sensual fusion

Informed. Empowered. Sensually Fused.

Sensual Fusion Blog

The blogs on Sensualfusion.com are written by some of the top sexuality experts around. Their information is based on scientific research and fact. Come learn about the latest news, "trends," and issues related to sex, sexual health, and intimate relationships...

Anatomical Evidence: Will It Settle the G-Spot Debate?

Monday, April 23, 2012

Where’s the evidence?? Despite a host of women having loudly, unapologetically, and consistently claimed that “yes, Virginia, there is a G spot,” many skeptics have asked for proof. Ever since the 1982 publication of The G Spot detailed an erogenous zone present in some women, lovers have been trying to find this hidden treasure. Researchers like Ernst Grafenberg, for whom it’s named, have been attempting to explain or prove its existence since at least 1944.

Thus, you can imagine the frenzy that’s about to ensue given that Adam Ostrzenski, MD, PhD may have uncovered proof that this Holy Grail of hot spots is an actual part of the female body. According to an upcoming issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, the G spot does, indeed, have an anatomic existence.

In dissecting the layers of the anterior vaginal wall of an 83-year-old cadaver, Ostrzenski uncovered a well-defined sac structure, with three distinct regions, on the dorsal (back) perineal membrane. It was located 16.5 mm up from the urethral meatus, the opening of the urethra, above the vaginal opening.

Amazing. Promising. But should we be rejoicing that this lauded trove of female sexual pleasuring has finally been confirmed?? After all, why would one dead body suddenly provide ample, let alone representative, evidence of one of the most controversial aspects of female anatomy?

It would be wise for academics, researchers, journalists and lay people everywhere to take this finding with a grain of salt, especially given that this effort comes on the heels of another study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. It concluded that, “objective measures have failed to provide strong and consistent evidence for the existence of an anatomical site that could be related to the famed G-spot.”

This review of the literature of peer-reviewed journal articles published between 1950 and 2011, using the key words “G-spot,” “Grafenberg spot,” “vaginal innervation,” “female orgasm,” “female erogenous zone,” and “female ejaculation” involved looking at dozens of trials that sought to confirm the existence of the G-spot. Investigators examined over 60 years of research utilizing surveys, pathologic specimens, imaging modalities and biochemical markers, and no structure of the elusive area had been identified to date.

So why would Ostrzenski be able to produce evidence that the G spot is anatomically distinct? This is not to say that women – as well as a number of sexologists – everywhere don’t hope that he’s not right. Between having her sexuality controlled, being labeled sexually “pure” and frigid, and being made to feel that her G spot reactions are mythological, women have a lot riding on the confirmed physical existence of this entity.

As recently as 2010, a team of researchers at King’s College London published a study, also in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, claiming that the G spot was possibly a figment of women’s imaginations, one encouraged by the popular press and sexuality professionals.

In drawing upon a sample of over 1,800 women, their proof was that no pattern emerged between identical versus non-identical twins when participants were asked if they had a G spot. Hence, there could not be a gene at play (which would be shared by identical twins) in proving its existence.

Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter if the G spot can be proven or unproven if a number of women experience its wonderful sensations and lovely orgasms sans a scientific blessing. Having long been referred to as the “Sacred Gate” by Tantric sex practitioners, this area of the female body may simply be one of life’s great mysteries, one that we’re never meant to fully know.

Or perhaps knowing it and understanding it goes beyond anything you can dissect or measure. It’s an untouchable pathway to bliss and the cosmos, making it something so much more.


Sex Ed Makes for Smarter Sexual Decisions – So Why Aren’t Politicians Promoting Such Programs?

Friday, March 30, 2012

It has been reconfirmed – yet again. Research conducted by the Guttmacher Institute indicates that sexuality education does not encourage teenagers to have sex sooner or to engage on more sexual risk-taking behaviors. As a matter of fact, it delays sex.

In analyzing data from the 2006 to 2008 National Survey of Family Growth, involving 4,691 males and females, ages 15 – 24, U.S. researchers examined participants’ reports of whether they’d received formal sexuality instruction before turning 18 on “how to say no to sex” and/or “methods of birth control.”

Those who had received instruction on both contraceptives and abstinence reported being older at first sex than those who had received no such instruction. They also had healthier partnerships, and were likelier to have used rubbers or another form of birth control in having first-time sexual intercourse.

The findings, published in an online edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health, also revealed that females who had received both contraceptive and abstinence information were significantly more likely than those who had received abstinence-only sexuality instruction to use a condom during first sex. (Gals in the abstinence-only group were, however, likelier to delay first intercourse than those who had received zero sex instruction.)

