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April 15, 2009

G-Spots; Bailouts

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* You know that long-running controversy over vaginal orgasms? The way some women say that they have 'em, some women report that they don't, and some extremist women claim that no such thing is even possible? (The nuttier feminists have long wanted to establish it as indisputable fact that the penis can play no role in a woman's pleasure.) Here's a study that may begin to explain a major reason why there's a controversy at all: Some women seem to have G-spots and others don't. Makes sense to me: During my catting-around years I ran across huuuuuge variations in women's sensitivity and responsiveness. Comments, stories, and opinions from female visitors to 2Blowhards are hereby officially encouraged. Dudes: Be respectful. Everyone: Take advantage of the fact that you're using a pseudonym.

* This Newsweek article by Michael Hirsh explores the origins of Obama's bailout strategy. But it also provides an excellent glimpse at the way Wall Street and D.C. don't just overlap these days, they blend totally.



UPDATE: Lifetime for Men. (Link thanks to JV.)

UPDATE 2: Meet Japan's 75-year-old porn star. He went into the business when he was 59.

UPDATE 3: The tools they use to measure sexual arousal.

posted by Michael at April 15, 2009


Pop culture publications of junk science are fun to dissect. Consider the Jannimi study:
-correlation only
- N=21
-subgroup analysis of a previous study group
-measured "thickness in ureterovaginal space". This is a very soft endpoint to measure.

Men who are catting-around, as you reported in your earlier years, have no capacity to compare responsiveness, because all women fake orgasms. Unless you really really know your partner, you only believe what she desired you to believe. Whoring around will not allow one to identify a faked orgasm. I faked orgasms with my husband for the first seven years together (along with real ones). His training as a physician didn't advantage him.

My own experience: I had perhaps 6 - 10 vaginal orgasms during my first 2-3 years with my husband; none in the 20 years since.
So: same partners, same anatomy, loss of vaginal responsiveness with time.
I believe women's brains generate vaginal orgasms, and the G-spot search is a strongly held mythical belief.

Posted by: jz on April 15, 2009 2:42 PM

jz -- Thanks for the thoughts and stories. You're certainly right about how uncertain a man can be about what he's witnessing from his partner. There's another element that adds to the uncertainty too -- maybe she's capable of immense passion and responsiveness, she's just not finding it with you. So: very hard to know what a woman's actually experiencing as well as what she's capable of. Still: It's not like we have much else to go on but personal experience, though note-comparison opportunities like this one certainly help.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 15, 2009 2:58 PM

Reminds me of a joke.

Q. How do you know if a woman has an orgasm?

A. Who cares?

Posted by: Rosie Palm on April 15, 2009 3:06 PM

"There's another element that adds to the uncertainty too -- maybe she's capable of immense passion and responsiveness, she's just not finding it with you."

That's certainly true. It's interesting how dependent a woman's sexual enjoyment is on a man (or maybe just a partner in general), while for men, we pretty much enjoy sex regardless of who we're with, although the degrees do fluctuate depending on the partner.

I had a girlfriend whose previous partner I guess was some kind of sexual genius because she couldn't stop talking about how great he was in bed! It's pretty much why we broke up. Interestingly, I enjoyed sex with her about as much as with any woman I've been with. Could say something about me, I don't know, maybe I'm easily pleased. Another girlfriend said I was the best she ever had (maybe she was lying, but as Michael said, we can only go by what we observe, so I'll take her at face value on that one), yet my enjoyment of her was, as always, about the same as with other women. I can pinpoint certain sessions that were peak sexual experiences, but not really based on the girl. Not sure if that's a male thing in general or just a personal quirk.

jz - your experience I think is a common one. My wife admits to having less and less vaginal orgasms as time goes by. From an outsiders perspective, I think you're right about vaginal O's being more mental and clitoral ones more physical. Again, I'm going from observation, I could be totally wrong on that one.

Posted by: JV on April 15, 2009 3:39 PM

It was a joke?

Posted by: j on April 15, 2009 4:12 PM


I believe women's brains generate vaginal orgasms,

I agree. Or anyway that that's an essential component.

In my experience vaginal orgasm are by far the most likely to occur as a culmination of overwhelmingly male dominant sex, that the woman is thrilled by and completely surrenders to.

