SEX ED : The Truth about the Vagina and its Wet Orgasms

Female ejaculation. Squirting. Vajaculate. Shejaculation (thank you, Urban Dictionary).  For some, this is the holy grail of sexual gratification. Glorified by the porn industry as a measure of intense sexual pleasure, the elusive and inconclusive nature of the fluids that exit vaginas during sex have many….chasing waterfalls (sorry).

 This particular “definition” of vaginal ejaculation (again, courtesy of Urban Dictionary) eloquently captures the general confusion surrounding the subject:

a woman/girl brings herself to a wet climax or has a wet orgasm and she then looks like she’s pissing out a clear watery liquid, which she is actually squirting and has a wet orgasm(i’m not completely sure what it’s called, but i’m assuming it’s either the equivilent[sic] to a male’s cum or the female’s version of precum) which she is actually not pissing out and it’s not the same colour as urine either

 - Aaron S.

 Thank you, sexpert Aaron and your porn-based education. Interestingly enough, PornHub reports that women are more likely than men to search for squirting videos. No wonder we’re curious! Many of us with vaginas haven’t been taught much about them. And many of those without are either the ones doing the “teaching” or in the dark too. So, what the hell is vaginal ejaculation?

 Let’s talk about what we do know. We know that the prostate - a gland the size of a walnut to golf ball - releases about five milliltres of fluid with penile ejaculation. And there is no gland that size near the vulva or vagina. We do have the Skene’s glands, two glands the size of a pea which drain into the urethra (like the prostate) and can release one to two millilitres of fluid during sexual activity. Chemical analysis has identified that this fluid contains a little bit of PSA - prostatic-specific antigen - indicating that the Skene’s glands and its ejaculate may be the equivalent to “male cum” after all (Aaron, you little genius). Medically, this is female ejaculation.

 However, note that this ejaculate doesn’t exit the vagina. Any liquid that leaves the vagina itself during sexual arousal is known as vaginal transudate - that wetness or natural lubrication. It comes from liquid in the bloodstream which leaks through the vaginal wall. With sexual arousal comes increased blood flow to the pelvic region, resulting in that celebrated phenomenon we now (very un-medically) call “WAP”. But, both the ejaculate from the Skene’s glands and vaginal transudate are not produced in the volume or with enough force to explain that other phenomenon some experience: squirting.

 Our final consideration is liquid from the bladder via the urethra. Long story short, yes, those that experience an expulsion of clear liquid during sexual activity greater than a few millilitres are possibly “peeing.” A small study conducted by the International Society for Sexual Medicine asked women who reported squirting to empty their bladders then, while hooked up to an ultrasound, were stimulated to orgasm. Their bladders filled up very quickly and emptied; the squirted liquid was identified as a very watered-down version of urine. Although produced by the urinary system and expelled via the urethra, there’s nothing to be grossed out by here. Normal, healthy pee has a specific concentration of toxic excretes, such as urea and creatinine, and functions to remove them from our body. Squirting differs in composition and doesn’t have a clear purpose, so, in those ways, is categorically unique from urine.

 Like many other variables of our sexual anatomy, liquids that exit the vaginal region during arousal vary in occurrence, frequency and volume across and within individuals. Some produce a lot of natural lubricant consistently. Others produce it sporadically. Some produce a small amount of milky-looking ejaculate. Some create a puddle of clear liquid and others don’t create much fluid at all. Most likely, the majority of us have the ability to expel a combination of all three. There’s no healthy or expected standard nor do they particularly mean anything (PSA: wetness is not an indication of arousal, enjoyment or form of consent). But it’s also okay to be curious by the possibilities. Waterfall, babbling brook or not, whatever works for you works for you.

By:

Allayna Annett

@laneyannett