By Helen Thomson
Use your imagination
What do you think of when you hear the words “female ejaculation”? Come to think of it, the answer may be best kept to yourself. You may have heard that it was banned from being shown in British porn films last year. But what exactly is it?
Researchers have now come a step closer to defining this controversial phenomenon, by performing the first ultrasound scans on women who express large amounts of liquid at orgasm.
Some women express liquid from their urethra when they climax. For some, this consists of a small amount of milky white fluid – this, technically, is the female ejaculate. Other women report “squirting” a much larger amount of fluid – enough to make it look like they’ve wet the bed.
- Climax in the lab
- Two kinds of fluid
- Every woman capable
- What Exactly Is Female Ejaculation—and Can Every Woman Do It?
- Website access code
- Peeing During Sex: Causes, Treatment, and More
- Make sure you pee before AND after sex
- Vaginal dryness and needing to pee
- Is peeing linked to the G-spot orgasm?
- When to see a GP about frequent urination
- How did you first discover you were capable of squirting?
- How did it feel, physically speaking?
- And how did you feel about it afterward, emotionally?
- Do you squirt every time you have sex, or is it something that only happens sometimes?
- Are there any particular positions that make it more likely for you?
- How does your partner(s) feel about it?
- How do you think squirting is perceived by the rest of society?
- Science Says Yes to Female Ejaculation
- It’s Not Pee…
- …But You Might Pee at the Same Time
- It Happens When You Stimulate Your G-Spot
- You Might Be Accidentally Sabotaging Your Ability to Squirt
- Anyone Can Make You Squirt—Including You
- This Is What’s Actually Happening When A Woman “Squirts” During Sex
- The science behind female ejaculation
A few small studies have suggested the milky white fluid comes from Skene glands – tiny structures that drain into the urethra. Some in the medical community believe these glands are akin to the male prostate, although their size and shape differ greatly between women and their exact function is unknown.
Climax in the lab
To investigate the nature and origins of the fluid, Samuel Salama, a gynaecologist at the Parly II private hospital in Le Chesnay, France, and his colleagues recruited seven women who report producing large amounts of liquid – comparable to a glass of water – at orgasm.
First, these women were asked to provide a urine sample. An ultrasound scan of their pelvis confirmed that their bladder was completely empty. The women then stimulated themselves through masturbation or with a partner until they were close to having an orgasm – which took between 25 and 60 minutes.
“Some women express liquid from their urethra when they climax”
A second pelvic ultrasound was then performed just before the women climaxed. At the point of orgasm, the squirted fluid was collected in a bag and a final pelvic scan performed.
Even though the women had urinated just before stimulation began, the second scan – performed just before they climaxed – showed that their bladder had completely refilled. Each woman’s final scan showed an empty bladder, meaning the liquid squirted at orgasm almost certainly originated from the bladder.
A chemical analysis was performed on all of the fluid samples. Two women showed no difference between the chemicals present in their urine and the fluid squirted at orgasm.
The other five women had a small amount of prostatic-specific antigen (PSA) present in their squirted fluid – an enzyme not detected in their initial urine sample, but which is part of the “true” female ejaculate
PSA, produced in men by the prostate gland, is more commonly associated with male ejaculate, where its presence helps sperm to swim. In females, says Salama, PSA is produced mainly by the Skene glands.
Two kinds of fluid
Beverly Whipple, a neurophysiologist from Rutgers University in Newark, New Jersey, says that the term female ejaculation should only really refer to the production of the small amount of milky white liquid at orgasm and not the “squirting” investigated in this paper. “This study shows the other two kinds of fluids that can be expelled from the female urethra – urine alone, and urine diluted with substances from the female prostate,” she says.
“This study presents convincing evidence that squirting in women is chemically similar to urine, and also contains small amounts of PSA that is present in men’s and women’s true ejaculate,” says Barry Komisaruk, also at Rutgers.
“This study helps to reconcile the controversy over the fluids that many women report being released at orgasm,” he adds. “There are evidently two different fluids, with two different sources. Whether either of these fluids plays a physiological role – that is, whether they serve any adaptive function, is not known.”
Florian Wimpissinger at Rudolfstiftung Hospital in Vienna, Austria, suggests that the presence of PSA in some women’s squirted fluid and not others might be because the emissions from the Skene glands could travel into the bladder at orgasm. It may also have something to do with the known variation in size and shape of the glands, or be that some women don’t produce PSA in the first place.
Every woman capable
Why some women experience these different types of ejaculation and others don’t is not yet clear, says Salama, but he believes every woman is capable of squirting “if their partner knows what they are doing”.
For now, Salama is not investigating that particular avenue, but instead working on a protocol to test whether the kidneys work faster to produce urine during sexual stimulation than at other times, and if so, why.
The ban on female ejaculation in UK porn is based on the fact that the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) considers films which include material featuring “urolagnia” – sexual pleasure associated with urination – as obscene under the UK Obscene Publications Act.
However, the wording of the law actually appears to be referring to squirting – not female ejaculation. So this new paper may support the current legal position, since it shows it is essentially involuntary urination. Presumably, under current UK law, if a woman were to have what is considered a true female ejaculation – the expulsion of a small amount of milky white fluid – and the BBFC were satisfied that this did not contain urea – this act would not be subject to the ban.
Journal reference: The Journal of Sexual Medicine, DOI: 10.1111/jsm.12799
More on these topics:
What Exactly Is Female Ejaculation—and Can Every Woman Do It?
Female ejaculation has something of a mythical reputation when it comes to sexual health topics. Everyone has questions: Can women actually ejaculate like men? If a woman can, is that even normal? And what comes out, anyway? To get answers, we reached out to sex experts, who separated the myths from the facts.
What exactly is female ejaculation?
Put simply, “vaginal ejaculation is the expulsion of fluid through the urethra during sexual arousal (but not necessarily orgasm),” New York–based sex educator Corinne Kai tells Health.
Does that mean a woman can ejaculate like a guy? Well, that is why the phenomenon is colloquially known as squirting. But “what women define as ‘ejaculation’ varies widely, and there is no accepted scientific standard for qualifying as female ejaculation by the volume or speed of the expulsion,” Nicole Prause, PhD, a sex researcher at UCLA, tells Health.