Posted by: dougjnn on April 15, 2009 6:21 PM

My current girlfriend is a squirter. She only does so when she orgasms vaginally, not when she orgasms clitorally.

My prior girlfriend shook like a caffeinated chipmunk when she orgasmed, but I'm not certain if there was any difference between a vaginal or a clitoral orgasm, or if she even had vaginal orgasms. I probably should have asked at some point.

My girlfriend prior to that only orgasmed very rarely. It could be that she wasn't very sensitive. Also it could be that I didn't know what the hell I was doing.

Posted by: Pseudonym on April 15, 2009 7:09 PM

The vaginal orgasms that I remember from long ago were no different than those generated from clitoral stimulation, so I'm thinking this is a distinction without a difference; so it's all good.

Posted by: jz on April 15, 2009 7:28 PM

It's a little early in the week for this topic, doncha think. Anyway, clitoral vs vaginal orgasm = surface vs deep intensity. I think there's always a psychological component to sex so describing one as psychological while the other's not doesn't make sense to me. And I really don't believe sensitivity determines whether or not a woman can have a vaginal orgasm; boredom could pay a factor here though.

"My girlfriend prior to that only orgasmed very rarely. It could be that she wasn't very sensitive. Also it could be that I didn't know what the hell I was doing." Pseudo

Ok. You're over the phase so I'll be blunt: there's no way the tissues involved can be insensitive. It's possible you actually were too rough and were getting closer to the pain threshold than pleasure.

Everything clarified now. ; )

Posted by: lynx on April 15, 2009 7:41 PM

I´ve always found this topic a little baffling. I mean, as long as orgasms are happening, who cares where they come from? Anyhow, since you asked...

I´ve never felt much diference between both kinds, except that vaginal orgasms are usually less intense. They are also much, much less frequent. Maybe it´s a g-spot thing. I believe all women have them, but sensitivity varies a lot.

I´m also trying to understand how an orgasm can be mental. Mine have always felt pretty physical to me. Arousal can and usually does come more from the mind than from the body (or at least 50-50), but in my experience, orgasms require something a bit more concrete.

Posted by: Leticia on April 15, 2009 8:22 PM

Oddly, this topic doesn't interest me. Here's a related one that does.

Girls, especially adolescent girls (and that now includes unmarried women up to the age of 35), are virtually unconcerned with their sexual relationships with men. Or, so it seems with me.

Girls are hyper-social herd animals. You'll seldom find an individual in that 35 and under group. So, the sex life of these girls is a display for other girls, with men (or boys) an accessory for show. They've been taught by the educational system and the media that boys are accessories for their use.

Since girls are hyper-social herd animals, orgasm has little to do with the quality of sex and much to do with whether they have satisfied the status and conformist doctrines of the herd. Thus, they all shave their vaginas, talk as crude as possible, strip and show their vaginas to the camera, etc. This is the expectation. Orgasm for girls is the excitement of triumphing within and belonging to the herd.

Individuation is occurring with much less frequency as more people enter the world of eternal adolescence. For girls, the expectations and standards of the other girls in the herd trump their relationships with boys. I observe this every day in my classes. Girls up to the age of 35 might as well be members of a junior high school clique.

Status and power are the ultimate aphrodisiacs for these girls. The crude and pornographic sexual displays are a complete misdirection. These displays are status grabs within the herd, having little or nothing to do with the boys. Orgasm for these unindividuated girls is the thrill of winning the approval of their herd, and has nothing or little to do with boys. In fact, if you watch the porn these girls produce, the masturbating individual is the ideal.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 15, 2009 8:32 PM

This isn't a definitive study, but it makes sense to me. Autism, for instance, was blamed on bad parenting until scientists discovered it was neurologically based. If there is an anatomical basis for vaginal orgasms which some women lack then said women shouldn't blame their partners and that men shouldn't label such women immature and repressed.

Posted by: hello on April 15, 2009 8:35 PM


Men who are catting-around, as you reported in your earlier years, have no capacity to compare responsiveness, because all women fake orgasms. Unless you really really know your partner, you only believe what she desired you to believe.

