In 2014, the UK made a great stride forward for sexophobes everywhere by banning certain kinds of porn from being produced. In addition to spanking, facesitting and fisting, the new restrictions took issue with female ejaculation.
This came as a slight surprise to me. For one thing, I figured that anyone who thinks lives are regularly endangered by facesitting would think female ejaculation was a myth like Santa Claus. But it also touches on a problem with how we talk — or really how we don’t talk — about female bodies and sex.
According to a 2014 meta-analysis of research on the topic, 10 to 54 per cent of women report experiencing a gush of fluid from the urethra during sex. That margin of error is enough to illustrate the shakiness of the research. It’s like if a friend invited you to coffee sometime between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. — it’s hard to believe your friend actually wants to make it to coffee.
Up until quite recently, we couldn’t talk about the fluid either — we didn’t even know what it was. But in 2015, a French gynaecologist rounded up seven women who all reported producing liquid at orgasm. After providing a urine sample and confirming the emptiness of their bladders with a pelvic ultrasound, they stimulated themselves — alone or with assistance — until they were close to orgasm 25 to 60 minutes later. A second pelvic ultrasound revealed that their bladders had refilled. When they did cum, the fluid was collected. The final pelvic scan showed that their bladders had emptied again at orgasm.
A chemical analysis confirmed that there was almost no difference between that fluid and regular urine. Five of the samples also contained a little bit of PSA or prostatic-specific androgen. As the name suggests, it is produced in men’s prostates, but it’s also made in female Skene’s glands.
Skene’s glands — a.k.a. lesser vestibular glands, periurethral glands or the female prostate — are located on the front wall of the vagina, near the low end of the urethra. A 2002 study at the University of L’Aquila in Italy suggests that the location, anatomy and even the existence of these glands varies wildly from person to person, which probably explains the variability of the phenomenon — squirting may or may not happen, with a little or a lot of fluid, regularly or irregularly.
Before you let your summer camp fear of bed-wetting come back, don’t. First off, squirted urine is quite diluted. Second off, think about spit. There’s a huge difference between your barista spitting in your drink and a sloppy makeout session, but you're exchanging spit either way. The difference is context and consent. There is nothing inherently bad about bodily fluids.
To maximize your chances of being or seeing one of the 10-54 per cent, go for g-spot stimulation. You can do this by inserting your fingers palm-up and making a “come hither” motion until you feel a spongy spot on the front wall. As the area is stimulated, the tissue fills with blood and swells, feeling a little rougher as you go on. Female ejaculation is different from clitoral orgasm and may register as a kind of “I have to pee” feeling. Instead of holding back or forcing, relax and release.
And if you can’t squirt, can’t make somebody squirt or otherwise find squirting unavailable, don’t sweat it! It could be a matter of more practice, more time or maybe your body having a hard limit. Either way, you can probably think of a lot worse ways to spend an afternoon or two than learning what your body is capable of.