Guess what, ladies? Exciting new research has been published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine proving once and for all that the spine-tingling, earth-shattering, fireworks-and-sparklers sensation you get during sex is, in fact, an orgasm and not just residual head rush from the pint of Ben and Jerry's you ate earlier. The series of essays, which was published online March 28, aims to settle the ongoing debate over whether or not the vaginal orgasm exists separate from the clitoral orgasm. Wasn't that nice of them, girls? Let's say thank you to the nice doctors for telling us things about our vaginas that most of us already knew. Like, really well. Mostly from experience, but also from many, many, many scientific studies and lady mag articles addressing that question.
Okay, in all fairness, although this is a topic that's been discussed to death by researchers and Cosmo editors alike, the essays actually do reveal some interesting findings about what actually happens to the female brain during orgasm. For instance, although researchers generally agree that different types of orgasm exist, there seems to be some dispute within the scientific community over whether or not vaginal and clitoral orgasms originate from the same place. (The argument is that because the walls of the vagina are linked to the internal parts of the clitoris, it's next to impossible to stimulate one without stimulating the other.)
However, research from Rutgers University based on fMRI scans of hyper-stimulated lady brains shows that different parts of the brain's sensory cortex are activated during different kinds of orgasms, suggesting that clitoral and vaginal stimulation are two distinct phenomena. As researcher Barry Komisaruk reports, the brain areas for clitoral, vaginal, and cervical stimulation are separate but in close proximity to each other, overlapping like "a cluster of grapes." This makes researchers think that all these orgasms are coming from totally different places in the body; it also makes me kind of never want to eat grapes again for the rest of my life.
The essays are chock-full of other interesting vagina-related tidbits, such as Rutgers professor emeritus Beverly Whipple's hypothesis that the G-spot functions as a pain-blocking mechanism during labor, and University of West Scotland psychologist Stuart Brown's findings that women who can orgasm without clitoral stimulation are less likely to use certain maladaptive psychological coping mechanisms than those who can't. (Gee, thanks, Brown. Kick us non-vaginal-orgasm-havers while we're down, why don't you?)
Not all of the study's authors are totally in sync with each other's findings, but they all agree on one thing: women should stop believing there are "right" and "wrong" kinds of orgasms, and should instead focus on their own bodies and what's pleasurable for them. So women of the world, whether you're a DJ Hero or a pink canoe paddler (yeah, as you can tell, I'm pretty much the classiest person alive), the medical community accepts you and your vagina just as you are. So stop wasting your time reading dumbass articles about whether your lady parts are normal and go do something productive, like masturbate for hours and hours and hours.