As a culture, we're finally starting to collectively acknowledge that penis-in-vagina sex alone is rarely if ever the main key to female orgasms. And thank goodness for that. Make no mistake: It can feel good, but without catering to the clitoris, sex can feel like dinner without dessert—filling, but not as sweet as it could be. In fact, a 2017 study found only about 18 percent of women can reach orgasm from penetration alone.
As we continue to uncover more information about female anatomy, researchers are also starting to study other possible erogenous zones that may be the key to unlocking all kinds of new sensations during sex. Many people still hold tightly to the belief that the G-spot (which may be less a dedicated part of the female body and more of a section of the inner network of the clitoris) is the key to vaginal orgasms, but it's high time we start broadening our focus to other potential pleasure points. Take for example the G-spot's lesser-known cousin, the A-spot, which also offers a possible way for women to have mind-blowing orgasms.
What is the A-spot?
Technically known as the anterior fornix erogenous zone, the A-spot is a sensitive area of tissue that exists at the ends of the vaginal canal, between the cervix and the bladder. If the G-spot can purportedly be found by making a come-hither motion with two fingers inside of the vagina, then the A-spot is said to exist just beyond there. According to Alicia Sinclair, certified sex educator and the CEO of b-Vibe & Le Wand, the A-spot can "also be referred to as the female degenerated prostate because of its precise location and ability to be stimulated similarly to the male prostate." In essence, the A-spot can be considered something of a female equivalent to the "male G-spot," the prostate.
The A-spot was "discovered" in the 1990s via a study conducted by Malaysian physician Chua Chee Ann, M.D., in which he found that "stimulation of the AFE Zone, the erogenous centre in the inner half of the anterior wall of the vagina, results in rapid onset of reflex vaginal lubrication and build-up of erotic sensitivity, culminating in orgasms in some cases."
During the study, Dr. Chee Ann administered repeated, gentle strokes to the AFE zone to 271 women. About 40 percent of participants achieved orgasm—not bad considering the awkward circumstance of being sexually stimulated for a research experiment, right? But the more surprising and promising result: A full 78 percent of the participants experienced increased vaginal lubrication.
Clitoris, is that you?
The scientific community is totally at odds about whether there are any sort of special, highly sensitive spots actually within the female anatomy. Medically speaking, very little research supports even the G-spot's existence, and experts argue about whether the vagina even has more concentrations of nerve tissue in particular areas over others, throwing the entire idea of G-spots and A-spots and any other spots into question.
Some experts believe these supposedly sensitive areas like the G-spot and the A-spot may actually just be the back end of the clitoris itself, as the clitoris is a fairly long and expansive organ that wraps around a substantial part of the vagina and urethra. A 2014 study suggests the G-spot, in particular, may actually be the intersection of the clitoris, urethra, and the vagina, and when this intersection is stimulated, it can lead to intense orgasms and sometimes ejaculation.
And to complicate things just a bit further, "It is unknown if, in many women, the A-spot is really the G-spot, just located a bit deeper inside than others," Dr. Michael Ingber, a board-certified female pelvic medicine and sexual health specialist with the Center for Specialized Women's Health, tells me.
The fact that there's still so much mystery around female pleasure organs is less a reflection on the complexity of the female body and much more a reflection of how little research, time, money, and energy we've invested into understanding female pleasure. But in the meantime, whether these spots are actually unique anatomical entities all their own or simply areas close enough to the inner shaft or wings of the clitoris to stimulate it, there's at least some evidence suggesting women can explore these areas as at least potential places to access pleasure.
How do you find your A-spot?
Per Sinclair's instructions, you have to use the same hook motion that you would use to feel your G-spot, but "curve your fingers into a bit of a hook and reach in about 1 to 1½ inches inside the vagina, tilt them upward as if you were pointing toward your belly button."
When followed correctly, these instructions will lead you to hit the spongy tissue where the G-spot is believed to be located, and 1 to 2 inches inward from there is the A-spot. In order to stimulate the spot, move your fingers or have someone else move their fingers over the tissue in a windshield wiper motion. The key is to blend both movement and light pressure.
Anal sex may also be a good way to reach this deeper spot: "Anal orgasms can also happen through indirect stimulation of the erogenous zones within the vagina," Sinclair says.
And what happens once you locate your A-spot?
Dr. Chee Ann's foundational study suggests stimulating the A-spot might be a way to increase lubrication during sex. "Some studies have suggested sensitivity in this area when stimulated, [which] can lead to improved lubrication and possibly more intense orgasm," Dr. Ingber adds.
Whether or not you believe the myth of the A-spot, if finding and stimulating this zone could intensify orgasms and provide a little more slip during sex, why not give it a try? And one other added bonus: Pleasure through the A-spot can take place in encounters outside of just P-in-V sex. That makes it an extremely accessible and fresh means for exploration.
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