First things first, though: Female ejaculation isn’t some porn-propagated urban legend. “Even ancient texts, like the The Kama Sutra, reference women’s ability to expel fluids during sex,” says sexologist Jess O’Reilly, PhD, host of the Sex with Dr. Jess Podcast. “Squirting is the word most people use to refer to the ejaculation in people with vaginas, but it’s a bit of a misnomer." Basically, dismiss the image of a hose-like release. “Usually, the fluid expelled is about a teaspoon in volume and doesn’t actually squirt across the room.”
That said, there is variability in what squirting looks and feels like. Some women’s ejaculate may dribble, and others' may gush, spray, or actually squirt with force, says sexologist Sadie Allison, PhD, founder of sex-toy boutique Tickle Kitty. “It comes down to each person's body and anatomy.” Dr. O'Reilly likens the situation to sweat, and how that volume varies between people.
How common is female ejaculation?
While data suggests that anywhere between 10 and 50 percent of women experience involuntary ejaculation in their lifetime, Dr. O'Reilly suspects that more women are capable. “It’s likely that most women can ejaculate," she says. "It’s just not always obvious and discernible.” In fact, if you’ve ever had sex and found yourself in a big wet spot on the bed post-romp, she says, it’s possible that you squirted without you or your partner realizing it. And since female ejaculation and orgasm are two separate events, this can be a tough thing to know.
“Ejaculation and orgasm are actually two distinct processes.” —sexologist Jess O'Reilly, PhD
“Ejaculation and orgasm are actually two distinct processes,” says Dr. O'Reilly. “Orgasm refers to a wave of pleasure and release of sexual tension often accompanied by muscular contractions in the genital region and pelvic floor (and sometimes beyond),” she says. Ejaculation, on the other hand, refers to the release of fluid via spinal reflex that is often, but not always, accompanied by an orgasm, she says.
Peeing ≠ squirting (but they do have some similarities)
Speaking of fluid, let's debunk another myth: Female ejaculate is not pee, despite the fact that both come from the urethra and include the compounds urea and creatinine. Rather, female ejaculate is "a unique fluid created from the Skene’s glands, also known as the female prostate, to lubricate the urethral opening," says Dr. Allison. It is possible, though, that some urine is released into the ejaculate and that the fluid then contains trace amount of urine.
What's still not clear is whether or not it's possible to pee and ejaculate simultaneously. "I imagine you could ejaculate and urinate at the same time," says Dr. O'Reilly. "But when it comes to penile ejaculation, the body can't urinate and ejaculate at the same time, because the internal sphincter of the bladder closes to prevent urine from mixing with the ejaculate." Unfortunately neither experts nor research has yet to clarify whether female ejaculate is similar to male ejaculate in this way. Why? Well, not only is it tricky to get sex-focused studies approved, but female ejaculate is also difficult to study and test. (I mean, think about it...). But in the event that you do release a small amount of urine? NBD. "It’s going to be such a small amount that it will often go unnoticed during sex,” Dr. Jess assures.
How to practice for yourself
Dr. Allison says experimenting with squirting all comes down to the G-spot and foreplay. And for those who need a refresher, the G-Spot is a sensitive, and, for some women, highly pleasurable area that can be stimulated through the spongy upper wall of the vagina, toward the stomach. “To access the G-spot, slide your finger inside the vagina—stay shallow—and curl up toward the stomach wall in a "come hither" motion,” says Dr. O'Reilly. You’ll likely feel an area that is more textured than the rest of the vagina (like the outside of a golf ball or a callus). The more aroused you are, the more pronounced this texture may be.
“Embrace your body’s reactions, but don’t focus on ejaculating. If it happens, that’s great, and if not, that’s okay." —Dr. O'Reilly
Whether you’re with a partner or not, delay stimulating your G-spot until you're already turned on. “As you become more aroused, the tissue will begin to swell," says Dr. O'Reilly. "Continue to hit this spot from inside while simultaneously using your other hand to press down on your bladder through the outside of your stomach,” she suggests. This dual stimulation will create a light squeezing sensation against the G-spot. If you feel like you’re going to pee, exaggerate the feeling by breathing and releasing your pelvic floor muscles. (And also remind yourself that it’s just not pee.)
Have a hard time letting go? Dr. Allison says regularly doing kegels can train you to release your pelvic floor. But don't focus too much on the destination—the journey, in this case, is really the main event anyway. “Embrace your body’s reactions, but don’t focus on ejaculating. If it happens, that’s great, and if not, that’s okay. Each person’s body is unique,” says Dr. O'Reilly.
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