Category Archives: Reader Question

What’s The Difference Between G-Spot And Clitoral Orgasms?

A couple of weeks ago I emailed Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a Harvard Psychology professor who’s blog The Psychology Of Human Sexuality is one of my top reads every week. I asked him a question about women’s ability to orgasm and he was awesome enough to post the question and his response on his blog this week on his “Sex Question Friday” segment. Here’s what I asked and his response:

I know that some women can only experience clitoral orgasm but not G Spot orgasm. I was curious to know if there are many cases of women who are able to have G Spot orgasms but are incapable of orgasming through clitoral stimulation. I’m sure there are a few cases but are these the exception to the rule or is it quite variable?

Thanks for this very interesting question. The short answer is that the route to female orgasm is highly variable and there is not one “correct” or right way for a woman to climax. Some women do it through vaginal insertion, others through clitoral stimulation, while some can orgasm simply by having their nipples touched. Stimulation of the cervix has also been recognized as a way some women reach orgasm.1 As a result, it would never surprise me to hear that some women can climax from one type of stimulation but not another. Thus, there are no “rules” when it comes to female orgasm.

That said, you asked specifically about the relationship between G-Spot and clitoral orgasms and whether you can have one without the other. This is a difficult question to answer with any degree of certainty because, among sexual scientists, the G-Spot has often described as a “gynecological UFO.” In other words, although there have been many G-spot “sightings,” scientists have had a hard time proving its existence. In fact, a 2012 review of all of the G-Spot research conducted to date concluded that “the existence of an anatomical G-Spot…remains to be demonstrated.”2

Now, this is not to say that the G-Spot doesn’t exist. There are indeed many women who report experiencing highly pleasurable orgasms as a result of stimulation of the area typically thought of as representing the G-Spot (i.e., the front vaginal wall, about one-third to one-half of the distance between the vaginal opening and the cervix). However, it turns out that the source of this intense pleasure may be a result of stimulation of the internal portion of the clitoris.2 Most of the clitoris is actually inside of the body anchoring it to the pubic bone. During sexual arousal, that internal portion of the clitoris swells with blood (it consists of erectile tissue, just like the penis) and, consequently, moves closer to the vaginal walls. As a result, when stimulating the supposed G-Spot, we may simply be stimulating a different portion of the clitoris.

As a result, there may not be a lot of point in distinguishing between clitoral and G-Spot orgasms and who is able to climax which way. Although stimulation of these two areas may produce orgasms that differ in intensity (and potentially ejaculation), it is important to recognize that this may simply be the result of two unique types of clitoral stimulation.

For past Sex Question Friday posts, see here. Want to learn more about The Psychology of Human Sexuality? Click here for a complete list of articles or like the Facebook page to get articles delivered to your newsfeed.

1Cutler, W. B., Zacker, M., McCoy, N., Genovese-Stone, E., & Friedman, E. (2000). Sexual response in women.Obstetrics & Gynecology, 95, S19.


2Kilchevsky, A., Vardi, Y., Lowenstein, L., & Gruenwald, I. (2012). Is the female G-spot truly a distinct anatomic entity? Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(3), 719-726.



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Reader Question: What Kind Of Hormonal Birth Control Is Causing Women To Be Attracted To Men With Similar MHC Genes?

A reader wrote me asking about the recent post entitled “What Do Sweaty T-Shirts And The Pill Have To Do With High Divorce Rates?”

She asked:

What specific hormones within birth control pills cause this change in attraction? Different birth control pills carry different hormones in varying levels…. are you better off with certain types (progesterone heavy vs. estrogen heavy) in this regard? This question arose for me after you mentioned IUDs. I’m looking to see if the mirena* (which I’ve got) has the same effect, though in general, it would be good to differentiate specific pills/methods rather than just generalize it as “The Pill”.

*Editors Note: Mirena is a hormonal intrauterine divice (IUD) that uses progestogen.

This is a really good question and a significant hole in the study. From what I’m aware, there are two types of hormonal birth control: ones with a combination of estrogen and progesteron (or one of it’s synthesized forms called progestins) or progestin only birth control. None of the literature I could find mentioned what specific kind of birth control was being used by the women in the studies. It was always either referred to as ‘the Pill’ or hormonal birth control. This would lead me to believe that the women were asked in a pre-study questionnaire something to the effect of “are you on hormonal birth control?” or even “are you on the Pill?” I would posit that it is progestin that is the likely culprit as one can get ‘the Pill’ in which there is no estrogen present. It is likely that some of the women who answered ‘Yes’ to the aforementioned questions were on just such a form of birth control.

Unfortunately I was unable to findany articles or papers that could give me a definitive answer, but if it is progestin that is causing women to be more attracted to the smells of men with similar major histocompatibility complexes to their own it would stand to reason that the Mirena IUD is no different.

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