I didn’t really know what to expect from queer, anarcha-feminist activist and performance artist Diana J Torres’ Vagaculation1 workshop at Forbidden Fruit Thursday night. Or rather, I kind of just expected it to be a class on techniques on how to ejaculate, but it was so much more than that–it was full of real talk about the social and political reasons why women (or people who have a vagina) don’t ejaculate.
Diana began by telling us her story–she’s always been an ejaculator, leaving a “lake on the bed.” For years she thought she was peeing every time she had great sex, but something clicked for her after a time when she noticed a white ring around the puddle she’d left.
She had a feeling that she wasn’t peeing during sex but didn’t know what was happening, so Diana turned to science to try to figure out what was going on with her body, where she found bullshit and sexist ignorance at every turn. At the University of Barcelona, she found scientific diagrams of female anatomy with white space where the female prostate should be. Medical descriptions undermined women’s pleasure, calling the vulva a “secondary characteristic” and the clitoris an “incidental organ” (are you fucking kidding?)
I’d rather have my head cut off than my clit, she said in response to that.
Basically, women’s anatomy that isn’t related to reproduction or hetero sex is undermined or ignored within medicine and ignorance reigns. So much so, that in Spain and Mexico, if you go to a gyno and explain that you think you’re peeing during sex (ejaculating), that they’ll send you to a urologist, and then they’ll remove your prostate to “fix the problem.” Girls as young as 18 have come to Diana’s workshops and have told her about this happening to them. I know that cunt ejaculation is still very taboo, but I had no idea this was happening–it’s beyond infuriating!
You may have noticed by now that I haven’t referred to the “g-spot” so far in this post, and there’s a reason for that. Another thing Diana talked about was what she considers the conspiracy or war against the (female) prostate. She explained that she thinks that Gräfenberg (the man who “discovered” the g-spot) couldn’t just come out and say that women have prostates because of his era, but that everything he discovered pointed to what he found (the g-spot) as being a prostate very similar to men’s prostates.
From that point on, according to Torres, the idea of the g-spot and especially its relation to orgasm was a money making ploy to get people to buy books and products about how to find the g-spot, while at the same time keeping women from actually knowing their bodies. Many of the books about finding the g-spot were aimed at men, as if women can’t find it themselves. In her opinion, the word g-spot is overly femme and misleading because in reality it’s a prostate, and there’s no reason not to call it that.2 She explained that women can get prostate cancer, but that by the time it’s caught it’s often spread and is classified as vaginal cancer, and that the prostate isn’t a gendered thing–there aren’t a lot of differences between male and female prostates.
Her ideas were reinforced by research of other cultures that mention female ejaculation as completely normal. Aristotle, Hypocrates, and Galenus all mentioned cunt ejaculation and the term sperm wasn’t gendered because they didn’t know yet that sperm are only present in male ejaculation. Female ejaculation is also part of a ritual in matriarchal socities called “kachapati” in Uganda, wherein older women teach young women to ejaculate as part of a rite of passage.
So if ejaculation was seen in history as a normal part of women’s sexuality (and is considered normal in some other cultures), what happened? Our western cultures and oppressive religion happened (namely, Catholicism.)
After talking about the ways in which female ejaculation has been systematically ignored, or worse, vilified as something that only whores do, Torres went on to explain how we can GET REVENGE (aka take back our sexuality) by:
-Knowing out bodies better than science does. Mistrust science always.
-Make up for lost time by practicing.
-Spread the word! You don’t have to tell everyone you meet on the street about cunt ejaculation (though that sounds kind of amazing to me.) Tell everyone you care about.
She also shared tips on how to start ejaculating (or become ok with it if there is shame associated with it):
–It’s NOT pee. Repeat this like a mantra. She suggests cumming onto a black sheet so that you can see a white ring around it after it dries as she did, or ejaculating into a container to see that it’s not yellow.
Even though I ejaculate, and I know it’s not pee, I still stick my nose in my come almost every time, just to smell it and remind myself. I’ve also blotted the wetness with toilet paper to check its color. She also suggests checking your pee color right after sex, because if you don’t expel ejaculate, retrograde ejaculation happens and it ends up in the bladder, often changing the color of your pee to white.
-Get over the women are “clean” and their pleasure is “discreet” lies. LIES. LIES. LIES.
-Techniques: Relax right before orgasm instead of contracting, which is usually our reflex. If you do start to ejaculate, push to keep it going. You can’t contract and push at the same time, so if you push, you’ll stop your contracting. She also suggests using fingers (and putting your shoulder into it when your hand gets tired) though personally dildos work better for me. Either way, you can’t usually ejaculate when you have anything big inside of you, so it’ll have to come out at some point.
-Protect your mattress. Get a plastic mattress cover (or if you want to be fancy, a Throe–I don’t know what I would do without mine!) This is actually a health issue, as fungus can grow on a wet mattress and cause health problems.
-Tell partners ahead of time that you might ejaculate. This can serve as a filter for good lovers and will help avoid people who may have unintentionally (or intentionally) negative responses when surprised by vagaculation.
Although her workshop was very different from the one Deborah Sundahl hosted here in Austin a few years ago, the core theme I took away from both of them was the same–that the reasons women don’t ejaculate are mainly psychological.
What does this mean for us though? It’s definitely not as simple as, “Oh, ok, I’ve been told that women are meant to be clean and proper, and that’s BS so I’ll just start ejaculating now!” As Diana said–you’re not going to erase centuries of oppression in one workshop (or one attempt.) It takes time and effort. And it may never happen, and that’s fine. Not being able to ejaculate doesn’t make you any less of a “real women” or a “real feminist.” You aren’t missing mind blowing orgasms if you don’t ejaculate (in fact, ejaculation isn’t even necessarily connected to orgasms at all.)
Another thing I found incredibly interesting during the class was that Diana told us about how once she tried to stop her ejaculation by putting her finger over her urethra, and she still ejaculated. So she looked into it more and discovered there are actually other holes besides the urethra that expel ejaculate–the Skene’s ducts.
This led to an interesting discussion that I started on Twitter. She said you can see the ducts if you pull the labia taught and shine a light directly in front of it. I have yet to see them on my vulva (I need a magnifying mirror stat!) but I am definitely going to explore this.
I could go on and on about the workshop. It was extremely thought provoking, and Diana was in your face and intense and at times hilarious. At first I wondered if I should share the things I learned in this workshop on my blog…since we did pay ($10 which was well worth it) to go to her workshop.
But that is the opposite of what her workshop was about. It was about fighting ignorance and spreading knowledge and breaking through the patriarchal bullshit and owning our sexuality. It was about explaining that the g-spot/prostate isn’t something you need to spend money to find or something mysterious you have to go mining in your vagina for.
And on the flip side–this is by no means an all inclusive explanation of her workshop. I took copious notes, but there was an energy in the class that I can’t explain by just describing her points. I may write more about some of the things she talked about in greater depth because there was so much to think about, and if anyone has questions or thoughts, I’d love to chat.
If you’re in Austin, Diana’s doing two more events this weekend, one tonight (Porno Terrorismo) and one on Sunday (Muestra marrana.) And if you ever get a chance to go to one of her workshops, GO. Just trust me. Also, she’s coming out with a book soon, so I can’t wait to read that.
*Thanks for hosting this awesome workshop Forbidden Fruit!