Did you know that women can also ejaculate during sex? The phenomenon, also called “squirting,” is a popular topic when it comes to sexual health, and one that comes with a lot of questions.
Female ejaculation is a fairly common experience, but not something that gets talked about very often. To compare, just think of how many phrases there are for male ejaculation! Unrealistic portrayals of this phenomenon in media, as well as the stigma that still shrouds female pleasure, can warp both our understanding, and even our awareness of squirting as a natural, healthy part of sex for many women.
Let’s explore your biggest questions, learn more, and debunk some myths around female ejaculation.
What Is Female Ejaculation?
Despite its mysterious and mythical status, it’s real. Female ejaculation occurs during orgasm or sexual arousal, when the vulva (technically the urethra and skene’s glands) involuntarily release fluid. It certainly doesn’t get talked about much, but it’s a completely normal part of some women’s sexual experience.
While commonly referred to as “female ejaculation” a more accurate term would be urethral or vulvar ejaculation, which would be more inclusive of the experience. I mean, if you look up the definition of ejaculation you’re going to find a lot of talk about penises and nothing about your vulva.
Is Squirting the Same as Female Ejaculation?
While some researchers differentiate, for the most part, these terms are used interchangeably. There may technically be a difference, but we need more research to fully understand this.
Female ejaculation is the technical term, but you’ve likely heard the more common “squirting.” The name makes sense when you consider that the expectation of female ejaculation is heavily warped by exaggerated representations in media. The higher volume, shoot-the-wall squirting sometimes seen in explicit content is often actually forced urine, as the actors need to produce the effect in dramatic quantities, and on command. Please note this is really bad for the health of your pelvic floor and I don’t advise it.
While some people naturally squirt a high pressure or high volume gush, others may just release a trickle, or never experience it at all. In reality, squirting volumes vary greatly with some people producing 0.3ml to 150 ml — and they're all perfectly normal.
Where Does It Come From?
Squirting exits through the urethra, not the vagina. Researchers believe that female ejaculate is produced in the Skene’s glands, specialized tissues surrounding the urethra. The Skene’s glands are also known as the paraurethral gland, is the female equivalent of the male prostate.
What Is Female Ejaculate Made of?
Although female ejaculate leaves the body through the urethra, it is not (as was once believed) urine. There are some similarities to pee however, and female ejaculate does contain very dilute amounts of creatine and urea. But that doesn’t make it urine.
It also shares similarities to male ejaculate: specifically, the fluid from female ejaculation contains prostate specific antigens (PSAs) and prostatic acid phosphatase, both produced by the Skene’s gland in women.
Squirting is also different from vaginal discharge, or the slippery fluid that helps keep things lubricated and “wet” when you’re turned on.
Is It the Same as Urine?
No, squirting is different from peeing.
For a long time, many doctors and researchers wrongly believed that female ejaculate was actually just urine, further adding to the stigma and misinformation that still cloud so many aspects of women’s sexuality.
While ejaculate does pass through the urethra, and shares some common components found in urine (namely creatine and urea), it doesn’t appear to be solely pee.
Sexual Incontinence vs. Female Ejaculation
That said, urine leaking during sex is a fairly common problem, and is called sexual incontinence. Sex and arousal can put extra pressure on your bladder and urethra. Combined with weak pelvic floor muscles, or an overactive bladder, this could lead to some leaks — which, again, are different from squirting.
If you leak urine when you cough, sneeze, jump, or laugh, it’s time for a trip to a pelvic floor specialist.
Common Questions about Female Ejaculation
All right. We know what it is, we know what it isn’t, now let’s answer your real questions about female ejaculation: Is squirting normal? How do you recognize it? And for the curious, how can you try it yourself?
Is Female Ejaculation Normal?
For anyone Google-ing at home after accidentally soaking the sheets: Yes, squirting is perfectly normal. For some people, it happens with every orgasm. Some people only experience it occasionally, and others might never squirt at all. All are totally normal, and being able to squirt isn’t better or worse than not squirting.
