Get Real! On Female Ejaculation

Heather Corinna

What you're doing in bed with your partner should center around what you both individually find exciting and pleasurable, not just on what he had happen with another partner or finds to be "cool" or a novelty.

Ginger asks:

A boyfriend
said that he dated a woman who orgasmed so much that she sprayed, like
water gushing out forcefully. He said it was so cool and great and he
wants me to do that! Do you have info about this?

Heather replies:

What you’re asking about is female ejaculation, sometimes colloquially called "squirting."

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Before I say anything else, let me say these four things first:
1) That does not generally happen "because someone orgasms so much."
2) It is not a circus trick.
3) Not all women ejaculate, and even for those who do, most do
not ejaculate all the time, with every incidence of sex, or with any
given kind of sex, even when they have several orgasms or have a great
orgasm.
4) Not all women are comfortable with or enjoy ejaculating, regardless of how their partners feel about it.

Actually, let me say number two again: It is not a circus trick.
If it was, there’d also be a seal in your bed balancing a ball on its
nose. And clowns, which pretty much nobody wants in their bedroom.

I get the impression — and I’ve spoken with some other sexologists
and sex educators who get the same impression — that a lot of guys,
particularly younger guys DO see female ejaculation as a circus trick:
as a sexual novelty. Obviously, we’re all likely to experience some
level of novelty with sex and partners, and that’s fine, but I think we
also have to watch the line we’re walking where novelty crosses the
line and becomes or is objectification. We’re not toys, after all, or
something made to order for someone else to play with, we’re people and
we’re unique individuals. Our sexuality should be a reflection of who
we are, not who or what someone else wants.

Too, it often seems like one reason some guys are so into it is that
they see it as an aspect of female sexuality that reminds them of their
own sexuality. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, it’s
also not so realistic, nor does it really leave room for female
sexuality and sexual response to be just what it is, rather than a
mimicry of male sexuality or male sexual response. If we really want to
have great sex with partners, our focus has to be on what their
sexuality is authentically and really like, not just the ways it
entertains us or reminds us of our own.

Female ejaculation and male ejaculation are really quite different.
The biggest difference is that the reason men ejaculate is because it
is the integral part of how they reproduce. In other words, while we
can all find certain parts of your reproductive function sexual, male
ejaculation is effectively reproductive, not sexual, in the same way
that women ovulating is reproductive rather than sexual. The male
orgasm that often comes before ejaculation (but not always, and men
also can orgasm without ejaculating) is really the sexual part. The
ejaculating is the babymaking part.

Female ejaculation has exactly nada to do with reproduction. It also
can often have nothing to do with orgasm: in fact, for plenty of women
who do ejaculate, ejaculation happens before orgasm. For some who
ejaculate it also does happen with orgasm, but not always or with
anything close to every orgasm.

Zina says,

When I squirt it doesn’t always feel like I think it
should. When I think about having that type of orgasm I think that it
should feel amazing at the time that I squirt… but its not… a
clitoral orgasm feels better! I have had one orgasm from the g-spot
that felt "Oh my God!" Amazing! But I didn’t squirt? What is going on:
is there something wrong?

To reiterate: ejaculating isn’t orgasm. It can sometimes happen with
an orgasm, but it just as commonly happens without or before orgasm,
too. It has its own sensation, to be sure, but it’s separate from
orgasm, and there’s no one right way for ejaculating to feel. And women
who ejaculate will not always do so, or do so every time even from a
kind of stimulus that sometimes results in ejaculation.

So, what is it, when does it usually happen for for whom?

This is one of those areas — like many when it comes to women’s
sexuality, alas — where the research is still ongoing, and where we
can’t draw too many conclusions just yet: there remain some
disagreements between researchers and the research done so far has been
seriously tiny. Some people will posit that female ejaculation is just
urinating. We know enough to know that’s probably not true, or at least
not always or entirely true. While it appears that female ejaculation
is a function of your paraurethral glands (like the Skene’s glands)
which comes through the urethra — the same place we urinate — and the
fluid is often a lot like urine, enough research has been done which
finds otherwise or stands in conflict to that so we can pretty safely
say it isn’t urine, even though it’s possible some elements of urine
are in the mix, or that sometimes, women ejaculating are actually
urinating. Some folks call those paraurethral glands "the female
prostate." Even if we someday have it proven that it is, in fact urine,
that should only be so meaningful: if the women urinating are enjoying
it, okay with it and it feels good, from a standpoint of sexuality and
sexual pleasure, that discovery would not rock the planet.

