I want to start by saying that I do not know everything there is to now about squirting/female ejaculation. I am not a doctor, a scientist, or a researcher. What I am, however, is an expert at my own body. And I know that I ejaculate, and that is is most definitely not the same as peeing. I am not opposed to further study of the chemical makeup and process of squirting–I’m all for more research, and that is not what upsets me.
What upsets and angers me is when the media takes a very small (and arguably poorly designed) study of squirting and proclaims it the truth and the be-all end-all on the matter. I’m not going to link to the media outlets that wrote about it because I don’t want to send traffic to their crappy, patronizing articles, but I’ve read at least three that sensationalize this small, inconclusive study, declaring SQUIRTING IS REALLY JUST PEE all too gleefully.
I don’t care if my ejaculate is chemically similar to pee (and I don’t think there’s evidence that it is), but regardless, my experience of squirting during sex is NOT that of peeing and is tied to my pleasure and to call it “essentially adult bed wetting” is incredibly insulting, condescending, and damaging.
Let’s talk about the study1 for a moment, shall we. First off, as I already mentioned, it studied only 7 women, all of whom ejaculate a large amount2 during orgasm. They took ultrasounds of the participants’ bladders before arousal, right after they became aroused, and after squirting. They also took urine samples before sexual stimulation, samples of the squirt, and urine samples after. In the results, they report the levels of PSA (prostatic fluid) as well as urea, creatinine, and uric acid levels. I’m not going to go into all of the findings in detail, but the main points I took from it were that 2 of the women didn’t have any PSA in their squirt, 5 did, and 1 had a lot of it, and 2 of the participants’ squirt showed little difference in the amounts of urea, creatinine, and uric acid in their squirt/urine.
First off, there seem to be some pretty obvious problems with this study….like why did they only study 7 women, and why only women who ejaculate lots of fluid every time it happens?3 Why didn’t they note the size of the prostate before and after stimulation in the study? Or are they including it with the neighboring bladder, which would pretty much invalidate the whole squirt is pee hypothesis?
Also, a study conducted in Spain in 1999 by psychologist and sexologist Dr. Francisco Cabello Sanatamaria (Sundahl 25) suggests that women ejaculate retrograde into the bladder if they don’t release their ejaculate–how does this relate to the women in the study? Could they be producing the squirt in their prostates, storing excess in their bladders until the moment of orgasmic release? If not, how and why do women produce such large amounts of fluid in the bladder, and only from sexual stimulation of the prostate? Why does it contain prostatic fluid? Does the size and shape of their prostate (there are 4 types) and the number of glands and ducts (it varies greatly) affect the chemical makeup/amount of PSA in their squirt?
I get that no one study can cover everything, but these are all very important questions that need further study.
It seems that the researchers don’t understand the experiences of women/people who ejaculate, and they think it’s a “problem” to be “fixed.” In the end of the study, the report says that a recent study shows that 4 out of 5 women who ejaculate see it as an enrichment to their sex lives…but then they go on to say that since the study didn’t specify how much these women ejaculate, women who ejaculate a lot probably see it as a problem. Based on nothing but these scientists’ conjecture.
The media is disregarding the experiences of so many women who ejaculate and find it a natural, fulfilling part of their sexuality, and trying to portray squirting in a negative light. In addition to people who squirt seeing it as a vital part of their sexual experience and identity, there have also been studies that suggest that squirt may provide a protective agent for the urethra (Sundahl 42) and that female ejaculate plays a role in creating a supportive environment for sperm/reproduction as well (Sundahl 36.)
And let’s not forget the other studies that have shown that squirt is not the same as urine. In her book book “Female Ejaculation & the G-Spot,” Deborah Sundahl (who has been researching female ejaculation for 35 years & references dozens of studies in her book) asserts that female ejaculate is predominately prostatic fluid (produced by the female prostate) mixed with 10% glucose & trace amounts of urine (uric acid, urea, & creatinine.)
Still, the media chooses to disregard all of the previous research, as well as the countless personal accounts of people who ejaculate, and declare “IT IS PEE! IT’S PISS! It’s essentially adult bed-wetting!” They use horribly negative language to portray what so many people consider to be an amazing, natural part of their sexuality. They also ignore the part of the study that I find most interesting– that all seven women reported that their squirting was partner dependent, and that in six of seven women, it was only possible after manual g-spot stimulation. Regardless of where their squirt comes from or what it’s made of, there’s obviously something more complicated going on here than just “peeing during sex.”
Which leads me to my own experience with ejaculation and how I know that ejaculation is not pee. When I squirt, I am not peeing. First off, it took me months to learn to stimulate my g-spot and learn to ejaculate. I wanted to do it, but it didn’t happen until I was not only stimulating my g-spot in the right way, but also relaxed and confident in my ability to do it. If it was “just pissing during sex,” I think it would’ve come much easier than that, and I’d be able to go it without g-spot stimulation. It also does not look, smell, or taste like pee. Most importantly, it does not feel like peeing. It feels like ejaculating.