Numbers vary, but one study surveying 18 to 39 year old women, found that 69% experienced ejaculation with orgasm. (And yes, that number probably made them giggle too.) The International Society for Sexual Medicine estimates that between 10-50% of women experience ejaculation with sex or orgasm.
The amount of fluid released can vary from about one-third of one milliliter to 150 ml. We’re talking over half a cup in some cases!
Some researchers have hypothesized that it may be a phenomenon where ejaculate flows back into the bladder instead of out through the urethra.
What Does Squirting Feel Like?
Like all things sex, this differs from person to person — most often it happens during or shortly before or after an orgasm. Some people describe female ejaculation as a feeling of intense release, different from the feeling of an orgasm. While the event can certainly surprise people the first time it happens, many people report feeling empowered by the experience.
Because of the positioning of the Skene’s glands, near the front wall of your vagina, squirting people often associated it with G-spot stimulation. However, there has been no concrete evidence that the G-spot does in fact exist and rather, any pleasurable stimulation to this area is more likely the result of stimulation of the clitoral complex.
Different positions, your level of arousal, and your own personal preferences and experiences can all affect how this feels to you.
What Does It Smell and Taste Like?
There is a difference between ejaculate, urine, and vaginal discharge. While it differs for everyone, female ejaculate tends to have no smell, and a slight sweet taste. It can be colorless or slightly white, like watery milk.
How to Have a Squirting Orgasm
First things first: don’t put pressure on yourself or your partner to squirt. Achieving a squirting orgasm is not “better” or “worse” than an orgasm without ejaculation, and feeling any anxiety or expectation to perform a certain way is only going to make things less enjoyable for everyone. Never try to force it, as you could damage your pelvic muscles.
If you’re curious to try, the first step is to relax. When it comes to pleasure, stress is the great mood-buster. Set the scene with candles, put on your favorite playlist — whatever helps get you in the mood. In case of a super-soaker-success, you may want to lay a towel beneath you, or try setting up in the bathtub.
Female ejaculation is most often associated with stimulating the belly button side of the vaginal canal, because of its proximity to the Skene’s gland.
Different techniques will feel best for different people. Experiment with different positions, use vibrators or other toys, or ask your partner to try stimulating the area with their fingers. Don’t be afraid to use the right lube for you, and remember to use body-safe toys paired with proper toy hygiene.
During sex or arousal, some people get the feeling that they are going to pee, so they stop. That pressure felt in your urethra might actually be your body getting ready to ejaculate. Enjoy exploring your body, whether you squirt or not. Practice might not make perfect, but you’ll at least have fun trying.
Can I Stop or Prevent Squirting?
If you’ve ever felt embarrassed about squirting, it’s worth taking a pause to unpack that feeling. To get the most out of sex, you must be comfortable with your body and your experience of pleasure, and never embarrassed by either. Increasing awareness that female ejaculation exists, and is not the same as urination, can really help battle some of the stigma that’s kept it in the dark.
If you’d like to avoid squirting orgasms, experiment with different positions to see what works best for you. It may help to pee before sex, avoid positions that stimulate the anterior of the vaginal canal, and try strengthening your pelvic floor muscles. You can also simply place a towel over your sheets before sex or masturbation, if it’s the clean-up that bothers you more than the squirting itself.
Are There Health Benefits to Female Ejaculation?
It’s possible, but we lack sufficient research and understanding regarding female ejaculation. Some researchers hypothesize that the fluid expelled in female ejaculation could actually be helpful in flushing bacteria from sex back out of the urethra, which could help prevent UTIs from sex.
Fortunately for squirters and non-squirters alike, we do know that orgasms are actually beneficial for both your physical and mental health. Good sex can boost your mood, release anti-aging hormones, improve circulation, sleep, and fertility, and even help you live longer! Plus, it’s fun, so why not?
The big takeaway: squirting is perfectly normal and pleasurable, but so is not squirting!
I hope this helped uncover some of the mystery or confusion surrounding female ejaculation. Whether or not squirting is a part of how you experience pleasure, enjoy the experience of getting to know your body, and honoring what feels right for you.
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