasms sounded suspiciously like a new name for vaginal orgasms, still America's number one favorite sex. It's no accident that fucking feels good- it was designed to encourage procreation. However, there are numerous ways intercourse could include a woman's orgasm by adding a little direct clitoral stimulation simultaneously.
First off, the G-spot is a terrible name, but we're stuck with it. My first hurdle was locating a "spot." It was the size of a quarter upfront, no midway, or it moved around. It helped when I visualized the urinary tract as a small tube an inch or so long on the other side of the vaginal ceiling.
Surrounding this tube is a spongy tissue that fills up with blood during sexual arousal, Mother Nature's way to protect the urinary tract from friction during intercourse. When a woman is new to vaginal penetration or not thoroughly aroused (which is often the case) the sensitive urinary track can become irritated causing discomfort or pain during urination. This was called "Honeymoon Cystitis" but it's now referred to as a UTI (urinary tract inflammation). G-spot sex soon became fashionable, and sex partners of both genders began vigorously rubbing this protected area to "make" their partners "squirt." Just one more thing a woman had to achieve.
First my orgasms had to be concealed as a kid so I pulled a pillow up tight between my legs. Then I learned to get good feelings from my fingers on my clitoris. In high school, I socialized my orgasms when I came from my boyfriend's fingers. Next I struggled throughout my twenties into my thirties to orgasm from vaginal intercourse. This worked sometimes, but never consistently.
Purists only allowed clitoral stimulation as foreplay. Coitus with vigorous penile thrusting inside a vagina was the real orgasm that most often turned out to be his and not mine. Oralsex was a winner but I worried about taking too long so I frequently stopped short of coming. Multiple orgasms were easy once I began using a vibrator and learned to keep going. Now I'm expected to orgasm and "ejaculate" from G-spot stimulation which doesn't work for me at all. This sexual "achieving" business is enough to make a woman abandon heterosexuality altogether!
When I read that every woman had a G-spot, but not all of us would respond, I naturally wondered why. The authors said it might be because my PC muscle was weak or chronically tense. Or wearing a diaphragm all those years had covered "my spot." Perhaps I repressed my ejaculations thinking it was urine. Maybe I had retrograde ejaculations that I peed out later. As I continued to read all those glowing accounts from women and men about ecstatic gushing rushing orgasms from vaginal stimulation, it made me and a lot of other women feel like inadequate clit nerds.
Throughout the eighties, I asked women friend's hundreds of questions, especially those who were performance artists that squirted publicly. Several demonstrated female ejaculation for me privately. I even participated in an actual dissection of the clitoris which brought up more questions than it solved. Finally I arrived at the following conclusion. Since the female sex organ is the template for the male organ, we must have everything the male embryo needs to develop. All vaginas are naturally acidic to kill off unwanted bacteria. The prostate gland in men secretes an alkaline fluid discharged with the sperm to protect the little guys as they wiggle through the acidic sea of the vaginal canal. I could see how a small amount of the same alkaline fluid discharged by a woman could also help to protect sperm. The G-spot had to be the female prostate but I still wasn't sure where it was located or, what it looked like.
The clitoral body is a far more extensive organ than most realize. That little pearl peeking out from under the hood at the top of the vulva is just the tip of the iceberg. Besides the clitoral glans and shaft that's visible, the internal structure consists of the clitoral legs, bulbs, and the urethral sponge. These interior parts are erectile tissue that becomes engorged with blood during sexual arousal- like a penis becoming erect. Women have nearly the same amount of erectile tissue as men, except most of ours is internal.
Inside the vulva, the shaft of the clitoris divides into two parts that spread out like a wishbone called the crura or legs of the clitoris. These two anchoring wingtips of erectile tissue are about three inches long. Starting from where the shaft and the legs meet and continuing down underneath the inner lips, are two bundles of erectile tissue called the bulbs of the clitoris.
The entire clitoris consists of the glans, hood, shaft, legs, and vestibular bulbs- organs solely for a woman's sexual pleasure. The feminist collective that wrote, A New View of a Woman's Body, included the inner lips, the urethral sponge and perineal sponge as part of the clitoral body because they all engorge during sexual arousal and contribute to sexual pleasure.
The first person to describe the female prostate in detail was a seventeenth century Dutch anatomist de Graaf who also considered its erotic aspects. In late 1800's Dr. Skene was concerned with draining the various glands surrounding the female urethra when infected. In 1950, Dr. Grafenberg (the "G" in G-Spot) noted that some women emitted fluid during orgasm that he believed came from Skene's urethral glands. In 1981, A New View of a Woman's Body called the spongy tissue surrounding the female urinary tract the "urethral sponge" when they discovered it wasn't named in anatomy books. The urethral sponge had a network of tiny ducts called the "paraurethral glands" that were the source of female ejaculation.
