Everywhere you look—on free porn sites at least— you’ll see the word “squirting.” Dare to actually click on one of these links and you’ll see a camera full of various hairless vulvas shooting out liquid, at truly volcanic speeds.
It's a fantastical, wild female orgasm that drops the jaw and can spark feelings of inadequacy in any woman or vulva-owning person.
But, for most women, this doesn’t happen during a typical orgasm. And for those whom squirting does happen, it’s rarely a fire-hydrant explosion.
So, where do we separate porn-scene from truth? Is the hype of female ejaculation all it’s cracked up to be or is it just another untenable standard we’ve placed on female bodies?
Here is everything we currently know about squirting, in light of new research.
How squirting works.
The first question to answer is a straightforward one: Is squirting real?
The simple answer is: Yes.
But the answers are never simple, are they? Squirting still a hotly debated topic amongst experts from all walks of the sexual health field. The information on squirting, and what it entails, is pretty new and will likely continue to develop as research expands.
“Squirting,” or female ejaculation, has been thought to happen when the Skene’s glands expel an alkaline, milky white fluid upon orgasm. This usually happens with G-spot stimulation somewhere involved in the sexual play, but not in every case.
The Skene’s glands are located by the G-spot (the backend of the internal clitoris) and the urethral sponge. The fluid is akin to prostate fluid.
New research suggests there is more to it than that. Squirting may actually come from two different sources, one from the Skene’s and another that expels through the urethra.
“The other type of ejaculate—the gushing squirt people typically see in porn—passes through the bladder and the urethra, and can be very substantive in quantity,” Zhana Vrangalova, PhD, Adjunct Professor of Human Sexuality at NYU, tells BRIDES. “Depending on many factors (hydration, last urination, etc.), this ejaculate can contain various amounts of urine, ranging from only trace amounts to mostly urine.”
Vrangalova is currently leading the Squirting Research Project, which will be collecting samples of female ejaculate and sending them for chemical composition analysis in an attempt to get some answers to this squirting confusion.
Squirting is not urinating.
No, it isn’t pee. But, again, this isn't black and white.
While the fluid one expels during female ejaculation is not technically pee, it may contain some pee, as the Skene’s are close to the urethral sponge. Vrangalova's new research seems to indicate that a second form of female ejaculation goes through the urethra and out the urethral opening—how and when this happens is still unclear.
If you’re massaging the G-spot, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to tell the urethral sponge from the Skene’s glands from the G-spot. (Hence the confusion in how all of this works.)
Some women do, in fact, pee during orgasm. But peeing a little (or a lot) during orgasm is not the same as squirting. How do you tell the difference? We’re not entirely sure. Yet.
Not everyone squirts.
To add even more oddity to the whole situation, not every vulva-owning person squirts. This is just a fact. While every person with a vagina does have the same anatomical parts, it’s unclear whether every person’s Skene’s glands are even in the right position to be stimulated during G-spot touching.
“It's also possible that many more vagina-owners could squirt, but either they didn't receive the kind of stimulation that would induce that response, or [they] received the right kind of stimulation but prevented themselves from letting go (the sensation right before squirting is similar to the sensation when you need to pee). So a lot of vagina-owners report having felt that sensation but clenched their PC muscles because they thought they were about to pee on their partner and they didn't want that.” says Vrangalova.
Even if you do let go and give into this kind of stimulation or sensation, there is still no guarantee you will squirt. Female bodies are so varied in their pleasure capacities that it feels almost impossible (and frankly, irresponsible) to make sweeping generalizations about female pleasure and physiological responses.
Hopefully with more research and funds devoted to the study of female sexual anatomy, we can get some concrete answers.