views updated


The G-spot, or Gräfenberg spot, is an area on the front wall of the vagina. Located from 2.5 to 5 centimeters inside the vagina, the G-spot, or G-crest, is a highly sensitive area that, when stimulated, produces sexual pleasure. The G-spot on the vagina is not actually a part of the vagina at all, but the place on the vagina through which an area of tissue that surrounds the urethra can be felt. This is why simply touching the vagina will not necessarily produce a response; the G-spot is stimulated by pressure applied through the vaginal wall. The area of the G-spot is about the size of a pea, but when stimulated may enlarge to the size of a walnut. The texture of the G-spot area is not as smooth as other areas in the vagina, often having a corrugated texture. Stimulating the tissue may first cause a woman to feel that she needs to urinate, though continued pressure produces pleasure and may also contribute to the expulsion of a fluid called female ejaculate. The more sexually aroused a woman is, the more likely she is to feel and respond to stimulation of the G-spot. The G-spot may be located in slightly different places in different women.

Although ancient cultures seem to have known about the effects of G-spot stimulation, especially when documents mention several different kinds of fluid—the red and the white—that come from women, the G-spot was brought back to the attention of sexologists by the German gynecologist Ernst Gräfenburg, for whom the area is named. In a 1950 article, Gräfenburg discussed the region as a place where stimulation produced intense orgasms and occasionally the ejaculation of a substance that was not urine. Gräfenburg's rediscovery of the spot had little effect on contemporaneous notions of female sexual capacity, especially in light of William Masters and Virginia Johnson's later findings that attributed female orgasms exclusively to the clitoris. In addition, feminist theorists suspected that claiming a vaginal site for intense sexual response was a way to force attention to the vagina as a phallic complement instead of attending to the erotic responses of women that were focused in the clitoris.

In 1978 John D. Perry and Beverly Whipple published an extensive study of the G-spot and the responses it produces. Whipple has noted that clinical uncertainty about the G-spot stemmed from the fact that physicians rarely encountered the G-spot in regular pelvic examinations because it is not located in an area normally examined or palpated. In addition, physicians are trained not to provoke a sexual response in their patients, and stimulating the G-spot produces such a response. Difficulties in locating the G-spot have also perpetuated its mystery.

One confusion about the G-spot is that it is the same as an area recently identified as the female prostate in the twentieth century, an area first discovered in 1672 by the Dutch anatomist Reinier de Graaf and only recently added to official anatomical terminology. Usually thought of as unimportant and inoperative or vestigial, the female prostate is located in the same general area as the G-spot, but is not the same tissue. The female prostate produces serotonin, and its fluids constitute a part of the liquid that comprises female ejaculate.

see also Genitals, Female; Orgasm.


Ladas, Alice Kahn; Beverly Whipple; and John D. Perry. 1982. The G Spot and Other Recent Discoveries about Human Sexuality. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Sundahl, Deborah. 2003. Female Ejaculation and the G-Spot. Alameda, CA: Hunter House.

                                              Judith Roof