Misdiscovery of a spot
Last week in VUE, I wrote about the study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine by a doctor who claims that he has found the g-spot. Here's the column as it appeared. National masturbation month has started out with great news from the Journal of Sexual Medicine: a doctor in Florida has found the g-spot! Finally, after years of debate and frantic searching, there is conclusive physical evidence that the g-spot exists. Well, maybe. As is the case with most of those sensational sex headlines, the whole story is a little more complicated. The study is a report by Dr. Adam Ostrzenski, a cosmetic gynecologist, on a dissection he performed on a the body of an 83-year-old woman. He describes a sac-like structure he discovered deep in the tissues of the front wall of vagina and has proclaimed this to be the g-spot. As you may have already guessed, there are some problems. His premise makes sense. Dr. Ostrzenski hypothesized that the reason the g-spot has never been found during previous dissections is that is is located deeper than those dissections examined. He performed this one to investigate that hypothesis and he did indeed find something. However, just because he found something in the area that some believe the g-spot to be doesn't mean that what he found is a g-spot. If I found the ruins of a city no one has ever seen before, I could call it Altantis, but that doesn't make it so. There is also the fact that, this structure has been found so far in only one woman whose medical history is not given in the report. There is no way of knowing if this is even normal tissue. Another problem is that Dr. Ostrazenski does not describe any connection between this structure and the rest of the woman's body. There's no indication of how it does or does not interact with the rest of her sexual anatomy. He doesn't describe the presence of any nerves within it and where those nerves connect. Without all of that information, how do we know that this 'sac' has anything to do with sexual pleasure? The major problem with the study is the very thing that is not mentioned at all. Dr. Ostrzenski is a cosmitc gynecologist. He performs producedures such as the 'g-shot' in which collagen is injected directly into the g-spot area to make it swell and expand. It's certainly not a coincidence that the doctor who claims to have found the g-spot is also a doctor who makes his living purportedly enhancing women's sexual experience through amplifying said g-spot. The Toronto Star offers this unsettling quote from the doctor, "Men call me (as a result of this study) and say 'Practically, who do I have to do today with my wife?" The doctor doesn't say whether and how he answers that type of question but just the fact that it is asked of him is a problem. This dissection shows only that he found something, and we are not even certain yet what it is, it is not a basis on which to provide sex advice. The cynical part of me fears that his answer to that question may be 'get your wife a g-shot". Many high-profile sex educators and researchers have expressed concerns about the study. I understand hwere the concerns are coming from but I'm not as disturbed as they are for two reasons. First of all, IK think any work of the type contributes, even if in a small way, to our knowledge and our ability to treat health issues. Second, the media response to the release of the study has been uncharacteristically critical. Very few of the stories are hailing it as conclusive proof of the existence of the g-spot. Most have actually reported more on the flaws of the study and the criticism of it than on the study itself. Is it a major breakthrough in our knowledge of female sexual anatomy? No, not at all. But the study and the discussion it has sparked could be a small step towards increasing our understanding.