Female Sexual Response Patterns: Grafenberg Spot/Area and Ejaculation

Female Sexual Response Patterns: Grafenberg Spot/Area and Ejaculation

CAROL ANDERSON DARLINGFlorida State University

J. KENNETH DAVIDSON, SR.,University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Investigations of the physiological aspects of the Grafenberg Spot/Area have often been conducted in clinical settings; however, many social science researchers are also interested in this topic and may prefer to use a survey research design. Thus, women can be asked questions about their knowledge, attitudes, and feelings regarding their sexuality and experience with the Grafenberg Spot/ Area and ejaculation. This survey instrument on Female Sexual Response Patterns was designed to obtain information about female sexuality with a special focus on experiences related to stimulation of the Grafenberg Spot/Area and female ejaculation. Various sections of the instrument contain questions concerning the Grafenberg Spot/Area and other related topics, such as experiencing orgasm and ejaculation through stimulation of the Grafenberg Spot/Area along with related urinary and bladder conditions.

Description

The entire instrument consists of 192 open-ended and closed-form items. Several variables were included concerning demographics, parent-child attachment, childhood/ adolescence, socialization, partner relationships, sexual attitudes, sexual behaviors, and knowledge and/or experience with the Grafenberg Spot/Area and female ejaculation. It was important to us to obtain accurate descriptions of the location of the Grafenberg Spot/Area and source of ejaculation. Thus, these questions were open-ended and contained labeled diagrams of the female anatomy.

Although these diagrams were used each time a question related to “location” was asked, the diagrams are included only once in this description.

We chose not to use the name “Grafenberg Spot,” which had been familiarized in the popular press, because its use could possibly result in preformed notions, bias, or con- fusion for the respondents. Thus, the terminology used throughout the questionnaire refers to an “especially sensitive area in your vagina.” There were four sections of questions pertinent to the “sensitive area,” including sensitive area, sensitive area orgasm, sensitive area ejaculation, and sensitive area urination/pubococcygeus musculature. These sections are not identified in the actual questionnaire, although subtitles have been included to provide clarity in this condensed version of the instrument. Because the questions pertaining to the sensitive area were distributed throughout the instrument, they are not numbered within this description. Furthermore, if the question did not apply, the respondent was directed to another question by “if and go” statements.

The instrument was first pretested with female students enrolled in an upper-division human sexuality course. A revised questionnaire was pretested utilizing acquaintances of professional colleagues in various academic set- tings. Finally the questionnaire was reviewed by six female professionals involved in either teaching and/or research about human sexuality and/or sex education as part of the process of developing the final draft of the questionnaire. The actual investigation involved an anonymous survey of 2,350 professional women in health-related fields in the U.S. that yielded 1,289 completed questionnaires. A purposeful sample of women employed in the fields of nursing, sex education, sex therapy, and counseling was used. Given the nature of their academic training, it was assumed that these individuals would have a degree of familiarity with the anatomical structures and physiological processes associated with sexual responsiveness. Although the respondents were well-educated, their expertise was deemed important in order to reply in more precise language to a number of open-form items contained in the survey instrument.

This survey instrument is best suited for utilization with populations that contain women with 2 or more years of college education and who are at least 25 years of age. The level of language sophistication found in the instrument would appear to preclude its application to populations that have no college education. Furthermore, given the nature of the instrument, a woman would need to be sexually experienced in order to be able to respond in a meaningful way to a substantial number of the items. It is assumed that a greater opportunity for having considerable sexual experience will exist for women ages 25 years or older.

Response Mode and Timing

Respondents are either to check the appropriate answer category or answer the open-ended items in their own words within the space provided. Given the detailed personal information being sought regarding sexuality, the survey instrument should be completed in total privacy and anonymity. Thus, this instrument is ideally suited for distribution as a mail questionnaire using a business reply envelope.

Based on the pretest results and feedback from actual respondents, an average of 45 minutes is required to complete all segments of the survey instrument, whereas only 8 to 10 minutes are needed to complete the “sensitive area” portions of the survey.

