Copyright (for all intents and purposes)
The Grafenberg Area:
Its Existence, Location, and Significance in Human Sexual Function
Just what is the purpose of existence? This question has been raised
countless times by countless millions of people, wondering just what exactly
they are here for. Some of those among us decide to make the study of that
question their life's work, and spend many hours thinking, writing, and
speaking about it. These specialists, philosophers, exist to give us some
idea of why we continue to exist.
One school of philosophical thought holds that the only thing of any
value whatsoever is pleasure, and that the purpose of existence is to
experience as much pleasure as possible. This school of philosophical
thought, called hedonism, is theoretically sound. All actions taken by
human beings can be argued to have been performed because the performer
discerned or imagined a tangible reward for performing the act. Hedonists
hold that individuals should identify that which gives them pleasure, and
act upon that knowledge to derive the maximum amount of pleasure possible
from any situation. As sex is among the more powerful forms of pleasurable
stimuli known to man, researchers among the biological, anthropological, and
medical fields have endeavored to discover greater knowledge of human
Sexual research is performed to provide accurate information to several
audiences. The general public benefits from this research in that people
develop a higher awareness of their own capacity for sexual fulfillment; they
discover the extent to which their body and mind are geared to pleasure, and
they learn how to exercise that capacity while minimizing the risk of exposure
to sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies. Many people come
to accept the feelings their bodies are capable of producing without
feelings of guilt or shame. This is a significant event in my opinion,
because I believe the path of ascension for the human race lies in
self-awareness. Particularly among those cultures which are historically
sexually repressive, the widespread dissemination of sexual information can
bring about a very positive change in the way people feel about
Medical professionals, too, greatly benefit from the research of sexuality.
Clinical research and scientific surveys give physicians more accurate data
on the proper functioning of human sexual organs, allowing physicians to
find more effective forms of contraception and disease prevention, and
allowing more accurate diagnoses of potential problems. These more accurate
diagnoses can lead to more effective treatments for sexual disorders.
Among the other major beneficiaries of sexual research are judiciary
officials, who when given more accurate definitions of sexual deviancy and
sexual criminality are better able to pronounce just sentencing. However, the
main benefit of sexual research is that it permits the masses to greater enjoy
their own sexuality.
Research into the physiology of sexual response has opened a doorway to
those that understand that their sexuality is a healthy and normal part of
their life. Women, in particular, are becoming more aware of the sexual
aspect of their personality, a phenomenon spurred on in part by the growth
of the feminist movement. Shere Hite, in the preface to The Hite
Report: A Nationwide Study on Female Sexuality, directly addresses this
Women have never been asked how they felt about sex.
Researchers, looking for statistical "norms", have asked all the
wrong questions for all the wrong reasons--and all too often
wound up telling women how they should feel instead of asking
how they do feel. Female sexuality has been seen essentially as
a response to male sexuality and intercourse. There has rarely
been any acknowledgment that female sexuality might have a
complex nature of its own which would be more than just the
logical counterpart of (what we think of as) male sexuality
The Grafenberg area, or G-spot as it is called, is one of many discoveries
stemming from the new flood of research. This discovery can enhance sexual
stimulation for women and deepen many facets of pleasure for both sexes, a
worthy hedonistic goal.
Of greatest impact on societal acceptance of sexuality was Dr. Alfred
Kinsey, a Harvard-trained professor of biology at Indiana University. In the
summer of 1938, Indiana University offered for the first time a course on
"marriage," a class dealing specifically with sexual attitudes and practices.
Dr. Kinsey was selected to be coordinator of the course, heading up a staff
culled from the departments of law, economics, sociology, philosophy,
medicine, and biology. To increase his capacity in this regard, he started
doing informal research into the subject of human sexuality, which led to an
ever-increasing interest in the subject. Soon he began conducting in-depth
scientifically conducted interviews, but this research created some
controversy among academia.
