Earth-Shattering Answers to All Your Orgasm Questions

What's up with the G-spot? Female ejaculation? Emily Nagoski, PH.D., answers your four biggest orgasm queries.

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Q: Can using vibrators "desensitize" you, making it harder to orgasm with a partner?

A: No. They can cause impatience and frustration. When you use a vibrator, you teach what I call your "little monitor"—the discrepancy-reducing feedback loop in your brain that's aware of the effort you've made toward your goals—that orgasm should happen at the "vibrator rate." If it doesn't, you get impatient with your body, which triggers a brake in your brain and slows you down. Vibrators are awesome; you just have to be aware.

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Q: Once and for all, is the G-spot real?

A: For some women, there's a spot on the interior wall of the vagina that's very pleasurable, and that's what's known as the G-spot (named after the German doctor Ernst Gräfenberg). Beverly Whipple's theory (see page 171) is that the spot is due to the swollen urethral sponge, wrapped around the urethra behind the vaginal wall. Some people say it's the crura— the internal structure of the clitoris. Some people say it's nothing.

Q: Is a vaginal orgasm "better" than a clitoral one?

A: There is only one thing: orgasm. What matters is that you wanted it, not how you got there. Clitoral stimulation is the most common way. You can orgasm through anal or breast stimulation, or simply from breathing. The pressure about orgasming via intercourse is just making men's pleasure the purpose of sex.

Q: What's up with female ejaculation?

A: Some women do and some don't. Some women's urethral sponge— an evolutionary by-product, like men's nipples— produces fluid. (It's not urine: It's like men's ejaculate, but without sperm.) When you're highly aroused, the sponge swells, and when the interior vaginal wall is pressed directly and intensely (it could feel painful, or really good), the fluid might release.

This article appears in the May issue of Marie Claire, on newsstands now.

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