Before I ejaculated for the first time, I wasn’t exactly convinced that squirting wasn’t pee. But I was interested in trying out a new experience, and I decided if I did pee during orgasm, so be it–I am not squicked out by bodily fluids. When I was first exploring my g-spot, the sensations I felt did remind me of the feeling of having to pee, which makes sense because the g-spot surrounds the urethral canal. But now that I’m familiar with my g-spot and the sensations I feel when it’s stimulated, I can easily distinguish between the two feelings: needing to pee and needing to ejaculate. If I’ve drank too much water and start having sex or masturbating, I know when I need to go pee, and I get up and go pee. If my g-spot is being stimulated by fingers, a toy, or a penis, and I feel the power of my arousal growing with stimulation and pressure to my g-spot to the point where I need a release–I know I need to ejaculate. They are two separate, distinct feelings and experiences.
My ejaculation varies–sometimes I can easily ejaculate while other times I can’t, but that’s not surprising, since the amount/ability to ejaculate depends on where you are in your menstrual cycle, as does its smell and taste (like with vaginal lubrication.) Obviously, it also depends on my mood, my arousal, and whether or not I want to make a mess that day.
I can control whether or not I ejaculate (so it’s definitely not “orgasmic incontinence.)” There have been a few times when I felt it was extremely urgent and perhaps I couldn’t have stopped it (read: uncontrollable, mind-blowing orgasms) but in general, I can control if and when I do it. Sometimes I choose not to, depending on the situation. It also does not always coincide with my orgasm. Sometimes it does, but sometimes I can squirt, then orgasm, then squirt some more…etc. I think it often enhances my g-spot orgasms, but I can also have g-spot orgasms without squirting. Men/people with penises too can learn to separate ejaculation from orgasm, so this isn’t surprising. It also isn’t surprising that for some women it isn’t controllable, as it isn’t controllable for many men. How we orgasm and ejaculate obviously varies.
I’d also like to point out that there is nothing wrong with urinal incontinence, or peeing during sex play, but I am asserting that squirting is a different experience and should not be labeled as “peeing during sex.”
For the people who say, what’s the big deal, why are you getting so upset? It’s just science. Science is objective–no, science is influenced by culture, and science has historically ignored or even vilified female sexuality. Let’s not forget that not long ago, scientists thought that our wombs wandered about in our bodies, creating hysteria–a “disease” that could only be cured by stimulation of women’s sex organs by a doctor. Let’s not forget that in the past, scientists left blank spots on diagrams of women’s anatomy or did not understand its full capacity.
Sensationalizing biased, misinformed, and inconclusive studies is not harmless–it is destructive. In her Vagaculation workshop last year, Diana J. Torres talked about how young women she met in Spain had had their prostates (g-spots) removed unnecessarily because doctors mistook their ejaculation for incontinence. The female prostate is an integral part of vaginal sexual anatomy, and to have it removed (and therefore also the potential for g-spot/orgasmic pleasure) due to misinformation and negative views of squirting is horrifying.
Deborah Sundahl also discusses how if women are consciously or unconsciously afraid they might pee during sex, they sometimes routinely clamp down on their PC muscles to avoid what is actually ejaculation, which can contribute to chronic pelvic muscle tension, a serious physical problem. Not to mention the shame surrounding sexuality after hearing “you don’t have a g-spot” or “female ejaculation isn’t real” all around you, even if you know it’s bullshit. Hearing that ejaculation is just pee or that it’s gross and something to be avoided can damage a person’s sexuality and well-being, even if it’s unconscious.
It has not always been like this. Historically, many cultures have recognized and even celebrated female ejaculation. And even in our culture, many sex educators and sexuality pioneers like Deborah Sundahl, Shannon Bell, Tristan Taormino, and others, have been teaching about the g-spot and female ejaculation and hosting workshops to spread knowledge about it for years. There are tons of personal accounts from squirters, some right there waiting for you to read (sex blogs!), sharing their stories of ejaculation and g-spot pleasure. It is not something we’re all “making up,” it’s not a porn star trick, it’s not a myth–it is real, and it is not pee.
If you’re still not convinced that squirting is real, and you think I’m full of shit, I challenge you to think about why you find the idea of squirting/female ejaculation so offensive, and why you want to dismiss it as “just pee.” I also encourage you to do your own research–read more about it before you jump on the bandwagon and share one of those articles with silly gifs that mock the valid, real, and incredibly important experiences of so many people like myself. I’ve already heard of people sharing these condescending articles as a way to shame and intimidate people who squirt, and that is disgusting and unacceptable. Think what you want about the topic, but don’t use any article or study to make someone feel bad about their natural sexual experience.
Leading sex blogger Epiphora wrote a brilliant response to the media’s coverage of this study, sharing her experiences with squirting and asking other people who squirt to share their experiences in the comments section of her post as well as on Twitter with the hashtag #notpee. If you’re a squirter, please help us dispel these negative myths about our sexuality by participating!
Update 1/17: Lux Alptraum also wrote a great piece on this subject for the Guardian.
Also, please feel free to share your experiences in my comments section or link to your posts about squirting!
Sundahl, Deborah. Female Ejaculation and the G-spot. 2nd ed. Nashville: Turner, 2014. Print.