G-Spot Study: Erogenous or Erroneous Zone?

G-Spot Study: Erroneous or Erogenous Zone?ABC News Photo Illustration / Handout
G-Spot Study: Erroneous or Erogenous Zone?

California saleswoman Tamara Bell has been married 26 years and she credits the longevity of her relationship, in part, to the contentious G-spot.

"In my first nine years of marriage I thought I was having an orgasm until I really experienced one," says Bell.

The mother of three says she learned to find her G-spot with the help of Ava Cadell, a Los Angeles sex counselor and founder of Loveology University, an online school that offers G-spot certification among other courses in female sexuality.

VIDEO: The View talkS to Dr. Andrew Goldstein about the G-spot.Play

Cadell is one of many sex educators and researchers who are refuting a study published this week by King's College London that questions the existence of the notorious G-spot -- a debate that has swirled for more than a half century.

The G-spot -- to those who believe in the anatomical phenomenon -- is a ridged patch that responds to gentle stroking, located 1.5 to 3 inches up on the anterior wall of the vagina, somewhere between 11 and 1 o'clock if noon were the navel.

"The controversial G-spot has no genetic component and therefore probably doesn't exist," says Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at Kings College London and study co-author.

VIDEO: The View talks about the G-spot.Play

The "G" refers to German gynecologist Ernst Graefenberg, who in 1950 described female ejaculation and an erogenous zone where the urethra is closest to the vaginal wall.

Ever since, doctors have continued to be skeptical, even after an Italian study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine in 2008 said the G-spot is detectable by ultrasound.

King's College researchers claim the spot -- purported to be a cluster of 32 nerve endings like a female prostate gland -- may be all in women's heads.

VIDEO: Shots for Your G-Spot? Play

"Women may argue that having a G-spot is due to diet or exercise, but in fact it is virtually impossible to find real traits," said Spector. "This is by far the biggest study ever carried out and it shows fairly conclusively that the idea of a G-spot is subjective."

G-Spot Study Looks at Twins

In the study, scientists surveyed more than 1,800 British women -- both identical and non-identical twins aged 22 to 83 -- to see if there was a possible genetic explanation for the erogenous zone.

Identical twins share the same genes, but non-identical share only half. They hoped identical twins with the same anatomy would give the same answer when questioned about the G-spot.

What researchers found was that 56 percent reported G-spot sensitivity -- but the identical twins did not share the same sexual sensations.

"Variation in G-spot frequency is almost entirely a result of individual experiences and random measurement error with no detectable genetic influence," the study concluded.

But back in the real world, sex educators say this new study is simply hogwash.

"The Loch Ness Monster may be a myth, but the G-spot is real," Cadell told ABCNews.com. "I've helped thousands of women find their G-spot."

"First and foremost for women, it all begins between the ears," she said. "She has to be in a juicy state of mind. If I am not in the mood or with a partner I don't trust or have fear or guilt from religion, it doesn't matter what happens to the clitoris and I am not even interested in the G-spot."

Sexologist Beverly Whipple, who first coined the term in the 1982 book she co-authored with John D. Perry, "The G spot: and Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality," said the study had multiple flaws.

Whipple was critical of British researchers who did not consider digital stimulation -- the easiest way to achieve G-spot orgasm -- only vaginal intercourse and clitoral stimulation.

For that reason, scientists did not include lesbian women in their study.

Nor were subjects asked about sexual positions: woman on top and rear entry bring more stimulus to the anterior wall of the vagina than the so-called missionary position.

"They didn't ask what type of intercourse and would have different results," said Whipple, now a professor emerita at New Jersey's Rutgers University.

Study researcher Andrea Burri, a clinical psychologist and genetic epidemiologist, admits that even though scientists could not find a "genetic influence" for the G-spot, the study was not conclusive.

New G-Spot Research Needed

"It has to be replicated and we need more refined methodology," Burri told ABCNews.com. Twins may have been influenced by "environmental factors" like partner differences, relationship satisfaction and mood.

She argued that this new research would take the pressure off women who felt "inadequate" because they could not find a G-spot.

But Whipple insists her research was not intended to make women "goal strive."

"My whole thing has been to validate women to help them feel good whatever brings them sexual pleasure," she said.

Such is the case with Mitzi Rae, author and publisher of the Web site Shed Your Inhibitions who has spent $2,000 on courses at Cadell's Loveology University and hopes to coach others.

"There is a radical difference between the G-spot and any other orgasm," Rae, a 44-year-old from Shenandoah, Va., told ABCNews.com. "It's something you can't get from touching any part of the body. It's got to be the right area and there is no mistaking it."

Meanwhile, Tamara Bell makes a living helping women getting it right. She sells the We-Vibe, a C-shaped high-grade silicon device that fits in the vagina and provides clitoral and G-spot stimulation with a waving motion.

Bell runs a Sacramento business selling sex toys to women in the privacy of their homes.

At 48, Bell is founder of the Home Pleasure Party Plan Association and is convinced every woman is capable of a powerful G-spot orgasm if she learns to do it correctly.

Still, experts are unclear on whether every woman has a G-spot.

"Even the study said 56 percent of women have some feeling in that area," said Susan Quilliam, author of the revised Joy of Sex. "So it's really a case of science versus women's experience."

"As an advice columnist, I would say if you don't have one, that's fine -- you have plenty of other ways to get pleasure," she told ABCNews.com.

"If you do have one, don't make a list of people who don't. Every woman has her own sexuality and hot spots and therefore the important thing is to find out what gives you pleasure."