THE ROAD TO BIG O
HERE COMES AN ORGASM INJECTION TO SUPERSIZE THAT ELUSIVE KEY TO FEMALE PLEASURE, THE G-SPOT, AND GRANT WOMEN A SPRINGTIME OF EROTIC RENEWAL
Women’s libidos get an upgrade as a new orgasm injection promises to amplify the G-spot
Eight seconds. What can you do in that time? Here’s some science: it takes eight seconds for a morsel of food to travel from your mouth to your stomach. That’s how long the brain takes to store a piece of information in your long-term memory. That’s the time needed for a man to fall in love at first sight. And now there’s a new ‘science’ taking shape in clinics of cosmetic gynaecologists across the world, where it takes exactly that long to temporarily supersize the elusive key to female pleasure, the G-spot, with injectables that typically plump up drooping lips and sagging cheeks. The G-shot (medically, G-spot amplification) promises to bring a woman to multiple climaxes during sexual intercourse in minutes. The procedure, given under local anaesthetic, has taken off in India—for about Rs 50,000 a shot, that lasts four months. And going by reports, demand is swelling from a trickle to a torrent.
WHERE IS IT EXACTLY?
Where exactly is the G-spot? You mean, you don’t know? I haven’t checked myself that closely. You’re not supposed to check, you’re supposed to feel. Hasn’t your husband…? Oh, you know him… That’s your problem. You don’t demand anything. I just got myself fixed. Really? How? Shhh. Don’t tell anyone. Don’t tell what? I got myself a jab. A jab for what? lank. The sound of metal on metal is oddly loud in the sanitised silence of the clinic. You are lying on your back, legs spread wide, ankles locked in stirrups. The surgeon hovers over you, holding a mean-looking speculum in one hand—similar to a can-opener but with flaring duckbill blades— and a gigantic syringe in the other. As he pokes, prods and peeps at the most intimate part of your anatomy, you yo-yo between fear, embarrassment and pain, frantically trying to think of the wonderful future in store for you: a springtime of erotic renewal. “Congratulations.” The surgeon finally takes off his gloves, smiling mischievously. “You’re ready to rock and roll.”
For the last 15 years, Dr Deepa Ganesh has zipped through downtown Chennai—Kilpauk, Vadapalani, MRC Nagar, Alwarpet—from one private hospital to another, operating on ovarian cysts, removing uterine polyps, rebuilding damaged fallopian tubes. But in the past few years, the thirtysomething gynaecologist with an easy smile and lively eyes has been coming across patients she could not really help: women facing problems in the bedroom. “Women with overstretched vaginas, perhaps due to childbirth, facing painful intercourse, discomfort and lack of pleasure due to physical or psychological
reasons,” recalls Ganesh. Women have traditionally dealt with such problems in silence, she explains. “But now they are more conscious and have the courage to not just talk about it but to do something about how they look, feel and function as a woman, in every way.”
Responding to that, Ganesh started exploring an emerging field in medicine: cosmetic gynaecology. With celebrities, television shows, social media, internet and mobile devices creating an unprecedented level of awareness, the new millennium had ushered in new demands and new procedures in the multi-billion business of beauty: from ‘mommy makeovers’ to return women to their pre-pregnancy bodies in US to limb-lengthening in India, radical facial surgery in South Korea, ‘improvements’ to breasts, abdomens and buttocks in Brazil, nose jobs in Iran and ‘designer vaginas’ in the whole of the western world. “With shaving or waxing pubic hair becoming as common as the removal of underarm hair in the US, decorations, tattoos, piercings and surgical modification of the area has kicked off,” adds Ganesh.
