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Book Review: “The Smart Girl’s Guide to the G-Spot” by Violet Blue

“The G-spot is not a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma,” Violet Blue writes in her introduction. “It’s a real, tangible thing [“¦] But for some reason, lots of people seem to think the G-spot is a myth.” In response to the oft-heard misconceptions about this place inside a woman’s body, she decided to write a fun, straightforward guide for anyone wanting to find out more, along with a few tips for the more experienced to try. And if one needs a little extra stimulation to go with the G-spot theme, there are also three short stories by erotica writer Alison Tyler.

First, a little background info on how this area of the anatomy gained the letter G. It’s named after the German gynecologist and researcher Dr. Ernest Grafenberg, whose studies on contraceptives and the female urethra led Dr. Beverly Whipple and her colleague, Dr. John D. Perry, to name the area after him.

It’s not a random letter, nor was it named after some guy who wanted to plant his name in the female body like some astronaut landing on an exotic planet and claiming for his home country. Nope, the spot was named by a woman for a colleague who risked a lot to develop IUDs and cervical caps at a time when people were being killed for homosexuality in Germany and actually dared to talk about female orgasm when the United States was checking out the Kinsey reports and flailing about madly for smelling salts like an uptight schoolmarm who pretends that no one exists below the waist.

The history, as well as the anatomy portion of the book, is rather interesting. As a person with various health-related things going on, I really liked that there were included diagrams of the lady business. It’s not that I didn’t know abstractly where everything’s situated, but I like the visual representation so I can say, “Yes, I see exactly what you mean.” Plus, how many external anatomy illustrations also have a tattoo on the ass and a bottle of “Fast ‘n Easy Lube” lying nearby? And how many of you, apart from piercing enthusiasts, could really point to your fourchette without first having seen it on a diagram? I’ll admit that I thought, “Oh, so that spot has a name. Good to know.” (Side note: I find it amusing that there are also restaurants called ‘La Fourchette,’ but I digress.)

Still, the G-spot is not external – It’s located about one to two inches and to the front of your vaginal canal where the urethra is located. It is not some sort of mysterious “insta-orgasm” button.

The urethra is a little channel between your bladder and the outside world and it’s surrounded with erectile tissue (like that in a penis) and about forty glands and ducts that all respond pleasurably to stimulation. This is the urethral sponge. In some women, stimulation of the G-spot to orgasm is accompanied by an expulsion of fluid from the glands and ducts in the sponge, in a powerfully pleasurable (and sometimes very wet) female ejaculation.

The Smart Girl's Guide to the G-Spot (cover) by Violet BlueP-Mag has touched on (*rim-shot*) G-spot stimulation and female ejaculation before with Q&A posts from Paperispatient, and this is, after all, home of the Great Orgasm Challenge. Both of those posts provide some basic information and anecdotes, but this guide definitely offers more specifics. “Your attitude and techniques, preferred toys and states of mind when you have G-spot orgasms will be ever-changing,” Blue says, “so don’t think that you need to fit into a particular mindset to check this all out, enjoy it, or even have it be something significant for you.” She goes on to say that G-spot play may not be for everyone, but by trying it out, you’ll just end up more knowledgeable about your body and what turns you on.

The book starts by inviting readers to explore the area themselves with instructions for using either fingers or toys; it’s more or less summarized as, “Just see what feels good. Then do that. It might take some firm pressure.” With toys, it’s important to discern which ones are actually meant for G-spot use and which just have the word slapped on the label to catch attention. They should be firm, slightly curved, and “should look like they can reach up like a finger in a ‘come here’ gesture.” Blue also recommends non-porous materials like glass, silicone, hard plastic or metal, but if one is looking to go the inexpensive jelly route, she recommends using a condom on the toy to keep everything extra clean, especially if you’re sharing toys with partners.

Speaking of partners, other chapters talk about different things couples can do together, once you would like to try G-spot stimulation apart from “me time.” Beyond the physical mechanics, there are tips on how to start the conversation of wanting to do it in the first place, and Blue doesn’t assume that the reader is straight, which is nice.

Now, what about that aforementioned gushing when everything kicks off? Female ejaculation is another possibility with lady parts that also suffers from incomplete information, misconceptions, and shame. Not every woman does it, and not every woman who does has it happen during G-spot stimulation alone, but because it involves the glands and ducts in that area expressing fluid, it’s worth the pages it is given. Blue is quick to point out that the fluid is most definitely not urine and to never buy into the myth that if you do it once, you won’t be able to stop. She explains why, but it more or less comes down to muscle control, which is why some people are also able to “train” themselves to do it. Lots of times, though, women discover this “orgasmic superpower” by accident. The amount of fluid can actually be so little – 3 ml or a little over a half teaspoon – that you may not even notice, but some women can release over 50 ml (more than 1 cup) of fluid. Those women, I imagine, require a lot of pre- and post-sexytime hydration.

The back of the book also offers a lot of resources for general sexual information, places to buy toys, and other recommended reading/viewing. Many of these links can also be found on Violet Blue’s site (which is decidedly NSFW).

Really, my only quibble with the book is with its title. I understand that they’re saying, “You will feel smarter after reading this, and you are smart for seeking it out,” but as the mister joked when he saw the book arrive in the mail, “What, dumb girls don’t need a guide?” Yes, it’s a silly complaint, but maybe something like The Ultimate Guide would have been better. Besides, I have a hard time picturing a companion guide being titled The Smart Guy’s Guide to the P-Spot. Maybe I’m wrong.

Overall, though, this is a useful book for a range of curiosity levels, and it’s nice to see accurate sexual information that is pleasure-centered but not hetero-centered. It does not make any assumptions other than that you’d like to know more about how to get off in this particular way. Now, you don’t get to be up in my sexy-time business enough for me to say on a personal level what does and does not work, but those of you who’d like to compare notes, feel free to chat amongst yourselves in the comments.

Full disclosure: Cleis Press sent me this book. I thank them for the gesture and I will continue to be fair in my reviews.

By Sara Habein

Sara Habein is the author of Infinite Disposable, a collection of microfiction, and her work has appeared on The Rumpus, Pajiba and Word Riot, among others. Her book reviews and other commentary appear at Glorified Love Letters, and she is the co-manager of Electric City Creative.

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