I just want to start out by saying that I had to pay 40 stupid dollars for this dumb article that I'm about to summarize in this installment of A Journal Article I Read. It's one that is always referenced in things that want to prove a vaginal orgasm exists, and it's like impossible to find in all my free ways of doing so. I even got a Big Ten college kid to try and get it from their library, and they couldn't get it without paying. I hate paying for that stuff, but I bit the bullet because it had to be read more completely than in abstract form. Ya know though, I have to admit, I was glad I did it. It's kinda got some straight up comic gold in it if you ask me. So here it is, all 40 dollars worth.
(*edit - thanks to some feedback from my very thoughtful friend, Stephanie - I realized I forgot to write the full info here on this article, which includes the year of publication, so here it is. Vaginal erotic sensitivity. Alzate H, Londoño ML. J Sex Marital Ther. 1984 Spring;10(1):49-56.)
Here's the abstract. You can find it HERE (p.s. if you want this, just email me, I'll give you the pdf of this article. No one else should have to pay $40.)
Vaginal erotic sensitivity was investigated in a group of 48 coitally experienced volunteers by means of systematic digital stimulation of both vaginal walls. It was found that 45 subjects reported erotic sensitivity located in most cases on the upper anterior wall, and of those, 30 (66.7%) either reached orgasm or requested to stop stimulation short of orgasm. This study supports previous findings indicating that the vagina of most women has a zone (or zones) of erotic sensitivity whose appropriate stimulation can lead to orgasm; it does not support, however, the particular location and characteristics of the vaginal erogenous zone described by other authors.The Basics
- The study was conducted in Columbia - the country.
- There were 32 women studied who were recruited, mostly by word of mouth through the university circles. They were generally mid 20's to mid 30's and college educated. These women were unpaid.
- There were also 16 women recruited "through the good offices of a Madam, with whom one of the authors (HA) is aquainted." HA being the male author. The mean age of these women was roughly the same as the other group, but the average years of education was only 7.1. All of these women are either current or former prostitutes and were paid $16 per examination session.
- The male author, Heli Alzate, worked with another researcher, a woman named Maria Ladi Londono. The first 4 non-paid women were examined with both researchers conjointly, 12 other non-paid subjects were examined by both researchers but on separate occasions, then 9 others by the male only and 7 by the female only. It never breaks down which were which, though. All the paid ones were examined but the male only.
- The women mostly laid on their back with knees bent on an exam table (although some kept legs straight if it felt more comfortable). The examiner washed his/her hands (good thing, since they clearly didn't use gloves), and inserted a lubed index and/or middle finger into the subjects vagina, and systematically "frictioned" the walls of the vagina. The subject was asked to "indicate the sensations, erotic or other, she was experiencing in the different stimulated zones, and when a region of increasing erotic sensitivity was found, increasingly stronger pressure was applied until either the subject reached orgasm, or requested to stop stimulation, or the examiner decided to stop, or the sensation became stabilized - in which case the exploration of other vaginal zones was continued."
- "In order to record more precisely some paid subjects' responses, a second examination was conducted on them." - it never breaks down in the study which ones this happened for though.
- Examiner's or subjects' fatigue, time constraints, or painful sensations felt by subject were the reasons for stopping examination in some cases - although in the study it doesn't break down these different reasons for stopping.
- They defined orgasm as "the subjective perception of the most intense point in a series of increasingly pleasurable sensations elicited by sexual stimulation." - so basically when the woman said she orgasmed.
- 72.9% of the women had masturbated, all using clitoral stimulation. 91.4% of those reached orgasm always or almost always.
- 60.4% of them had never or almost never reached coital orgasm
- Of the 14 women who said they reached orgasm coitally more than half time, 50% said the most favorable position for climax was straddling the man or rear entry. 14.3% of those said it was missionary.
- 22.9% "reported the impression of having expelled a fluid through the urethra at the moment of orgasm some time in the past"
- 93.7% reported vaginal erotic sensitivity. The other 6.3% of women only felt unpleasant or painful sensations.
- 77.8% reported it as located on the anterior (towards belly) vaginal wall. 33.3% reported erotic response on the lower half of the posterior (towards back) vaginal wall. Very few reported any pleasurable sensation on the cervix or the posterior vaginal fornix (deepest recesses of the vagina).
- So, of the 32 non-paid subjects, 4 "let themselves reach orgasm at examination." That's right, folks, let themselves. 12 "requested to stop stimulation short of orgasm." I guess ol' Heli Alzate was assuming there would obviously be an orgasm if they hadn't stopped (see above to remind yourself why they might have stopped), and in 2 cases "the examiner stopped stimulation in what he considered to be plateau phase of the sexual response cycle because he was not certain whether the subject wished to climax." Although, again, I guess there was an assumption that they definitely would have if it continued.
- Of the 16 paid subjects, 12 reached orgasm at first examination. 1 "requested to stop stimulation short of orgasm because she felt embarrassed" Another one couldn't reach orgasm at first examination, but "climaxed easily at second examination." Am I the only one imagining that last woman sitting around talking about this Heli Alzate dude with other gals the next morning during coffee, and she tells them she didn't "orgasm" and they're all like, "What?! Just do it. I had like 3 'orgasms.' and he LOVED it. He's not going to pay you for that easy ridiculous job again if you don't." And, she's like, "Yeah, I guess you're right," and then she "orgasms" real good for him at the next session. Just me?
- Of the women who "either reached orgasm by stimulation of the vaginal walls or gave indications that they would if the stimulation had been continued (N=30)," 73.3% - reported maximal response zone on upper half of anterior (facing belly) wall of vagina, 26.7% on lower half of anterior wall, and 30% lower half of posterior (facing back) wall. That's more than 100% because some women reported more than one.
- 82.3% of the 17 women who reached orgasm during the exam did so twice or more during the session.
- The researchers also do a little test to check for the Rube-Goldberg situation of indirect clitoral stimulation that Masters and Johnson indicate causes orgasm during intercourse for some women (the penis pulls on the labia, which pulls on the clitoral hood, which rubs against the clitoris). For 6 paid subjects who easily reached orgasm during the exams (see - easily having an orgasm pays in this study - another exam and another $16!), "The examiner rhythmically stimulated the lower third of the vagina with his index and middle fingers, mimicking the movements of the penis during coitus, and for the time required to elicit an orgasm by stimulation of the vaginal erogenous zone. Although a clear traction on the labia minora was evident, all subjects felt only a slight to moderate erotic sensation, which either became stabilized or decreased at the end of the stimulation period." So they were skeptical of this.
- There is a paragraph describing how the subjects, especially the non-paid ones felt positive about the experience and learning about their bodies, and then it goes on to say, "The quality of the vaginal erotic sensation was variably described by the subjects: Some likened it to that produced by coitus; others found the sensation unlike coital or clitoral stimulation; a few likened it to that felt during clitoral stimulation. several subjects reported initial anxiety and tension, especially when examined by the male researcher. Those who were examined by both authors agreed that the pressure applied by the male examiner was stronger than that applied by the female examiner."
- "As expected, the paid subjects were significantly less inhibited at examination than the nonpaid ones, judging from their greater ease to let the stimulation go until orgasm."
- They say that it doesn't seem likely that intercourse is a good way to elicit orgasm since a strong pressure at a particular angle is needed, which is best done by fingers, although doggy style, might be the best intercourse option to get the job done. They also doubt the high incidence of female ejaculation reported in the then recently released book, The G-Spot and Other Recent Discoveries in Human Sexuality. However, they imagine that maybe since 22.9% of the women they studied claim to have had that experience that ability may exist in a minority of women.