She went to the US to train in vaginal rejuvenation under Dr David Matlock of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, a surgeon renowned for his innovative techniques on the vagina, apart from the ‘Brazilian Butt Lift’ he did for Kim Kardashian. In 2002, he developed a procedure for G-spot amplification that thickened and expanded the G-spot area—from 8.1 mm to 15–20 mm in diameter and 0.4 mm to 5-10 mm in length, as reported in his 2002 patent (pending)—leading to heightened sexual arousal and sensitivity. That year, he had given G-shots to 15 women and reported that while 50.7 per cent reached climax during intercourse earlier, it became 82.7 per cent after the shot. Ganesh finished her five-month training in November last year and started offering G-shots—the first such in India.
YES. NO. YES?
The front wall of the vagina has a distinct erotogenic zone No. The vaginal walls are quite insensitive to sensation Yes. Pressing a particular spot can lead to orgasm. Let’s call it the G-spot No. Nothing in the vaginal wall would lead directly to that experience Yes. Ultrasounds show that some women have a G-spot, some don’t No. G-spot is a figment of women’s imagination Yes. The G-spot is a sac-like structure on the front wall of the vagina G-spot is just a sensitive area that’s part of the larger pleasure complex
Does the G-spot exist? “That’s like asking if god exists,” says Dr Narayana Reddy, an expert in sexual medicine and a consultant with Apollo Hospital, Chennai, a Fellow of the American College of Sexologists. Purportedly, the G-spot is a spongy, pea-sized area one to two inches inside the wall of the vagina, and can be discerned by touch. Believed to be an erogenous zone, which, when stimulated, may lead to strong sexual arousal, powerful orgasms and even ejaculation for some women. For others, it remains a life-long quest. “Despite all the miracles of modern science, the seemingly straightforward question—‘does the G-spot exist?’—remains unanswered.” Questions about it—where it is, what it does, if it exists at all—have supporters and critics locking horns.
It was psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud who first suggested, in 1905, that there were two types of orgasms, calling a vaginal orgasm the “one true orgasm”. The theory
WOMEN ARE MUCH MORE ADVENTUROUS NOW. THEY WANT TO ENJOY POWERFUL SENSATIONS” DR D.J.S. TULLA Plastic and cosmetic surgeon, Delhi
got a biological basis when, in 1950, German gynaecologist and inventor of the intrauterine device (IUD), Dr Ernst Gräfenberg, reported a “distinct erotogenic zone” on the frontal wall of the vagina. He was ignored and even mocked. In fact, in 1953, zoologist Alfred Kinsey, author of the famed Kinsey Reports, published his Sexual Behavior
in the Human Female, calling the vaginal walls “insensitive to sensation”. Forgotten for decades, it attained stardom in 1982, when it got a new name and new legitimacy in a book, The G Spot and Other Discoveries about Human
Sexuality, that became an instant international bestseller. Researchers John Perry, Beverly Whipple and Alice Kahn had noted swelling in response to stimulation in over 400 women. Yet researchers doubted there was anything to stimulate in the first place, calling it a “modern gynaecologic myth”.
In 2008, the G-spot became a talking point again when researchers at the University of L’Aquila in Italy located it using ultrasound. But, they said, there was a catch: some women seemed to have a G-spot, while others didn’t. The pendulum continued to swing, until in 2014 new research concluded that the G-spot was just a part of a larger female pleasure region. In the final analysis, despite evidence that specific anatomical structures correspond to the area defined as the G-spot, its exact anatomical identity in all women, universally, remains inconclusive.
BELIEVE IT OR NOT
After my G-shot I get sexually aroused performing yoga I had constant multiple orgasms which went on for hours That first time, the whole thing was so intense I was actually a bit scared I was riding in the car with my partner and we went on this cobblestone road and I became sexually aroused… guess what happened next? I have this smile on my face and people think that I am enjoying my workout but actually I am sexually aroused
The testimonials above are from some of the over 2,000 women who have received a G-shot from Matlock, with a 65 per cent return rate. When she was in the US, Ganesh says she came across women as young as 16, accompanied by their mothers, seeking consultation. In India, it has not been easy to break into the world of conjugality. Despite plenty of inquiries, Ganesh has actually given the shot to about 15 women so far, the youngest being 30 and oldest 46. “Typically, they come on their own and many don’t even tell their husbands.”