Men who have catted around have FAR MORE knowledge to use to compare the responsiveness of a wide variety of women than anyone else, save PERHAPS scientists, if their studies are really well population sampled and so on. But it is perhaps because everyone lies except at the moment of orgasm. So to speak.

Or course it works best if the man with a lot of catting around experience also has a lot of discriminating and intelligent analytical ability.

Posted by: dougjnn on April 15, 2009 9:36 PM

Women are responsible for their own orgasms. When they discover for themselves what/how/when they orgasm, they can share with their partner.

Posted by: jz on April 15, 2009 9:43 PM

I've never personally had a VO, but don't doubt their existence.

Much like I've never had menstrual cramps, but don't doubt the existence of those, either.

My excitement level about standard intercourse has everything to do with my feelings about the guy himself, and how excited he is, and very little to do with his technique/size/whatever. Really.

If standard intercourse were the ONLY sex I knew anything about, I'd have lost interest entirely, years ago. Past the first thrill of getting to know a man I'm half-insane about, there just isn't much in it for me except a lot of buildup and no release.

Wouldn't you get to resenting that obligation after awhile? Or at least learn not to let it get you unnecessarily hot and bothered?

Was probably twenty-five before I discovered that there was an official name for my long-favored form of sexual satisfaction: Frottage! LOL! Isn't that perfectly horrible?

But it all seems to work out pretty well.

Nobody's got to go to bed hungry, you know. No complaints here.

No vaginal orgasm, but no PMS or cramps or dread fertility problems; that's as good as good gets.

Posted by: omw on April 15, 2009 10:59 PM

There are *many* ways to have sexual fun without conventional screwing, god knows. (Eyes glinting here.)

Hey, nobody else was struck by that Michael Hirsh piece about D.C. and Wall Street? Yes? No?

OK, back to vaginal orgasms ...

FWIW -- and, of course, based on nada but my own untrustworthy experiences -- it seemed to me that there was a lot of variety in the connection women felt with their insides during sex. Some gals seemed numb inside yet were overwhelmingly responsive to clitoral stimulation. Others seemed to want to gobble me up with their vaginas -- they loved the sensation and experience of (forgive me) getting stuffed. Still others seemed terrified of penetration above all things, which suggested to me that at least they had some feelings up there. But others ... It was like they no connection at all to their crotches, as though all the nerves back and forth had been cut.

Now, I may well have been to blame (though I generally take JZ's attitude -- your pleasure is your own responsibility, though I certainly intend to show enthusiasm and appreciation, which I expect in return), and clearly magic wasn't happening. But ... I dunno, they seemed either ill-developed emotionally/psychologically or just physically wired funny.

And maybe that's fine, y'know? I don't really understand why we expect everyone to have the same level of sex drive or responsiveness, let alone the same level of interest in sex. It's a nice feeling and a fun activity, god knows. But, like food, maybe there's a big range of reactions and feelings about it. Some people live for the whole "cuisine" thing, they get up in the morning thinking about what they're going to buy, prepare and consume today, while others don't really pay attention to food, don't care about it one way or the other, and eat only because they have to.

Maybe one particular set of responses and behaviors isn't the normal thing. Maybe "a big range of reactions" is the real normal thing.

Still: amazing how much more a function of mood, timing, vibe, hormones, situation, etc sex is for women than it is for men, isn't it?

I think ST's rant has a lot going for it too.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 15, 2009 11:28 PM

I've got to say I'm a bit baffled by many aspects of the female orgasm issue:

(1) the claim that all women fake all orgasms all the time, or at least often enough that their male partners can't tell what's going on, seems a bit dubious to me. I've had some partners who were willing, and eager, to have repeat intercourse for, um, hours (okay, this was back in the days when I could cooperate in such a program). They, to a woman, claimed to be multi-orgasmic via penile stimulation. In many cases this was taken to a point where they suffered from obviously sore tissues; they actually verbally acknowledged that they were pushing past the pain to continue (and their body language suggested they weren't lying). I'm not that pushy a guy; if any of these girls had said, "Wow, I'm too sensitive, tired, fulfilled or bored to continue" that would absolutely have been the end of the matter and I would have gone away happy, or at least I would have gone away. So why else other than the possibility of additional pleasure would lead these women to fake not one orgasm, but many (in the case of one young lady, as many, many orgasms)? When I've brought this up in conversations over the years, however, some women have been doctrinaire in their assertion that it was all a matter of orgasm-faking, and I'm just an easily-deceived male. While I'm willing to entertain this hypothesis, they've never convincingly explained how they could claim to know such a "fact" about other people's experiences, and clearly I've privately wondered how great a role, um, envy might play in such categorical assertions.

