View Full Version : G-Spot & Vaginal v. Clitoral Orgasms
In his column about discovery of the clitoris, Cecil writes: "recall Freud's bizarre claim that women had two kinds of orgasms, clitoral and vaginal--an idea not fully put to rest until the work of Masters and Johnson. More recently there was the hubbub about the Grafenberg spot, which briefly threatened to replace the clitoris as the seat of female sexual excitement."
A few words about the G-spot are in order :(1) it wasn't replacing the clitoris as anything, but it's a hell of a supplement, and, yes, direct stimulation of the G-spot alone produces orgasms in women; and (2) since the G-spot is located a couple of inches inside the vagina, a G-spot orgasm could easily be described as a 'vaginal orgasm,' hence Freud's claim is hardly bizarre. Rather, it was the Masters-Johnson team who bungled this one.
During my single years back in the 1980s, I had the opportunity to introduce several girlfriends to the pleasures of the G-spot, and made believers out of all of them. I'm sure other Straight Dope fans can vouch for the existence (and value) of the G-spot
Isn't it funny that it takes a man to tell us about female orgasms? Hm...
As a woman who has searched, diligently, for the G-spot, let me tell you my discoveries. First of all, there is a place inside where it feels really good, and yes, it can bring on 'ejaculation': that's where the bladder is stimulated. Hm, there goes that theory. Also, in order to stimulate that particular spot, you have to muddle around in a way that tightens the labia over the clitoris. Gee, is that a 'vaginal' orgasm still? There is direct or indirect clitoral stimulation involved in every orgasm I've ever had. Admittedly, I'm not an expert, but at least I have experienced female orgasm. That does kinda make me more expert on this one than the guys.
By the way, as for teaching girlfriends how to have great orgasms: Hasn't anyone ever tipped you off to the great secret? We can FAKE IT. And sometimes we do. Sorry, you can't tell.
Let's see: your expert analysis is based on a scientific sample of one (yourself), whereas RTFirefly's is based on several female partners. So who has a wider range of experience in this regard?
As far as faking orgasms, your statement is somewhat illogical. You imply that Firefly's statement is invalid because women can fake orgasms. Sure, they can, but this doesn't mean that they do so in order to encourage belief in the G-spot. (Why would they?)
It would make almost as much sense to try to disprove clitoral orgasms by saying, "Well, women can fake it, so maybe they're faking those, too." Gee, come to think of it, maybe all female orgasms are faked! After all, men can't tell the difference, so maybe there is no difference! The whole thing is a myth--a female conspiracy!
I hope you recognize the absurdity of this argument. The question is not whether orgasms are sometimes fakes; it's whether vaginal stimulation can enhance (not replace) the sexual pleasure women feel from clitoral stimulation. Apparently, even you agree that it can, but you object to the phrase "vaginal orgasm." So is there really a substantive debate here, or are you just arguing about terminology?
Interestingly enough, I've been able to fake orgasms on occasion -- and I'm a male. You see, I once had a regular partner that more readily climaxed if she thought I was climaxing. Sometimes, when I couldn't quite make it, I would pretend to climax (by stepping up the intensity of, shall we say, the moving and the moaning). I always 'fessed up afterward, but she honestly could not tell the difference during the act.
Guys can (sometimes) tell. While it is easy to miss an occurrence, there are occurrences that are too hard to fake. The actual climax itself may not be noticeable, but the change in levels of energy and sensitivity before and after can be unmistakable.
To CFQWEST: I won't comment on the G-spot theory, but on the "scientific method".
First of all, there's a difference between the number of samples and the quality of samples. mle told us her first hand (no pun intended) experience, while RTFirefly's was second hand. Since he couldn't have observed whether his partners really had orgasms, he had to rely on their testimonies.
Second, people encourage the strangest beliefs without apparent motives. There are several ways in which RTFirefly's experiments may have been falsified. One would be that his subjects actually had clitoral orgasms after all, as mle described. Another would be that they faked just to please him or to get it over with or whatever.
The latter would depend on the ways the experiments were conducted. Did RTFirefly actually say, "Hey, I have this G-spot theory I'd like to test on you. Please tell me how this feels, and try to be as objective as possible."? Then the subjects would have had not problem saying, "What G-spot? I don't feel anything." But if he just started doing his trick, perhaps saying, "Hey, baby, how's that for you? You like that, don't you?", then that's reason enough for many women to try not to disappoint their partner and finally fake an orgasm. Maybe they were not aware of the scientific importance of the experiment.