Last year, Dr Bharti Magoo, a member of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, also launched a similar technique at her clinic in Sion, Mumbai—Golden Touch —where she practises along with a gynaecologist. “Most of my patients are in their 40s and 50s,” she says. Most of her patients are also long-time clients and trust her enough to talk about their sexual traumas. “For most, their sexual lives had plummeted, either due to reduced libido, less satisfaction or a sense of shortcoming, leading sometimes to insecurities in relationships,” she says. “For some, the G-spot was dead, due to abortions or surgical procedures.” For others, the vaginal muscles had become loose, thanks to childbirth. With a more prominent G-spot, it has become possible for most to enjoy uterine orgasms, she says. They are not the only ones. Cosmetic gynaecologists and plastic surgeons across the country
to be focusing on the new demand. At the root of it is the new Indian woman, they say. “Women are asserting themselves,” says Dr D.J.S. Tulla, plastic and cosmetic surgeon, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery at Primus Hospital, Delhi. “They are much more adventurous now. They want to enjoy powerful sensations. With greater sexual awakening, the demand for this procedure is expected to rise.” Doctors are also busy experimenting with the new soft-tissue augmentation ‘fillers’ that have emerged in the past few years: the human-derived collagen protein; hyaluronic acid (or Restylane), a type of polysaccharide; the brand new Radiesse, made from calcium hydroxide; and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) taken from the patient’s blood and then re-injected. Dr Rahul Goyal, cosmetic and plastic surgeon in Mohali, Chandigarh, says permanent results can be achieved by using dermal fat grafts. “More expensive but a one-off procedure that results in permanent improvement, although you’ll need to stay off sex for six weeks,” he says.
THAT PILLOW TALK
I have a headache... How can you have a headache every day? I’m sorry… What do you mean? It’s just that… I’m not trying to make you feel bad… What?
Yes, we know: men are from Mars and women from Venus, especially when it comes to the moment of maximum pleasure. Simply because the male and female sexual systems are different. But, statistically, that translates into frightening numbers. According to non-profit Planned Parenthood Federation of America, which provides reproductive health services globally, some 10 per cent women are incapable of orgasm—due to physical conditions, medication or illness; one in three women typically don’t orgasm during sex, due to psychological blocks; and 80 per cent of women have difficulty with orgasms for a range of reasons.
That doesn’t surprise Dr Firuza Parikh, Director of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics at Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai. The story she regularly hears from young urban couples is one where both have demanding jobs, come back home exhausted, order in from a fast-food outlet and fall asleep right after dinner, exhausted. “I see a lot of couples in sexless marriages, orgasm-less relationships or with less-than-inspiring sex lives,” she says. “Sex works best when we make time for it, turn off our computers and switch off our phones, because it is more complicated for women to orgasm than men.”
Female sexual dysfunction (FSD) is yet another story. The World Health Organization defines FSD as “the various ways in which a woman is unable to participate in a sexual relationship as she would wish”. Doctors at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi, have called for a systematic approach to assessment of FSD, to ensure appropriate treatment. “FSD is something we encounter routinely,” says Dr J.B. Sharma, professor, AIIMS, “ranging from persistent and recurring loss of desire or arousal, difficulty or inability to achieve an orgasm, or painful intercourse.” Studies say that 43-76 per cent of Indian women report some kind of sexual problem.