For the most part, women who ejaculate will due so due to extensive
and targeted G-spot stimulus, internal and external clitoral stimulus,
or — and most commonly — a combination of the two. The G-spot
(something also still often disputed by some researchers) is an area of
the vagina located not far from the opening, inside the vaginal canal
on the anterior wall: the side of it towards your belly, not your back.
For many women, the best stimulus of that area usually will happen with
toys or fingers, but some women, with some partners, find a penis can
provide that stimulation as well. Not all women enjoy G-spot
stimulation or like it all the time, and some even dislike it (same
goes with some women and clitoral stimulus), so your mileage may vary.
Some women also find pressure just around the vaginal opening gets them
there, while for others, pressure on the mons is part of the deal.

When you’re feeling very highly aroused during those kinds of sexual
stimulation, and/or feeling close to orgasm or having one, if you relax
and bear down the way we all do when we’re pushing urine out, that’s
generally how ejaculation happens if it’s going to. Sometimes, it’ll
happen without doing that at all, but usually, that’s how it goes. If
you have a full bladder (which you shouldn’t: just as far as comfort
and avoiding UTIs, you always want to urinate before any sex), it is
possible to urinate when doing this, so in terms of your own comfort
level with your body fluids, that’s something to bear in mind. Too,
like I said, not all women are comfortable with this, and because it
can sometimes be a good deal of fluid, that’s something to bear in mind
when it comes to where you’re having sex. If you don’t want to sleep in
a big wet spot, you want to put some towels down first.

Now, if your boyfriend had a partner who ejaculated, he probably
knows about some of this. In the case that he didn’t — especially
given how he’s framing it — but saw this in porn, you may also need to
fill him in on the fact that in porn, ejaculation is often faked. When
it is, like most things in pornography, they go over the top, showing a
lot of fluid, rather than the more variant amounts we see in real life
with women who ejaculate. (Porn actresses can easily fake ejaculation
by just drinking a whole lot of water and then urinating.) Not every
woman who ejaculates will have giant gushes of fluid: sometimes it’s
just a little spurt, sometimes so small a partner may not even know it
happened. Some women who ejaculate may never have a big "gush," while
others often will.

To simplify this down to its lowest common denominator, what’s
thought to date is that we have a bladder and we have paraurethral
glands, both of which can and often do contain fluids. When we put
pressure on those areas or the areas surrounding them (both due to how
arousal expands things in and around our genitals, and due to actual
pressure put by fingers, hands or anything else during sex), that fluid
sometimes squirts out. It’s no big mystery, really, nor the eighth
wonder of the world: the same thing happens when we squeeze a water
balloon or a sponge.

Why can some woman ejaculate while others cannot? Again, this is
something we don’t yet have a definitive answer for. As of right now,
it seems like a minority of women ejaculate, even though it’s thought
most have that capability. Some sage theories about that discrepancy
are that a) not all women have/get the kind of sexual stimulus they
need to do so, b) not all women feel comfortable doing so or
purposefully hold back when they’re going to because it feels like
they’re going to pee, c) not all women are getting sexually aroused
enough to get there, d) the size of these glands in women vary, so
women with smaller glands may be limited in doing so and/or e) more
women ejaculate than they think, it’s just in smaller amounts that
often go unnoticed.

So, there’s the facts as we know them so far. If you want more
information on female ejaculation, I’d suggest looking up Deborah
Sundahl’s work, including her book, Female Ejaculation and the G-Spot.

But here’s the most important stuff: what you’re doing in bed with
your partner should center around what you both, individually and
uniquely, find exciting and pleasurable, not just on what he had happen
with another partner or finds to be "cool" or a novelty.

