Do It Better

What’s the A-Spot, Anyway?

| 07/26/2019

Illustration by Kristen Barnhart

Have you ever felt a deep, intensely pleasurable feeling way inside the vagina during anal or vaginal sex? Or perhaps deep penetration with a toy feels particularly good? It’s likely that you’re stimulating the A-spot. This elusive pleasure center – technically known as the anterior fornix erogenous zone (AFE zone) – is only recently getting its time in the sun. We are here to let it shine.

Before we get into the finer points of the A-spot, we should first acknowledge that while many sexologists (including myself) and doctors have concluded that this spot does exist, this determination is not unanimous. The A-spot, much like the G-spot, is still contested among doctors and women’s health experts. Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, primary care physician at One Medical, tells Swell that it’s really “just a theory.”

That being said, there is a lot of evidence to suggest the existence of the A-spot. Here is everything you need to know.

What is the A-spot?

“The A-spot is an erogenous zone in the vagina that can bring you to orgasm, multiple times, according to women who have found its location,” says Dr. Sherry Ross, a women’s health expert and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period.

The A-spot is part of the internal clitoris. Yes, there is even more clitoris than you might have guessed! The entire clitoris goes below the surface of the labia, extending into the abdomen. The clitoral glans, the part you can see on the outside of the vulva and ground zero for what we know and love as clitoral stimulation, is just the tip of the iceberg. There are internal wings and bulbs, too.

Here is a visual:

 

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The A-spot is the very, very end of the internal clitoris. “The A-spot is located just above the cervix, on the anterior surface of the vagina,” Ross says. It’s on the vaginal wall just before you reach the cervix.

Is there any hard evidence of the A-spot’s existence? Well, not exactly. Most us are convinced because of the many anecdotal reports we’ve heard over several decades. However, one famous study conducted in 1997 seemed to support all of the reports from happy vulva-havers who’ve found the right spot.

In that research, Malaysian sexologist and Ph.D Chua Chee Ann was working on a potential treatment for vaginal dryness, and had study participants stimulate the AFE Zone for 10-15 minutes. Not only did about two-thirds of them experience an increase in vaginal lubrication, but 15 percent responded with large amounts of fluid – and nearly immediate orgasms. It was the first clinical evidence that stimulating the A-spot could produce those results.

Experts have since theorized that powerful vaginal orgasms during penetration, or climaxes during anal sex, may actually be A-spot orgasms. Some also think it’s possible that so-called female ejaculation, largely credited to G-spot stimulation, may really be due to A-spot stimulation as well.

But how do you find it?

Finding the A-spot requires the curiosity and desire to find a difficult-to-discover spot deep in your vagina, and actually feel what’s going on in there.

“You find it by gently placing two (clean!) fingers inside your vagina and feeling all the way to the back, until you hit a hard spot at the back,” says Lucy Rowett, a certified sex coach and clinical sexologist. “This is your cervix. Now gently feel around this area with some firmness and notice what you feel. You may feel some fullness, or you may notice some pleasant sensations.”

Here’s another way to go about it. If you’ve already been successful in finding your G-spot, you can start there instead. The A-spot is on the same front wall of the vaginal canal (the side of the vagina closest to the belly button and the urethra), but a few inches deeper.

The A-spot won’t feel like the G-spot, since the latter usually feels rougher or thicker than the rest of the wall and the A-spot doesn’t. But when you press down in the right spot, it will feel spongier or softer than anywhere else in the vicinity.

Using pressure is important here. The vagina itself has very few touch-sensitive nerve endings. What it does have is pressure-sensitive nerve endings. Once you’ve found the A-spot, you’ll need to push and firmly touch the area to ignite feelings of sexual pleasure – or if you’re one of the fortunate few, to produce an orgasm. (Direct stimulation of the A-spot, unlike other erogenous zones, usually doesn’t lead to orgasm without other types of simultaneous play. It sure feels good, though!) 

What’s up with the A-spot and anal?

It seems like practically the only time the A-spot gets its due is when people talk about the benefits and pleasurable aspects of anal sex. Well, the rumors are true: this area of the clitoris can, in fact, be stimulated during anal sex. This is one of the reasons you may have clitoris-owning friends who love anal sex so much, and even experience orgasms during it. Have you ever read Charlotte Roche’s Wetlands? There is a monologue in which the main character, Helen, talks about how her best, most intense orgasms happen during deep anal sex. That girl was definitely stimulating her A-spot and had no idea.

The A-spot can also be indirectly stimulated through the area between the vagina and the rectum, Ross explains. Basically, the vaginal wall and rectum are only separated by a thin layer of tissue. So, when some people have anal sex (or anal play), the toy or penis pushes against the rectal wall, activating the A-spot.

Finding the A-spot for yourself

Exploring your own body is a must for all vulva-owning humans. You don’t need to have intercourse to get this area fired up, and not everyone enjoys or even feels A-spot stimulation. So it’s best to find the A-spot yourself before trying it with your partner.

“If you’re new to exploring internal stimulation, it’s super important to go slow and gentle,” Rowett says. “Some people think that playing with the G-spot or A-spot isn’t for them because they’ve had partners who’ve tried to go too hard and fast, when what you need to begin with is slow pressure.”

Once you’ve located your A-spot, and perhaps played with it with your fingers, you’ll be likely to realize that it’s not an easy thing to maneuver in such a deep spot. That’s OK – that’s what dildos and vibrators are for! You can’t just use any sex toy, though; the best choices are usually ones that are sold for the purpose of G-spot play, because they’re angled properly to stimulate the side of the vaginal wall. Just be sure that it’s going to be long enough; six inches is normally enough to get the job done.

The A-spot and partner play

Sooner or later, if you have a partner, you’ll probably want to ask them to join in on the fun.

When it comes to using fingers or a vibe, it’s actually easier for your partner to reach your A-spot (and your G-spot, for that matter), simply because they can approach and enter your vagina from a less-awkward angle.

Hopefully, a partner will be delighted to work with you to stimulate your A-spot; if not, introduce the idea as a variation on foreplay, telling them that produces lots and lots of vaginal lubrication, and see how they respond. Needless to say, no one should ever be pressured into any sexual activity they don’t want to participate in.

Ready for the next step? As I’ve mentioned, deep penetration is necessary in order to hit the right spot during penetrative sex, which means using sex positions that are conducive to G-spot stimulation. Three of the best choices are doggy style, cowgirl and reverse cowgirl; even better is when the recipient starts in the reverse cowgirl position but then lies back, providing wider and deeper access.

Then, there’s anal sex. If you tensed up reading that sentence, hear me out.

One of the reasons vulva-havers often cite for enjoying anal is the fact that – after some practice – it gives them the earth-shaking sensational orgasms you only read about in erotic novels (or perhaps in Cosmo or Glamour). They usually credit that to G-spot stimulation, but it’s likely that indirect stimulation of the A-spot has a lot to do with it, too. (And I shouldn’t have to mention this, but I feel it’s my duty: whenever you engage in anal play, don’t forget to use plenty of lube!)

A-spot orgasms

How will you know if you’re having an A-spot orgasm? Stimulation of the area often results in multiple intense orgasms, Ross says, and unlike clitoral or G-spot orgasms, the recovery time between orgasms is much less.

And even if you’re among the many people who don’t climax from A-spot stimulation, it can intensify your orgasms when it’s combined with other types of simultaneous sex play.

Have I piqued your interest yet?

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