You might imagine, in this oversexed world of ours, that there’s nothing we don’t know about making love; that no secrets remain about women’s bodies.
Well, you’d be wrong. As we can reveal, there are plenty of myths which stubbornly persist — and some truly extraordinary unknown facts that, once understood, could transform your love life for ever.
Because, despite living in an age that’s more medically advanced than ever, few doctors concern themselves with trying to learn more about the most private parts of a woman’s anatomy.
In fact, throughout our own medical training, we found senior gynaecologists would sometimes brush aside our questions as unimportant — an attitude which only proves medical research has been a man’s world for too long.
Yet we believe there are few more important things than truly understanding the intricacies that make up the wonder that is a woman’s body. And so, despite just being one medical student and one doctor fresh out of university, we embarked on what proved to be rather enlightening journey.
Nina Brochmann and Ellen Stokken Dahl attempt to debunk stubborn myths that could affect sexual encounters (file image)
What we discovered can completely revitalise your sexual pleasure — from at long last telling you the truth about the G-spot, to revealing how much sex you really need to be happy.
It’s our view that a little knowledge can be an intoxicating thing. And with our help, you can be more contented between the sheets — no matter what your age or how many children you’ve had — than you could ever have imagined . . .
SO, WHAT ABOUT THE G-SPOT?
It’s one of the most discussed areas of the female sexual anatomy: the G-spot, the supposed key to women’s pleasure. Described as an extra-sensitive point, it was ‘discovered’ by a German gynaecologist, Ernst Grafenberg, in the Forties — hence why it’s more formally known as the Grafenberg spot.
It’s been suggested that some women can achieve orgasm just by stimulating it, and that it gives them a different feeling to touching elsewhere in the vagina.
Some experts think it might be linked to a group of glands in the pelvis. Known as Skene’s glands, they are considered the female equivalent of the male prostate and may play a role in sexual pleasure.
But the precise location — and nature — of the G-spot has been endlessly debated. Indeed, new research from an Australian study claims that it doesn’t exist at all. Researchers from Austin Hospital in Melbourne examined 13 women and found nothing in the area where the G-spot is said to be.
So what has all the talk been about? Well, research based on imaging techniques has failed to find any separate structure capable of producing orgasm or sexual pleasure in women other than the clitoris.
One new hypothesis is that the G-spot is not a separate physical thing at all, but simply a deep-lying inner part of the clitoris that’s stimulated during sex.
Hold on, you might say. The inner part of the clitoris? What inner part? And this brings us to perhaps the biggest myth we discovered in our research.
We’ve been brought up to believe the clitoris, the site of all female sexual pleasure, is roughly the size of a raisin.
Research suggest the area for female pleasure is larger than a specific G-spot (file image)
But the truth is this little button is just the tip of an iceberg, a small part of a large and extraordinarily sensitive organ that extends deep into a woman’s pelvis.
And despite anatomists knowing as far back as the 1800s that the clitoris is really much larger than the visible bit of it, this is far from general knowledge. While the male penis is described in detail in anatomies and textbooks, the clitoris has remained a curiosity.
Nor has the male-dominated medical world been particularly interested in conducting further research. There’s still disagreement over what exactly forms part of the clitoris and how it works. In a medical context — and in this day and age — this is startling.
So let’s reveal what we know about this most vital area of a woman. It is shaped rather like an upside-down Y, with one arm of the Y stretching each side of the genitals, filled with erectile tissue which swells during arousal as blood flow to the area increases.
Obviously, now you know that the site for female pleasure is far larger than you imagined, you can see how this could exponentially increase your pleasure — and stop wasting your time looking for a specific G-spot that probably doesn’t exist. One study found a woman’s clitoris could experience a physiological reaction eight times in a night.
Our potential for pleasure is greater than you might think.
THE VIRGINITY MYTH
Since medieval times we’ve been told that women are born with a hymen, a sort of seal over the vagina that breaks when a woman loses her virginity.
The bleeding that then supposedly takes place has been used as proof of virginity. Indeed, in India, the Middle East and many other countries, this still exists.
Yet we can tell you there is no absolute physical ‘seal’ that acts as a proof of virginity.
There is, however, an anatomical structure which has caused the misunderstanding. Yes, women are born with hymens — but they are by no means all the same.
They are simply a rim of tissue in the vaginal opening, left over from our development in the womb.
The academics claims there is no medical examination that can determine if a woman is a virgin (file image)
Most commonly, rather than something akin to a sheet of cling film, hymens actually resemble a scrunchie for your hair or a doughnut covering the vagina. That’s right: they have a hole in the middle, most often a large one. So much for the ‘seal’.
So if there’s a big hole in the hymen anyway, why do some women, roughly half, bleed when they first have sex?
This could be because their hymen isn’t that elastic (which is normal), or they’re understandably nervous as they have sex for the first few times and so tense up, which can lead to small abrasions in their vaginal walls.
So let’s be clear — after all, women in less progressive parts of the world are losing their lives over this misinformation — there is no medical examination than can determine whether or not a woman us a virgin with any certainty.
WHY FEMALE VIAGRA IS DOOMED TO FAILURE
Men are, to be frank, more straightforward creatures than us when it comes to desire. There’s around a 65 per cent correspondence between their physical arousal and their mental arousal.
In other words, they are more likely to feel sexy in their mind and body at the same time.
That’s why pills like Viagra work incredibly well to assist a man who has been struggling in the bedroom. Viagra doesn’t work on the brain, but simply ensures that a man gets an erection. This is likely to trigger a response in a man’s brain — job done.