If, in the sex the two of you have, you’re having times where you
are very aroused, if — not always, but this is the usual route with
ejaculation — targeted clitoral and g-spot stimulus feels really great
to you and you both want to explore that, and if you are a woman who is
capable of ejaculating, at some point you probably will do so. And if
you want to explore this as much for you as for him, without feeling
you have to do this to impress him or meet his standards, and knowing
ejaculation may or may not happen, then there’s no reason not to do so.
Most women greatly enjoy targeted clitoral stimulation and the majority
will only orgasm when there is clitoral stimulus. Many women also
greatly enjoy targeted G-spot stimulation, and plenty enjoy
ejaculating. I might, however, suggest, you first try exploring this on
your own since it might be tough not to feel under some pressure with a
partner who has built this up so much.

Just know that women don’t have voluntary control when it comes to
ejaculation: in other words, much like orgasm, sometimes it’ll happen
and sometimes it won’t. What you don’t want to do is wind up where
you’re basically just trying to perform for someone else, rather than
focusing on both of your earnest mutual pleasure and care. And whether
or not you not only can ejaculate or enjoy the kinds of sex which can
make that happen for some women is something you have to find out. In
the case that you don’t like those kinds of sex, don’t find them highly
arousing, and/or don’t ejaculate, that shouldn’t be any big whoop,
because what works for YOU — the partner he has — with sex should be
exciting all by itself. If we’re going to have multiple partners in
life, then we’ve got to be down with the understanding that sexuality
differs among people a lot, and what one partner enjoyed or we enjoyed
with them may or may not be something that will go on with another.

I hope you also know that you shouldn’t ever feel you have to
duplicate what a partner’s previous partners have done, or try and
one-up anyone in any way. Again, when we have multiple partnerships in
life, our sexual experiences with partners will tend to vary: not only
is that not a bad thing, it should be a good thing. We should enjoy
that variety if we’re seeking it out. If we don’t dig, accept and
celebrate variety, then obviously it might not make a lot of sense for
us to take more than one partner. If it turns out you don’t like this
stuff or don’t ejaculate (or find you do alone with masturbation, but
not with him), what YOUR sexuality and sexual response is like should
be just as cool and exciting as what someone’s else’s was, and your
partner should be demonstrating that to you in your sex life, okay?
Just because something about his ex’s sexuality was super-cool to him
doesn’t mean parts of yours aren’t as well or can’t be unless they
resemble hers. His efforts with you sexually should be about exploring
and finding out what’s uniquely cool and amazing about you and the two
of you.

Jennifer asks,

I’ve been sexually active for god knows how long now,
but I’d never been eaten out. The other day I finally let my boyfriend
eat me out and I ended up squirting. I was SO embarrassed. He totally
flipped and ended up spitting at me. I’ve finally forgiven him and he’s
willing to do it again, but I’m scared the same thing is going to
happen. Is there anything I could do to control my squirting? Thanks!

Jennifer: before I say anything else, let me say that I’m really
sorry your boyfriend reacted that way. Certainly, ejaculation can be a
surprise, and when we do know we can do that, it’s something we want to
fill partners in on in advance, when we’re able. But that’s just to
prepare them: even without knowing in advance, no partner should be spitting
at you for ANY reason. That’s abusive behavior, and I’d take a look at
your relationship as a whole to assure that really was a
one-time-odd-reaction, rather than something indicative of a developing
pattern of abuse. If you’re still feeling scared, or like it’s up to
you to control your normal sexual responses to avoid that kind of
treatment, I’d implore you to consider it’s more reasonable to avoid
that kind of response by avoiding a person who responds that way.

That said, I hope you know this is nothing you need to feel ashamed
of or embarrassed about, no more than a guy should feel that way the
first time he ejaculates, alone or with a partner.

As I mentioned further up on this page, in general, ejaculating is
not always something women can voluntarily control. If you don’t like
how it feels, you can try not bearing down with sexual pleasure or
orgasm, or "holding it," physically the same way you hold urine when
you have to pee but can’t. But that may or many not always work, and
may also result in you inadvertently holding back with your pleasure or
orgasm, too. So, my best suggestion is to just make sure you’re only
choosing sexual partners okay with ejaculation as a possible response,
and that you’re only having sex when you, too, are comfortable with
that as a possibility with someone.