As governments fail to make sexuality education a priority or continue to fund abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, we’re once again being given scholarly, evidence-based data that indicates the importance of comprehensive sexuality education. Such complements Douglas Kirby’s 2008 review of evaluation studies examining abstinence, comprehensive, and/or STD/HIV sex education programs. Kirby found that two-thirds of the 48 programs teaching both abstinence and contraceptive use had positive behavioral effects.

So given the good news such studies yield time after time, when will the politicians start to listen? How many research studies like these do we need before policymakers begin funding and supporting comprehensive sexuality education efforts? They’ve been ignoring the evidence for far too long, continuing to cultivate a culture of sexually ignorant youth, who lack the knowledge and skills necessary to postpone sex or protect themselves.

In bolstering young people’s health and well-being, parents, teachers, school administrators, and other important players need to guarantee that youth are accessing medically accurate, comprehensive sexuality education. As constituents, all of us need to demand it. Enough is enough – and that includes having enough data to make our case. Contact your representatives today, letting them know that you support holistic approaches to sexuality education – and that you expect them, in their funding priorities and policymaking, to do the same.  


The Importance of Marital Generosity

Friday, March 02, 2012

Turns out the smallest gestures can go a long way in successfully combining marriage and parenthood. A report from the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia and the Center for Marriage and Families found that making your partner a cup of coffee or giving your lover a back rub after a long day at work makes for greater marital happiness.

In examining ten aspects of modern social life and relationships, ranging from sexual satisfaction to religious faith to shared housework, researchers surveyed 2,870 couples and found that spouses benefit when they practice the “ethic of marital generosity.” This virtue basically gets at how husbands and wives go out of their way to be affectionate or forgiving. (Not surprisingly, sexual satisfaction and a sense of commitment were the only two traits that exceeded generosity in contributing to relationship happiness.)

So if bettering your most precious, personal relationship is your goal, seek to give more goodness “freely and abundantly,” as these were the qualities the study used to define generosity. Men and women who scored highest on the survey’s generosity scale were much more likely to rate being “very happy” in their unions, with such kindliness of particular value to those with children.

In realizing such happiness, partners can start by asking themselves a series of questions: What can you do to go above and beyond what’s normally expected of you in contributing to your relationship and household? How can you try to be more affectionate? What little gestures can you make that ultimately foster more happiness in your marriage? How can you show your partner more respect? How can you be more forgiving of your partner’s mistakes or failings to date or from here on out?

The more that you can volunteer to take on a task, seek to share responsibilities, and give more goodness, the better both of you will be able to manage the strains of marriage, from the financial to the emotional. And if you have a baby on the way, or are well into childrearing, plan to majorly step up. Researchers found that all of these efforts are even more critical – and rewarding – in combining marriage with parenthood.


Countering the Criticism of Paterno

Friday, January 27, 2012

The legendary football coach Joe Paterno was laid to rest this past week, with his passing reigniting the recent debate over whether he could or should have done more to protect young boys from sexual abuse. Despite the fact that it’s his former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, facing over 50 counts of child sexual abuse, the public’s venomous wrath has focused on Paterno. The few comments he made about the situation, before succumbing to lung cancer January 22, have been ridiculed as seeming incredulous.

As a sexuality educator, I have not been surprised by Paterno’s explanations about his reactions to Sandusky’s alleged activities and how he fulfilled his legal obligations of reporting what he learned to his superiors. Like it or not, his statements are reflective of how most individuals, including his critics, would respond.

“He didn’t want to get specific.”

In an interview with the Washington Post, Paterno explained how assistant coach, Mike McQueary, had come to his home one Saturday evening in 2002 to inform him that he’d seen what looked like inappropriate touching or fondling between Sandusky and a young boy in the shower at Penn State’s Lasch Football Building. Many have criticized Paterno and McQueary for not discussing the details of what McQueary saw.

Reality check: How easy would it be for you to talk about sex with your superior or employee, especially when there’s a 50-year age difference and power dynamic involved? Despite rampant popular press discussions about sex, it’s still hard for individuals of all ages to talk about sex. Whether it’s two lovers, a parent and child, teacher and students… most people do not have the comfortability and language to effectively communicate about sexuality, especially when it involves a matter causing anxiety and distress, and accusations against people that you know and respect.

So it should come as no shocker that these full grown men did not get into the nitty gritty of what took place, especially since Paterno described McQueary as having been upset. Like it or not, their lack of discourse is the norm. Often starved of sexuality education, let alone any forum in which to learn about sex communication, most people don’t have the lingo, confidence, or ability to have sex conversations. The end results: miscommunication and a failure to adequately address problems. 

