By Robyn Davies
Ok, so that’s not entirely true.
If you’re thinking “what?! I’ve found my G spot so I’m pretty sure it exists'' - First of all, lucky you. And second of all, don’t worry, I’m not claiming it doesn’t exist at all. What I’m saying is that it’s a myth that the G spot is universal in all women, and not just because not all women have vaginas. To shatter the illusion even further, even for those who do have a G spot it isn’t the magic hidden orgasm button we were all led to believe. In reality it’s more like a particularly sensitive patch of nerves. I know “patch of nerves” doesn’t really have the same sexy ring to it as “G spot”, but it’s time to set the record straight.
If discovering this key piece of information about the female anatomy has felt like the adult equivalent of learning Santa Claus doesn’t exist - welcome to the club. Why did nobody tell us?!
The main reason is that the conversation around female sexual pleasure has been shrouded in mystery since the time where women were prescribed vibrators to treat the common Victorian ailment ‘hysteria’.
Here is a short list of some of the other fake news people used to believe about female sexual health:
That women could only experience an orgasm from sperm.
That if a woman had sex in any position other than on her back, she would develop a growth, get cancer, and die.
That women who masturbate were more likely to be flat chested.
These are just a few of the many myths that have surrounded female sexuality. Although we can laugh at these now, the list of misconceptions starts to get worrying when we consider how we still consistently misuse the word “vagina”. Most of the time when we say vagina, what we really are talking about is the vulva. (If you don’t know, the vulva basically includes all the bits you can see from the outside).
In 2019, a study by YouGov found that in the UK almost half of women (45%) and over half of men (59%) could NOT correctly label the vulva. Within this, 71% of women and 69% of women spotted the clitoris correctly (all is not lost), but that still leaves almost a third of both men and women who could not find it. Yikes.
These might seem like fairly shocking statistics, but ask yourself, if I showed you a picture of a vulva right now, could you confidently label every part of it?
If the answer is no, you’re not alone and it’s not your fault. It comes back to a consistent and deliberate lack of education around female sexual health. That same YouGov study found that almost half of young women in the UK don’t know that you don’t need to clean the inside of your vagina. Because of course, if all young women were taught that the vagina is a naturally self-cleaning miracle, how could companies convince us to buy copious ‘feminine hygiene’ products?
And the conversation around female sexual pleasure is equally as confused as that of sexual health. Which brings me back to my original issue: the (not so) ubiquitous G spot. Essentially, the big news isn’t that someone has suddenly disproved its existence; it's that its existence was never proved in the first place. After the term “G spot” was coined in the 80s (and named after a man FYI), the media cleverly hid this tiny detail of its potential non-existence in the small print, and shouted from the rooftops that superior, transcendental orgasms were almost within our grasp - if only we buy this sex toy or that lube or read this article claiming to contain foolproof tips. More often than not vibrators will loudly proclaim to have some new must-have G spot arousing technology. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a vibrator, but this particularly common way of marketing them wouldn’t be half as effective if the female consumer knew that they might not even possess the internal plumbing necessary to make these products worth the money.
Long story short, in the case of both female sexual health and pleasure, companies have been and still are commercialising the lack of knowledge that women have about their own bodies.
So, the question isn’t really “why did nobody tell me the G spot doesn’t exist?” The question is why did anybody tell me that it definitely did? And when you pull at that thread, many other questions need answering: why do girls ever think it’s normal for sex to hurt the first time? Why do girls think it’s not normal to masturbate from a young age? Why do girls learn that it’s okay for women not to orgasm during sex? Why, in 2020, were there such overt misogynistic reactions to the absolute banger that is WAP?
The answer to all of these is that the society we live in has historically benefited from women’s ignorance about our own bodies and shame about our sexual pleasure. If you’ve recently watched the new hit series Bridgerton you’ll know this is true. And even now, I can attest as someone who’s reached their mid 20s without knowing that my own G spot might not even exist, there is still a lot we don’t know.
But, we are living in a golden era of female empowerment. We are owning our bodies and our voices, claiming space and reclaiming our sexuality. And a vital part of this is keeping the conversation about female sexuality alive. Let’s talk about how when it comes to the female orgasm there’s no one size fits all. Some women have vulvas, some don’t. Some women have G spots, some don’t. Everyone's experience of pleasure is unique and that is something to normalise and celebrate.