RELATED: 9 Things You Can Do to Make It Easier to Have an Orgasm During Sex
So while one woman might experience more of a forceful stream of liquid, another might feel a gushing sensation. “The fluid amount tends to range between 30 and 150 milliliters,” says Kai, which can be just a drop of liquid or so much that you soak your bedsheets. “Sometimes people don’t even realize they ejaculated until they move and see a wet spot, while others can feel when it’s happening,” she adds. “It depends on your body.”
Where does the fluid come from?
The first major study that looked into squirting back in 2014 determined the liquid was…pee. Yep, “the fluid comes from the bladder,” says Prause. Researchers found urea, creatinine, and uric acid concentrations—all major components of urine—in the excretions of all seven study participants. (Keep in mind that’s a tiny sample size, and it’s hardly considered representative of half the world’s population).
But the ejaculate is also…not pee. “Many have argued that squirting isn’t real and that people who experience this just need to go to the bathroom before sex,” says Kai. “It is released through your urethra, but it’s been found to resemble enzymes found in male prostate fluid.” The male prostate gland sits between the bladder and penis and secretes fluid to help nourish sperm.
RELATED: Your G-Spot: What It Is, How to Find It, and All the Things It Can Do for Your Sex Life
While the liquid may contain small amounts of urine, additional research suggests that the milky white fluid comes from the Skene’s glands, which are “tucked inside the wall of your vagina near the urethra sponge, right at the G-spot,” says Kai. “The location explains why sensations along this erogenous zone have been associated with vaginal ejaculation.”
Male ejaculate delivers sperm to the female reproductive system, and procreation depends on it. But scientists aren’t quite sure of the purpose of the Skene’s glands, which are also known as the female prostate. Nor do they understand the reason women ejaculate.
“There have been many studies done about whether or not vaginal ejaculation is related to the menstrual cycle or pregnancy, but none have been proven,” says Kai. “However, some researchers have found that vaginal ejaculation could provide a secretion that could protect against UTIs or even contain antimicrobial components like zinc.”
Can all women ejaculate?
If you believe the multitude of squirting videos that exist on porn websites, it certainly seems so. “I suspect that ‘female ejaculation’ is portrayed as a way to suggest that the female performers are actually turned on,” says Prause. Thanks to their availability on porn sites, female ejaculation has become somewhat of a novelty—and also something many women think they should be able to do.
RELATED: We Asked 8 Women What an Orgasm Feels Like to Them—Here’s What They Told Us
Yet only 10% to 50% of women experience “involuntary ejaculation,” according to the International Society for Sexual Medicine. Because “we don’t know how this expulsion is triggered, it’s impossible to know at this time whether some women may be more or less prone to experience it,” says Prause.
So despite what porn would have you believe, not every person with a vagina can or will experience ejaculation. “Sex researchers that G-spot stimulation increases the probability of being able to experience ejaculation, and sex coaches have said that it can be learned,” says Kai. “It’s likely that the sensation before vaginal ejaculation holds people back from releasing their muscles and allowing it to happen. It can feel like you have to pee right before vaginal ejaculation, which is linked to a lot of shame or embarrassment in people not wanting to pee on their partners.”
If you have never ejaculated but want to give it a try, it certainly can’t hurt. At the very least, you’ll get a lot of pleasure out all the G-spot stimulation, and if you are able to ejaculate, it might be a turn-on for you (or your partner). But as novel as the idea of squirting may seem, remember this: No research has linked female ejaculation to better sex. Your pleasure in bed definitely doesn’t depend on your ability to ejaculate or not.
RELATED: Yes, There Are 11 Different Types of Orgasms. Here’s How to Have Each
Website access code
Up until now, the scientific literature was pretty much as divided as the internet on whether the large amount of fluid emitted from women upon orgasm represents “real” female ejaculate, or whether it is simply urine (there is a remarkably large body of literature on this topic, both scientific and trashy, and everywhere in between). Previous experimentshave focused on determining the liquid’s chemical makeup, finding it to be chemically identical to urine, but these studies ignored the physical source of the copious fluid. Here, the researchers take it one step further by performing ultrasounds before and after ejaculation, as well as testing the biochemical properties of the liquid. It turns out that not only is it chemically identical to urine, but the bladder empties during the period of ejaculation coinciding with orgasm. So there you have it: it’s probably just pee after all!
Nature and Origin of “Squirting” in Female Sexuality.
“INTRODUCTION: During sexual stimulation, some women report the discharge of a noticeable amount of fluid from the urethra, a phenomenon also called “squirting.”
To date, both the nature and the origin of squirting remain controversial. In this investigation, we not only analyzed the biochemical nature of the emitted fluid, but also explored the presence of any pelvic liquid collection that could result from sexual arousal and explain a massive fluid emission.
METHODS: Seven women, without gynecologic abnormalities and who reported recurrent and massive fluid emission during sexual stimulation, underwent provoked sexual arousal. Pelvic ultrasound scans were performed after voluntary urination (US1), and during sexual stimulation just before (US2) and after (US3) squirting. Urea, creatinine, uric acid, and prostatic-specific antigen (PSA) concentrations were assessed in urinary samples before sexual stimulation (BSU) and after squirting (ASU), and squirting sample itself (S).
RESULTS: In all participants, US1 confirmed thorough bladder emptiness. After a variable time of sexual excitation, US2 (just before squirting) showed noticeable bladder filling, and US3 (just after squirting) demonstrated that the bladder had been emptied again. Biochemical analysis of BSU, S, and ASU showed comparable urea, creatinine, and uric acid concentrations in all participants. Yet, whereas PSA was not detected in BSU in six out of seven participants, this antigen was present in S and ASU in five out of seven participants.
CONCLUSIONS: The present data based on ultrasonographic bladder monitoring and biochemical analyses indicate that squirting is essentially the involuntary emission of urine during sexual activity, although a marginal contribution of prostatic secretions to the emitted fluid often exists.”
Peeing During Sex: Causes, Treatment, and More
If you think you may be urinating during sex, talk to your doctor. They can help determine whether you’re urinating or experiencing the results of orgasm. If you’re urinating during sex, your doctor can recommend treatment options to help you control your incontinence.
Strengthen your pelvic floor muscles
If you’re a woman, your doctor may recommend seeing a physical therapist who specializes in the muscles of the female pelvis. Weighted vaginal cones or biofeedback techniques can help to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, in addition to Kegel exercises.
