Hot Topic: Why do we cling on to sex myths that just aren't true?
The amount of press the recent G-spot ‘discovery’ generated was mind-bogglingly excessive - anyone would think the guy had found a cure for cancer, for God’s sake.
For those of you who didn’t notice the dozens of headlines shouting “We’ve found the G-spot!”, a new study claims to have found ‘evidence’ of the elusive pleasure zone in the cadaver of an 83-year-old woman. It’s hailed as ground-breaking research.
Adam Ostrzenski, a gynacologist in Florida, dissected the anatomical structure, describing it as a ‘well delineated sac’ (translation: it looks a bit like a grape), measuring between 8.1 and 33 millimetres. He claims this confirms the existence of the G-spot “which may lead to a better understanding and improvement of female sexual function”.
Oh really? How exactly?
Just because he found something (what?) in the spot where the G-spot is supposed to be, doesn’t mean that is the G-spot. As Debbie Herbenick from the Kinsey Institute said: “It’s not like body parts come with pre-labelled signs indicating what they are - and calling this structure the ‘G-spot’ doesn’t make it so.” How do we know that area felt pleasurable when stimulated? For all we know, it’s a button that connects to the earlobe! (Joking - but you get my point!) Far more helpful had this all magically occurred within an episode of Six Feet Under where corpses frequently came to life and had conversations with the undertaker. Then they could have asked helpful questions like: “Did you enjoy it doggy style?” (People who have G-spot orgasms often report having them this way.) “Have you ever ejaculated?” (Again, there’s a link). Or “Do you mind if we insert this specially designed toy and wiggle it around a bit to see if you like it?” The woman was dead and sadly remained dead so we have no idea whether the structure that was found generates sexual pleasure.
There’s no doubt there’s an area on the front vaginal wall that is ultrasensitive to stimulation but we still don’t know if there’s a particular ‘spot’. Does it really matter? Why do we feel the need to label things and give them catchy names?
The most fascinating thing for me about the whole G-spot ‘breakthrough’ (not) is that it highlights once again, how we cling onto myths about sex and refuse to let go, even when there is no evidence to support them.
Before you all go onto my website and search for whether I include a G-spot vibe in my product range or talk about the G-spot in my books, let me save you the trouble. I do! But that’s because if I write ‘Front Vaginal Wall Stimulator’ no-one will buy it. It sounds, well, off-putting, albeit more accurate. I’m not denying that stimulating the area where the G-spot is reputed to be (one to two inches along the front wall of the vagina) is highly pleasurable for some women. That’s why I talk about this area in my books and created a toy specifically to stimulate it. I’m forced to call it a ‘G-spot’ and call the toy a ‘G-spot vibe’ because otherwise no-one would know what the hell I’m talking about.
And none of you would care.
Mention ‘G-spot’, however, and ears prick up. People are full of opinions about it! “Yes, there is one. I have one, so it’s true!” “No, there isn’t one. So therefore there is no such thing.” “My ex girlfriend had several.” “Mine is above my clitoris.” Want to liven up a boring dinner party? Throw in that you went searching for your G-spot and everyone perks up instantly.
We want to believe there’s a G-spot because it’s a ‘fact’ about sex that all of us have heard of and therefore know about.
We cling onto other sex myths just as tenaciously. The one that says women orgasm easily and frequently through intercourse alone. We knew 2000 YEARS AGO thanks to ancient texts this wasn’t true. That women needed clitoral stimulation. But most people still believe this is true today.
I write the same old sentence over and over “Only 20-30% of women orgasm purely through penetration” and no-one says a word to refute it but the average person doesn’t truly believe it. Men still mutter about exes or current lovers who “seem to have no problem.” Women blush (when men are near) and look evasive to imply they are definitely in the 20-30% category. (Good God guys, orgasms are so easy to fake, most men wouldn’t know a real one if it tapped them on the shoulder. Not that it’s your fault: women fake them so often, it’s no wonder you don’t have a clue what’s real and what’s not.)
Another myth that’s still presented as ‘fact’: The average couple has sex 2.5 times a week. Why is this wrong? Well, there is no such thing as an average couple. This statistic is calculated by making one big sexual melting pot and chucking in the sex life of Bob and Dorothy, 85-years-old and living in a nursing home, with Tod and Sara, 19-years-old and going at it like rabbits, and everyone in between and coming up with an average number. It’s utterly pointless. Frequency is (obviously) far more useful (if you must compare yourself with an ‘average’) if you take into account age, the length of time the couple are together and whether they have small children.
Why do we cling onto sex myths so tightly when they’re so blatantly not true? Could it be because most of the general population are still sexually illiterate, despite the sexually saturated society we live in? We have sexualized teens, porn coming out our earholes, sex on telly, sexy ads on billboards and still we know nothing about the basics.
And they say there’s no need for sex education in schools. Go figure.