(2) All that said, the variation in interest and orgasmic capacity from one woman to another (assuming the prima facie evidence can be believed) has always bewildered me. Whether it's a question of better neural pathways in the brain, different development of nerves in key parts of the body or whatever, does anyone have a good explanation as to why such variation would exist? I mean, the variation in, say, height or IQ or hair color is not remotely as large as what I have observed for the variation in orgasmic capacity from some women (essentially zero) to others (up to 20 orgasms per session.) I've been pondering evo-bio explanations of this, without coming up with any, for many years. Anybody got any ideas?

On the story by Michael Hirsh regarding the overlap of Wall Street and Washington, I don't see how this can be interpreted as anything other than regulatory capture of the government by the FIRE (finance, insurance and real estate) industries. Remember, Berkshire Hathaway, Pimco, etc. are pretty much the buy-side equivalents of Goldman Sachs and Citi on the sell-side. (I've got to ask, Michael, what the common thread between these two stories is..."getting screwed"?) The government's repeated assertions that "America needs a functioning financial system" and "we have to bail out our existing, clearly unstable financial players, no matter what the cost, and without going so far as to insist on even symbolic changes in management," strikes me as such weak logic that it simply can't be taken at face value. And Mr. Hirsch didn't even get around to pointing out that the FIRE industries are easily the biggest source of both campaign contributions and lobbying to the Federal Government. Is there ANYONE, other than people holding the debt or stock of current Wall Street players, who really believes or even pretends to believe this particular nonsense?

Even more revolting to my sensibilities, is the fact that Geithner and Bernanke keep piously giving lip service to the idea that "too big to fail" is a real problem, but refusing to take a single, tinsy step toward breakup of these institutions while encouraging B of A and Wells Fargo to get bigger and bigger via mergers with failing players. This is so blatant a gap between speech and action that I can't believe that anyone thinks they don't have a violently pro-status-quo-ante agenda. Surely the glimmer twins could make one institution - say, Citi - a test case whether wholesale management replacement and breakup is really, truly, absolutely, practically impossible.

Sometimes I wonder if these guys forget we invented the atomic bomb, went to the moon and defeated Japan after Pearl Harbor during the past century. Dismantling Citi strikes me as trivial in comparison with these tasks, yet somehow our political overlords find it so daunting that we can't even consider it.

I grant you, both the notion that (1) our government and the paychecks of all U.S. citizens have become the wholly-owned property of one industry and (2) no amount of informed commentary saying out loud that "this is as plain as the nose on your face" has derailed this all-too-cosy relationship even by a trifle is quite depressing, but there you have it. I guess it's better to know the truth than to live a life of delusion, huh?

I mean, seriously, I kid you not, it's making me wonder if I should consider taking up Canadian citizenship (my wife is Canadian and my children have dual citizenship). Things seem at least marginally better north of the border.

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on April 16, 2009 12:19 PM

lynx: I didn't say she was insensitive. Just that she might not be VERY sensitive. Which is, of course, the topic of debate.

Posted by: Pseudonym on April 16, 2009 12:47 PM

Oops. I was going to comment on the Newsweek article but see that would be a non sequitur at this point. Never mind.

Posted by: Bill on April 16, 2009 1:47 PM

Sometimes I wonder if these guys forget we invented the atomic bomb, went to the moon and defeated Japan after Pearl Harbor during the past century. Dismantling Citi strikes me as trivial in comparison with these tasks, yet somehow our political overlords find it so daunting that we can't even consider it.