Kegel exercises can add strength to your pelvic floor muscles, the muscles that support the organs in your pelvis, and the sphincter muscles that open and close when you urinate or have a bowel movement. Kegel exercises can have a number of benefits, including:
- improved bladder control
- improved fecal incontinence, which is involuntary bowel movements
- increased blood flow to sex organs and enhance sexual pleasure
In men, Kegels may help with not only urinary incontinence, but also erectile dysfunction. One small study showed that 40 percent of men who had erectile dysfunction for more than six months had their symptoms completely resolve with a combination of pelvic floor physical therapy and at-home Kegel exercises.
The exercises can be done standing, sitting, or lying down, and they can be done just about any time or place. It’s a good idea to empty your bladder before doing them.
First locate the muscles. This is done while peeing and stopping midstream. The muscles you used to pause urination are what you’ll be working on.
Once you’ve identified those muscles, tighten them when you’re not peeing, holding them for five seconds, then completely relax them. Don’t clench your abdominal, leg, or buttock muscles. The relaxing part is important, too. Muscles function by contracting and relaxing.
Work up to a goal of 20 at a time, three to four times a day, and tightening your pelvic floor muscles for five seconds at a time.
Bladder training helps you gain better control of your bladder. This enables you to go for increasingly longer periods of time between urinating. It could be done in conjunction with Kegel exercises.
Bladder training consists of using the restroom on a fixed schedule, whether or not you feel the urge to go. Relaxation techniques help suppress the urge if you feel the need to urinate before the scheduled time. Gradually, the periods of time between bathroom breaks can be increased by 15 minute intervals, with an ultimate goal of going three to four hours between urinating. It may take 6 to 12 weeks before you get to your goal.
For some people, lifestyle changes can help prevent urination during sex:
- Try different positions during sex. That may help you find one that doesn’t place pressure on your bladder.
- Empty your bladder before sex.
- If you’re overweight, weight loss can help. Your doctor can help you come up with a diet and fitness plan.
- Limit intake of beverages and food containing caffeine or alcohol. Caffeine and alcohol act as diuretics, as well as being bladder irritants, so they can increase your urge to urinate.
- Avoid drinking too much right before sexual activity. That will reduce the amount of urine in your bladder.
Medications and other treatments
Medications are usually given only if pelvic floor exercise and lifestyle changes aren’t effective in relieving symptoms. Medications that are often prescribed to treat incontinence include:
- medications that reduce bladder spasms, such as darifenacin (Enablex), solifenacin (VESIcare), and oxybutynin chloride (Ditropan)
- antispasmodic, anti-tremor medications such as hyoscyamine (Cystospaz, Levsin, Anaspaz)
- Botox injections into your bladder muscle
- electrical stimulation
- surgery to increase the size of your bladder
Learn more: Botox for overactive bladder “
The sudden need to pee while you’re in the middle of having sex can be an awkward prospect. One second you’re enjoying intercourse with your partner and the next you have to run to the bathroom. So, is it perfectly normal to need to pee at the worst possible time, or should you see a doctor?
The urge to urinate during sex is actually a lot more common than you might think. ‘It can be completely normal to feel the urge to pee during sexual intercourse. In fact around 60 per cent of women feel the urge to pee during sex,’ says Dr Sherry A. Ross, MD OB/GYN, a women’s health expert and author of she-ology. The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period
Here is everything you need to know about bladder control during sexy time, including what you can do to fix it:
Make sure you pee before AND after sex
You’ve probably heard the (somewhat) common advice to always pee after sex in order to prevent a urinary tract infection (UTI). While this information is absolutely correct, you should also be sure to pee before sex as well if you want to minimise mid-coitus pee breaks.
The urethra and bladder are adjacent to the vaginal canal. When the bladder is full, sex can make urgency more apparent – and even cause it.
‘Since the bladder sits directly on top of the vagina, the act of a penis or dildo going in and out of the vagina creates the sensation of the urge to pee,’ says Ross. As you move during intercourse, the bladder gets, well, bumped around a bit. Your sexual organs are all quite close to one another.
The urethra and bladder are adjacent to the vaginal canal. When the bladder is full, sex can make urgency more apparent
‘It’s not uncommon that people feel like you need to pee because of the pressure being applied to the bladder through vaginal insertion of a toy/penis or the position they’re in during sex,’ explains Kristine D’Angelo, a certified sex coach and clinical sexologist.
Make a pit stop to the bathroom before sex to ensure this doesn’t happen to you. If anything, it will give you peace of mind to know you’re not squishing an overly full bladder before getting busy.
Vaginal dryness and needing to pee
If you always feel the need to pee during sex, the easiest solution could be investing in some reliable lube. Vaginal dryness can lead to irritation of the urethral canal, resulting in a sense of urgency during sex.
‘Prevent vaginal dryness or irritation by using proper lubrication. This could help eliminate vaginal tissue from becoming inflamed, affecting the urethral tube which could make you feel like you have to pee,’ D’Angelo says.
There are tons of lubes to choose from. We recommend opting for a reliable water-based product that is free of parabens and glycerine. Our favourite is Yes WB. You can also use a high-quality silicone-based lube like Pjur lube. The mucus-rich tissue of the vagina and vulva are some of the most highly absorbent in the human body. Don’t use low-grade ingredients.
💡When it comes to sexual play of any kind, invest in some lube. The more lube the better. Even if you think you get wet enough, lube makes everything better. You’ll have better sex and more orgasms.
The G-spot is located within the first few inches inside of the vaginal canal. To locate it, insert one or two fingers into the vagina and hook up toward the belly button. It should feel like a walnut textured patch. This spot is less of a “spot” and more of a G-spot “area.” It is the backend of the clitoris. This area lives in close proximity to the urethral sponge and Skene’s Glands – the glands responsible for female ejaculation.
When the G-spot is activated, it can simultaneously stimulate the urethral sponge and urethra, causing the sensation to urinate. Additionally, when the Skene’s Glands fill with fluid, it can add further pressure to the urethra. So chances are you don’t really need to pee, it just feels that way.
When the G-spot, which is connected to the clitoral network, is massaged it begins to swell with prostatic fluids.
‘When the G-spot, which is connected to the clitoral network, is massaged or experiences friction it begins to swell with prostatic fluids, when ejaculated through the urethra it can be confused with peeing but actually it’s got a small amount of urea present,’ D’Angelo explains. Needing to pee is often the preface for squirting.