Here are some links — including one to a map of your own anatomy
for any terms I used in here that weren’t familiar to you — for you
and yours to grow on:

News Sexual Health

State with Nation’s Highest Chlamydia Rate Enacts New Restrictions on Sex Ed

Nicole Knight Shine

By requiring sexual education instructors to be certified teachers, the Alaska legislature is targeting Planned Parenthood, which is the largest nonprofit provider of such educational services in the state.

Alaska is imposing a new hurdle on comprehensive sexual health education with a law restricting schools to only hiring certificated school teachers to teach or supervise sex ed classes.

The broad and controversial education bill, HB 156, became law Thursday night without the signature of Gov. Bill Walker, a former Republican who switched his party affiliation to Independent in 2014. HB 156 requires school boards to vet and approve sex ed materials and instructors, making sex ed the “most scrutinized subject in the state,” according to reproductive health advocates.

Republicans hold large majorities in both chambers of Alaska’s legislature.

Championing the restrictions was state Sen. Mike Dunleavy (R-Wasilla), who called sexuality a “new concept” during a Senate Education Committee meeting in April. Dunleavy added the restrictions to HB 156 after the failure of an earlier measure that barred abortion providers—meaning Planned Parenthood—from teaching sex ed.

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Dunleavy has long targeted Planned Parenthood, the state’s largest nonprofit provider of sexual health education, calling its instruction “indoctrination.”

Meanwhile, advocates argue that evidence-based health education is sorely needed in a state that reported 787.5 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 people in 2014—the nation’s highest rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Surveillance Survey for that year.

Alaska’s teen pregnancy rate is higher than the national average.

The governor in a statement described his decision as a “very close call.”

“Given that this bill will have a broad and wide-ranging effect on education statewide, I have decided to allow HB 156 to become law without my signature,” Walker said.

Teachers, parents, and advocates had urged Walker to veto HB 156. Alaska’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, Amy Jo Meiners, took to Twitter following Walker’s announcement, writing, as reported by Juneau Empire, “This will cause such a burden on teachers [and] our partners in health education, including parents [and] health [professionals].”

An Anchorage parent and grandparent described her opposition to the bill in an op-ed, writing, “There is no doubt that HB 156 is designed to make it harder to access real sexual health education …. Although our state faces its largest budget crisis in history, certain members of the Legislature spent a lot of time worrying that teenagers are receiving information about their own bodies.”

Jessica Cler, Alaska public affairs manager with Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, called Walker’s decision a “crushing blow for comprehensive and medically accurate sexual health education” in a statement.

She added that Walker’s “lack of action today has put the education of thousands of teens in Alaska at risk. This is designed to do one thing: Block students from accessing the sex education they need on safe sex and healthy relationships.”

The law follows the 2016 Legislative Round-up released this week by advocacy group Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States. The report found that 63 percent of bills this year sought to improve sex ed, but more than a quarter undermined student rights or the quality of instruction by various means, including “promoting misinformation and an anti-abortion agenda.”

Roundups Politics

Campaign Week in Review: ‘If You Don’t Vote … You Are Trifling’

Ally Boguhn

The chair of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week blasted those who sit out on Election Day, and mothers who lost children to gun violence were given a platform at the party's convention.

The chair of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) this week blasted those who sit out on Election Day, and mothers who lost children to gun violence were given a platform at the party’s convention.

DNC Chair Marcia Fudge: “If You Don’t Vote, You Are Ungrateful, You Are Lazy, and You Are Trifling”

The chair of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), criticized those who choose to sit out the election while speaking on the final day of the convention.

“If you want a decent education for your children, you had better vote,” Fudge told the party’s women’s caucus, which had convened to discuss what is at stake for women and reproductive health and rights this election season.

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“If you want to make sure that hungry children are fed, you had better vote,” said Fudge. “If you want to be sure that all the women who survive solely on Social Security will not go into poverty immediately, you had better vote.”