According to Vern L. Bullough in Science in the Bedroom, Dr. Kinsey was
given a choice between continuing in his research and continuing to teach the
class on marriage. Dr. Kinsey didn't hesitate in choosing research over
teaching, and applied to the Committee for Research in the Problems of Sex
for funding. Kinsey, a well-respected biologist and father of two with a
proven track record of delivering results, was the ideal choice to head up a
project in human sexuality, as no one could seriously question his
character. He set about the task of gathering data with precision and
delicacy, obtaining accurate information through thorough, confidential
surveys (168-71). His first published sexual work, the classic Sexual
Behavior in the Human Male of 1948, opened the door to serious
scientific inquiry into the nature of human sexual behavior.
The Kinsey Institute for Sexual
Research, founded in 1947 as a not-for-profit corporation affiliated
with Indiana University, widely
disseminated accurate sexual data to the public. This was one of the key
forces driving the sexual revolution.
The popular explosion of sexual research since the 1960's caused earlier
findings to come under scrutiny as well, as is noted in Alice Ladas, Beverly
Whipple, and John Perry's The G Spot and Other Recent Discoveries About
As early as 1944, German obstetrician and gynecologist Ernst
Grafenberg collaborated with the prominent American obstetrician
and gynecologist Robert L Dickinson, MD, whom many regard as the
first American sexologist. They described a "zone of erogenous
feeling" that was "located along the suburethral surface of the
anterior vaginal wall (33).
Grafenberg's findings were that:
...an erotic zone could always be demonstrated on the anterior wall
of the vagina along the course of the urethra,... [which] seems to
be surrounded by erectile tissue like the corpora cavernosa [of the
penis].... In the course of sexual stimulation, the female urethra
begins to enlarge and can be easily felt. It swells out greatly at
the end of orgasm. The most stimulating part is located at the
posterior urethra, where it arises from the neck of the bladder
This may not seem a significant discovery, but during the late 1940's, when
most of Grafenberg's research was being performed, a debate had risen among
scientists over whether or not the human female was even truly capable of
orgasm, and if so, whether there was just one center of sexual pleasure (the
clitoris), or whether the human female had other areas within her body
capable of stimulating her to orgasm.
In the opinions of the Kinsey Institute, as stated in the New Report on
Sex (1990), there has not been enough research to establish the veracity
of the G-spot. Other researchers, however, feel that adequate proof has
been given to declare its existence (Reinisch 29).
As Margaret Curtis reports in an article in the January 1989 issue of
Mademoiselle, many current researchers insist that the G-spot does
exist, and that it opens up a new dimension of sexual pleasure when found
and stimulated. But how does one locate a small area of erectile tissue
within the vaginal tract? In its unstimulated state the G-spot is generally
small, roughly bean-sized, and flaccidly soft. To locate it, you must seek
during an excited state, because during arousal the G-spot fills with blood
and swells greatly in size (64). According to Ladas and her colleagues,
the Grafenberg spot lies "directly behind the pubic bone within the front
wall of the vagina. It is usually located about halfway between the back of
the pubic bone and the front of the cervix, along the course of the
urethra... and near the neck of the bladder" (33). An additional difficulty
in locating this organ is that among certain women it may be dormant, and it
may require much direct stimulation to arouse any response. According to my
sources and personal experience, it is easiest to find if the woman is
laying on her stomach, with probing fingers exerting pressure downward
against the anterior vaginal wall (the side directly behind and closest to
the navel) generally between two and three inches within the vaginal tract.
For a woman seeking this organ on her own for masturbatory purposes, it
might be most easily found if she assumes a squatting position. The
prevailing theory as to why women have a tactile receptor in such an
inconspicuous place is that, having beem evolved from quadrupeds, our sexual
organs are positioned for maximal stimulation from the a posteriori
sexual position, in which the man enters the woman from behind. With
Western sexual practices emphasizing the male-superior (missionary) position
almost to the exclusion of all others, it is little wonder that the
Grafenberg area has been overlooked for so long (37).