When to see a GP about frequent urination
Needing to pee during sex is usually normal, but there are times when you should consult your doctor or gynaecologist. For instance, if the urgency is accompanied by pain, this could indicate an infection of the bladder or a UTI. You should always talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing pain during intercourse.
Another reason a constant need to urinate might be happening? Weak pelvic floor muscles. ‘If you have any problems with pelvic floor weakness from a vaginal birth, chronic coughing, sneezing, constipation or regular high-impact exercises this can also lead to an urge to pee during sex,’ Ross explains.
The best way to strengthen the pelvic floor is by doing Kegel exercises. To get started read our guide to pelvic floor exercises! Get the go-ahead from your doctor before trying anything new if you have any concerns about your health.
💟 Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, sexologist, educator, and writer living in Chicago. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @GigiEngle.
Last updated: 18-11-19
Gigi Engle Sex coach and sexologist Gigi Engle is a certified sex coach, sexologist, sex educator and writer.Gigi promotes and teaches pleasure-based sex education, masturbation, and safer sex practices. She also serves as a Pleasure Professional with O.School, where she teaches a number of classes centered around pleasure, sexual health, and confidence.
Let’s just be honest for a sec: Sex isn’t like it is in the movies. Like, not even in the slightest. In the majority of onscreen scenes of fiery passion, there’s little if any time dedicated to the awkward moments of finding a condom or dealing with body-image issues. But IRL leading ladies have some worries in the bedroom.
A survey from Pure Romance, a company that hosts sex-accessory parties, that looked into the sex habits of 2,000 Americans, provided insight into both men and women’s top between-the-sheets fears. While men said they feared not lasting long enough or being able to maintain an erection, women were caught up in thinking about what their bodies look like and hoping they don’t smell bad. But the standout issue women reported worrying about was having to go to the bathroom during sex. And that’s something Adeeti Gupta, MD, founder of Walk In GYN Care in New York City, says you probably don’t need to be too concerned about.
Unless you have a full bladder or deal with urinary incontinence issues on a regular basis from a weakened pelvic floor, there’s a good chance your body is just sending you mixed signals.
When you’re having sex, the friction that occurs can sometimes confuse the sensations that are going on down there, making you feel like you’re going to pee. Also, that urge might just be female ejaculation or due to the natural moisture that occurs: “‘Squirting’ during an intense orgasm may be confused with peeing by some women,” Dr. Gupta says. “Excessive normal vaginal secretions during sex may also make you feel super-wet down there, giving you a sensation that you might have leaked.” But, unless you have a full bladder or deal with urinary incontinence issues on a regular basis from a weakened pelvic floor, there’s a good chance your body is just sending you mixed signals, she says.
It’s also worth noting that your vagina and bladder are located in super-close proximity. So, the act of sex can unintentionally put pressure on your bladder that can make you feel like you’re going to pee. But if sexy-time tinkling is a fear of yours, maybe go to the bathroom before climbing in bed so you can fully enjoy yourself worry-free.
Sex experts answered all your burning questions about getting it on. Or, find out how sex is different after having kids—and why that’s a good thing.
Let’s talk squirting. Otherwise known as female ejaculate, it’s the liquid that sometimes comes out of your body during and/or post-orgasm. For some women, it may happen every time they experience an O—but for others, it may never happen at all.
Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of info or research out there on squirting though, so TBD what the actual liquid is, where it comes out of, and what causes someone to squirt. Honestly, it just might be the greatest mystery of our generation.
But to help clear things up, here’s what five women had to say about the sensation they feel when they squirt. And don’t worry: It’s totally normal to squirt but also totally normal not to.
How did you first discover you were capable of squirting?
- “It was during a yonic massage. They are given by licensed practitioners. It’s like going for a full-body massage—but for your vulva. The entire massage was three hours long, and toward the buildup at the end, my body released fluid after a long time of G-spot stimulation. The first time, I wasn’t sure if I had squirted, so I asked and was shown the fluid on a towel.” —Kat, 30
- “I first discovered it in college with my then-boyfriend. He was fingering my G-spot and I felt as if I had to simultaneously pee and orgasm. I was so relaxed and in the moment that I just went with it. All of a sudden, I felt a huge release and felt a sudden wetness.” —Sally, 35
- “I had been doing some research on squirting, and one thing that came up a lot was to just let go and let your body do what it wanted while you were having an orgasm, so I tried it. At first, it felt like I had to pee, so I wanted to hold it. But when I just let go, I realized I could squirt.” —Tayshia*, 27
- “It happened a few months ago. My partner was going down on me and fingering me at the same time, and all of a sudden, the sheets were soaked. It was totally random. I knew about squirting but I was definitely not trying to squirt.” —Jarin*, 22
- “I first noticed I was having more intense orgasms and they were more wet than usual, but I didn’t know squirting was a thing. Then I had an orgasm in missionary and it seemed as if I just peed, although the feeling was far from it. After that experience, my partner suggested I might be squirting and explained what it was. It sounded like something that only happened in porn. Then I went online and read more about it, and the descriptions fit what I felt.” —Cady*, 28
How did it feel, physically speaking?
- “Physically, it felt like a deep letting go. Which is much different than a clitoral orgasm that has a definite buildup and then a ‘spike’ at the top point of the orgasm. For me, as I neared my G-spot orgasm and squirting, I physically let my muscles in my vagina relax, which released the fluid.” —Kat, 30
- “It felt like a huge pressure was building up and then…released. It was almost like peeing while orgasming, except that the release is like a dam bursting. In other words, it’s a widespread gush instead of a focused stream. It’s an odd analogy, but you know the feeling of tension release during a massage—when they press into a muscle and it just releases, and all these muscles you didn’t realize were tight just let loose? It feels like that but centered around my vagina instead of my back.” —Sally, 35
- “It felt amazing! When I squirted, I got this warm, excited feeling that made me arch my back and squeeze every muscle in my body.” —Tayshia, 27
- “I didn’t even know it was happening until the sheets were soaked underneath me. I was under the impression squirting only happened during orgasm, but for me, it did not. I was certainly feeling pleasure but it wasn’t anything out of the norm, pleasure-wise.” —Jarin, 22
- “Right before, I felt like my body temperature rose from between my legs to my stomach and legs. Then I felt a soft tremor on the inside of my thighs and the urge to pee, like a need for release. When I orgasmed, my legs shook a bit and I felt a warm liquid—thicker than urine—come out.” —Cady, 28
And how did you feel about it afterward, emotionally?
