April 25, 2012 at 12:01 AM ET
The search for the female G-spot -- that supposedly erotic pleasure button somewhere in the vagina -- has become like the search for the Lost City of Atlantis. Some insist it’s real and that they’ve found it; others insist it’s a myth; and still others say it was never lost, it’s just part of an island we’ve known about all along, an extension of the clitoris.
Now a surgeon from Florida is insisting he’s not only solved the mystery, but that he’s held the G-spot in his hands.
Dr. Adam Ostrzenski, a surgeon and retired professor of gynecology, who now practices “cosmetic gynecology” in St. Petersburg, reports in an article in the Journal of Sexual Medicine today that he found the G-spot in an 83-year-old Polish woman. It is, he told msnbc.com, not an extension of the clitoris, as many experts believe, but a discrete structure angling away from the urethra.
He based his search, he says, on previous investigations and readings dating as far back as the third century A.D.
“I incorporated that into my protocol for how to identify where to go” in the vagina, he explains. “I put this together. My entire life has been surgery and developing new surgical techniques…and now, of course, there is the excitement of being the first human being to see and touch this structure.”
The bizarre G-spot controversy that has gone on for nearly 40 years, he says, “should be resolved.”
The question is: Has the doctor done it?
First, Ostrzenski dissected a cadaver, so there is no way to know how the ropy, bluish structure he displays in his paper functioned other than that it seemed to be erectile. Second, the woman was 83-years-old, about 30 years past menopause and its dramatic hormonal shifts. Third, she is just one woman.
“It’s speculation,” Dr. Amichai Kilchevsky, a Connecticut urological surgeon who has conducted his own investigation into the G-spot, says. “It is almost impossible to say what it is, based on what he describes.”
It could be some sort of gland, an extension of the clitoris as some have long maintained, or something else entirely. Without any functional information or even a sexual history of the woman and whether or not she was orgasmic, nobody can claim much of anything, says the urological surgeon and researcher.
Yet, Ostrzenski told msnbc.com, over 50 reporters from all over the world have called him to prepare stories on his “discovery,” evidence of a kind of G-spot mania. The G-spot (like everything) has even become political, with some women arguing that G-spot denial is an anti-woman slander meant to keep women from fulfilling their sexual potential.
It’s also become a business. A German doctor named Ernst Gränfenberg first described the spot, supposedly an inch or two inside the vagina on the anterior wall (facing the front of a woman, not the back) in 1953. Then, in 1982, a book called The G-Spot: And Other Discoveries about Human Sexuality popularized Gräfenberg's findings. Now, sex toy manufacturers sell G-spot stimulators, publishers offer G-spot how-to books, and surgeons offer “G-spot augmentation” meant to enhance sexual pleasure.
“Certainly, if we can prove there is a G-spot, and we could enhance it, surgeons could benefit,” Kilchevsky says.
But maybe not the patients. The dark side of the mania is that many women who’ve come to believe the G-spot is real say they can’t find it, or that they don’t have it. They worry they’re doing something wrong, or that they are defective in some way, and missing out on sexual pleasure.
As Dr. Rachel Pauls, a uro-gynecologist at Cincinnati’s Good Samaritan Hospital told msnbc.com back in 2008, "I see patients looking for the G-spot, and they come to see the doctor because they are so upset they cannot find it.”
“There is such a huge psychology of this,” argues Kilchevsky. “Women who say they experience vaginal orgasms may be experiencing clitoral stimulation and not the G-spot. Finding a G-spot isn’t going to help women understand their bodies. If anything, it might upset women if they feel they can’t experience it.”
Ostrzenski says he understands that the controversy won’t die based on this one paper. He has plans to return to Poland next month to dissect more, younger cadavers, and to conduct more in-depth analysis of the structure, partly in preparation for “clinical applications.”
“I am close to putting the putting the controversy to rest completely,” he says.
That’s doubtful. But not the end of the world -- or good sex. After all, women and their sexual partners don’t have to pay any attention at all to the G-spot. All they have to do is figure out what feels good, and do it.
Brian Alexander (www.BrianRAlexander.com) is co-author, with Larry Young PhD., of "The Chemistry Between Us: Love Sex and the Science of Attraction," to be published Sept. 13.