All this is not meant as an actual theory of whether RTFirefly's women had orgasms or whether G-spots exist. I was merely trying to point out that you dismissed mle's comment too easily; it's certainly not as "absurd" as you claimed. Finally, lest I get flamed for treating women as "subjects" to be experimented on: I was using these scientific terms ironically.
To jens: All of us men like to believe that we can tell true orgasms from false ones. The sad truth is: We'll never know for sure because we always depend on women for verification. You would need a woman to tell you honestly 100 times whether her latest orgasm was real or not, and maybe you would know the 101st time (but only with the same woman). But did she really tell you the truth the first 100 times? She might not just sell you her faked ones as real, but also vice versa, just to confuse us men and to keep her little secret.
We have probably all experienced situations in which we thought, "this can't have been faked", but it's still just a guess. We may actually be right 100% of the time, but we cannot be sure. So what can you do? Just take her at face value. If she fakes well, just enjoy it as real. If she misses real orgasms, she should say so, and you can work on any problem.
Why do women fake orgasms? They're reinforcing the wrong behavior. If your partner does something that doesn't, er, "do it for you", shouldn't you just say so? Faking an orgasm will just encourage him to do the same thing again next time.
While I can't claim %100.00000 certainty, you could say the same of my own: "Certainly the earth moved, and some fluid came out, but you are only relying on the testimony of all the people you've ever talked to that that is what an orgasm is -- they've been misleading you all the time, a REAL orgasm is that sensation you feel after a cold when you can actually breathe again.
There is nothing all that special about orgasms: I also claim to know (sometimes) when my wife is sad and when she is angry. There is some chance I've been fooled before: maybe she threw the cordless telephone through a glass window because she was in a playful mood (and just trying to fool with me). I don't think so.
Note that I do not claim to be able to detect every instance of orgasm, sadness, or anger in every person. I only claim that when you are with somebody you know very well there can be some times when you are very sure what a specific reaction means.
Note that I do not
Wow! I guess I touched a nerve here.
My original point here was that a man is maybe not the right person to tell the world about female orgasm. Yes, I can only tell about the experience from my point of view, but I can tell that first hand. What's more, though this may come as a shock to some of you, women do talk about sex amongst ourselves, so I've got secondhand information from other women, women who have no reason to try to bolste my ego by 'faking it'.
I was offended that a man took it upon himself to tell the world that the G-spot exists. His proof? That his girlfriends said that it was great with him. Hell, I've told at least a dozen men that sex was great with them. Sometimes I say it because I care deeply about the man and therefore it is great - because of the emotions, not the motions. Sometimes it's to shut him up and get it over with. Sometimes it's because he seems to needy that I don't want to hurt his feelings by telling the truth. Once it was even the truth. Same reasons for faking orgasms, though usually I don't bother taking that trouble. When I do fake it, though, no one has ever been able to tell.
As for the sensations, how about the G-spot theory relies on the same sort of thing that prostate stimulation relies on? Would you like to exchange stimulation of the penis for stimulation of the prostate? Maybe in some way it adds to the sensations, you'd have to tell me that, but it's not a replacement. Maybe there is a spot in the vagina which adds to the sensation of orgasm, but I don't know that I'm convinced. As far as I can tell, there's just not that much sensitivity in there.
Sure, my scientific sample size is one. But I've sampled as much as a healthy woman can...
It was of course an intentional piece of silliness on my part to treat testimony on the internet as a scientific sample, but I think my point still stands: it *is* absurd to insist that what supports your opinion is good, solid, real true evidence and that what negates your theory is faked.
I might also add that, while mle's experiences may be first-hand for her, they are second-hand to me and everyone else reading them here, and aren't enough to outweigh our own personal experiences.
As far as never knowing whether an orgasm is true or not, well, that's a very deep can of philosophical worms. How can we ever really know what any other person is thinking or feeling? Ultimately, we can't--not with any absolute certainty (unless you believe in telepathy). But certainly in our everyday lives we reach a tolerable enough level of awarness regarding our loved ones and even just people with whom we deal on a regular basis.
As far as orgasms, sure, there may be times when a woman "rewards" her lover for trying hard, but as someone else already pointed out, faking just encourages the wrong kind of behavior.