Ever a valuable information resource, the Internet provided many interesting
first-person supporting accounts. Among them is this account from
located at the G-Spot FAQ in article
ad094@cleveland.Freenet.Edu: ">Can any females out there confirm the
existence of the G-spot? >Yes. >Where is it? >Depends on the woman.
Inside, toward the front. The part that feels like the roof of the mouth.
>How do you like it stimulated? >Gently. >What does it feel like? >Uh,
I personally have located small regions of erectile tissue matching the
description of the G-spot in all the sexual partners I've sought it in,
although the response patterns varied. The sensations described to me by
the participants were generally very pleasant, although one notable
exception occurred, in which my partner actually reported discomfort during
stimulation of the area. However, this region does exist, and thanks to
modern research the knowledge of it has been brought to public light.
Another interesting discovery associated with G-spot research is the
incidence of female ejaculation. In "Female Urethral Expulsions Evoked by
Local Digital Stimulation of the G-Spot: Differences in the Response
patterns," an article in the Journal of Sex Research by Milan
Zaviacic and his colleagues at Comenius University in Bratislava, this
phenomena was studied in some depth. The study was conducted with
twenty-seven women; a G-spot was found in all, and ten of them experienced
episodes of feminine ejaculation. The accepted theory is that the G-spot is
analogous to the prostate and associated glands, as it seems to produce a
fluid chemically similar to male seminal fluid. This phenomenon is one that
many women mistake for urinary incontinence, although the fluid released is
actually quite different from urine. This is not an uncommon occurrence, as
is shown in "Female Ejaculation: Perceived Origins, the Grafenberg
Spot/Area, and Sexual Responsiveness," an article in the Archives of
Sexual Behavior. According to the introduction, forty percent of the
participants in an anonymous mail survey of 2350 women (with a fifty-five
percent response rate) reported experiences of ejaculation (Darling,
Davidson, Conway-Welch 29).
The Grafenberg area is a valuable possibility for explorations into sexual
fulfillment, although it must be stressed that there is no stigma attached
to being unable to find a G-spot. Feelings of inadequacy could arise from
placing too much pressure on any sexual goal, and this defeats the purpose
by curtailing the pleasure experienced. However, if it is not sought as the
be-all-end-all of female erogenity, it can be and is a very enjoyable facet
Addendum (3/9/99): Dr. Gary Schubach, on his site The G Zone, reports the outcome of an
experiment involving catheterization of the bladder during female ejaculatory
orgasm, with results which expand upon Zaviacic's. The site is quite good,
and I wish it had been available when I originally wrote this paper.
Bullough, Vern L. Science in the Bedroom: A History of Sex
Research. New York: BasicBooks, 1994.
Curtis, Margaret. "Paradise Found? Hot Flash on the G-Spot."
Mademoiselle. Jan. 1989: 64
Darling, Carol A., and J. Kenneth Davidson, Sr., and Colleen Conway-Welch.
"Female Ejaculation: Perceived Origins, the Grafenberg Spot/Area, and
Sexual Responsiveness." Archives of Sexual Behavior. 19 (1990):
G-spot Information and Testimonials. The G-Spot FAQ, Part 2.
alt.sex. Online. Netscape. World Wide Web. 14 April 1995. Available:
Hite, Shere. The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality
. New York: Macmillan, 1976.
Ladas, Alice Kahn, and Beverly Whipple and John D. Perry. The G Spot and
Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality. New York: Dell, 1983.
Reinisch, June M. The Kinsey Institute New Report on Sex. New
York: St. Martin's Press, 1990.
Zaviacic, Milan, et al. "Female Urethral Expulsions Evoked by Local
Digital Stimulation of the G-spot: Differences in the Response Patterns."
The Journal of Sex Research. 24 (1988): 311-18
The Kinsey Institute's Website
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