Scoring

Although some Likert-type scale items were incorporated pertaining to the Grafenberg Spot/Area and ejaculation, it was not intended that such questions would constitute a scale that could stand alone. Moreover, the open-ended questions need to be coded and categorized accordingly.

Reliability

Reliability of the instrument has not been determined.

Validity

Content validity has been established through a review of the instrument by colleagues in the field.

Grafenberg Spot/Area and Ejaculation Questionnaire

Sensitive Area

Is there any especially sensitive area in your vagina which, if stimulated, produces pleasurable feelings? (Circle number)

  1. Yes, always produces pleasurable feelings

  2. Yes, most of the time produces pleasurable feelings

  3. Yes, sometimes produces pleasurable feelings

  4. No

At what age did you first conclude that this sensitive area exists inside your vagina?

        years old

If no sensitive area exists in vagina, go to Question       :

Under what bladder circumstances are the pleasurable sensations associated with this sensitive area in your vagina most easily detectable? (Circle number)

  1. Bladder full

  2. Bladder partially full

  3. Bladder empty

  4. Not associated with condition of bladder

  5. Not aware of bladder condition when pleasurable sensations occur

  6. Other

When during your menstrual cycle are the pleasurable sensations associated with this sensitive area in your vagina most easily detect- able? (Circle number)

  1. Just before menstrual period

  2. During menstrual period

  3. Just after menstrual period

  4. Midway between menstrual periods

  5. No difference during menstrual cycle

  6. No difference, had hysterectomy with removal of uterus only

  7. No difference, had hysterectomy with removal of ovaries and uterus

  8. Not aware of difference in menstrual cycle when pleasurable sensations occur

When speculum is inserted and opened in your vagina during a pelvic examination, does it ever stimulate this sensitive area in your vagina so that it produces pleasurable sensations? (Circle number)

  1. Never

  2. Rarely

  3. Occasionally

  4. Frequently

  5. Very frequently

  6. Always

Sensitive Area—Orgasm

In your opinion, does such a sensitive area exist inside the vagina which, if stimulated, can produce an orgasm without any clitoral contact and/or stimulation? (Circle number)

  1. No

  2. Yes, for all females

  3. Yes, for some females

If never had an orgasm go to Question       :

Does stimulating this sensitive area in your vagina during sexual arousal produce an orgasm? (Circle number)

  1. Yes, always

  2. Yes, most of the time

  3. Yes, sometimes

  4. No

If stimulated, sensitive area in vagina does not produce orgasm go to Question      :

Is it possible for you and/or your sex partner to stimulate this sensitive area to produce an orgasm without causing clitoral contact to be made? (Circle number)

  1. Yes

  2. No

  3. Never tried to stimulate sensitive area

  4. Other                (Please specify)

    If yes: Please describe how it is possible to stimulate this sensitive area to produce an orgasm independent of any clitoral stimulation. (Note: A larger space is necessary for open-ended response.)

    What is the location of this sensitive area inside your vagina which, if stimulated, will produce an orgasm?

    Describe its specific, perceived location in relationship to the other genital and pelvic structures using the terminology from the diagram. Please do not just circle the terminology on the diagram and do not draw arrows.

    (Note: A larger space is necessary for the open-ended response.)

Which of the following factors play a role in whether this sensitive area in the vagina can be stimulated to produce an orgasm during sexual activity including masturbation, petting (mutual masturbation and/or oral-genital sex), or sexual intercourse. (Circle numbers for all applicable categories)

    1. Not using diaphragm as a contraceptive technique

    2. Long penis for vaginal penetration

    3. Long internal vibrator or dildo for vaginal penetration

    4. Large diameter penis for vaginal penetration

    5. Large diameter internal vibrator or dildo for vaginal penetration

    6. Degree of emotional involvement with sex partner

    7. Angle of entry of erect penis, dildo, or vibrator during vaginal penetration

    8. Use of your fingers to provide extra stimulation inside vagina

    9. Use of your partner’s fingers to provide extra stimulation inside vagina

    10. Ability of partner to rotate pelvis during sexual activity

    11. Ability to rotate your pelvis during sexual activity

    12. Use of waterbed for sexual intercourse

    13. Position used for sexual intercourse

    14. Other                 (Please specify)

Which position for sexual intercourse, if any, is most likely to result in stimulation of the sensitive area to produce orgasm? (Circle number)

