In the 1940s, a German physician named Ernst Gräfenberg (the same doctor who is credited with inventing the IUD) announced that he had discovered a spot inside the vagina that had different tissue than everywhere else and appeared to be involved in female orgasms.
The declaration seemed simple enough, and wasn’t even completely new (Indian scripts dating back to the 11th century mention something similar), but it sparked a decades-long debate, and today we may still have more questions than answers.
We’ve agreed to call it the G-spot, but everything else about it remains hotly contested (pun completely intended). Proponents say that the G-spot is a very special site that, if found, can bring about orgasms like no other, and may be the key to female ejaculation.
But recently, a lot of scientists have cast doubts on whether there’s anything physiologically unique about this area, suggesting that the clitoris is still the queen when it comes to orgasms.
It’s worth noting that most women seem to rely on the clitoris for orgasms—according to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, only 18% of women have orgasms from vaginal penetration alone.
So, what’s the deal? Is the G-spot an anatomical unicorn, or a real—and magical—place that too many of us are ignoring?
As lame as it sounds, the answer to this is a resounding “kind of.” The spot in question is located on the top wall of the vagina about two inches inside the opening.
Physiologically speaking, If you’re lying on your back, it’s under your stomach somewhere between your bellybutton and the entrance to your vagina.
It is said to have a different, spongier texture than the tissues around it, and some say they can feel a small lump under the skin in the spot when a woman is aroused. However, there’s nothing definitive there. Others have even described it as having the texture of an orange peel.
The confusion is real, to say the least.
There’s a good deal of agreement on where the spot is in most women, but experts continue to argue about what it is.
The original theories about the G-spot presented it as an independent structure, completely separate from the clitoris.
Some theories have likened it to the male prostate—a walnut-sized gland near a man’s bladder that is responsible for much of the liquid in ejaculate. This makes some sense, as Gräfenberg found it while studying the role the urethra (the tube that takes urine from the bladder out of the body) might play in female orgasms.
A 2012 study on cadavers referred to it as a “well-defined sac” with a rope-like tail.
More recent research, however, disputes the idea of it as a separate anatomical structure. A 2017 study, also done on cadavers, simply couldn’t find it.
The best thinking these days is that the G-spot may actually be an extension of the clitoris.
The clitoris (which we should remember is the only human body part with no other function than to provide pleasure) is actually a lot larger than it looks from the outside. It has roots that stretch down underneath the vulva.
It is possible that what people have been referring to as the G-spot is just part of this network of clitoral nerves, or that it is the internal area where the clitoris, urethra and vagina all tie together—which could explain why it’s so sensitive.
The good news is that from an individual perspective, it really doesn’t matter whether this is a unique spot, a region of the clitoris or something else entirely—what matters is whether it makes you feel good.
Again, the answer to this is a pretty pathetic “maybe” because every woman experiences her orgasms differently. Some researchers—and women—believe that a G-spot orgasm is much more intense than a clitoral orgasm. It has been described as occurring deeper in the body and including a “bearing down sensation.”
And, it has been tied to female ejaculation or “squirting,” though the existence of that sexual phenomenon is a hotly contested debate for another day.
No one is going back to Freud’s theory that clitoral orgasms are immature and we all have to strive for climaxes from vaginal stimulation alone. Each woman has to judge for herself whether one orgasm is better than another, but there is some proof that G-spot orgasms might actually be different—MRI studies show that different areas of the brain light up when the vagina is being stimulated than when the sensations come from the clitoris.
The bottom line is that it’s worth spending a little time looking for your own G-spot because it just might be able to give you additional orgasms—maybe better, maybe different or maybe just more.
Fingers are usually the best tool for finding someone’s G-spot, whether you’re by yourself or with a partner.
Lie on your back and gently slide a finger or two inside the vagina facing up toward the ceiling. About two inches inside the vagina, start curling the fingers up to touch the top wall of the vagina (like you’re doing the universal signal for “come here”).
You or your partner might notice that the spot feels different to the touch—a little bumpier or spongier.
Another clue that you might be on the right track is feeling like you have to pee. Some women say that this is their first reaction to being stimulated in this area. Don’t take that as a cue to stop.
Keep going—move your fingers in small circles, or stay still but increase the pressure on the spot. The bathroom sensation will hopefully be replaced by a more pleasurable/orgasmic feeling.
If you’re having trouble finding it from the inside, you can try also pushing on the outside of your body. While your fingers or your partner’s fingers stay in that general spot inside your vagina, put a little pressure right above your pubic bone and see if that makes things heat up.
The G-spot responds to arousal by swelling which means that it’s easier to find when you’re already stirred up. So, whether you’re by yourself or with a partner during this personal exploration mission, don’t dive right in. Take a few minutes to get turned on first.
And, since this exercise includes penetration with someone’s fingers, consider using a little lubricant to make it more comfortable.
Whether you’ve found your G-spot and really like what happened next, or you’re still actively looking, there are certain positions that you might want to try.
Remember: If you want to get the G-spot involved, you’re looking for something that will provide pressure on the top wall of the vagina. Keep using fingers—they are really the best tool for the job—starting with one, and then maybe adding one or two more.
Experiment with different movements and vary the amount of pressure.
If you’re having copulating traditionally (penis-in-vagina or using a strap-on to penetrate), try the cowgirl position where you sit on top of your partner facing them, and then lean back just a little. Circle your hips around, and angle your pelvis back and forth until you find the spot that feels most intense.
Doggie style is also good for stimulating the G-spot, especially if your partner is able to angle down a little bit as they thrust from behind. You can also try missionary position (partner on top) but put a pillow under your lower back to raise your hips/pelvis up, this makes it more likely that your partner will hit the right spot.
Sex toys are also a great way to play with your G-spot because so many vibrators and dildos have been designed for just this purpose. Look for one that has a little curve to it and insert it into the vagina curved side up.
For twice the fun, try a “rabbit” vibe—they have a large, penis-shaped part that goes inside the vagina and a smaller piece designed to stay outside and stimulate the clitoris.
The debate over the G-spot has already outlived Dr. Gräfenberg by over 60 years and will undoubtedly keep raging in pages of scientific journals and magazine advice columns.
But the real answers—or at least the really important answers—are too personal to ever be found in print.
So, put down the articles and start exploring—alone, with a partner or with your favorite vibrator.
If you can’t find it, please don’t stress. It doesn’t mean you’re defective or doing anything wrong. This may just not be a sensitive area for you, or it might produce a sensation you don’t particularly enjoy.
No big deal; concentrate on other places and activities that make you feel orgasmic.
If, on the other hand, rubbing your G-spot feels good and gives you orgasms (whether they are better, different or just like clitoral ones), then it exists for you and that’s what really matters. Hizzah!