By the nineties, G-spot orgasms and female ejaculation were all the rage. This was good news for women who had repressed their orgasms thinking they were urinating. However, it was difficult for those of us who didn't have this response. Naturally we felt like we were missing out on something special.
Yes, I believe there are women who naturally have this response. With each contraction of the pelvic floor muscles during orgasm, a fine spray comes out of the urethral opening without consciously bearing down. Most assume the word "ejaculation" accompanies sexual arousal and orgasm. This is not true for all ejaculating women. Many of my friends say their ability to "squirt" has nothing to do with having an orgasm. They do it because it feels good; it's fun, and squirting has an enormous amount of entertainment value.
Female fluid emission has been recorded throughout history. However, as in most erotic literature or personal testimony, it gets described in exaggerated glowing terms called "poetic license." Add to that the fact that during the last two decades, goddesses forbid any person, especially a woman, doubted another woman's anecdotal testimony. If you did, you were accused of being anti-feminist or anti-woman.
Teachers of female ejaculation completely contradict the description of how to strengthen the pelvic floor muscle. They instruct students to bear down or push out during masturbation. Kegel exercises were named after Dr. Arnold Kegel who wanted an alternative to surgery for his incontinent women patients. He had them toning the pelvic floor muscles by repeatedly squeezing while lifting up and then releasing the muscle. Women who consistently bear down to urinate, ejaculate, have a bowel movement or have multiple births weaken the muscles if they don't also lift up while consciously exercising the pelvic floor muscles.
A client who was postmenopausal said she and her boyfriend learned about G-spot stimulation at a workshop. Although Louise wasn't sure if she'd ever had an orgasm, she could "ejaculate." To get her lover to stop rubbing inside her vagina when it became painful, she arched her back and shot out a stream of pee that was accompanied by a blood-curdling scream. Although he was thrilled she kept thinking there had to be more to orgasm. During our session, we discovered her PC muscle was quite weak. It will take months of practice to retrain her pelvic floor muscles to lift up. She also needs to become aware of how she uses the same muscles during sexual activity. She left with the Magic Wand, my Betty's Barbell and read the directions on how to work her pelvic floor muscle while doing clitoral stimulation at the same time so the exercise was fun.
The Internet is full of home and adult videos showing women shooting streams of fluid claiming it to be female ejaculation. Many women insist these new squirting orgasms are the cat's meow. Questioners visiting my website continue to ask how to find the G-spot, but occasionally a woman wants to stop lying in a wet puddle.
One twenty-year old woman said that when she's vibrating her clitoris warming up and feeling pretty good, she looses control of her bladder and pees. A few minutes later she'll have an orgasm. She doesn't mind this too much as her orgasms are well worth it, but what happens when she's with a lover? How does she go about alleviating this problem? I reminded her that "squirting" was the latest fashion in female orgasm. All she had to do was find a boyfriend who loved it. She could also see if her PC muscle was weak. If so, she needed to do her Kegel exercises regularly.
In the mid-nineties, Dr. Gary Schubach, did a clinical experiment to determine whether female ejaculation came from the urethral sponge or the bladder. He tested seven subjects who were all female ejaculators. Urine specimens were collected from each woman before she was sexually aroused. The women used self-stimulation of the vagina with fingers, a curved dildo and a partner's fingers.
When the subjects felt ready to ejaculate, a catheter was inserted. They had what each woman and the medical team considered to be an "ejaculatory orgasm." They concluded that the vast majority of fluid came from the bladder. Even though all bladders had been drained beforehand, they still expelled from 1.7 ounce to nearly four cups. It was determined that the liquid was a combination of fluid from the walls of the bladder as well as new kidney output: an altered form of urine with a reduced concentration of urea and creatinine.
Whenever I'd see Beverly Whipple at a sex conference, I'd say, "I can't find my G-spot but I'm still looking." She would laugh and then shake her head in exasperation. She's a very dedicated woman who always has a hundred projects going on at once. In '98 Beverly chaired a panel I was on at the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality. I began my segment by telling everyone that I had finally found my G-spot: it was inside my urethral sponge that surrounded the urinary tract on the other side of the ceiling of my vagina. While I enjoyed some pressure there with a finger, dildo or penis, I'd never "ejaculated." My spot was a vibrator on my clitoris along with vaginal penetration at the same time.
In 2001 a friend forwarded an email exchange between sex therapists discussing a case where clitoral stimulation induced urination. Dr. John Perry, one of the authors of The G-Spot book pointed out the current hot topic in female ejaculation is whether large-volume expulsions of fluid, usually considered to be, or examined and determined to be, dilute urine, should be included as a variant of female ejaculation. Women who learn how to do this claimed it felt wonderful. The original G-Spot authors agreed that only the output of the female paraurethral glands (prostate equivalent), should be considered female ejaculation and that's never more than a couple of teaspoons full at most.
