Alice Kahn Ladas, lead author of the 1982 best-seller The G Spot: And Other Recent Discoveries About Human Sexuality,” died recently, age 102.
Ladas spent a lifetime studying human sexuality, pleasure, and female empowerment. After working with bio-psychologists Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen, she brought the Lamaze birthing techniques to America. She then did her doctoral dissertation at Columbia on breast-feeding, finally getting the topic approved only when Margaret Mead agreed to sit on her committee.
In the late seventies she started collaborating with nurse Beverly Whipple and psychologist John D. Perry, culminating in their historic 1982 publication.
Some of the women interviewed for the book reported intense, long-lasting orgasms from stimulation of their G-Spot (on the upper wall of the vagina, just behind the pubic bone). Encouraged by the day’s popular media and the feminist emphasis on female sexual satisfaction, some women began a frantic search for their G-Spot and the ecstasy it promised. While some women succeeded, others did not.
Some women in the book also rhapsodized about the “squirting” that accompanied their G-Spot orgasms (others reported doing so without any squirting). To this day, there is still no professional consensus on what this fluid is, or where it comes from.
Americans are famously uninterested in history. And so the popularizing of the G-Spot and its role in sexual pleasure—along with Shere Hite’s research on the clitoris (1970s), Masters & Johnson’s research on the sexual response cycle (1960s), and the work of many other sexologists—have been forgotten by the public, the results now taken for granted.
But imagine tens of millions of women and couples ignorant about female genitalia, and how meaningful it was to have respectable professionals (finally) talk about this. I still remember women talking about how Shere Hite’s and Lonnie Barbach’s new books about the clitoris legitimized their non-intercourse orgasms and sexuality for the first time in their lives.
Another historical reminder: In the 1980s, feminism challenged the longstanding stereotypes of various feelings, interests, and skills as male or female. Women were encouraged to pursue the careers, interests, and relationships they wanted, regardless of cultural norms.
That’s a far cry from today’s non-binary-gender culture, which, ironically, encourages women to legitimize their “male” feelings by changing their name, pronouns, identity, and even their bodies. The feminists of a half-century ago would have seen this as a dramatic step backward, while reminding women that they could be anyone they want to be while being women.
The 1980s was also a time when young people had more sex than young people have today. Young people coupled up more then, too. So while young people today have more sexual information than prior generations, they have less sexual experience.
We might say that only after we had mapped the erotic body so thoroughly in the last century could people luxuriate in exploring issues of gender identity in this century.
EXPANDING THE EROGENOUS
If a person relaxes enough, most of their body can be erogenous. Meanwhile, for many women, the clitoris is their primary sex organ; for some women it’s the vagina; for a smaller number, it’s both. Accepting one’s own arousal pattern—and requesting that one’s partners do, too—is key to satisfaction.
Some of the squirting during G-Spot orgasm is undoubtedly urine (This is similar to women leaking a little urine during the day). That’s OK if people simply accept it, rather than mythologizing it as some sacred vaginal fluid.
More often, many women today are nervous about wetting the bed during sex, even inhibiting their orgasm trying to prevent it. Such worry and inhibition is way more common than squirting, and way more common than G-Spot orgasms. Its solution is not another scientific discovery—it’s self-acceptance, the most elusive part of sexuality.
Enjoy short videos about sexual subjects such as infidelity, desire, gender, porn, and BDSM? See my video quickies at www.YouTube.com/c/drmartyklein1