Each week, The CSPH answers questions that have been submitted anonymously through Formspring. This week’s question is: What is female ejaculate? Is it different from vaginal lubrication? Is it what people refer to as “squirting”?
Female ejaculate is the term used to describe the fluid that is expelled from the genitals of vagina-owners during orgasm. This is different from vaginal lubrication, which refers to the substance that is often secreted during the ongoing process of sexual arousal that aids in penetrative sexual activity. As blood flow to the genitals increases during arousal, fluid is released and the area becomes engorged, resulting in a “sweating” reaction that lubricates the vaginal walls. The chemical composition of vaginal lubrication contains amino acids, carbohydrates, proteins, and other acids that are naturally produced by bacteria found within the vagina. Furthermore, the combination of the body’s lubrication with the vaginal mucus, also known as vaginal discharge, as well as secretions around the clitoris, are what create the sexual secretions of vulva-owners.
Although female ejaculation is usually referred to as “squirting” or “gushing,” a 2011 study has shown that female ejaculation and “squirting” are in fact two different phenomena. Still, common vernacular is as such that these terms are often used interchangeably, and it should be noted that the aforementioned study is changing semantics solely on the basis of its own research. That said, according to this case study, while female ejaculate has the chemical composition akin to that of semen—consisting of high levels of prostatic acid phosphatase, glucose, and fructose—the liquid released during “squirting” consists of urea, creatine, and uric acid. Small levels of diluted urine may be secreted during squirting; however, this is likely the result of the liquid being produced in the Skene’s gland, also known as the female prostatic structure, which is located near the urethra and in fact drains into the urethra. Additionally, the study states that “the real female ejaculation is the release of a very scanty, thick, and whitish fluid from the female prostate, while the squirting is the expulsion of a diluted fluid from the urinary bladder.”
In spite of all the facts listed above, it should be noted that only the general components of vaginal sexual secretions are known. The exact source and nature of vaginal ejaculation and “squirting” are still subjects of debate amongst scientists and medical professionals. Future research should offer additional illumination on the subject.
Unfortunately, due in part to cultural ignorance on the subject, female ejaculation and squirting can be subjects of confusion and shame for those whose genitals react in this way. Vagina-owners are often either made to feel ashamed of their ability to ejaculate or squirt, or are pressured to perform in this way by partners. In this sense, it’s important to remember that not all people are able to ejaculate or squirt. Furthermore, shame over female ejaculation and squirting are often due to fear that one is urinating, or is about to urinate during sexual activity. As I’ve discussed, female ejaculation and squirting are not urination, although trace, negligible amounts of pee may be found in the fluid that is squirted. Also, some vagina-owners describe the sensation of needing to pee during sex; however, if one urinates before sexual activity, this sensation is in actuality the feeling associated with the body being on the brink of squirting. As long as one pees prior to sexual activity, upon feeling this sensation, it’s recommended that the vagina-owner “bears down” in order to increase the chances of squirting. Some describe squirting as highly pleasurable, as it can, though not always and not for everybody, occur concurrently with orgasm.
Those who ejaculate and squirt tend to do so through stimulation of their anterior vaginal wall, where the “G-Zone” (also known as the G-Spot) is thought to be located. Stimulation of the G-Zone can occur with fingers—though, mind to clip your nails short!—or with toys such as Njoy wands, which are made to put pressure on the anterior vaginal wall. Some people are also able to ejaculate/squirt from clitoral stimulation. For reference videos about squirting, you can check out KinkAcademy, where Aiden Fyre and Dylan Ryan discuss “Experiencing Squirting” and “Time to Squirt Part 1.” Lastly, I’ll note that the amount of fluid secreted also varies, from a minor amount to what seems like a lot. If the amount of fluid is inconvenient for the person due to soaked bedcloths, I recommend having sexual activity on top of folded towels. Moisture-proof blankets, such as Fascinator Throes by Liberator, are another alternative. Some may also enjoy having sexual activity in the shower or bath, which allows for convenient clean-up.