“To be frank with you I didn’t know that it would have done any good, because I never heard of, of, rape and a man. “

It has only been recently that people, namely younger generations who are fortunate enough to get a taste of sexual assault prevention education, have become aware that males can be raped. Consider that it is only in the last month that the FBI changed its definition of rape, announcing that it will include the rapes of men and statutory rape in its official statistics (for its annual Uniform Crime Reports). Until now, it only counted the “carnal knowledge of a female forcibly and against her will.”

Given the generation that Paterno is from, it’s understandable that any rape awareness he might’ve been exposed to only focused on women. Regardless of age, both males and females have a hard time grasping how a male can be raped since he doesn’t have a vagina. Add to this the fact that a successful child sexual predator is characterized as clever, secretive, charming, pleasant, engaging, skilled at reassuring that nothing is wrong, an expert at giving a convincing façade… and many end up getting duped on who can do what to whom.

“I didn’t know exactly how to handle it and I was afraid to do something that might jeopardize what the university procedure was. So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”

Ever hear of the PLISSIT model? Used by therapists and healthcare practitioners to assess and manage clients’ sexuality, this assessment is grounded in professionals making referrals when they’re out of their league in handling a situation. Failure to refer, let alone try to address a matter where one has no training, background, or expertise, would be considered unethical.

So why is Paterno being faulted for the fact that he didn’t follow up more aggressively with his superiors or the police about Sandusky’s alleged activities? Like so many other professionals in so many other fields, he did the right thing, trusting that his superiors would be better able to handle the situation than he could. It’s not his fault that they didn’t.

“So I sat around. It was a Saturday. Waited till Sunday because I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. And then I called my superiors… I had never had to deal with something like that. And I didn’t feel adequate."

Many have thrown harsh criticism at Paterno for not acting right away. While a heroic, Superman response would’ve been ideal, it’s just that – a fantasy. And maybe it should stay so given that levying sexual abuse charges against somebody is a huge deal. Any misstep could end up ruining innocent lives if the accused isn’t guilty.

Between processing the shock of the situation, the wave of emotions unleashed, and a plan of action, it was right of Paterno to “sleep on it.” Isn’t it Proverbs 19:2 that reads: “Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good; Haste makes mistakes”?

“In hindsight, I wish that I had done more.”

This statement doesn’t incriminate Paterno any more than it should anyone else. When it comes to sexual assault of any kind against anybody, almost everybody could say the same. Everyone should be saying they could’ve done more to prevent sexual abuse.

I don’t want to walk away from this thing bitter. I want to be helpful.”

Despite the fact that Paterno was terminated via phone after over 60 years of service at Penn State, he and his wife, Sue, continued their generous philanthropy, donating another $100,000 to the school in December. In spite of people brutally questioning a life he’d defined with honor, academics, and sportsmanship, he chose to be positive. How many people could say that?


Do Men Really Think about Sex Every 7 Seconds?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The factoid that males think about sex every 7 seconds has long been claimed, but is it actually true? Never sourced, this supposed stat seems like an impossibility given it amounts to an individual having about 8,000 sex thoughts in a 16-hour waking period.

According to the Kinsey Report Sexual Behavior in the Human Male, 54% of men think about sex daily or a few times per day, and 43% report think about it several times a week or month. Re-read the second half of that last sentence. More than 4 out of 10 guys don’t even think about sex once in a day, let alone every 7 seconds!

Data out of Ohio State University, published in a recent issue of The Journal of Sex Research, further challenges the ‘7-seconds’ notion. The 120 male college students reported thinking about sex anywhere from 1 to 388 times per day, making for a median (middle number) of almost 19 sex thoughts every day. Investigators also found that participants thought about sex no more than they thought about food and sleep, nearly 18 and 11 times per day respectively.

So, counter to the 7-second claim, it can be safely said that the vast majority of men are not “obsessed” with sex – at least no more than the women.

In asking 163 women to also track their sleep, food, or sexual thoughts, researchers found that the median for number of times the ladies thought about sex was 10 times per day. Medians calculated for sleep and food were 8.5 and 15 times per day respectively.

For both genders, participants who scored higher on an erotophilia measurement, examining their comfort with their sexuality, were the individuals who were likeliest to be thinking about sex. Women scoring high on the desire to be socially acceptable were the ones likelier to report thinking less frequently about sex.

Researchers concluded that one’s emotional orientation towards sex is going to be a much better predictor than being male or female when it comes to how often a person thinks about sex. They further emphasized that there’s no real basis for the belief that men think about sex so much more than women. If anything, men spend just a tad more time thinking about their basic human needs.