Here’s what’s known: In the 1940s, German gynecologist Ernst Graffenberg, along with an American colleague, Robert Dickinson, discovered “a zone of erogenous feeling… along the suburethral surface of the anterior vaginal wall,” meaning, about one finger-length inside the vagina on the front wall (or the top if women are on their backs). In a 1950 article in the International Journal of Sexology, Graffenberg asserted that this erogenous zone contained erectile tissue, and swelled when massaged and during orgasm.
Graffenberg did not name this area, which at the time was called, the “urethral sponge,” because is surrounds the urine tube (urethra). Many contemporary sexologists continue to use this term.
Graffenberg's research was forgotten until the 1980s when sexologists John Perry and Beverly Whipple rediscovered the fact that virtually all women have an area of sexual sensitivity on the front (anterior) wall of their vaginas (the upper wall when a woman in on her back). In their studies, 90 to 100 percent of up to 400 women identified a sensitive area in the anterior vaginal wall. Perry and Whipple unearthed Graffenberg’s old research, and decided to rename the urethral sponge after him, the Graffenberg spot, or G-spot.
In 1982, Perry and Whipple publicized their findings in a book that became a best-seller, The G-Spot And Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality. It triggered a stampede of interest in the suddenly trendy spot. Millions of women and couples tried to find it. But only some succeeded, making the G-spot controversial.
Soon after the Perry-Whipple book appeared, other sex researchers dismissed the G-spot as a fantasy, citing reports that many women feel nothing erogenous with urethral sponge massage. In the 1988 edition of their classic book, Human Sexuality, pioneering sex researchers William Masters, M.D., and Virginia Johnson (along with a new coauthor, R.C. Kolodny) asserted that Perry and Whipple had overstated the case, that only about 10 percent of women had erotically sensitive G-spots.
Perry and Whipple retorted that those unable to find the fabled spot were misinformed. The G-spot was not really a “spot,” like a button or the navel, but rather a general area in the anterior vagina. And it did not lie on the wall, but deep within it. It was most easily detectable when women were highly sexually aroused, when G-spot swelling made it easier to find. And it was easier for a lover to find than for the woman herself. Nonetheless, many women and couples still could not find it, or if they did, many women did not find G-spot massage particularly pleasurable.
Highly Individual Reactions
Everybody is sexually idiosyncratic. Some women adore having their nipples suckled. Others like it, but don’t love it. And some find it uncomfortable. The same goes for the G-spot. Some women report mind-blowing orgasms from sustained G-spot stimulation. Others call it a modest sexual enhancement. And some feel nothing, or find G-spot stimulation uncomfortable. Explore your G-spot if you like, but try to avoid any preconceptions. Accept whatever you experience.
How To Find It
The G-spot is easiest to locate—and most sensitive to touch—when women are already highly aroused. Women who want to find theirs should explore themselves during masturbation. However, it’s not easy for women to feel their own G-spots because it’s difficult to press on one’s own front vaginal wall. Many women try and miss, fueling reports that the G-spot isn’t pleasurable or doesn’t exist.
Many women say it’s easiest to locate the G-spot if they are (1) on their backs with their knees pressed against their breasts, (2) squatting down, or (3) using a special sex toy designed for G-spot exploration. G-spot toys are phallic vibrators or dildos with curved tips. When women lie on their backs, they can insert the toy with the curved tip pointing up, and press it into the front (top) wall of their vaginas. Move the toy around until you feel a change in erotic sensation, usually enhancement. Remember, the G-spot is not a “spot,” but a general area. Feel around. Your most sensitive area may be off to one side or the other.
Some women enjoy G Spot stimulation best when a partner provides it. With the woman on her back, legs spread, insert your index or middle finger, then hook it upward and press what in this position is the top of her vaginal wall.
The best position for G-spot stimulation during intercourse is rear entry (doggie-style) with the woman on elbows and knees and the man behind her. In this position, the head of the penis can press against the G-spot. This makes some evolutionary sense. Other than humans, all other mammals have intercourse only in this position. It would make sense for it to have evolved to be pleasurable for the female.
When they find the G Spot, some women feel a momentary urge to urinate. This usually passes. If not, try urinating beforehand so you know your bladder is empty.
