Squirting demystified: why we still dont understand female ejaculation

From 2013 to 2017 squirting was one of PornHubs most-searched terms, but our fascination with copious, arousal-induced fluid expulsion isnt.

From 2013 to 2017 squirting was one of PornHubs most-searched terms, but our fascination with copious, arousal-induced fluid expulsion isnt new descriptions are found in ancient texts, from Chinas Secret Methods Of The Plain Girl (c. 2600 BCE) to the Kama Sutra (c. 400 BCE-200 CE). Despite this lengthy timeline, theres a lot of controversy about what constitutes squirting and female ejaculation, their function and even doubts around their very existence.

When asked about the apparent mystery, Tara McKee, therapist and sex educator, suggests that its due to the lack of good, pleasure-based sex education, especially around womens bodies. And its even harder for trans people to access good information. Medical and educational communities rely on government-backed scientific studies, but sexual health research is scarce, sample sizes are small and there are arguments that they frequently carry their own representational biases and controversial terminology.

Currently, most research refers to two types of fluid expulsion. Female ejaculation is described as a prostate-specific, milky white fluid originating from the Skenes glands, which drain out of their own ducts on the vaginas anterior wall, or into the urethra. These glands are tiny and cant produce or hold the large volume of fluid that has come to be the visual marker for squirting. In squirting, this other fluid passes through the urethra from the bladder, and there are a lot of questions about whether or not its pee. Theres no consensus on this: one recent study concluded that its definitely pee, others suggest its a diluted form of urine mixed with prostatic fluid and another says its not urine at all. Online searches yield non-scientific testimonials that assert the fluid is clear, and smells and tastes nothing like pee (its sweet, says one partner).

From this, questions arise: if squirt fluid is urine, should we just become more comfortable with the idea that its expulsion is sometimes intertwined with sexual pleasure? Or does it warrant its own definition because its arousal-induced? And while its the goal of these particular studies to qualify in biochemical terms, is a deduction without some reference to the psychological perhaps not the most complete and accurate portrayal of a sexual experience?

Carlyle Jansen, sex educator and owner of Good for Her, says that ejaculation and squirting offer a different pleasure sensation that can be enjoyable and empowering. McKee adds, I encourage everyone to explore their sexuality to the extent they want to. There is always more to learn about sex, and pleasure possibilities are everywhere.

For those who are curious to know if they can ejaculate or squirt, Jansens advice is to locate the G spot when aroused (also a controversial, conjectural term that refers to an internal erogenous zone felt through the vagina, that may or may not encompass the internal clitoris, urethral sponge and/or Skenes glands) and milk it by giving the area plenty of stimulation for a lengthy amount of time. This can be done with two fingers (spread like a peace sign or stacked like a windshield wiper), a toy (Jansen suggests the Pure Wand or the Orchid) or during intercourse, by pushing upwards and repeatedly using a pulling out motion to create pressure, massaging the area.

Squirting and ejaculation may or may not occur in conjunction with orgasm. The key is to relax into the pleasure and stimulation so you can psychologically let go (lay down towels or try it in the shower) and not hold anything in. Jansen says shes heard from folks who have had the experience from clitoral and even nipple stimulation, as well as those who say that once they figured out how to squirt, they couldnt turn it off.

To address the lack of substantial and satisfactory information, independent research and education initiatives are building further studies and creating innovative resources conducive to shame-free, pleasure-based self-exploration.

Celeb-endorsed OMGYES recently conducted large-scale peer-reviewed and published research with a section on squirting that is soon to be released on their user-friendly site. Dr. Zhana Vrangalova, a social-media-savvy sex researcher, educator and host of the podcast The Science of Sex, has designed a squirting survey that already has more respondents than all other research combined. And locally, Good for Her hosts Tara McKees workshops for folks who want up-close instructional and visual guidance.

Even if someone doesnt ejaculate after attending a workshop, perhaps they will have a better understanding of [their] anatomy, a new clitoral experience, or [find] more pleasure from the G spot, McKee says. I cant guarantee someone will learn to ejaculate but very likely, they will have something to explore to enhance [their] pleasure.

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