¨Call Doctor G-Spot!¨ the announcer cries out on radio station Y-100, in an ad sandwiched between uptempo songs extolling the various virtues of bumping, winding, and grinding.
Doctor G-Spot, otherwise known as Tamarac gynecologist Dr. Michael Benjamin, says he can add immeasurably to the bumps and grinds in your bedroom. His work is all about helping his patients who pine for better sex lives, says Benjamin, who has been practicing for nearly 40 years.
Dr. Michael Benjamin/Doctor G-Spot
Ladies, help is on the way!
You see, Benjamin is using a new technique for jolting that mythical source of orgasmic pleasure, the G-spot. Call Benjamin´s procedure G-spot enhancement. He injects a dermal filler a collagen-like substance primarily used to diminish facial wrinkles and laugh lines -- into the vaginal wall, which ostensibly brings the nerve-endings closer to the surface, closer to primal stimulation.
It´s an intriguing procedure, especially considering that the scientific community, and women around the world, never finished debating whether the G-spot even exists.
In the mid-1900s, a German doctor named Ernst Gräfenberg made a series of notable accomplishments: he invented an IUD and studied cancer metastasis. But it was his description of a sensitive area of tissue on the anterior wall of a woman´s vagina that got the most attention. The so-called G-spot has been both touted as the key to mindblowing orgasms and dismissed as a fantastical myth.
¨The G-spot is real,¨ Benjamin insists. ¨The concept that there´s some mystery about it just isn´t so.¨ In fact, he claims, when he uses a surgical speculum, he can see it -- a raised area one or two inches inside a woman´s vagina. It can also be located by touch, he says. He´ll ask the patient for permission to insert his finger and feel for ¨the area of maximum sensitivity.¨ Or he will ask her to find the area herself.
Doctors like Benjamin -- there are at least five in Florida offering the procedure -- use collagen to plump the G-spot, making it easier to stimulate during intercourse, they contend. Collagen wears off after three months, so Benjamin uses a longer-lasting filler, Restylane, which lasts about twice as long. ¨It´s as cutting-edge as you can get,¨ he says.
A nurse in Dr. Benjamin´s office volunteered to try the shot. It didn´t hurt, she says, because Benjamin gives patients painkillers or puts them under heavy intravenous sedation.
The nurse recounts her experience breathlessly. She received the shot at 2 p.m. on a Friday, she says. By 7, she was begging her boyfriend for sex. ¨I just attacked him,¨ she says. The swelling caused by the Restylane made her feel the urge to urinate, she reports, but the discomfort was no impediment to having intercourse eight times in three days. She felt insatiable. ¨You really do need a partner. This is a bad thing for single girls!¨
The nurse concedes that she did not pay for the procedure, for which Dr. Benjamin charges regular customers $1,800.
Dr. Alan Gibstein, a doctor who performs G-spot amplification at the Aesthetic Science Institute in Boca Raton, will do it for less than half of that. ¨The fee should be sane,¨ he says -- ¨about twice the expense of the substance.¨ He charges $600 to $800.
Gibstein says he´s been injecting fillers -- first collagen, then Restylane, and now a substance called Radiesse -- into G-spots for more than 10 years, although he can´t recall how he first heard of it. He estimates he´s done the procedure on several dozen patients.
As for Benjamin´s claim that he can see the G-spot, Gibstein says, ¨That´s absolutely untrue. I can assure you as a professional gynecologist and surgeon, there is absolutely no physical or tactile clue as to its location.¨ Any doctor who would feel around for it, he says, ¨has to be suspect in behavior.¨ When doing injections, Gibstein aims for the urethrovesical junction -- ¨where the urethra and bladder meet.¨
Gibstein says you can credit the growing interest in G-spot amplification to one man: Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon Dr. David Matlock -- an ¨outrageous¨ man, yet ¨a marvelous entrepreneur,¨ Gibstein says.
Matlock specialized in liposuction for his upscale clientele for 19 years, eventually becoming famous for his ¨Brazilian Butt Lift¨ and starring in the reality TV show Dr. 90210. He branched into vaginal surgery, founding the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of America, which has franchises in at least eight U.S. cities. Now he trains other doctors. He has trademarked ten modern gynecological terms, including ¨Designer Vagina G-Spot Amplification.¨
Matlock says he invented it in 2001 (despite Gibstein´s claims of having performed the procedure for a decade).