But for women, things aren’t so simple — and that’s why any kind of female Viagra, the so-called ‘pink pill’, is unlikely to work.
The academics revealed a female Viagra would unlikely work as only 25 per cent of women have an overlap between their minds and the workings of their genitals (file image)
Women only have a 25 per cent overlap between their mind and the workings of their genitals. So a woman can easily be physically aroused but not feel ‘turned on’ or ready for sex at all.
Put simply, women’s desire is first and foremost located in their heads. It simply isn’t enough for an attractive person to be lying in our bed. We need more — it’s our brain that needs stimulating.
For women’s sexual desire to be affected by pills, you have to fiddle with the intricate pathways in the brain and that’s medicine at a whole new level.
One attempt at a ‘pink pill’ involved giving women testosterone, since this sex hormone is believed to be central to sexual desire. But in the best study, carried out on women aged 35 to 46, no rise in desire was found.
However, researchers have noted a strong placebo effect: in one experiment, women were given a harmless sugar pill — but told it was Viagra. Some 40 per cent reported an increase in sexual desire as a result. What this proves is how profoundly women’s emotions matter when it comes to sexual arousal.
YES, YES, YES TO THE MISSIONARY POSITION
The missionary position has a bad reputation — boring, unimaginative and not that great at giving women pleasure. However, there is a variant of the missionary position that is nothing short of explosive at giving women orgasms, which your partner may not have heard of, much less thought about trying.
Known as coital alignment technique, or CAT, it requires a little practice and co-ordination, but it will repay your patience.
Instead of resting on his hands, your partner must rest on his lower arms and keep as much of his body as possible in contact with yours. And instead of thrusting, he should slide his body up along yours horizontally.
A Canadian study revealed there isn’t a correlation between the amount of sex had each week and levels of happiness (file image)
His hips should tip downwards so his body is moving against you. Meanwhile, you should keep your legs as straight and closed as possible, perhaps by wrapping your legs around his so your ankles are resting on top of his calves.
Yes, penetration won’t be as deep, but it will give maximum stimulation to the outer areas where most of the nerve endings are located and your clitoris will receive constant contact.
Try it — and see how much better the new missionary position is than the old.
DON’T BLAME THE PILL FOR WEIGHT GAIN
Many women rely on the Pill to allow them to enjoy a healthy sex life without worrying about unintended consequences. But there’s a myth that hormonal contraception like the Pill causes you to put on weight.
Actually, the real cause of putting on the pounds could be that a lot of women put on a bit of weight when they find a partner, which is also likely to be the time they start taking the Pill.
Instead of blaming the extra pounds on cosy nights in with a box set and a nice meal, women are more likely to blame the Pill for their newfound heft.
ONCE A WEEK IS ENOUGH TO BE HAPPY
Studies have shown that the longer a couple stay together, the less sex they have. At the same time, we know the happiest couples are the ones who have the most sex.
The academics revealed mental and physical comfort can be more effective for getting in the mood than sexy lingerie (file image)
Yet there is good news for those of you who are simply too exhausted to increase your lovemaking. There seems to be a happiness ‘ceiling’ associated with sex. A Canadian study of 30,000 people found the level of happiness didn’t increase among people who had sex more than once a week, when compared to those who had sex just once every seven days.
So there’s no need to feel guilty that you don’t have more sex — as long as you’re both content with it, once a week seems to be enough to keep the home fires burning.
DON’T LISTEN IF HE TELLS YOU TO RELAX
So often we’re told to relax to increase our sexual pleasure. But this is both the best and worst advice: yes, you should try to relax your mind, but if you lie there motionless and expect an orgasm to hit you like a bolt from the blue, it’s rather unlikely.
Instead, when you’re in bed, it’s best to tense your muscles. Squeeze your bottom and the muscles of your private parts, relax for a moment, and then tighten again. This increases the blood flow to your genitals making it all much more enjoyable, and more likely to lead to an orgasm.
Another way to increase blood flow is to use your muscles before sex. If you go for a run, or exercise, before making love, it makes it easier to get aroused and increases many people’s capacity to reach orgasm.
SEXY UNDERWEAR WON’T GET YOU IN THE MOOD
Slipping into a negligee won’t necessarily make you feel good.
The point is our brain continually gets signals from the body about how we’re feeling. These signals, and the thoughts they provoke, compete for our attention. So it’s difficult to really experience pleasure in bed if your mind is elsewhere — for example, if you are wearing itchy, uncomfortable lingerie.
Women are especially prone to these kinds of distractions, and others from our surroundings, too. Indeed, we note that sex researcher Alfred Kinsey observed female mice, unlike male mice, were easily distracted by tempting crumbs of cheese during the sex act.
So you should do everything you can to create the right conditions. If that means the lights need to be off, or you need to put on socks to keep your feet warm, listen to that inner voice. Real pleasure only comes when you feel so comfortable, physically and mentally, that you can shut everything else out. Yet most people forget this most basic fact in the bedroom.
Adapted by Maureen Brookbanks from The Wonder Down Under by Nina Brochmann and Ellen Stokken Dahl, published by Yellow Kite on March 8 at £14.99. © Nina Brochmann and Ellen Stokken Dahl 2018. To order a copy for £11.99 (offer valid to March 16, 2018) visit mailshop.co.uk/books or call 0844 571 0640. P&P free on orders over £15.