The political overlords have considered it and found it too politically costly. To let these institutions fail would probably cause a massive depression which in turn would lead to an politically angry populace which would seek to punish those responsible for the depression. You see Freidrich, the average punter wants to see Geithner et al punished but their own personal 401K remain intact, they want the large corrupt banks to fail but they don't want their employer to fail(who borrows money from the same banks), furthermore the populace is quite willing for stronger action to be taken by congress against the finance industry provided they do not have to suffer the consequences, at which point regulation is off and rescues are demanded. Andrew Mellon did precisely what many in the community are demanding resulting in the Republicans getting voted out of office.

The Average Joe wants to privatise profits and socialise losses just as much as any corporate banker. In a capitalist democracy, people don't just get the government they deserve, they get the economy they deserve as well.

Posted by: slumlord on April 16, 2009 6:37 PM

"Oops. I was going to comment on the Newsweek article but see that would be a non sequitur at this point. Never mind."

Probably just as well. People like you who don't agree with everything the gov't does are probably a threat. Hope you're not a vet either. Seriously, A. Napolitano is right:

Posted by: Bunkered on April 16, 2009 7:00 PM

FvB --

Lots of wise observations that I completely share. I'm remembering the time my first real gf and I went fifteen times in a single night, to the point of bloodiness on both our parts. No faking going on there.

In fact this whole poise of feminist men assuring men how many of them fake strikes me as very arrogant. I mean how would she know? A woman knows for sure about herself only. A man who's had many different women knows about the variability of women far more than a single woman does.

As you say FvB, the variation is enormous.

Posted by: dougjnn on April 16, 2009 7:50 PM

"...bloodiness on both our parts."

Wow, so you busted your own cherry! They didn't have KY back then?!

Posted by: Rugburn on April 16, 2009 10:32 PM

I've always thought it presumptuous of certain women, self-styled experts on female sexuality by virtue of their ovaries, to judge the sexual responses of women they've never met.

Posted by: hello on April 17, 2009 12:40 AM

I've always thought it presumptuous of certain women, self-styled experts on female sexuality by virtue of their ovaries, to judge the sexual responses of women they've never met.

My initial comment about fake orgasms is not born of presumptuousness nor arrogance. It is based upon clinical science readings, conversations with girlfriends, and a whole lot of experience in the realm of psychopathology.

I can understand men preferring to believe that they've never been duped. But a woman? Do you have any women friends?

Posted by: jz on April 17, 2009 10:52 AM

"My current girlfriend is a squirter. She only does so when she orgasms vaginally, not when she orgasms clitorally."

Watch out, Psuedo, I think this means she can get pregnant easier.

"I've always thought it presumptuous of certain women, self-styled experts on female sexuality by virtue of their ovaries, to judge the sexual responses of women they've never met." - hello

I believe there was a Playboy article from a few decades back that described women in relation to how they responded sexually; yes, there is variety but not so much that a group of guys haven't been able to classify and categorize. No doubt MB has read this article but has mostly forgotten it because he was focussed elsewhere.

Posted by: raspberryswirl on April 17, 2009 11:21 AM

jz, if she is saying that she has never faked an orgasm, and we can assume that she is not alone, then it is reasonable to say that there are men out there who have never been with a woman who has faked.

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 17, 2009 11:53 AM

she didn't state she's never faked one. You read that as you preferred it to read. Interesting that none of the women responders stated they've never faked one.

Posted by: jz on April 17, 2009 12:30 PM

she didn't state she's never faked one

Yeah, I know. That wasn't the point. I was adding onto what she was saying.

You read that as you preferred it to read.

I did no such thing.

The point is this: there are over 3 billion women in the world today. What is the likelihood that ALL of them have faked an orgasm. In as much that the average guy, in America, has something like 5 (something like that...less than 10) partners in his lifetime, many will have never experienced a woman faking an orgasm.

However, with this basic logic it is still very common for some woman to say something like, "...because all women fake orgasms..." which gets this response, "I've always thought it presumptuous of certain women, self-styled experts on female sexuality by virtue of their ovaries, to judge the sexual responses of women they've never met."

Posted by: Usually Lurking on April 17, 2009 1:19 PM

The financial bailout program is a mess, no doubt about it. But it may have been necessary. The liquidity crisis was real, I think.

