Magic Button Theory

Aug 6th, 2012 | By | Category: Articles, Uncategorized

Guest blogger Kate Gould

A little while ago I read an article about the peculiar things people do to their bodies with plastic surgery. There was the usual lunacy: women injecting a neurotoxin into their faces; collagened-up bloody, swollen pouts; Macrolane-filled breasts (a sort of injectable jelly it takes your body 12-18 months to absorb, leaving you with plain old mammary tissue); earlobe reshaping (quite how bored, body dysmorphic, obsessive, or surgery-addicted you’d have to be to decide that your earlobes were imperfect I don’t know); a laser inserted under the skin to liquefy fat so it can be sucked out along a cannula; spikes rolled over the skin to ‘stimulate skin repair’ (presumably from the damage caused by the spikes); skin tightening via radio-frequency energy; fat sucked out your belly and injected into cheeks.

Then there was one that made me wonder if there is any part of the human anatomy that is to remain as it exists in nature: g-spot amplification. I know about labial trimming, as it’s called, reshaping the shape of a woman’s vulva so the labia are neater and resemble those of a child.  I remember seeing a documentary about a woman who’d presumably spent enough time squatting over a mirror to know that her labia were not as she’d like them to be. The camera only showed her head during surgery, everything below the waist discretely covered by a surgical gown, though her mother was down there narrating. Things like “Oh yes, that’s much prettier”, “Maybe just a little more out of the right hand side”, and “Oh you’re going to love what he’s done down here, hon”. I don’t know which was more peculiar, really – the surgery or the mother-daughter relationship.

What I didn’t know was that surgery had moved on to re-form the inside of the vagina so I looked it up. Invented by Dr David Matlock in 2002 – and named, catchily, the G-Shot – the procedure involves having a collagen-based substance injected into the g-spot to enlarge it, the idea being that this will then make sex more enjoyable and orgasms more frequent.

Anatomically/mechanically/geographically I’m not sure quite how this works. Whether the idea is that the greater the surface area, the higher the chance of the g-spot being touched during sex - improving the odds as it were - or if it’s supposed to make it easier for the man to find it, minus his periscope and head-torch, I don’t know.

The case study in the article was a woman who’d been with her one and only partner for five years and, during that time, had never had an orgasm. The doctor told her the procedure wouldn’t work on someone who’d never had an orgasm (he didn’t elaborate and I’ve no idea why this would be) so she said she might have had one once, she thinks. Personally, I’d be casting aspersions on the boyfriend at this point, but I wasn’t there to comment or glance. Perhaps an additional extra could be a brief anatomy/technique lesson from the surgeon who, it appears, knows where the g-spot is.

The procedure has an 87% success rate in America, according to Matlock. Quite how that’s measured, I’m not sure. I don’t know whether it’s that the women have 87% more orgasms (though 87% of nothing would still be no orgasms at all, or even less than nothing) or it’s that 87% have orgasms or that 87% of the time they’re having sex the women have orgasms. Either way, it only lasts 4-6 months before having to be redone.

The G-Shot has since been joined by the O-Shot, with the far less catchy technical title of Vaginal Submucosal/Suburethreal, Labial, and Clitoral Injection of PRP. It was invented by Dr Charles Runels who decided that the g-spot doesn't exist but, unable to resist the commercial potential of the magic-button theory of female sexual response (i.e. press a single spot in the vagina and the woman will become immediately aroused and multi-orgasmic), made up a whole new spot he named the O-Spot. The genesis of the O-Shot came when he decided he could apply the same procedure involved in his Vampire Facelift to women's vaginas. The procedure involves putting a small quantity of the patient's own blood in a centrifuge so the platelet rich plasma (PRP) becomes separated. The platelets are then activated using calcium chloride, causing them to release "growth factors".  For the Vampire Facelift, the solution is injected into the face to plump it up and, for the vagina, it is injected into the clitoris and an area in the vaginal front wall - otherwise known as the O-Spot.  Potential results range from no change at all to turning patients into raging nymphomaniacs.

As if the multi-orgasmic promise of the O-Shot weren't enough, it also "rejuvenates" the vagina, returning it to the appearance of that of a pre-pubescent girl.

Neither procedure has Food and Drug Administration or British Medical Association approval. The G-Shot was denied it on the grounds of lack of evidence of its safety and efficacy or peer-reviewed studies and, rather evasively, the creators of the O-Shot say it has not been evaluated by the FDA. Because of this, though a licence from the inventors is a required in order to carry out the procedures, women undergoing them do so without official medical approval or guarantee - they are, effectively, participants in a clinical trial despite the massive price tag.

It’s hard to know whether it’s just a way of enhancing what is already supposed to be a fun way to pass an afternoon or if it’s yet another way that scientists have found to exploit women’s bodies and their insecurities about them. Isn’t it enough that the sculpted and the airbrushed are paraded as the ultimate objects of desire? Must we also assume that, in order to be desirable, our insides are to possess the same perfection?

I can see the appeal of a push-button approach, if pressing it really guarantees the woman will orgasm. We don't always have time to play. But bypassing the build-up means missing out on all the other things that make sex pleasurable - fantasy, touch, anticipation, and laughter to name a very few. There is nuance to sex; it isn't just a matter of joining the dots till they form a big O. Obviously, coming's great, but if that's the sole purpose of sex and the only way to get there is by mutilating our vaginas (and both the G-Shot and O-Shot are, by definition, mutilation), our genitals and sexual response are no longer our own - they're subject to the whim of the medical profession. No matter how much this profession may claim - and even believe - otherwise, this medicalization of our sex lives is based on commercial gain, not primum non nocere.

Kate Gould  is a writer, Beethoven groupie, feminist, campaigner for sex workers' rights at SCOT-PEP, tattooed lady, etiquette fanatic, insatiable reader, and commissioning editor at The Fine Line. She spends most of her time reading in her flat overrun by pet rats, Georgia, Minnie and Olivia. She's been a research assistant to Germaine Greer and Shere Hite, MORI pollster, book critic, magazine editor, over-worked publishing intern, nanny, English teacher, and hotel critic. The best insult she's ever heard is “buckle-bunny wannabe” and the best thing she's ever eaten is the raspberry cheesecake in Gaia on Leith Walk. She writes about sex a great deal more than she has it.

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