  1. Face-to-face/Male above

  2. Face-to-face/Male above with legs of female over shoulders of male

  3. Face-to-face/Female above

  4. Face-to-face/Side

  5. Prone (female lying face down)/Rear entry with vaginal penetration

  6. Prone (female lying face down)/Rear entry with anal penetration

  7. Kneeling/Rear entry with vaginal penetration

  8. Kneeling/Rear entry with anal penetration

  9. Sitting/Face-to-face

  10. Sitting/Rear entry with vaginal penetration

  11. Sitting/Rear entry with anal penetration

  12. Standing/Face-to-face

  13. Side/Rear entry with vaginal penetration

  14. Supine (lying on back)/Male kneeling

  15. Supine (lying on back)/Male standing

  16. Side/Rear entry with anal penetration

  17. Rear entry with vaginal penetration/Male on back/Female above

  18. Male on side/Female on back, with knees bent

  19. Other                 (Please specify)

Sensitive Area—Ejaculation

In your opinion, does the process of ejaculation (sudden spurt of fluid at the moment of orgasm) exist in some females? (Circle number)

1. No 2. Yes

If yes: At what approximate age did you first conclude that ejaculation at the time of orgasm exists for some females?

        years old

At the time that you experience orgasm, do you suddenly experience a spurt of fluid (i.e., ejaculation) in the genital area? (Circle number)

  1. Never

  2. Rarely

  3. Sometimes

  4. Almost Always

  5. Always

If never experience spurt of fluid during orgasm go to Question         :

How does this spurt of fluid seem to be released at the time of your orgasm? (Please describe in your own words.) (Note: A larger space is necessary for the open-ended response.)

What do you believe to be the source of this spurt of fluid at the time of your orgasm? (Please describe.) (Note: A larger space is necessary for the open-ended response.)

In your own words, describe the difference, if any, between vaginal lubrication during your sexual arousal and the spurt of fluid at the moment of your orgasm.

(Note: A larger space is necessary for the open-ended response.)

During masturbation and/or sexual intercourse, are you able to consciously contract the muscles surrounding the vagina to grasp a phallic substitute (if utilized) or the penile shaft of your sex partner? (circle number)

  1. Yes 2. No

Sensitive Area—Urination/Pubococcygeus Musculature

Do you ever prolong the act of urination by starting and stopping the flow of urine because of pleasurable sensations associated with contracting of the muscles involved in bladder control? (Circle number)

1. Yes 2. No

Have you ever held back from experiencing an orgasm due to the fear of urinating? (Circle number)

1. Yes 2. No

If never experienced orgasm go to Question         :

Have you ever thought that you have urinated during your orgasm? (Circle number)

1. Yes 2. No

If yes: How often do you think you have urinated during orgasm? (Circle number)

  1. Very frequently

  2. Frequently

  3. Occasionally

  4. Seldom

Are you aware of the existence of the pubococcygeus muscle located at the vaginal entrance? (Circle number)

1. Yes 2. No

Can you consciously identify your pubococcygeus muscle through voluntary contractions? (Circle number)

1. Yes 2. No

If yes: Do you periodically exercise your pubococcygeus muscle through Kegel exercises or by another related method, such as starting and stopping the flow of urine? (Circle number)

1. Yes 2. No

Address correspondence to J. Kenneth Davidson, Sr., 2634 Collingwood Drive, Round Rock, TX 78665; e-mail: [email protected]

References

Darling, C. A., Davidson, J. K., Sr., & Conway-Welch, C. (1990). Female ejaculation: Perceived origins, role of the Grafenberg spot/area, and sexual responsiveness. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 19, 29–47.

Darling, C. A., Davidson, J. K., Sr., & Conway-Welch, C. (1992). Shaping women’s sexuality: The role of parental attachments. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 4, 61–90.

Davidson, J. K., Sr., & Darling, C. A. (1989). The role of the Grafenberg spot and female ejaculation in the female orgasmic response: An empirical analysis. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 15, 102–120.