How Does Female Ejaculation Work? Here Are 8 Important Facts Everyone Should Know

People with vaginas can do amazing things — we know this. Babies can come out of them. Monthly periods let us know that our bodies are healthy, and even when we're bleeding, we can literally do anything. Vaginas even clean themselves, for crying out loud! Yet another amazing thing the vagina can do is ejaculate, AKA female ejaculation, commonly referred to as squirting. It involves a gush of liquid rushing out of the vagina during sex, and it’s an obscure phenomenon, because no one is really 100 percent sure how female ejaculation works. Some people can do it, others can’t, and both options are completely normal.

Many people who’ve experienced squirting say it’s an amazing sensation, but the fact that not everyone can do it, unfortunately, sometimes makes it seem like those who can do it have the ability to achieve the "pinnacle" of sexual pleasure. (Though, this obviously isn't true.) So, what’s the deal? Can women make it happen for themselves? I spoke to experts about the logistics behind female ejaculation, what is actually happening to your body when it goes down (physically and metaphorically), and whether or not it’s really all it’s cracked up to be.

1. The Fluid Is Coming From Outside Of The Vaginal Canal

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A brief anatomy lesson: The vagina has many parts. The actual vagina (or vaginal canal), which is where your period blood emerges from and the part that gets penetrated during sex, does not project liquid during squirting. Dr. Lauren Streicher, an Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Feinberg School of Medicine, tells Elite Daily that the fluid comes from the Skene glands, which sit next to the urethra. Anatomy lesson, part two: The urethra is the little hole that you pee out of, and it’s located just below your clitoris.

2. The Liquid That Emerges When You Squirt Is Either Urine, Or Urine Mixed With Skene Glands Secretions

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According to Dr. Streicher, experts aren’t sure if that fluid is urine, or a combination of urine and substances from the Skene glands. Nikki Leigh, a love coach and the host of Ready for Love Radio, tells Elite Daily that it’s thicker than urine, “with a different smell and texture.” The fluid also tends to smell and taste more like “vaginal juices,” she says.

“Some women do ejaculate fluid from the Skene glands, and there are some women that also lose urine when they hit an orgasm,” says Dr. Streicher. “It’s virtually impossible for a woman to know the difference when it’s happening to her, because in any case, it’s going to be wet, and it’s going to come at the time of orgasm.”

3. Even If You Pee Before Sex, You Can Still Squirt

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A 2014 study conducted by a team of doctors and researchers, and published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, describes research about the bladder. The team studied seven women who reported being able to squirt and collected their urine samples. After performing bladder ultrasounds to ensure their bladders were empty, the women were sexually stimulated for the sake of the study and were given ultrasounds right before they felt like they were about to squirt and right after it happened. The researchers found that the bladders had showed noticeable filling before squirting, even though the women had peed before sex, and their bladders looked empty after the squirt.

Researchers also assessed the participants' urine samples before sex, urine after sex, and the actual squirted fluids. In the squirted fluid and post-sex urine of five out of the seven participants, researchers found traces of prostatic-specific antigen (PSA), a secretion that comes from the Skene glands, similar to the male ejaculate. This could explain why squirted fluid looks like urine, but might not smell, taste, or feel the same as urine does. And even though pre-sex ultrasounds showed an empty bladder, that might not always be the case, according to Dr. Streicher.

“When people urinate, they never fully empty their bladder,” she says. “If you have a woman empty her bladder, and she pees and says she’s completely emptied her bladder, if I put a catheter in, I could probably get another 75 to 100 ccs [2 to 3 ounces] out. No one’s ever really completely emptying their bladder.”

4. Squirting Is Not The Same Thing As Having An Orgasm

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According to Dr. Streicher, when a person with a vagina squirts during sex, it’s usually in response to a powerful orgasm, but it is not the same thing as having an orgasm. It’s purely a response, and the two aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have an amazing orgasm and not squirt, and that’s typically what happens. You may also be squirting, and not even realize it.

She continues that some women expel a great deal of fluid, but some may expel a much smaller amount and not even really notice it. Only a minority of women report a noticeable gush of liquid during orgasms, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re lucky or that they have the best sex.

5. Not Everyone With A Vagina Is Capable Of Squirting

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Although everyone with a vagina is capable of a super pleasurable orgasm, not everyone can squirt, and unfortunately, no one really knows why.

"Everyone has Skenes glands but not every woman has fluids that eject from the Skenes glands," says Dr. Streicher. "Skenes glands are part of the normal anatomy."

Basically, everyone has the same body parts. The only difference is that some women expel liquid from the Skene glands and some don't.

6. Just Because Someone Can Squirt, Doesn’t Mean They Have Better Orgasms Than Someone Who Can’t

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Dr. Streicher said there is actually no science behind women who squirt having “better” orgasms than women who don’t, and that you can still have an amazing orgasm without squirting.

“A lot of women find it pleasurable, but it’s not something that’s required to have a pleasurable orgasm,” she says.

7. When You’re About To Squirt, It May Feel Like You’re About To Pee

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Leigh describes the build-up to squirting as feeling “like the need to pee which gets stronger and stronger, and then, the sensation turns into pleasure.” Fun!!

8. You Can’t Teach Yourself To Squirt, But There Are Dozens Of Ways To Practice Great Sex That Might Surprise You

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Squirting is involuntary. There is no position you can have sex in or any move you can make to produce a squirt. What you can do is work with your partner on making sex the most pleasurable experience possible for the both of you. Squirting could just happen, especially if your partner is stimulating your G-spot, which is extra sensitive. Leigh suggests gaining more control over your vaginal muscles by doing Kegel exercises or working with jade eggs. The stronger your vaginal muscles are, the more likely you are to have a G-spot orgasm, great sex, and maybe even respond by squirting! It’s all about knowing your body, communicating with your partner, and relaxing.

Remember, squirting isn’t guaranteed, ever, even for people who’ve experienced it before. And it’s not indicative of a great sex sesh. “My advice is to stop focusing on what ‘everyone’ else claims to be doing and experiment; get creative with your partner; have open, honest, and non-judgmental communication with your partner; and just let yourself go and enjoy yourselves together,” says Leigh. “If you can let yourself go and surrender to pleasure together, you will have the best orgasms.”

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