In sex education lessons from as young as 10, we learn what sex is, and that during intercourse involving a male it typically concludes with the release of sperm through orgasm. Seemingly black and white at first, to many young people it may not even be obvious that other types of orgasm exist, ones which don’t serve the purpose of conceiving, such as the female orgasm.
Although undeniably real, comparatively little more is known about it, and around every facet of its existence, a debate of at least two sides has emerged. Concerning its purpose, there are two main schools of thought. On one hand, many scientists argue that the female orgasm developed purely incidentally in response to its male counterpart, much in the same way that human men developed nipples in line with women.
On the other hand, some hold the belief that the female orgasm played an evolutionary role, be it by encouraging partner bonding and thereby increasing the likelihood of two parents to raise offspring, or a method of testing for higher quality partners, or a physical fertility enhancer, helping draw sperm up into the womb.
Why all this uncertainty, you may ask? After all, we live in an age where science is omnipresent. The answer is sad but simple. It’s no secret that women’s reproductive health continues to be underrepresented in the field of scientific research, and the issue of the female orgasm is no exception.
Unfortunately, this lack of reliable authority on the matter has created a gaping hole into which myth and misinformation have flooded. A quick search online will present you with a host of sites professing to offer a ‘how to’ guide to the vaginal orgasm – steps include breathing from your vagina and breaking free from the sexually repressive society which is said to stand between women and their vaginal rapture. One thing seems to be essential though, and that’s the need to locate and apply pressure to the Gräfenberg spot, or the G spot as it’s more commonly known.
The G spot’s very existence is still hotly debated, with some scientists who have gone looking for it coming back empty-handed and the rest at least unsure. It is said to be found around two to three inches up the front wall of the vagina, and when sufficiently stimulated causes orgasm and female ejaculation. Some researchers believe psychology might have a larger part to play than pure physiology, with a 2009 King’s College study, again focussing on twins, showing that identical twins – who should have the same anatomy – often reported contrasting experiences.
In another instance of seemingly impossible contradiction, some cite the presence of a greater density of nerve endings in the bottom third of the vagina, while other studies refute this in its entirety. Helen O’Connell’s 1998 dissection of female cadavers revealed that the clitoris extended to several inches around the vagina, rather than being a single external point as previously believed, and was packed with nerve endings. This, read in combination with the ground-breaking work of Kinsey, Hite, Masters and Johnson in the mid-twentieth century led to the shattering of the myth of the vaginal orgasm: indeed, it seems that clitoral stimulation in one shape or another is necessary for an orgasm to take place.
The uncertainty surrounding the female orgasm is undoubtedly confusing, confronted as we are with such directly contradictory facts. In conclusion, or in climax as it were, the one thing that we can say for certain is that every woman’s body is different, especially so from the waist down, and so it follows that there is a range of ways in which females may experience an orgasm.
All scientists do agree at least that it’s unhealthy for women to feel any sort of pressure when it comes to sex and pleasure. So regardless of what they do or where they come from, all evidence suggests personal exploration is the only constant and thus the only definite advise that can be followed.
Image Credit: OpenStax College via Wikipedia