- “Emotionally, it feels like letting go—almost like softening and a surrendering. It was opening up in a way that simply isn’t felt in other experiences of intimacy. It feels vulnerable—like allowing someone to truly see me and feel me on a deeper soul level.” —Kat, 35
- “I felt embarrassed at first. My partner stopped thinking I had peed. I would have thought so too if it wasn’t for the fact I had just gone to the bathroom before and the smell was sweet. It was such a U-turn to go from ecstasy and release to feeling confused, ashamed, and clamming up. I avoided partners fingering my G-spot for a long time after that.” —Sally, 35
- “When I was younger and still learning about my body, I used to feel bad because I didn’t understand it much. But as I got older, I realized it is a natural thing, and emotionally, it makes me happy. It’s almost like I can feel the endorphins going through my body and I feel on top of the world.” —Tayshia, 27
- “At first, I was so embarrassed because I really thought it was pee, but my partner was very supportive. Once I smelled it and realized it didn’t smell like pee at all, I was excited to have squirted.” —Jarin, 22
- “After I squirt, I still get embarrassed because my first thought is that I peed, and the extra wetness feels weird and out of place, like something I need to clean right away. I’ve only squirted with my husband, and since he knows I feel some shame, he reassures me that it’s normal and sexy.” —Cady, 28
Do you squirt every time you have sex, or is it something that only happens sometimes?
- “I’ve actually never squirted during actual intercourse. When I’ve squirted, it was through manual stimulation with fingers.” —Kat, 30
- “I squirt in about 25 percent of my orgasms. My now-husband loves it! It’s as if my squirting is an accomplishment for him, which makes me feel incredibly sexy and celebrated. It’s so empowering.” —Sally, 35
- “I’ve never actually squirted during penetrative sex, only during masturbation or when I receive oral sex. It’s something I’ve tried to achieve but I just have to keep trying.” —Tayshia, 27
- “It’s only happened a few times. It tends to happen when I’ve already had sex a few times that day.” —Jarin, 22
- “I don’t always squirt and I’m not sure what causes me to do so, physically. It happens more often with penetration and simultaneous masturbation and is more likely to happen when there’s more time between sex. I have no way to control it or predict it. I orgasm anyway without the squirting.” —Cady, 28
Are there any particular positions that make it more likely for you?
- “Hand and finger position are important when stimulating manually. First, it’s important to start slow and gentle and, as arousal increases, to increase speed and pressure. Once arousal is high, using more pressure with both fingers in a come-hither motion forward stimulates the G-spot and primes for squirting.” —Kat, 30
- “My husband fingering me works best. The best sex position is cowgirl when he’s rubbing my clit or any other position if I’m really, really turned on. But again, this leads to squirting much less consistently than fingering.” —Sally, 35
- “Although I haven’t squirted during sex yet, I think the two positions that would make it more likely for me are cowgirl because I have more control and the spooning position because of the closeness my partner and I have.” —Tayshia, 27
- “The only times I’ve ever squirted are when my partner was going down on me and fingering me at the same time.” —Jarin, 22
- “Me on top and simultaneous manual clitoris stimulation. Missionary but certain angles in which the clitoris rubs against him and this one but lying down entirely with simultaneous clitoris stimulation.” —Cady, 28
How does your partner(s) feel about it?
- “He loved it! It literally would light up his entire face. It turned me on and brought me a lot of joy and pleasure to witness how much pleasure he experienced. This made me feel like it’s a shared experience together rather than just me being the only one in pleasure.” —Kat, 30
- “I’m currently single, but my past partners have actually loved getting squirted on. It turned them on and made sex more enjoyable.” —Tayshia, 27
- “My partner did not mind at all. Putting a towel down is not a big deal.” —Jarin, 22
- “He finds it sexy and it makes him feel like he’s in a porn movie. He gets more excited than I do when it happens.” —Cady, 28
How do you think squirting is perceived by the rest of society?
- “I think it tends to be taboo because a lot of people don’t understand it or their bodies. Also, many people think squirting doesn’t exist and women are just out here peeing on themselves, which is definitely not the case. I think if those people gave squirting an honest chance and relaxed their bodies more, they would realize how much of a real and pleasurable experience it is.” —Tayshia, 27
- “Before I squirted, I was convinced squirting was pee. I also thought it only coincided with an orgasm. Now that I’ve experienced it, I know that isn’t the case.” —Jarin, 22
- “I think there’s lack of information about it and it’s not a regular conversation topic. If anything, it’s spoken of as a myth or conflated with urine, so it’s easy to be judgmental of it.” —Cady, 28
Related Story Carina Hsieh Sex & Relationships Editor Carina Hsieh lives in NYC with her French Bulldog Bao Bao — follow her on Instagram and Twitter • Candace Bushnell once called her the Samantha Jones of Tinder • She enjoys hanging out in the candle aisle of TJ Maxx and getting lost in Amazon spirals. Taylor Andrews Taylor is one of the sex and relationship editors who can tell you exactly which vibrators are worth the splurge, why you’re still dreaming about your ex, and tips on how to have the best sex of your life (including what word you should spell with your hips during cowgirl sex)—oh, and you can follow her on Instagram here.
Science Says Yes to Female Ejaculation
For a guy, orgasm is synonymous with ejaculation. The notion that women also sometimes spurt fluid at the height of orgasm has been debated for centuries. There is no question that sometimes things can get pretty wet, but is the fluid urine? Lubrication from the vaginal walls? Or is there actually a spurt of fluid from one of the lubricating peri-urethral glands?
In this month’s issue of The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Dr. Zlato Pastor reviewed all the studies on this phenomenon to once and for all determine the truth. (This is an excellent topic of conversation when you get tired of discussing the current government crises.) Dr. Pastor reports that somewhere between 10-54% of women (depending on the study) report fluid expulsion during arousal or orgasm. Fluid could simply be from increased vaginal lubrication, but when most women describe “ejaculation” they are referring to a gush or spurt that occurs with orgasm as opposed to increased vaginal wetness from sexual activity. This emission is generally as a result of one of three phenomenons:
- A small gush of whitish fluid from tiny glands on the side of the urethra, called Skene’s peri-urethral glands, but also sometimes referred to as the “female prostate”
- Urine expelled from the bladder. Coital Incontinence (CI) is divided into 2 groups: women that have problems with incontinence in general, including during sexual activity, and women who lose urine only during orgasm. Women who squirt urine only during orgasm usually don’t identify it as urine because it is far more dilute and doesn’t smell or look like urine even though it comes out of the bladder.
