Good in Bed Glossary
Short for the Grafenberg Spot, named for Ernst Grafenberg, the German gynecologist who described an area of spongy tissue located on the front wall of the vagina that may be sensitive to stimulation and, in some women, lead to orgasm. Also known as the urethral sponge, the G-spot is near the urethra and stimulation of the area may be related to female ejaculation. Not all women are sensitive to G-spot stimulation or find it enjoyable. Women may have different areas of sensitivity inside the vagina or bundles of nerve endings that differ from one woman to another. (see G-spot vibrators/dildos)
- G-spot vibrators/dildos
A type of sex toy designed to stimulate the G-spot. A G-spot toy may be used during a wide range of sex play, including foreplay, oral sex or masturbation. Most toys feature a shaft with a curved end, designed for penetration that stimulates the top wall of the vagina, with or without vibration. G-spot toys are generally made of acrylic, plastic, glass, metal, silicone or rubber.
- gag reflex
Gagging caused by contact with the soft palate in the back of the mouth or throat. The gag reflex may be triggered during fellatio.
A vaccine that may protect against some cases of cervical cancer and genital warts. Gardasil protects against four (out of more than 100) strains of HPV, an STI that cause more than 70% of cervical cancers and 90% of genital warts. Gardasil is currently FDA-approved for girls ages 9-26, though it is sometimes provided off-label to women outside this age range, and research is investigating its use among boys.
A person who identifies as homosexual, especially a man. (see also lesbian)
The socially constructed roles, behaviors, activities and attributes that a society ascribes to men and women. A person's gender may be different than a person's sex. In cases of intersexuality and gender identity disorder, such as transsexual and transgender people, a person's sex, gender or genitals may be at odds or unclear.
- gender identity
The innate feeling and way a person expresses their sense of being male, female, both or neither. Typically, a person’s gender identity relates directly to their biological sex in that males feel masculine and females feel feminine. People whose primary sex characteristics differ from the way they feel inside may consider themselves to be transgendered.
- gender identity disorder
A psychiatric diagnosis in which a person is born and raised as one gender, but identifies as the opposite gender. A person with gender identity disorder identifies strongly with another gender and may choose to live as that gender, such as a transsexual or transgender. In cases of intersexuality or cross-dressing, a person is not considered to suffer from gender identity disorder.
- genital burning
Typically unpleasant feelings of warmth, stinging or pain in the genitals. Genital burning may occur in the penis, scrotum, testes, urethra, vagina, labia minora, labia majora, as well as the anus and lower abdomen. Genital burning may intensify during urination or sexual activity. Genital burning may be a sign of an STI, such as: chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, molloscum contagiosum, pubic lice, shigella or syphillis. In women, it may be a sign of infection, especially if accompanied by changes in vaginal discharge, such as: bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis, yeast infection, urinary tract infection or pelvic inflammatory disease. Genital burning also may be the result of atrophic vaginitis, vulvar vestibulitis, dyspareunia, vaginal dryness or a hypersensitive or allergic reaction to a range of substances (e.g., laundry soap, spermicide, pantyliners). In addition, genital burning may be a form of referred pain, indicating a problem in another area of the pelvis.
- genital herpes
A viral STI that results from contact with HSV-2 and, less often, HSV-1, which usually causes oral herpes. Genital herpes may appear as a rash, progressing to small, but often painful, blisters on the vagina, labia minora, labia majora, cervix, penis, scrotum, perineum, urethra and anus, as well as the inner thighs. Herpes is spread through genital contact, including unprotected vaginal intercourse, anal sex or oral sex and may be spread from a mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. Not all people who contract herpes develop symptoms and a person may be a carrier of one or both viruses without knowing it. Herpes may be spread through skin-to-skin contact even when no visible sores are present, through a process known as shedding. Since condoms do not cover all of a person's genital skin, they cannot completely prevent transmission of genital herpes between partners. Both types of herpes viruses remain in a person's immune system forever, but symptoms may be managed with medication and healthy lifestyle choices. Having one STI increases a person's chances of contracting another STI, including HIV, from an infected partner. Lesions from molloscum contagiosum, chancroid or syphilis may be mistaken for genital herpes.
- genital odor
The smell or scent of a person's genitals. Every person's genital odor is unique. Foul or unusual genital odor may be a sign of infection or a bacterial imbalance, such as bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis or a yeast infection; an STI; a disorder related to the sweat glands; or poor lifestyle or dietary habits. Perceptions of genital odor play an important role in a woman's or man's genital self-image and sexual function, as well as a partner's willingness to perform cunnilingus or fellatio. Douching is generally not recommended as a treatment for genital odor.
- genital pain
- genital piercing
Piercing one or more parts of the genitals to enhance sexual pleasure. Common places on the genitals for piercings include: the clitoral glans, labia minora, labia majora, penis, glans, frenulum and scrotum.