As far as the G-spot, I don't know whether it, specifically, exists, but I have known women who preferred vaginal stimulation, and told me so. Apparently, not only were they faking their orgasms, but they were lying to me as well. For what reason? To enourage me to persist in a form of sexual activity that wasn't pleasing to them? I can't prove their orgasms were real, but I am satisfied in my own mind that they were telling me what they really wanted.
"Isn't it funny that it takes a man to tell us about female
Isn't it funny that a man initially found the G-spot? A fella Grafenburg, wasn't it?
Thus, Granfenburg [sp] spot.
Somebody probably beat me to this but...
I imagine that while Grafenburg (sp?) named the g-spot, some woman, somewhere, sometime, probably found it without his help. That is if it actually exists... ;)
It is interesting that with all this talk about direct and non-direct clitoral stimulation nobody has mentioned non-genital stimulation leading to orgasm. I have heard that this is possible but have not witnessed it. Anybody?
"Isn't it funny it takes a man to tell us about female orgasms?"
Well, it would be funny if a man were blindly insisting on presenting an opinion that ran contrary to the experience of all women.
What we have instead is a theory supported by the experience of at least some women. For some reason, other women dislike the very idea and object with ad hominen arguments: the men supporting the theory are, well, *men,* and as for the women who agree--well, they were just faking it.
According to an article in the Aug 1, 1998 issue of New Scientist, (http://www.newscientist.com/ns/980801/women.html) the clitoris is "larger than the average person realises" and "'encompasses a far larger area of the anterior vaginal wall than most people thought.'" It's just that it's like an iceberg: most of it is below the surface. This being so, I think it's reasonable to assume that the G-spot is just a place on the wall of the vagina that, at least in some women, is very close to part of the clitoris. This would mean that a vaginal orgasm is a clitoral orgasm.
FWIW, my wife told me (fully dressed, while we were talking about the discussion on this board) that she most definitely has a G-spot.
Love Poems - http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Lofts/9104/
Now for some clarifications: I said that so called vaginal orgasms involved some indirect stimulation of the clitoris. I stand by that. I never said that the G-spot didn't exist, merely that I hadn't found one, and that I was offended by the presumption of a man telling us about a woman's orgasm as though he knew better than we did. That would be like me saying that I know vaginal penetration is better than fellatio for male arousal. Maybe my sampling might show that, but I'll bet there are men out there who would deny that or object to my saying it.
There. Nuf sed?
Sigh... I'm not being understood, am I?
CFQWEST, I was not criticizing you for relying on internet testimony. This is an internet discussion, and that sort of testimony is the best we have. My point was that mle's experience is firsthand for her, and RTFirefly's is secondhand for him. For you, that is second and third hand, respectively. Either way, there a difference in quality. mle is a woman herself, and RTFirefly knows just what his women told him. Is that so difficult to understand?
By the way, you commit the same fallacy you pretend to criticize: You accept confirmatory evidence (by RTFirefly) and reject the contradictory (by mle).
My statement on knowing whether an orgasm is faked was not meant to be philosophical at all. It's very simple: You can't tell yourself, and your partner may have (or think she has) good reasons not to tell the truth. This problem exists of course in everything mental or emotional, but it is more frequent in the field we are discussing here, probably because it is such a touchy subject. At least, that is what I hear or read whenever psychologists talk about female orgasms.
And jens, I'm sure you're aware that the male orgasm is a lot simpler to detect from 'outside' because it almost always coincides with ejaculation. A fake as tracer describes it will surely be found out soon afterward. Thus, your comparison is a red herring. But I think we can agree on what you say in your last paragraph:when you are with somebody you know very well there can be some times when you are very sure what a specific reaction means.That is pretty much what I said: You must know the person very well, and you must be able to trust her word. Your original statement sounded a lot more cocksure.
Holger, nice use of the word "cocksure", but not not how I would describe my original statment beginning "Guys can (sometimes) tell. While it is easy to miss..." which I thought was cautiously worded. Cocksure would have been "It's easy to tell! If I'm in the room, all women present are automatically experiencing orgasm. It makes it SOOO difficult to carry on conversation!"
mle, if you said "I know vaginal penetration is better than fellatio for male arousal" I might disagree (Actually, I find fellatio very pleasant in the early stages, but almost useless when approaching climax) but I wouldn't think of being offended. While I cannot speak for all men, I would think poorly of a man who would be offended.
