When experiencing an orgasm for the first time, you don’t really know what’s happening to you, other than that it feels great. The more you know your body, the better the climax, because you know exactly how to get there. But no matter how well you know yourself, your body can surprise you and react to pleasure in different ways. Female ejaculation, or squirting, is one. It’s when you literally squirt liquid from (what some incorrectly think is) your vagina. No one knows why it doesn’t happen to everyone, but there’s quite a controversy over what female ejaculation is. Is it pee? Is it water? Is it just a big cum squirt? Is that even physically possible?
Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of information about female ejaculation out there. “This is a phenomenon that hasn’t been studied because most people really don’t care that much,” Dr. Lauren Streicher, an Associate Clinical Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at The Feinberg School of Medicine, told Elite Daily. “It’s really not scientifically something that people are looking at and studying because it’s just one of those phenomenons that has been observed that some people have experienced it, but it’s not something that there’s issued science behind it.”
What we do know, according to Dr. Streicher, is that the female anatomy has many parts, and that it’s more important to understand where the fluid is coming from than to understand what exactly triggers the squirt. Research shows that the female genitalia contain Skene glands that sit right next to the urethra. The urethra is the little hole that you pee out of, which sits right below your clitoris. That’s where the liquid that you’re squirting is coming from, not the vaginal canal. The vaginal canal is where blood comes out during your period and where penetration happens during sex.
As for what the fluid actually is, well, the jury is still out on that one. But the two main theories, according to Dr. Streicher, are that it’s either urine or urine mixed with a substance coming from the Skene glands, something that both males and females have. It’s important to understand that the Skene glands are sort of the female equivalent to the prostate, which explains why, when people with vaginas experience female ejaculation, it sort of “shoots” out of them, kind of like semen in men. Some people who have reported squirting describe the liquid as “thicker" and as having "a different smell and texture” than urine, according to Nikki Leigh, a love coach and the host of Ready for Love Radio.
“I’ve also asked them about the taste, and it smells and tastes more like the ‘vaginal juices,’” Leigh told Elite Daily about what her clients have said. For some people who squirt, it’s just urine. For others who squirt, it’s urine mixed with Skene glands secretions, which would explain why it more closely resembles “vaginal juices.” Either way, it’s a urine-based fluid, which means that it’s liquid from the bladder. And yes, even if you pee before sex, you can still squirt.
“When people urinate, they never fully empty their bladder,” said Dr. Streicher. “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.”
Additionally, there’s also evidence to support that the fluid is urine-based in The Journal of Sexual Medicine. As part of a 2014 study conducted by a team of doctors and researchers, seven women who reported being able to squirt submitted urine samples. They then underwent bladder ultrasounds (to ensure that their bladders were “empty”) and were sexually stimulated during the experiment. They were given two more bladder ultrasounds: one right before squirting and one right after. The ultrasounds before the squirt showed the bladders filled. The ultrasounds after showed them empty again, thus supporting the hypothesis that the squirted fluid was, in fact, urine-based.
The researchers also collected the squirted fluid and studied it alongside the women’s urine samples before and after sex. The results revealed traces of prostatic-specific antigen (PSA), a secretion from the Skene glands, in the squirted fluid and post-sex urine of five out of the seven participants. This explains the different smell and taste from actual urine. Why two of the participants did not show traces of PSA in their fluids is unclear. Maybe the traces were too small to detect, or maybe their bladders were not as “empty” as the others. Even though there’s research about what female ejaculation is and how it happens, no one really knows why it’s not the same for everyone across the board.
“I think the opinion of most of the experts is that certainly some women do ejaculate fluid from the Skene glands and there are some women that also lose urine when they hit an orgasm,” said 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."
Hopefully, one day, female ejaculation gets the scientific respect it deserves, and more studies will solidify details about how TF it works. Until then, the only thing to do is understand that squirting is normal, it’s natural, and that it’s not indicative of great sex. You can still have a great orgasm without squirting, and not being able to do it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you.
Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!