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By Sheryl Kingsberg, Ph.D.

Professor Reproductive Biology and Psychiatry
Case Western Reserve University
Chief of Division of Behavioral Medicine
MacDonald Women's Hospital/University Hospitals
Cleveland Medical Center

Created: 09/21/2009
Last Updated: 05/04/2012

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Q: I haven't dated in many years because I am insecure sexually. I have never felt my G spot (if I have one). I have clitoral orgasms (although not as intense now) by myself, but not with a man. I'm afraid my partners will tell others I'm bad in bed or humiliate me in some other way. Help!

The first bit of advice I'm going to give you is to stop comparing yourself to anyone else. There are probably more myths and more disinformation out there about women and sex than about any other health-related topic. The reality is that every woman (and man) is different, and what satisfies one woman may have no effect on another.

Before I launch into a discussion on orgasm, let me just give you some figures that come from leading researchers in women's sexuality:

  • Fifty percent of American couples between the ages of 18 and 60 years old have sex less than or equal to one time per week.

  • The majority of women are not reliably orgasmic with intercourse.

  • Twenty percent of committed couples have a low sex or no-sex union, defined as less than ten sexual encounters per year

So if you're shying away from a relationship because you think you have to have sex every day, and have to reach orgasm every time, stop. That's simply not how it works in the real world. In fact, an AARP survey of 745 women over age 45 found that less than a third said they always had an orgasm during intercourse, with slightly more than a third saying they "usually" reached orgasm.

Now let's talk about the issue of orgasm and G spots in women. The G spot, formally known as the "Gräfenberg spot," was first named in the early 1980s. It refers to the sensitive area on the front of the vaginal wall halfway between the back of the pubic bone and the cervix. However, the issue of whether a G spot even exists remains controversial even among medical researchers. Less controversial is the fact that its role in orgasm is dependent on the individual woman. For some women, it plays an important role in orgasm and sexual pleasure; for others, it makes no difference.

The other element you're forgetting in your concern about your performance in bed is your partner. If you are in a mature, loving relationship, your partner is not going to make fun of you or "talk" about you. Instead, he or she is going to take the time to learn what you enjoy, to bring you pleasure in ways that work for you—not some "ideal" version of a woman.

So I would encourage you to focus first on the relationship aspect of dating before you think about the sexual aspect. There's nothing wrong with spending weeks, months, even longer seeing someone and developing an intimate relationship before you move into the sexual phase of the relationship. Take your time, be honest about your needs and please stop judging yourself against some non-existent version of the "ideal" sexual woman.