I'm a biologist & skeptic & had always doubted the G spot idea (I'm also female). Recent, ah, experimentation with my mate leads me to enthusiastically embrace (as it were) the notion of the G spot. An n of one, but I am thoroughly convinced.
In re faking -- I don't believe that it is always a reprehensible act. There are times for me (I can't speak for all women, although I have spoken with other women who share this opinion) when sex is AMAZING, but I don't have an orgasm - however, many men that I have been with seem to feel that a sex act cannot be satisfying without orgasm, and so in order to convey my extreme appreciation and satisfaction, I will fake. It's sort of like translating loosely from one language to another. Make sense? If not, I will try to elaborate.
As far as the G-spot, I don't know whether it, specifically, exists, but I have known women who preferred vaginal stimulation, and told me so. Apparently, not only were they faking their orgasms, but they were lying to me as well. For what reason? To enourage me to persist in a form of sexual activity that wasn't pleasing to them? I can't prove their orgasms were real, but I am satisfied in my own mind that they were telling me what they really wanted. -- CFQWEST
I've never had any luck finding my G-spot. I DO have orgasms, but only with direct or indirect clitoral stimulation. However, (and this is the point that has to do with the quote above) I do not always need (or want) to have an orgasm. I need to concentrate a bit to have an orgasm and sometimes I just don't want to go to the trouble. In my experience, men always want to have an orgasm and they find the fact that I do not always want one to be surprising. I've been married for 13 years and my husband knows me well enough to accept that I'm sometimes content without an orgasm but, with men I knew less well, I sometimes faked so they would know I was 'done.' Penetration does feel good and sometimes I just want to enjoy the closeness and warmth of sex without going to the trouble of an orgasm. FWIW, discussions with women friends and family have indicated that they (mostly) concurr with me -- both about the clitoral stimulation and about the not wanting an orgasm every time. I wonder whether CFQWEST's woman friends ALWAYS "preferred vaginal stimulation" or just occasionally. This is all anecdotal, of course -- no scientific method employed!
Full of 'satiable curtiosity
OK, the penetration thing...
I prefer penetration too. It feels good. It leads to orgasm if it's done right. Does that mean that it's a vaginal orgasm? NO!!! You seem to miss this point on purpose, in order to lend support to your theory that I'm wrong about female orgasm. If you start out that way, we'll never learn, you know? I have an orgasm when penetrated only if there is adequate clitoral stimulation. In the case of regular good old missionary position sex, this comes from the male pubic bone pressing on my pubic bone. That constitutes clitoral stimulation. Yes, it does indeed. And it can lead to orgasm.
Beyond that, yes, penetration can feel good. Even without orgasm. It's a kind of closeness that can be wonderful. And sometimes it's an expression of the kind of love that we read about in books, the kind when you sometimes offer something to your lover because you care so much. My ex and I would each give for the other. Often he would make love to me until I reached orgasm and then roll over and go to sleep. I would fake it with him sometimes so that he would feel more secure. It happens.
And guess what, guys? In all those years, he never caught on that I faked it...
And guess what, guys? In all those years, he never caught on that I faked it...
You sure seem fixated on your ability to be dishonest...
Unless the entire female gender is simply full of it, however, I have to point out that women who seem to think it's so easy to just fake it must be sleeping with some really stupid men. I'll grant that, perhaps, there are a few women out there who have enough control over their muscles to make themselves tremble in such a manner that they're essentially vibrating, but you'd be hard-pressed to convince me that, as a rule, such a muscular reaction has to be involuntary.
In other words, for the most part, a guy worth his salt can, indeed, spot a fake orgasm a mile away. Only someone who's never participated in one is going to be fooled just by screams, moans, and thrashing around.
Jess: I didn't say "always." I said they told me what they preferred, and I believed them. There was only one who insisted on intercourse as the best (not only) way for her to achieve orgasm. Her exact words to me were, "I believe in the G-spot." It worked for her, so who am I to object?
Holg: No, I do not commit the same error I attribute to others. I never rejected mle's testimony; I rejected her reasoning. I believe her testimony.
As far as not being able to tell whether an orgasm is faked, there are physiological responses that distinguish the real thing. I can't pretend to be capable of stepping back to make an accurate and impartial scientific analysis at the time, so yes, it is more than possible to fool me. But that doesn't mean that the truth is never detectable.