The G-Spot and Female Ejaculation
Before Perry and Whipple, other researcher studied the urethral sponge, not for its erotic potential, but because they were interested in the gland around it, the paraurethral glands, tiny fluid-producing structures located around the female urethra. The first two were discovered by Alexander Skene in the 1880's and are called Skene’s glands. Since then, several others have been identified. The arrangement of these glands, and the fact that they produced fluid suggested the male prostate, and some anatomists began calling the urethral sponge the “female prostate.” Recent research has strengthened the case that the paraurethral glands are, in fact, the female analog of the prostate.
Perry and Whipple incorporated this into their book, saying that when a woman is highly sexually aroused, with an aroused G-spot, the paraurethral glands secrete fluid that emerges on orgasm as “female ejaculation.” (I posted a blog about female ejaculation on January 2, 2014. See the archive.)
Urination on Orgasm?
This observation seemed to explain a good deal of sexual history. Writers dating back to the first-century Roman physician, Galen, had remarked that women produce a "thin" fluid that "manifestly flows when they experience the greatest pleasure in coitus." The ancient Indian Kama Sutra and centuries-old Japanese erotic works also mention fluid issuing from women during sexual arousal.
But both Alfred Kinsey, the first modern American sex researcher who published in the 1950s, and Masters and Johnson, the researchers who invented sex therapy in the 1960s, rejected the notion of female ejaculation, saying that some women simply produced a great deal of vaginal lubrication.
However, vaginal lubrication does not squirt out during orgasm. Many women notice that they release fluid this way—and often feel embarrassed that they “urinate” during orgasm. Many women ejaculators have examined their fluid and determined by color and odor that it is not urine. The research confirms this.
Female ejaculatory fluid is not urine, but mainly secretions from the paraurethral glands with a little dilute urine mixed in. Some researchers say it's most similar to the prostatic fluid that accounts for most of the fluid in semen.
Normal and Safe
How many women ejaculate? Depending on the survey, somewhere between 10 and 50 percent. But the amount of fluid released varies considerably from a few drops to much more.
It is perfectly safe for women to ejaculate. You may have to change the sheets or make love on a towel, but no harm has ever been associated with female ejaculation. In fact, one study suggests that women who ejaculate may enjoy some protection from bladder infections, presumably because ejaculation helps expel bacteria from the urethra.
It's also perfectly normal not to ejaculate. Many women do not. If you don't but would like to, try extended foreplay with lots of deep G-spot massage.
Why do some women ejaculate while others do not? No one knows. But the process seems to be related to G-spot sensitivity. Women with sexually sensitive G-spots are the ones most likely to ejaculate. This makes physiological sense because the nerves that excite the clitoris also run along the sides of the vagina and cover the area around the G-spot, which includes the paraurethral glands.
How Men View It
Some lovers of women who ejaculate love the juiciness of it, the fact that these women feel sufficiently comfortable, trusting, relaxed, and loving to utterly let go. However, other men feel put off by the fluid, usually because they believe it’s urine. To help a dubious lover become more comfortable with your ejaculation, explain that the fluid is not urine, that female ejaculation is fairly common, and that it adds to the pleasure of your orgasm. You might also share this post and my previous discussion of female ejaculation.
Winks, Cathy. The G-Spot. Down There Press, San Francisco, 1998.
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Zaviacic, M and RJ Ablin. “The Female Prostate and Prostate-Specific Antigen…Reasons for Using the Term ‘Prostate’ in the Human Female,” Histology and Histopathology (2000) 15:131.
Zaviacic, M et al. “The Normal Female and Male Breast Epithelium Does Not Express Prostate-Specific Antigen…” General Physiology and Biophysiology (1999) 18(Suppl 1):41.
Zaviacic, M. “The Adult Human Female Prostata Homogogue and the Male Prostate Gland: A Comparative Enzyme-Histochemical Study,” Acta Histochemica (1985) 77:19.
Zaviacic, M et al. “Prostate-Specific Antigen and Prostate-Specific Acid Phosphatase in Adenocarcinoma of Skene’s Paraurethral Glands and Ducts,” Virchows Arch A Pathol [Slovakian journal] (1993) 423:503.
Zaviacic, M and B. Whipple. “Update on the Female Prostate and the Phenomenon of Female Ejaculation,” Journal of Sex Research (1993) 30:148.