- genital self-image
A woman's perception of her genitals' appearance, attributes and function. Perceptions of genital self-image may be influenced by: experiences of arousal and orgasm ability; genital symmetry, genital size, genital odor or genital taste; and lubrication and vaginal discharge quality. Poor genital self-image may be the result of: a lack of information about female genitals; negative sexuality education; partner criticism; unrealistic ideals in pornography or the media; and poor body-image. Genital self-image may be improved with sexuality education, sex therapy, masturbation and by looking at realistic pictures of women's genitals. Some women seek surgery to improve genital self-image, such as labiaplasty or vaginal rejuvenation.
- genital sensation
Feelings of fullness, tingling and throbbing that are the result of increased blood flow to the genitals during arousal. Genital sensation may be affected by: aging, as a result of declining estrogen and/or testosterone levels; hysterectomy; childbirth; health conditions that interfere with blood flow, such as high blood pressure; nerve damage from diabetes; and psychological factors, such as stress, anxiety, depression or unresolved hostility in a relationship. (see FSAD and PSAS)
- genital size
The shape and dimensions of the male or female genitals, in particular the penis, scrotum, testes, clitoris, labia majora, labia minora, vagina and introitus, which tend to vary in shape and size from one individual to another. Perceptions of genital size may be related to genital symmetry and play an important role in genital self-image. (see also penis size)
- genital symmetry
The proportion of specific parts of the male or female genitals. Genital symmetry may be concern with the scrotum or vulva, in particular the testes, labia majora, and labia minora, which tend to vary in size and shape from one individual to another and also from one side of a person's anatomy to the other. Perceptions of genital symmetry play an important role in genital self-image. (see labiaplasty and genital size)
- genital taste
The taste of vaginal discharge and semen. Genital taste may influence a person's desire to perform oral sex or to be the recipient of cunnilingus or fellatio. Genital taste is related to genital odor, and may be affected by lifestyle, health and dietary choices.
- genital warts
A viral STI caused by HPV that, when visible, may appear as fleshy, white bumps on and around the genitals, including: the vagina, labia minora, labia majora, cervix, penis, scrotum, perineum, urethra and anus, and, more rarely, in the mouth or throat. The strains of HPV associated with genital warts may be spread through unprotected vaginal intercourse, anal sex or oral sex, and may be spread from a mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. Genital warts are not always visible to the naked eye and transmission is possible from skin-to-skin contact. Since condoms do not cover all of a person's genital skin, they cannot completely prevent transmission of HPV between partners. Warts may be treated or removed, but they cannot be cured until the HPV virus clears itself from a person's system. Not all people who get HPV will develop genital warts. A new vaccine, Gardasil®, may reduce the risk of genital warts among women. Having one STI increases a person's chances of contracting another STI, including HIV, from an infected partner. Lesions from molloscum contagiosum may be mistaken for genital warts.
The external sex organs of a man or woman. In females, the genitals typically include: the clitoris, labia majora, labia minora, mons veneris, perineum, introitus and opening of the urethra, known collectively as the vulva, in addition to the vagina. In males, the genitals typically include: the penis, including the glans, opening to the urethra and foreskin, if present; perineum and scrotum. The genitals are part of the primary sex characteristics and the reproductive organs. (see intersexuality)
(short for girlfriend experience) A fantasy experience in which a man pays a prostitute to act like his girlfriend, usually by including kissing and a certain degree of emotional intimacy, in addition to intercourse.
- girlfriend experience
The tip or head of the penis. The glans is connected to the shaft by the frenulum and, if uncircumcised, the foreskin. The glans is exposed in males who are circumcised. The glans is more sensitive to stimulation than the shaft and is a popular spot to stimulate during manual stimulation or fellatio. There is also a glans of the clitoris, or clitoral glans. Both glans are rich in nerve endings and highly sensitive, and develop from the same erectile tissue.
- golden shower
A fetish in which a person derives sexual pleasure from urinating on others, being urinated on or watching others urinate.
A bacterial STI that can infect the vagina, cervix, penis, urethra, testes, anus and, rarely, the throat or eyes. Gonorrhea is spread through contact with infected vaginal fluids or semen during unprotected oral sex, anal sex or vaginal intercourse and often produces no symptoms. Gonorrhea may be spread from a mother to her baby during vaginal childbirth. When they occur, symptoms in women may include: changes to vaginal discharge, spotting, and pain during or after intercourse or during urination. Symptoms in men may include: burning during urination, pus or watery discharge from the penis and swollen testes. If left untreated, gonorrhea may cause pelvic inflammatory disease, a risk factor for infertility. Having one STI increases a person's chances of contracting another STI, including HIV, from an infected partner.
- group sex
Sexual activity between more than two people at the same time. Group sex may include any sex act, as well as having sex while people watch or watching other people have sex, a form of exhibitionism and voyeurism, respectively. People of all sexual orientations have group sex. Group sex may or may not be a part of swinging.
A doctor who specializes in the care and treatment of the female reproductive organs, such as the vulva, uterus and cervix. Many gynecologists are also obstetricians. Gynecologists and obstetricians support the sexual health of girls and women, and may prescribe birth control, HRT or Gardasil®; test for STIs, vaginitis and pregnancy; and administer a Pap smear.