- A combination of both
This is actually harder to study than it sounds since most studies rely on questionnaires and a woman’s perception of where the fluid is coming from rather than visual confirmation. Master’s and Johnson recorded only rare instances of female ejaculation in their observation of over 3000 couples.
Experts all agree that many women experience “female ejaculation’. There are enough scientists that believe female ejaculation from lubricating glands to be a true phenomenon and far be it from me to say it isn’t so. Clearly, women expel a variety of fluids during sexual activity and orgasm. I will say, I have yet to have a patient complain that she doesn’t ejaculate, or that she used to ejaculate and would like to “fix it “. So, if you do notice a spurt or gush of fluid at the height of ecstasy, it is nothing to worry about. If you are not, it’s not something that needs fixing.
Here’s a fact that might surprise you: All women have the physical ability to squirt—aka ejaculate, just like men—it’s just a matter of pushing the right “buttons” to make it happen. But what is squirting, exactly?
“Female ejaculation is normal,” says Marissa Nelson, LMFT, certified sex therapist. “Some women already ejaculate, some haven’t learned how, and some hold back to prevent themselves from doing it.”
That’s right—if you haven’t squirted before, it could be because you’ve never tried, or never tried to lose enough inhibitions to let it happen. If you or are your partner are curious about how to make the famous squirt happen (or are just open to exploring something new in the bedroom), here are a few more helpful facts to know.
It’s Not Pee…
Contrary to what you may have heard, the fluid that women release when they ejaculate is not urine. “Female ejaculate is a watery liquid, either clear or milky, that comes from the female prostate glands and is released through the urethra, the same hole you pee out of,” says Nelson. “But it doesn’t smell or look like urine at all.”
…But You Might Pee at the Same Time
While squirting itself is entirely different than urinating, it’s not unheard of for a woman who squirts to pee—or at least feel like she has to pee—at the same time. “The sensation to pee during G-spot stimulation is very normal, since the tissue around your urethra is flooded with blood and the tissue contracts and presses against your bladder,” says Nelson. “If you’d rather not urinate—or if you want to be able to tell the difference between peeing and squirting—take a quick pee break and then continue. If you still have the strong urge to pee in the first couple of minutes after you emptied your bladder, you can be sure that it’s ejaculate, not urine, that’s going to come out.”
It Happens When You Stimulate Your G-Spot
If you want to up your odds of squirting, there’s a specific area down there that you should focus on: Your G-spot. “Most women who ejaculate do so as a result of touching there,” says Nelson. “The G-spot swells when aroused, so it’s best to try to go to work on it when you’re already aroused from foreplay or clitoral stimulation.” Refresher course: Your G-spot is located two to three inches into the vagina, close to the front of the vaginal wall, and feels like a spongy, raised bump or ridge.
You Might Be Accidentally Sabotaging Your Ability to Squirt
Because some women associate the feeling before ejaculation with urinating, or because they might be worried about what’s going to come out, they may be hindering their capacity to squirt—even unconsciously. Pro tip: Pee before having sex, and after that, just focus on orgasm, no matter what kind of pressure you feel in your abdomen. “For most women who ejaculate, orgasm and ejaculation happen at the same time,” says Nelson. “Some women can ejaculate before or after orgasm, or even ejaculate without having an orgasm—and, of course, lots of women orgasm without ejaculating—so it really varies from woman to woman, and in the end, it’s all normal.” And if you’re worried about how much is going to come out of you, there’s no real way to predict it. It can be anything from a few drops to a cup or two of liquid, says Nelson, so if you’re really serious about making it happen, you might want to have a towel or tissues handy (or do it on laundry day).
Anyone Can Make You Squirt—Including You
You don’t need a partner to make your squirting fantasy come true. You just need to know how to touch the G-spot right, says Nelson. “Stimulate the G-spot using a come-hither finger motion with one or two fingers,” she says. “When you feel that telltale urge to pee, take whatever you’re using to touch yourself out so that the ejaculate can flow out when you squirt.” As for the most effective things to make that happen: “The G-spot can best be reached by direct stimulation from a penis or a partner’s finger, fingering yourself, or using a toy designed for G-spot access.”
A version of this article originally appeared in November 2016.
This Is What’s Actually Happening When A Woman “Squirts” During Sex
When aroused, some women may experience squirting, or a rather noticeable discharge of fluid. What it is exactly and where it comes from has been hotly debated: female ejaculation or adult bedwetting? Researchers are now saying that squirting is essentially involuntary urination.
Female ejaculate is technically the small amount of milky white fluid that’s expressed when climaxing, New Scientist explains. Squirting, on the other hand, results in a much larger gush of a clear fluid, which comes from the urethra, the duct where urine is conveyed from the bladder. The findings, which combine biochemical analyses with pelvic ultrasounds, were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine on Christmas Eve.
A French team led by Samuel Salama from Hopital Privé de Parly II recruited seven healthy women—who’ve reported recurrent and massive fluid emission (enough to fill a cup) during sexual stimulation—to undergo “provoked sexual arousal.” The team conducted pelvic ultrasound scans after urination and during sexual excitation just before and after the squirting event.
All of the women had empty bladders before sexual excitation, however, urine collected just before squirting showed that the bladder was filling up. Urine sampled after squirting revealed that the bladder had been emptied again, revealing the origin of the squirted liquid.
The researchers also analyzed chemical concentrations in the urine samples (before arousal and after squirting) as well as the squirting sample itself. These included urea, uric acid, creatinine (a byproduct of muscle metabolism), and prostatic-specific antigen (PSA). The latter is a protein that’s produced in men’s prostate glands and in the “female prostate” called the Skene glands; PSA is found in “true” female ejaculate. Urea, uric acid, and creatinine concentrations were comparable in all of the urine and squirt samples. However, PSA, which was not detected before sexual simulation in six of the women’s urine samples, were present in urine collected after squirting and in the squirt sample in five of the women.