“And if you don’t vote, let me tell you something, there is no excuse for you. If you don’t vote, you don’t count,” she said.

“So as I leave, I’m just going to say this to you. You tell them I said it, and I’m not hesitant about it. If you don’t vote, you are ungrateful, you are lazy, and you are trifling.”

The congresswoman’s website notes that she represents a state where some legislators have “attempted to suppress voting by certain populations” by pushing voting restrictions that “hit vulnerable communities the hardest.”

Ohio has recently made headlines for enacting changes that would make it harder to vote, including rolling back the state’s early voting period and purging its voter rolls of those who have not voted for six years.

Fudge, however, has worked to expand access to voting by co-sponsoring the federal Voting Rights Amendment Act, which would restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act that were stripped by the Supreme Court in Shelby County v. Holder.

“Mothers of the Movement” Take the National Spotlight

In July 2015, the Waller County Sheriff’s Office released a statement that 28-year-old Sandra Bland had been found dead in her jail cell that morning due to “what appears to be self-asphyxiation.” Though police attempted to paint the death a suicide, Bland’s family has denied that she would have ended her own life given that she had just secured a new job and had not displayed any suicidal tendencies.

Bland’s death sparked national outcry from activists who demanded an investigation, and inspired the hashtag #SayHerName to draw attention to the deaths of Black women who died at the hands of police.

Tuesday night at the DNC, Bland’s mother, Geneva Reed-Veal, and a group of other Black women who have lost children to gun violence, in police custody, or at the hands of police—the “Mothers of the Movement”—told the country why the deaths of their children should matter to voters. They offered their support to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton during a speech at the convention.

“One year ago yesterday, I lived the worst nightmare anyone could imagine. I watched as my daughter was lowered into the ground in a coffin,” said Geneva Reed-Veal.

“Six other women have died in custody that same month: Kindra Chapman, Alexis McGovern, Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Raynette Turner, Ralkina Jones, and Joyce Curnell. So many of our children are gone, but they are not forgotten,” she continued. 

“You don’t stop being a mom when your child dies,” said Lucia McBath, the mother of Jordan Davis. “His life ended the day that he was shot and killed for playing loud music. But my job as his mother didn’t.” 

McBath said that though she had lost her son, she continued to work to protect his legacy. “We’re going to keep telling our children’s stories and we’re urging you to say their names,” she said. “And we’re also going to keep using our voices and our votes to support leaders, like Hillary Clinton, who will help us protect one another so that this club of heartbroken mothers stops growing.” 

Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, called herself “an unwilling participant in this movement,” noting that she “would not have signed up for this, [nor would] any other mother that’s standing here with me today.” 

“But I am here today for my son, Trayvon Martin, who is in heaven, and … his brother, Jahvaris Fulton, who is still here on Earth,” Fulton said. “I did not want this spotlight. But I will do everything I can to focus some of this light on the pain of a path out of the darkness.”

What Else We’re Reading

Renee Bracey Sherman explained in Glamour why Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine’s position on abortion scares her.

NARAL’s Ilyse Hogue told Cosmopolitan why she shared her abortion story on stage at the DNC.

Lilly Workneh, the Huffington Post’s Black Voices senior editor, explained how the DNC was “powered by a bevy of remarkable black women.”

Rebecca Traister wrote about how Clinton’s historic nomination puts the Democratic nominee “one step closer to making the impossible possible.”

Rewire attended a Democrats for Life of America event while in Philadelphia for the convention and fact-checked the group’s executive director.

A woman may have finally clinched the nomination for a major political party, but Judith Warner in Politico Magazine took on whether the “glass ceiling” has really been cracked for women in politics.

With Clinton’s nomination, “Dozens of other women across the country, in interviews at their offices or alongside their children, also said they felt on the cusp of a major, collective step forward,” reported Jodi Kantor for the New York Times.

According to Philly.com, Philadelphia’s Maternity Care Coalition staffed “eight curtained breast-feeding stalls on site [at the DNC], complete with comfy chairs, side tables, and electrical outlets.” Republicans reportedly offered similar accommodations at their convention the week before.