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What Is Squirting Exactly & How Does It Happen?

If you watch a decent amount of porn — or otherwise travel in circles that talk about orgasms a lot — you might’ve heard a thing or two about ejaculation or “squirting” that can sometimes when a person with a vagina orgasms.

Squirting over the years has gone from a taboo topic to a sought-after bedroom experience for some people. A big reason many people used to feel more ashamed or less excited about the idea of squirting when they orgasm is because squirting (also sometimes called “female ejaculation,” though not everyone with a vulva identifies as female) just hasn’t been discussed or understood in the way ejaculation for people with penises has.

What is squirting?

Dr. Michael Ingber, a physician who has done research on the subject of squirting and is board-certified in urology and female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, tells SheKnows that squirting is simply when the person’s ejaculation fluid comes from the urethra.

Similar to penises, vulvas have “a bit of tissue at the junction of the urethra similar to the prostate, which is near the bladder,” he says. This tissue can “squirt” fluid into the urethra during sex or orgasm. The fluid produced, according to recent research out of Japan in 2022, is a combination of “urine, but may also contain fluid from Skene’s glands (female prostate).”

While some people with vulvas expel fluid at the time of orgasm, there is also a condition known as “coital incontinence,” which is different. Coital incontinence is when there’s a large explosion of urine at orgasm, Ingber explains. This is typically something people seek medical assistance with.

What fluids are involved?

When someone with a vulva squirts during orgasm, there is prostatic-specific antigen (PSA) in the fluid. PSA is also “the protein produced in men’s prostate gland,” Ingber says.

Are squirting & ejaculation the same thing?

Ingber says vulvar ejaculation and squirting are essentially the same thing, although there has been much debate on the subject. While some people with vulvas have a small amount of milky-white discharge after orgasm (known as ejaculate), some expel enough fluid that it’s equivalent to wetting the bed.

How come some people with vulvas can do it & others can’t?

Ingber conducted an informational survey and found about 10 percent of people with a vulva squirt during orgasm. He also added that while some people enjoy this experience, others are annoyed by it or find it embarrassing or inconvenient.

A person’s ability to squirt depends on having the proper glands, as some people with a vulva simply “don’t have enough fluid within the gland,” Ingber notes. While there are procedures to fix squirting for those who don’t like it, Ingber says there has been no proof someone who doesn’t do it can teach their body to do. He adds, “it seems to be a natural phenomenon not everyone can do.”

The important thing to remember is whatever your body does during an orgasm is natural, and there should be no shame attached to it. Climaxing is an amazing experience to have on your own or share with a partner, and whether you have a vulva or a penis, the more we understand the way our body works, the more pleasurable the encounter. No one should feel ashamed while having an orgasm (or not) for any reason.

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