A Reaction to Anne Koedt's "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm" | Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies
University of Pittsburgh

A Reaction to Anne Koedt's "The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm"

According to Princeton’s WordNet, frigidity is defined as “sexually unresponsive.” Anne Koedt contours this concrete idea in saying that, “frigidity has been generally defined by men as the failure of women to have vaginal orgasms.” The difference: the definition I have produced is credible (by Princeton), where as Koedt’s is not. For much of “The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm”, Anne Koedt proposes her opinion that there is no such thing as the vaginal orgasm, and that the only stimulation a woman can have is through her clitoris. In my opinion, I disagree with this article due to the excessive amount of generalization in her article, as well as lack of credible sources for her opinions, and because of evidence produced supporting vaginal stimulation.

            It has been constructed over the years that no person, man or woman, is the physically and/or genetically the same. Therefore, my first argument to Koedt is: how can you generalize women according to their sexual experiences? Koedt says in her text that women who believe they are experiencing a vaginal orgasm are confused “because of the lack of knowledge of their own anatomy, some women accept the idea that an orgasm felt during “normal” intercourse was vaginally caused” (4-5 Koedt). She generalizes that all women know nothing about their anatomy and, therefore, are incapable of making sense of their own feelings. It is demeaning and disrespectful to women who do, and don’t, know about their anatomy, as well as to all women who believe in the vaginal orgasm. Women who believe in the vaginal orgasm, after reading this article, are forced by Anne Koedt to believe that their thoughts on the vaginal orgasm were utterly wrong, leaving them with indignity and frustration.

            Anne Koedt only cites one person who agrees in distinguishing between vaginal and clitoral orgasms, and indicating the indirect thought of a vaginal orgasm. As stated before, I believe that this article is very much opinionated and rather than citing specific articles defining the clitoris as the only site of female stimulation, Anne Koedt simply states it in her own view. At first glance, her article appears to be well-supported simply because there are citations from different authors.. This is important in a text to prove your position, so long as it provides evidence for your point of view. For the first and third citation in the text (under “Freud- A Father of the Vaginal Orgasm”), Anne Koedt argues with the authors whom she refers to via her own opinion. It is obvious she disagrees with the Freudian standpoint on vaginal stimulation, though she cannot express proper evidence to support her idea. The only time Anne Koedt is congruent with her sources is when discussing the raw female anatomy, which does not indicate if there is or is not a spot in the vagina that has the potential for being stimulated sexually.

            Given that this article was written in 1970, I allow it some leniency in that there was not a lot of evidence that there actually was a vaginal and/or clitoral point of stimulation besides women’s personal feelings. In 1950, a german OBGYN (Ernest Grafenburg) worked with a fellow American colleague (Robert L. Dickenson, M.D.) to discover, what is now known as, the g-spot. They discovered that during an orgasm the wall of the urethra swelled exposing an erogenous zone. Their research was mainly rejected based upon this idea, which Anne Koedt clearly defines, that “women have thus been defined sexually in terms of what pleases man” (1 Koedt). There have been several studies conducted to find the g-spot, and it has been accepted and rejected for the last fifty years  In 2008 a researcher, by the name of Dr Emmanuele Jannini, believed he had also definitely found the g-spot. The g-spot is thought to be the place of climax in a female orgasm. He conducted a study that showed there is a thicker layer between the vagina and the urethra, a layer that is thicker in women who have this erogenous zone. The researcher does conclude that his study’s limitations are that the sample size was small and can not be conclusive for all women though for the nine that said they experience vaginal orgasms, all nine presented with the thicker tissue layer in contrast to the other eleven who said they did not have vaginal orgasms. With this evidence, personally I believe that females can be stimulated clitorally, vaginally, or both. Therefore, I agree with Koedt’s idea of clitoral stimulation, but I do not agree that it is the only form of stimulation.

            Anne Koedt’s article, as a whole, was highly opinionated without supporting evidence. When reading it through for the first time, the reader may be insulted by Anne Koedt when she says women are confused and deceived when they think they are experiencing a vaginal orgasm, which is not even possible.  Koedt firmly resolves that the only female anatomical part that is available for sexual stimulation is the clitoris. The article is mainly a generalization, and does not recognize the fact that all women (and men) are somatically different, and therefore, does not leave the possibility that some women may experience a vaginal orgasm. Koedt is able to identify each different anatomical part and its function, but seldom does she provide adequate evidence for her so-called “myth”. Research throughout the past sixty years has developed several theories that introduce the Grafendberg-spot, a spot which would induce a vaginal orgasm. Anne Koedt failed to recognize the research that was done by Ernst Grafenberg in 1950, and therefore was not fully able to support her opion that there is a “Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm.” 

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