The G-spot, that holy grail of erogenous zones, has been an object of fascination for researchers, women, and their partners ever since German gynecologist Ernst Gräfenberg (for whom the G-spot is named) first proposed its existence. "An erotic zone always could be demonstrated on the anterior wall of the vagina along the course of the urethra," Dr. Gräfenberg proclaimed in 1950 — the call-to-arms that launched a thousand quests for this mythical font of female pleasure. Well, science says to call off the search, because the G-spot is a lie.
Or, at least, it's more complicated than we have commonly understood it. The G-spot has been hyped as some magical love button that, if located and stimulated, will send a woman into waves of ecstasy. A recent study, published in Nature Reviews Urology and led by Italian researcher Emmanuele Jannini, MD, professor of sexology and endocrinology at Rome's Tor Vergata University, says hold on a second: There is no discrete region of the vagina that provides this effect. Dr. Jannini and his team evaluated MRI and ultrasonographic images of women during both masturbation and intercourse to better understand the relationships and interactions between different vaginal structures during sexual activity.
When it comes to the vagina, the researchers concluded, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Through image analysis, the team developed the concept of the clitourethrovaginal (CUV) complex, named for the clitoris, urethra, and vagina (obviously) — referring to those three structures as an inextricably linked network that's connected on the neural, muscular, and vascular levels. While this study is not the first to conclude that the G-spot doesn't exist, some women still insist it does — and that their orgasms prove it. Indeed, the anterior vaginal wall (AVW) is rich in nerves, muscles, and blood vessels, which are all helpful for arousal. And, some women have more of these in their AVWs than other women (so if you love stimulation there, it's not your imagination).
But, when it comes to achieving orgasm, the role of the AVW can't be isolated from that of the clitoris or vagina. Changes that the researchers observed in the muscles and blood vessels of the CUV complex during stimulation and orgasm just can't be attributed to any single part of the female genitalia. This is actually good news. Women who are unable to climax from vaginal intercourse alone — or those who just don't think the AVW is all it's cracked up to be — needn't think of themselves as somehow deficient. Rather, the components that make up their personal CUVs are "weighted" differently than they are for other women. The vagina's not a passive pleasure receptor, but rather a complex, dynamic system that is unique to every woman. In other words, anything (that gets you off) goes.