Squirting, they found, is essentially the involuntary emission of urine during sexual activity—though there’s also a small contribution of prostatic secretions as well. Salama’s team is now working on a protocol to test whether the kidneys work faster to produce urine during sexual stimulation than at other times, New Scientist explains. And if so, why.
The science behind female ejaculation
Fair warning, this article will make reference to squirting, gushing and the G-spot. Now that’s out of the way, let’s have a candid discussion about female ejaculation. While pornography featuring female ejaculation has been banned in the UK, it represents the third most searched category in Australia and has been a consistent point of curiosity throughout history. Many of you may be surprised to learn that females are capable of ejaculation, however, the phenomena has been written about from as early as 4 Century China, where the liquids excreted during orgasm were believed to be imbued with mystical and healthful properties.
As it turns out, during orgasm some women (10-40 per cent) experience the involuntary emission of fluid ranging from 30 to 150mL. This has become known colloquially as squirting, though this usually refers to a larger amount of liquid being excreted. In the Western world, great minds like Aristotle and Hippocrates have pondered the origins of ‘female sperm’ and ‘female discharge’ but the earliest approximations of scientific investigation were some rudimentary physiological descriptions appearing in everyone’s favourite bed-time read, the Kama Sutra. In the following centuries, female ejaculation continued to fascinate but it was not until the early 1900’s that any real progress was made in working out the source of this mysterious discharge.
In 1904, psychologist Havelock Ellis proposed that female ejaculation was analogous to semen and originated from the Bartholin glands (two pea-sized glands responsible for secreting mucous which lubricates the vagina). Almost 50 years later, Ernest Gräfenberg opposed this view by arguing that female ejaculation had little to do with lubrication. He came to this conclusion by observing women masturbate, noting that ejaculation occurred more frequently with palpation of an erogenous zone on the front wall of the vagina which became later known as the G-spot.
Interestingly, ancient descriptions of this erogenous zone closely match Gräfenberg’s centuries later work. It was Gräfenberg’s contention that female ejaculation was secretion from intraurethral glands located underneath the G-spot. It was not, Gräfenberg was adamant, urine, which was the leading alternative hypothesis at the time.
One man’s opinion is far from conclusive and in 1982 researchers undertook chemical analysis of female ejaculate and a clearer picture began to form. This landmark study demonstrated a clear difference between the liquid excreted during orgasm and urine, a finding that was later confirmed by several independent scientific studies. From these results, it was posited that female ejaculate originated from the Skene’s glands: the equivalent of a female prostate.
Yet the scientific community remains divided, some questioning the very existence of the G-spot while others question the vast differences in the amount of fluid expressed by women. Some women report very little liquid (2-4mL) resembling watered-down milk, while others express far greater volume. This has led some researchers to maintain that squirting is actually an involuntary emission of urine, or hyper lubrication. A recent study published out of Le Chesnay, France conducted by Samuel Salama and his colleagues sought to lay these questions to rest by combining ultra-sound imaging with chemical analysis of higher volume female ejaculate.
The researchers recruited seven women who self-reported that they squirted the equivalent to a glass of water during orgasm, enough to noticeably wet the bed-sheets. The women provided a urine sample, and then underwent an ultrasound that confirmed that their bladders were indeed empty. The women then, either with the help of their partner or alone, began sexual stimulation and once sufficiently aroused underwent a second ultrasound. At this point, the women returned to the task at hand until they achieved orgasm and ejaculation. A sample of the ejaculate was collected and the final ultrasound performed.
Unsurprisingly, the first ultrasound showed that participants’ bladders had emptied. However, the second ultrasound, conducted when the women were close to orgasm, showed significant bladder filling. The final ultrasound once more showed that the women’s bladders were empty. This suggested that female ejaculation, at least for these women, was largely urine.
Biochemical analysis of the fluid showed that this was definitely the case for two of the women in the study. For the other five, the analysis showed that the fluid was largely urine but it also contained prostate-specific androgen (PSA) originating from the Skene’s glands. The authors of the study concluded that these results strongly support the hypothesis that female ejaculation is an involuntary urine emission. The presence of PSA was ruled to be residue of ‘true’ female ejaculation.
So is ‘squirting’ just pee? Yes and no. It seems that larger volume fluid emissions, or squirting, are for the most part urine. However, there does appear to be evidence that a smaller volume of fluid is actually female prostate secretion due to mechanical stimulation of the G-spot. Whether this constitutes ‘true’ female ejaculation remains to be seen as most previous studies include all ranges of fluid emission. Further, it is unknown conclusively whether these two forms of excretion are mutually exclusive, or whether there is some overlap as suggested by the presence of PSA in the urine of women in this study. Likely, women who are capable of ejaculation naturally vary in the amount of fluid they excrete.
The implications for personal and sexual health are also unclear. An international survey of women who were capable of ejaculating found that four of five reported that squirting was enriching to their sexual lives. However, this included any volume of fluid emission. Squirting generally results from a combination of stimulation of the G-spot, relaxation and a comfortable emotional state and can occur without any larger implications of disease, and may be an indicator of a healthy sexual relationship.
The only clear conclusion that the researchers draw from this latest study is a recommendation to urinate frequently before and during sexual activity if squirting presents a problem. Other than that, stay hydrated and have fun.
James Sherlock is a PhD Candidate at the School of Psychology, University of Queensland. His research includes investigating genetic variation in traits related to mate choice such as pathogen disgust and avoidance, mate preferences, and the mental and behavioural aspects of masculinity and femininity.
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Let’s imagine a yoga class with very wet mats. So wet, in fact, that towels are compulsory. Only, this isn’t a new form of Bikram, it’s a “squirtshop” – and it’s extremely hands on. In open-minded (and open-legged) circles, group classes have turned from exercise to ejaculation. ‘Squirtologist’ Tallulah Sulis travels the world from her San Francisco home to teach group self-pleasure to women. While Christine Borch, a Danish choreographer and spiritual thinker, hosts international Sacred Squirting workshops that encourage female ejaculation as a form of therapeutic emotional release.
This may all sound more ‘out there’ than ‘down there’, but what do we really know about female ejaculation – the mysterious wet patch plagued by associations with pee? The UK’s Digital Economy Bill even tried to ban it from porn – along with menstrual blood – in order to make X-rated movies less offensive. The ban was rejected by the House of Lords, but it makes you think: if we’re still being told that periods are dirty (FML), maybe everything we’ve been led to believe about female ejaculation is also… wrong.