Culture plays a major role. “Conventional stereotypes about good girls-bad girls inhibit a lot of women,” says Kolkata-based psychologist Dr Aniruddha Deb. For many, having orgasms is something shameful, even with someseem
WOMEN NOW HAVE THE COURAGE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT HOW THEY LOOK, FEEL AND FUNCTION” DR DEEPA GANESH Cosmetic gynaecologist, Delhi
one they trust. For others, it’s just too difficult to say what they need. “There’s the idea a lot of women grow up with, that you have to pander to the male ego,” he says. “Many avoid sex, or fake an orgasm, rather than articulating their needs.” There’s a caveat here: “How does one define wonderful time?” Emotional and physical closeness, warmth and caring can mean a ‘wonderful time’ even if each sexual encounter does not end in an orgasm, he explains. “The question is of unresolved issues in one’s sex life,” he says. “And counselling could help.”
ONE THOUSAND QUESTIONS
Will the G-shot really enhance every woman’s orgasm? How long can one keep taking the shots? How safe are they? Can they lead to unforeseen side-effects? Will there be long-term effects of injecting a foreign material into the vagina?
There’s something oddly choreographed about pleasure at the end of a needle. “I would call it all a gimmick,” says Dr Shahin Nooreyezdan, chief of the Apollo Cosmetic Clinic at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, Delhi. He is unconvinced that the G-spot is a distinct anatomical entity. “Under a microscope, vaginal tissues have never shown a huge network of nerve endings.” And even if it exists, he doesn’t think the G-shot can help women who suffer from sexual dysfunction.
What is worrying is the lack of data about the efficacy of the procedure or its potential complications: from scarring of the vaginal tissue, painful intercourse, infection, altered sensation, decreased lubrication and the reduction of libido. In fact, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has been questioning procedures such as ‘vaginal rejuvenation’ and ‘G-spot amplification’ since 2007 for not being ‘medically indicated’ and for lacking documentation on ‘complication rates’ and ‘safety and effectiveness’ (Obstetrics & Gynecology, September 2007). The treatment is still based on patient feedback, with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval still pending. Injecting a foreign substance in the vagina is another cause for concern. ‘Off-label use’ of approved drugs (or using those for purposes beyond what they were approved for) is not uncommon in medicine, nor illegal. And sometimes they are necessary, especially when it comes to cancers—but the risk remains. “Many of the injectables for G-shots are off-label,” points out Nooreyezdan. The FDA’s approval process for the safety of drugs and medical devices is considered the gold standard worldwide, and it has not approved any fillers for G-spot amplification, or for injection into the vaginal wall. Collagen, hyaluronic acid, Radiesse and PRP have all been approved for chronic wound healing, not as dermal fillers. But then, the FDA does not regulate medical practice, nor has it received any complaints against G-shots as yet.
As for the doctors who introduced the treatment to India, most consider it to be a ‘low-risk procedure’ that doesn’t require peer-reviewed studies or clinical trials. Most of Magoo’s patients worry about scarring, about eventual loss of sensation and about the risk of cancer. “Most of these worries aren’t true,” she says. After so many years in the business, she trusts the ground reports: patient testimonials. “I am yet to come across anyone who is not happy,” she says. Tulla thinks it’s the dawn of a ‘new beginning’: of women’s right to pleasure. For now, things may appear a bit odd, but soon, he predicts, G-shots will be as common as boob jobs.
WE WANT MORE
“May I feel, said he; (I’ll squeal, said she; just once, said he) It’s fun, said she…”
If sex is a function of its time, what does it say about the sexual life of the nation’s women? What explains their foray into an uncharted territory of pleasure? At its core, is it really about a bundle of poorly-defined tissues, that may or may not—at the end of a scary experience and a big price tag—bring on euphoria? Or is it all about power for women? Juggling high-powered careers with pictureperfect homes, big money with big responsibilities, are they trying to be ‘more like men’ in that one sphere where biology is largely destiny? To be able to turn their arousal ‘switch’ on and off just like men, be as genitally-fixated, and enhance G-spots with jabs just as men brandish their erection-enhancer, Viagra?
But the road to Big O may turn out to be bumpy. Despite the debates, doctors agree on one thing: who is an ideal patient for a G-shot? The one who is already having the most fun between the sheets. Ouch.