My evidence: the "monetary base", as measured by the Federal Reserve, doubled in the last four months of 2008. And nothing much has happened. There should have been consequences: a huge spike in inflation, perhaps. Or gold prices doubling. Or the dollar collapsing against the yen, euro, or Swiss franc. Nothing like this has happened.

This suggests very strongly that the Fed's actions in this area were offset by other forces in the financial system - and that if the Fed had not so acted, those other forces would have had major, possibly catastrophic effects.

Much of the financial activity of the last 40 years has been a house-of-cards. There were many major companies which went public, had their stock value oscillate across a huge range, without ever paying a dividend. IOW, for many years the stock had no value except what someone else would pay for it: the "bigger fool" principle. This worked as long as there was new money coming into the market. The savings of the "boomers" in the 80s and 90s (pension funds, 401(k)s, IRAs) funded the market boom. But earnings and of course dividends didn't keep pace. We're now seeing the blowout.

There was a similar boom in real estate, financed by junk lending.

One question that needs ot be answered is: who is getting "bailed out"? Not shareholders: most of these companies have had shareholder value 90% wiped out. It appears to be bondholders and depositors.

I am more worried about the proposals to "bail out" retail borrowers who are defaulting on loans they should never have received, or because they preferred consumption to debt service. This could be an enormous giveaway to the irresponsible at the expense of those who honored their obligations.

On the other topic: is it not likely that male anatomy and wiring also varies substantially? And that this could affect male preferences? I'd also suggest that the female-anatomy question should be pursued with comparative animal studies. It seems unlikely that the G-spot is unique to humans.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom on April 17, 2009 1:53 PM

Rich -- "House of cards" is good -- it could be the label for the last 30 years of American policies as far as I'm concerned.

Anyone -- The females of how many other species are known to be capable of orgasm, does anyone know? I could Google it myself but I'm feeling lazy.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on April 17, 2009 2:53 PM

"...for men, we pretty much enjoy sex regardless of who we're with, although the degrees do fluctuate depending on the partner."

I have to disagree with this statement. The difference, for a man, between making love to the average not-all-that-thrilled-about-the-act woman, and a woman born to love, is astronomical. No way I can prove this of course. But, in my admittedly limited experience, I sure knew the difference when I finally encountered a woman who loved to love. I hope I was adequate to her but I have no illusions about where I stood on the scale of lovers she had encountered. Only a small percentage of men and women are born to love.

Posted by: ricpic on April 17, 2009 2:54 PM

I wasn't referring to you but to the type of woman that FvB described. Feminists (and I don't use the word "feminist" as a synonym for "woman") typically think that their experiences, goals, and desires are identical to all women's. I've never personally known anyone who'd admit to the level of athleticism that FvB decribed or to never faking an orgasm but I think that both are possible (the former more than the latter). I haven't researched it in depth but I guess that
A. such women are extremely rare
B. they tend to get around enough so that many, many men will encounter one
C. A lot of these dudes hold all the subsequent women they date to this astronomical standard

Posted by: hello on April 18, 2009 1:50 PM


for most men, a woman's hotness, not her athleticism, joie de vivre, or those always nebulously defined concepts "sexiness" and "shaking what she got", is the primary determinant of how pleasurable the sex will be for him.

Posted by: roissy on April 18, 2009 2:45 PM

I don't know if the women I've been with have faked it. I've heard moaning and there's has been seemingly responsive movement. None of them has ever said, "Wow. I just had an orgasm. No lie. It was great. Thanks."

That said, it's way more fun to be with someone who's enthusiastic. I could see them faking it just to be a team player so to speak. As an unmarried guy I'd speculate that that attitude turns into furious resentment after a while, that is, once they get past the new relationship point.

There was a woman who wrote a whole book - I'd Rather Eat Chocolate about her lack of interest in sex. I wonder if she's just being more honest than most women. I'll never know I guess. Interestingly she's married. Imagining myself in her husbands shoes literally makes me shudder.

Posted by: Easy E on April 18, 2009 3:55 PM

There is also a percent of women that cannot orgasm at all, according to some studies (which I'm too lazy to look up).

I've met two such women in my life. I didn't date them, though. I'm a busy guy; I don't need that mountain to climb.

Posted by: Days of Broken Arrows on April 19, 2009 11:37 AM

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