Here, Deborah Sundahl, feminist sex educator and author of Female Ejaculation & the G-Spot explains where we’re at with the science, the stigma and where to touch if you’re curious.
Q Where does the fluid actually come from?
A “The fluid comes from our prostate gland – just like ejaculation from a man comes from his prostate. Biologically, the female prostate surrounds the urethral canal – and the urethral canal shares a wall with the vagina. So you feel the ridges of the female prostate through the roof of the vagina. It starts from the entrance of the vagina and runs 5cm in.”
Q So this is the G spot?
A “Think of it as an organ, not a spot. We’ve been told to look for this elusive one spot and jam away at it, but if you’re touching the roof of your vagina, up to about 5cm in, and you feel ridges – you’re there.”
Q No one likes jamming (thanks porn), so how should we touch the area?
A “Massage. Slow down – and if you think you’re going slowly, go slower. Call it self-care. Put your finger on it: breathe, relax, feel, and explore the ridges. Take 2 or 3 sessions to do this. In porn, you see this terrible jackhammer; it’s like taking a balloon full of water and pounding away at it – of course some fluid will come out, but it does nothing for a woman’s pleasure. Combine this ‘ramming’ culture with the fact that no one’s even been told that there’s a female prostate there – well, it’s no wonder women feel numb. When you’re told something doesn’t exist, you don’t see it.”
Q Does female ejaculation feel like an orgasm?
A “It’s pleasurable, but it feels like a release of fluid. It’s not an orgasm. Ejaculation and orgasm are two separate functions: you can have an orgasm without ejaculating; you can ejaculate without an orgasm.”
Q Hear the words ‘female ejaculation’ and people instantly think of pee. Is urine involved?
A “There’s no association. Men urinate and ejaculate from their urethra. Women urinate and ejaculate from their urethra. But one is pee and one is ejaculate. Would we call men’s ejaculate pee? No! It’s confusing because female ejaculate is clear and watery and can feel like the urge to pee. But about 100 scientific studies have been done on the composition of female ejaculate since 1982. It’s confirmed that the composition is 90% prostatic fluid, 10% glucose and a small amount of urea. So, yes, it has urea, but why focus on that. Do we focus on the 0.5% of urea that’s in male ejaculate? Society goes way beyond normal in dissecting female pleasure.”
Q What’s the biggest obstacle that stops women enjoying ejaculation?
A “Letting go – because we think it’s pee. When I take a poll in my workshops, 20% of women stop in the middle of sex to go to the bathroom, 30% go straight after. But it’s not like, “I’m just waiting to pee” – no, they are holding back that urge to ejaculate. But once women get the correct biological information, the pieces start to fall into place in their bodies and and their minds. Exploring any part of your body – prostate or otherwise – is incredibly empowering.”
Have a sex question or topic you’d like to know more about? Gemma would love to hear from you. Email her at [email protected]
Unlike its male counterpart, female orgasm is a covert, hidden experience, frequently recognizable only to the person experiencing it. (And sometimes, not even to that person: in rare cases, women can orgasm without even realizing it themselves.) There is no physical, visible proof of female orgasm, and by extension, no physical proof of female pleasure – unless, like me, you’re one of the women who can experience female ejaculation.
And yet, instead of serving as incontrovertible evidence of the existence of female sexual response and female orgasm, discussions of female ejaculation serve mainly to provide fodder for the debate about whether or not women can be trusted to accurately report their own sexual experiences.
Almost every conversation about female ejaculation devolves into a discussion of whether or not it is “real”. Though a whole genre of pornography is dedicated to celebrating the phenomenon, filmmakers are routinely accused of faking it with some kind of studio magic. When a recent scientific study investigating the phenomenon identified two forms of female ejaculation and argued that the more common “squirting” form was comprised primarily of fluid from the bladder, many crowed with delight to have “proof” that what ladies had “mistaken” for a sign of sexual pleasure was merely a form of arousal-induced incontinence. (Notably, the second, rarer form of female ejaculation – deemed more “legitimate” by the study – bore a slight resemblance to male ejaculate.)
The skepticism about women’s ability to understand their own sexual responses shows up in pop culture too; in the first season of Amazon’s Transparent, a character who mentions squirting with a partner is immediately asked whether she wasn’t merely urinating.
But why is there still an assumption that women can’t understand or describe what we experience during sex? It’s perfectly clear to any woman who has ejacluated that doing so is a unique experience unto itself – including me. At thirty-two, I’ve long forgotten many significant sexual firsts, but I do remember the first time I ejaculated: I was 19-years-old, in my apartment on the Upper West Side; as I played with a small vibrator, I felt something inside of me break open. For the previous year or so I’d been on Paxil, which had subdued and restrained my sexual response, even rendering me anorgasmic. But the liquid pooling on the floor below me was solid evidence that my ability to orgasm had finally been restored.
Female ejaculators know firsthand that even, if the fluid they emit during orgasm comes from the bladder, it looks, smells and feels different from urine. And it’s hard to ignore that the experience of spontaneously expelling fluid in the height of orgasm is fundamentally different from the more intentional act of voiding one’s bladder.
But regardless of the biological basis of female ejaculation, the physical experience is, at its heart, a pure expression of female sexual pleasure. Insisting that female ejaculation is really just confused urination doesn’t just denigrate women’s ability to understand our own bodies – it also positions female sexual pleasure as filthy, dirty, and ultimately less than the celebrated male orgasm.
To some, the question of whether female ejaculation is “real” may seem frivolous at best – an academic debate with little impact beyond how one handles clean-up in the bedroom. But the answer to this question has effects beyond our personal sex lives, and the stakes involved are real. Both Australian and UK obscenity codes ban female ejaculation from pornography on the basis that it might be urine and thus obscene. Since pornography is a visual medium and female ejaculation is the only visual evidence of female orgasm, this ban is tantamount to a wholesale censorship of female sexual pleasure in explicit media.
And in a world where women’s narratives about their sexual experiences are routinely called into question, the debate over female ejaculation serves as a reminder that, when it comes to sex, we still don’t believe women. Even when they’re literally wetting the bedsheets with proof.