Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Aw, G! G-whiz! No G?

Well, according to the world authority on such matters, Salon.com, the crushing news has just been announced: there is no G-spot!

Given her history of dealing with the more sensitive subjects of sex, diarrhea, and halitosis (among others), I thought that our own special collaborator Holly would be the one to comment on this bit of hot research. But Anne thought it might be presumptuous of me to ask her such a thing. And Anne demurred, perhaps thinking that such a subject touched, so to speak, too close to home. So the task fell to me.

The G-spot for those who are uninitiated in the arts of female pleasuring, is a point in the vaginal wall that, when proberly (no misspelling here!) stimulated can lead to exquisite orgasms (for her, too!). But for some of the unfortunate of our better halves, this pleasure oasis doesn't seem to exist.

Cold fish? Just not interested in their partners? Can't really get into it?

Not so, say the experts! Yet another thing that turns out not to be her fault, despite our sexist accusatory society! What was thought perhaps to be a revelation for the new G-eneration of women turns out not to exist at all! It was a sex-toy vendor's scam. All those weird shaped twisting, vibrating, variously sized dildos: they're bunk (from this point of view, at least)!

It turns out that our more socially responsible citizens (university professors), who have to think of something important to research so they can get grants and promotions, did a twin study of the G-spot. Like searches for the Loch Ness monster, they delved deeply but came up empty handed.

More precisely, identical twins who are genetically the same, were no more concordant (didn't agree more) on whether they had the G-experience or not, compared to fraternal (well, sororal) twins who share only half their genes. Or, at least, whether they reported such G-ratification.

Assuming no confounding issues such as monozygous twins picking less knowledgeable partners than sororal twins, nor a strange kind of sibling ribaldry, there simply is no evidence -- at least no genetic evidence -- for the existence of Playboy's favorite playground. Conclusion: it's a myth.

G, that is sooo too bad!

Hey, wait a minute! What kind of conclusion is that? After all, a substantial fraction of women in the study did say they had one (G spot). And so said both kinds of twins! What the heck more do you want for evidence? So maybe this is consistent with a G-enetic reality, and has to do with the well-known variable expressivity of the G-ene, as with any other gene. Maybe the spot's bigger in some than others, or more trigger-happy. Maybe other women, wishing to uphold a demure image, deny what they experience to be true. Maybe they want their husband (or their mates) to feel put down as performance failures.

This relates to the genetic concept of 'penetrance' (no pun intended) that we will discuss in tomorrow's post. Having the G-ene doesn’t imply having the same amount of fun, except probabilistically (i.e., what's the probability that he'll get to the bottom of this phenomenon and figure IT out?).

What I think is the obvious answer to this question is: we need more research! Lot's more research! Maybe, like SETI (where everyone is asked to volunteer their computer to search for ET's in outer space), we can engage the whole population to search for ITs in inner space.

I think I've said enough.... Again, I think this is a ball for Holly or Anne to pick up.



Anne Buchanan said...

Er, I'm not touching this one with a ten foot pole.

So to speak.

Holly Dunsworth said...

(edited and re-posted because original post had "simulation" instead of "stimulation" which is quite a difference!)

This is absolutely hysterical - the funniest thing I've read all year. It's gathering a lot of fans on Facebook!

I don't know much about variation in G-spots but I do know that a lot of science supports the idea that the vaginal orgasm is a myth and that it all boils down to clitoral stimulation. Women who have their clitoris located close to their vagina are lucky enough to get stimulated by regular intercourse and can have what seems to be vaginal orgasms. On the other hand, women with a clitoris that lives further away from their vagina require creative stimulation solutions to achieve orgasm. This is all I know, mostly from reading a book that I highly recommend called "Bonk" by a wonderful writer named Mary Roach.

Ken Weiss said...

This is so technical and scientific! A subject we all want to keep in the abstract, less it become a confessional.

Maybe the best way is to get carried away by experience rather than vicariously by the highly suspect 'literature'. The heck with objectivity.

Anne Buchanan said...

The study on which the Salon.com story is based is still forthcoming (in the Journal of Sexual Medicine), so we don't know what they actually did, but the story makes it seem as though they simply asked a bunch of twins whether they had a G-spot. Well, a lot of twins -- 1,804, between the ages of 23 and 83 -- but still, it was a questionnaire. And then declared the non-convergence of the answers among identical twins conclusive proof that the G-spot doesn't exist. Ignoring the fact that 56% of their respondents said they have one. Granted, we don't know if the authors stratified their sample by how hard the subjects searched.

Just for fun, see comments on the Salon.com piece (here: http://www.salon.com/mwt/broadsheet/feature/2010/01/04/g_spot_myth/index.html) for further evidence that the scientific rigor of the JSM article might be less than definitive!

Ken Weiss said...

Hey, We the Professoriate have no end of ways to further our own careers. A journal of sexual 'medicine'? That sounds like magazines in the old days with names like 'Popular Photography' which in more puritanical times served as euphemisms for nudie mags that drugstores could sell to kids.

I guess the motto of our times, like that of stodgier old times, is still "don't forget to take your 'medicine'!"

Holly Dunsworth said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Holly Dunsworth said...

@Ken's first comment: Yes :).

Ken Weiss said...

I hear indirectly that a few people have looked at this post....and blushed. Well, this is an adults-only site and while some of us are older, mostly those who come across the posting will be in the younger generation, who probably will find its G-rated content rather tame.

Anyway, of course we don't mean to offend anyone. So, if you blush at the thoughts of this discussion, we can probably recommend some PG-rated blogs!

Holly Dunsworth said...

Never fear fearless readers! I will blush enough in writing my future posts to even all this out!

Ken Weiss said...

In discussing this subject, we realized that universities need to offer more intensely rigorous sex classes. These classes should be research oriented. Studies like this mighty twins do-they or don't-they study would be at its core.

In fact, the thought occurs to us that nobody else seems to have noticed that there is another well-known G factor: that of General intelligence, or IQ.

The obvious question, and one that merits a lot of detailed research, is the degree to which the Upper-G factor (general intelligence to those unfamiliar with the IQ crowd) and the lower-G factor. Are they correlated? If so, is it positive (the higher your upper-G the more likely to have a lower-G?), or is it negative: you can have one G but not two G's. Take your pick.

And this then ties genetics, sex behavior, and physics into the much sought-after Grand theory of everything. Why?

Obviously, because unifying these various ideas leads to the G-string theory of the universe!

Holly Dunsworth said...

"G-string theory of the universe!" was going to be MY joke!!!