When I emailed Perry to ask a few questions of my own, he said, "The reason you don't ejaculate is when you do Kegels, you're always lifting up. If for some reason you WANT to ejaculate, you have to change the ‘lifting up' to ‘pushing out.' But don't do it if you won't be able to go back to your original pattern!" He went on to say that he personally didn't care for female ejaculation, mostly because he didn't like sleeping on the wet spot. I can't imagine anyone who would like it.
My friend Becky Chalker, author of the Clitoral Truth and one of the editors for, A New View of a Woman's Body, recently said the following: "All orgasms are clitoral in that they are stimulated through the ‘pudendal' nerve (Latin for shameful). The pudendal nerve should be called the ‘clitoral' nerve. People have tried to designate orgasms as clitoral, vaginal, g-spot or uterine, but they are ALL clitoral. The G-spot is not a structure and can only be located by sensation. The female prostatic glands are located inside the urethral sponge, a tube of spongy tissue surrounding the female urethra. The male urethra is surrounded by the same type of erectile tissue named the spongyosum which means spongy body."
Becky went on to state, "In the 1980's book, Whipple et al said the G-spot is on the anterior front wall of the vagina. More recent research done by Zaviacic, says only 10% of women have it there. 66% have their sensitivity further back so they can be stimulated toward the back of the vaginal ceiling. Paco Cabello's research showed that women who do not ejaculate externally have "retrograde" ejaculations, which he proved by demonstrating they had higher levels of prostatic fluids in their post-orgasmic voiding compared with pre-orgasmic urine concentrations."
I've called the G-spot the back side of the clitoris, the urethral sponge or the female prostate gland. It seems this last label finally won in scientific circles. The International Committee on Anatomical Terminology concurred at their 2001 meeting to the use of the term "female prostate" (prostata feminina) in the new edition of Histology Terminology.
In 2005, I also got to know Alice Ladas one of the other authors of The G-Spot book. She wanted her chapter to open the book to make the point, "The best is the enemy of the good." A warning to avoid presenting this information in a way that would make a woman who did not respond to this type of stimulation feel inferior. Sadly her chapter was put at the end of the book. The publisher probably figured showcasing a new kind of orgasm would sell more books.
In 2007 I was in Seattle where I met a woman who did what she called "Vaginal Mapping." As a member of a sex club, she had mapped over five hundred women's vaginas. Intrigued, I asked to be done. Using an acrylic see-through speculum with a slot open to expose the top of the vagina, she could see my G-spot. I asked since it was on the other side of the vaginal ceiling, how she could see anything. Her explanation described the urethral sponge like a bulge underneath wall paper. This is just part of her report:
The presentation of your outer genitalia with the lovely ‘wattles' is something to be proud of! You have a very large healthy clitoral hood, shaft and glans. The responses were all positive when touched. Your urethral opening looks healthy, but I saw no visible openings for Bartholin's or Skeen's glands. The results of your Kegel exercises made a huge impression on me! Thank you for the FIRM handshake. After inserting the PPV to view inside, your G-Spot was encased in scar tissue due to past events with surgery, a new discovery for me. Upon stimulation it expanded to almost twice its size, and responded with coloration and lubrication appropriate to its size."
What wonderful feedback. The G-spot authors can add scar tissue from abortions performed before the use of suction with plastic tubes. We now have the morning after pill that I've heard is the best yet. Meanwhile I will continue to be the voice for women who do not respond to G-spot stimulation and do not ejaculate- for a multitude of reasons and have no desire to learn. I support any woman who wants to have her G-spot orgasms and squirt. We are all free to do anything that turns us on as long as it's consensual and doesn't harm anyone. Each of us can find our own hot spots and enjoy the orgasms they give us alone and with our partners.
The big topic today more popular than the female prostate is "female sexual dysfunction." Many sex therapists and educators agree that there is nothing wrong with women's sexuality; it's the cultural definition of how men and women should have sex that's the problem. As long as we expect women to be satisfied with vaginal stimulation alone and men believe women should orgasm that way, couples will remain at odds and the sexual double standard will remain intact.
Men climax from stimulating the head and shaft of the penis, sensations that are easily duplicated inside a warm moist vagina during intercourse. Most women prefer some kind of direct contact with the clitoral glans that is analogous to the penile glans. In spite of those experts who tell us about certain positions that will aid women's orgasm during intercourse, what feels good for him simply doesn't work for her most of the time.
My conclusion is that how we stimulate our clitoris during masturbation is what we are entitled to bring into partnersex. Even those women who have vaginal orgasms are responding to some form of indirect clitoral stimulation from the aroused internal bulbs and legs of the clitoris. Once again, nearly forty years later, it's time to restore the clitoris as a woman's primary organ of sexual pleasure. Until women can appreciate the appearance of their vulvas and embrace the power that's inherent in their magnificent sex organ, there will no women's sexual liberation.
Most of us will agree that without sexual freedom there can be no self. Orgasmic women unite!