Few parts of the female body have been debated, explored, and pursued—by men and women—as much as the elusive G-spot. Some experts describe the G-spot as an area of increased sensitivity and erotic pleasure located in the vagina while others deny its existence entirely.
First, a little background. The G-spot gets its name from one of the first doctors to describe it in medical literature, Ernst Gräfenberg—a German physician and scientist who also studied women’s orgasms and developed an early version of today’s intrauterine device. (IUD).
In 1950, Gräfenberg wrote about “an erotic zone [that] could be demonstrated on the anterior wall of the vagina along the course of the urethra,” and that “this particular area was more easily stimulated by the finger than the other areas of the vagina.” It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that other researchers bestowed his name to the now famous spot.
Gräfenberg wasn’t the first to write about this erogenous zone, though. Similar mentions date all the way back to 11th century India, according to a 2012 review in the Journal of Sexual Health.
To get up to date on all things G, Health dug deep into the research and spoke with Jennifer Berman, MD, a urologist and female sexual medicine specialist at Berman Women’s Wellness Center in Beverly Hills. Here’s what we learned about what the G-spot really is and you can find it and enjoy it.
It’s located at this point in the vagina
The G-spot can be found along the inner, front wall of the vagina—the top wall if a woman is laying on her back. “It’s a few inches up, about a third of the way, although it varies from person to person,” says Dr. Berman.
“Every woman is built relatively the same,” she adds, “but our anatomies can be different depending on our age, how many babies we’ve had, and our genetics.” For some women, the G-spot is a bit higher, while for others it may be a closer to the vaginal opening.
But your G-spot can be tricky to find
A woman may be able to feel out her own G-spot by hand, says Dr. Berman, by exploring the upper, inner wall of her vagina with a finger or two. “It feels a bit rougher, kind of like an orange peel,” she says, “and sometimes it can be pulled back in the fold, so you might have to fish around a bit.”
If you’re on the hunt for your G-spot and then start to feel uncomfortable stroking or pressing on the anterior wall, or you suddenly feel an urgent need to urinate don’t panic; it’s actually normal. Meanwhile, some women touching this area won’t feel anything at all. “But for many women, in the context of sexual relations, it’s extremely pleasurable,” she says.
The G-spot may be easier to pinpoint with erotic toys that are angled upward and designed to (literally) hit the spot. “It can be hard to reach it yourself, so I would encourage women to also experiment with toys and with their partners,” says Dr. Berman.
A study “confirmed” the existence of the G-spot
In 2012, Florida-based gynecologist Adam Ostrzenski, MD, wrote in The Journal of Sexual Medicine that he had identified the G-spot as an actual, physical structure for the first time. He made the discovery during post-mortem research (i.e. dissection).on the vaginal wall measuring about 8 millimeters long, 3 millimeters thick, and .4 millimeters high.
But because the finding came from a dead woman, and this “sac” was never shown to be active in sexual arousal or orgasms, other doctors have expressed doubts about its significance. A 2014 review in the journal Clinical Anatomy points out that “Ostrzenski has an interest in proving the presence of a G-spot that should have been declared, since he runs a cosmetic plastic gynecology clinic where the list of procedures includes G-Spot Augmentation.” (More on that later.)
But some doctors are skeptical
Other scientists have refuted the idea that there is anything remarkable about the vaginal wall itself, claiming instead that all touch-related sexual sensations come strictly from nerves in or around the clitoris. Some have even gone as far as to say that the G-spot “belongs in the same category as angels and unicorns. ”
Barry Komisaruk, PhD, distinguished professor of psychology at Rutgers University Newark, says that among sexuality researchers, there’s little doubt that the G-spot—or the G-region, as he refers to it—exists. But it’s not one anatomical entity, he says; rather, it’s “several independently erogenous structures that happen to all be concentrated in the region of the anterior vaginal wall behind the public bone,” all of which can be stimulated by pressure.
It’s been referred to as the “female prostate”
Some studies have described the G-spot as a “female prostate,” suggesting that the area may be similar in structure and function to the male organ located between the penis and the bladder. One comparison often made is that both spots—the G-spot in women and the prostate in men—can trigger or contribute to orgasm when stimulated.
There’s another notable similarity between men’s and women’s anatomy in this area, as well. These glands produce a fluid that helps lubricate the female urethra, and are thought to have some of the same components as the male prostate.
It may help trigger female ejaculation
“For some women, stimulation of the G-spot can cause a release of fluids,” says Dr. Berman, a phenomenon sometimes known as female ejaculation. Although it hasn’t been proven, some experts think those Skene’s glands play a role here as well.