¨A Brazilian girlfriend called me at 3:30 in the morning, and I couldn´t fall back asleep,¨ Matlock said last week. ¨The idea just came to me. You´ve got to understand, my mind is fertile for this kind of thing.¨ Matlock says he did his own study on 25 of his patients, and ¨87 percent reported enhanced arousal¨ after the procedure, which the doctor is in the process of patenting. In April, Matlock developed his own brand of collagen injection, calling it The G-Shot, and he shipped kits of it (each including an instructional video and a special speculum) to 35 associates around the country.
Matlock, who says he learned about the G-spot from medical textbooks, has performed the procedure about 250 times now; he´s seeing a 65 percent return rate, he says. He´s happy to share his knowledge -- so long as doctors use his kits. They must purchase a minimum of six kits at $450 each, with a suggested mark up to $1,850. And, oh yeah. Doctors should use collagen precisely because it´s short-lasting. ¨What if the patient doesn´t like it?¨
In truth, the extra step means that Matlock makes more money, selling two shots instead of one over six months, he concedes. ¨It´s a business,¨ Matlock says. ¨I have an MBA from Irvine.¨ As for doctors who are using Restylane instead of his trademarked G-Shot, Matlock says, ¨I wish I knew who they were so I can sue them!¨
It´s the sort of dispute that keeps ethics professors in business.
Jeffrey Spike, a bioethicist at Florida State University´s College of Medicine, says that the G-spot is ¨like a folk tale.¨
¨You can prove that something exists if you find it, but if you don´t find it, that doesn´t prove that it doesn´t exist,¨ Spike says. The G-spot belongs in the same category as angels and unicorns, he insists. At best, Spike believes, doctors who allegedly enhance G-spots are profiting off women´s insecurities. At worst, they´re engaging in ¨something more like medical fraud.¨
Terence Hines, a neuroscientist at Pace University in New York, is blunter: ¨Sheer quackery!¨ he says of G-spot amplification. ¨I´ve never heard such nonsense in my life!¨ Hines, who has debunked theories about UFOs and reincarnation, looked into the reality of the G-spot in 2001 and published a scientific article in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Hines found ¨no evidence whatsoever for a G-spot.¨ If there were a highly sensitive spot in the vagina wall, he postulates, it would have to be surrounded by ¨lots and lots of neurons.¨ No one has ever found such bundles, he says, even though ¨every inch of the vagina has been looked at histologically¨ (meaning thin slices of tissue have been examined under microscopes). ¨The anatomical evidence is simply not there.¨ Ditto for the historical evidence. ¨The Kama Sutra doesn´t even mention the G-spot. What? Did it just evolve in 1980?¨
Hines contends that medical studies making G-spot discoveries were done with ¨something like 12 females,¨ who knew they were supposed to be looking for the G-spot and were therefore more inclined to find it. That approach is what scientists call ¨demand characteristics.¨ Even then, only half actually found it, Hines says.
At least two female professors, though, challenge the debunkers: Rebecca Chalker, a sexologist at Pace, and Beverly Whipple, a PhD and RN at Rutgers, have written books insisting that the G-spot exists. In fact, it was Whipple´s 1982 book that sparked massive public attention. That´s the point, Hines says: everyone arguing for it has something to sell. There´s even another ¨Doctor G-Spot¨ out there, a California researcher named John Perry who advertises a range of sex toys and instruction manuals on his website.
Whipple, reached at home in New Jersey, believes that a G-spot exists, but is skeptical about enhancing it, because no double-blind placebo-controlled studies have been conducted.
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Both Whipple and Hines suggest that women be wary of the risks of G-spot amplification. At http://thegshot.com (Matlock´s site), a host of potential side effects are listed.
The Food and Drug Administration said that it had not approved any fillers for G-spot amplification, or for injection into the anterior vaginal wall, nor had it received any complaints. A spokesperson for Restylane would not promote the vaginal injections, saying only that the product has been ¨FDA approved for injection into naso-labial folds -- the smile lines that run from your nose to the corners of your mouth.¨ Using products for purposes beyond what they were approved for is somewhat common in medicine; it´s referred to as ¨off-label use.¨
As for Benjamin, he has no fears about performing G-spot injections despite the lack of peer-reviewed studies or clinical trials. He considers it such a low-risk procedure that ¨I don´t really have to do a double-blind study and review 10,000 people.¨ After so many years in business, he has come to trust his patients´ testimonials. And if it makes them happier, he says, ¨That´s what life´s about, right?
¨This is one of those things that´s at its dawn of being,¨ Benjamin sums up airily. For now, he may be perceived as ¨a little bit out there´¨ but soon, he predicts, G-spot shots will be as common as boob jobs. He´s just pioneering them. ¨To be immodest,¨ he smiles, ¨I´m good -- and I´m gutsy.¨