But don't you think this is off the point of the original thread, which was about the existence of the G-spot? Even mle, who first raised the issue of faking it, has now said that she enjoys penetration and that it can lead to orgasm if done right. Her initial response to RTFirefly, instead of dismissing the orgasms as faked, could instead have suggested that an alternate explanation for them: they really resulted from clitoral stimulation after all. That is certainly a thought were considering seriously considering, and I do consider it seriously--much more seriously than the original suggestion that women who report orgasms from vaginal stimulation were just faking it.
My input on Faking it.
It must be said that these rules of thumb exclude any totally inexperienced people on both parties and those too young/immature to understand the anatomy of the situation.
First, only a woman who has had several real orgasms can successfully fake one.
Second, most men (I know I can) can spot a poorly faked one, or one where the woman is not interested at all.
Third, most men don't give a shit if you fake or not. Your only cheating yourself.
Fourth, I think there is a G-spot, and women I've been with and some who i actively try finding it on all were very greatful. They either came, or really enjoyed themselves. And if they faked it, well that really doesn't effect me. If they don't feel good enough about themselves to be honest, there no reason or way I can help them.
The facts expressed here belong to everybody, the opinions to me. The distinction is
yours to draw...
Once again, anecdotal evidence is not proof. However, my experience leads me to think that there really may be two ways of reaching the big O; clitoral and G'al, if you will. (I refuse to get into the fakery issue.) I'm one of the apparently rare females who can achieve orgasm most easily through penetration, so have had many years of the experience. In the last few months, my long-term mate and I started engaging in a different position, which provides stimulation in an internal way. The clitoris doesn't feel particularly involved. The resulting buildup and climax are unlike the 'usual' previous experience. And, I might add, an improvement over an already good thing.
I don't remember saying that the women in the original post must have been faking it. I remember trying to say that just because some women apparently reached climax through vaginal penetration, or whatever RTFirefly was doing to them, didn't mean that it was proof positive that the G-spot existed. I also thought it was arrogant of a man to step in and give the definitive answer regarding female orgasm.
Thought I ought to check back in...seems the responses so far fall into three categories: about the G-spot, about other orgasm-related phenomena, and about me. I'll respond to the last first, then back to the good stuff.
MLE, thanks for making my week; I'm not called arrogant very often. Funny, I didn't post this thinking I was correcting *women* about orgasms; I was trying to set *Cecil* straight. Yes, women have more direct experience of their own orgasms than I do, and I would have appreciated it if a woman had written in. But it had been eight years since the original column, and I figured that was long enough to wait.
Two things, FWIW: first, the girlfriends in question tended to be pretty blunt about what was working and what wasn't, which suited me fine; and second, I didn't exactly give a play-by-play: 'now I'm licking your clit, now I'm inserting a finger into your vagina and stimulating your G-spot'; rather, I did what I did, and let the woman's responses tell me what was working and what wasn't. BTW, the means of stimulation was my index finger, so I had a pretty good idea of what I was touching. If a woman is clearly climaxing, the only direct clitoral stimulation is a soft spring breeze, and my finger is stimulating a spot two inches inside her vagina (on the front wall, incase anyone's wondering where to look), and this happens with several different women, it's hard for me to come to another conclusion.
While that doesn't constitute proof, mathematics is the only field where anything gets proven anyway. (Nobody's 'proved' the law of gravity; it's just that there's a ton of evidence supporting it, and approximately zero evidence contradicting it, so there's no ongoing debate. Very much unlike here.)
Since I was going for succinctness in my original post, I neglected to mention that a number of books have discussed the G-spot, and a few have been devoted primarily to it, most notably the 1982 book, 'The G-Spot' by Alice Ladas, Beverly Whipple, and John Perry ($5.59 at Amazon, and worth every penny), which was how I found out about it. My experiences, observations, or whatever, have dovetailed precisely with those of the women they interviewed.
BTW, interesting article, coffeecat; if there's that much more to the clitoris than we've believed all these eons, then the vaginal/G-spot orgasm really may be a clitoral orgasm.
And finally, Jess, thanks for tossing in the comment about women often finding sex very gratifying without orgasm. We men, by and large, have been hardwired by evolution to find it very unsatisfying to stop short of orgasm, so it's just hard for us to have a gut-level understanding that this might be different for women, and we'll only believe it after hearing it a few million times. My wife has said it, and I've heard it from other women, but it's only starting to slowly sink in.
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