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It feels like I have to pee during sex. Do I have a problem?

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erubber asks:

I know this is a silly question, and I've read quite a few things... but I'm still not sure what exactly I was experiencing when I was having sex the other day.

In all honesty, it felt like I was about to pee myself. it happened quite a few times too. I think it might've been leading to an orgasm (which I've never had before) but it felt like I needed to pee so I had to stop doing whatever I was doing. Can someone tell me what it is? Do I have a problem?

Jenna replies:

This is definitely not a silly question. In fact, many people with vaginas experience the feeling of having to pee from stimulation inside the vagina by fingers, sex toys or a penis. Understanding your body and anatomy can help to explain why you feel like you have to urinate during sex, and also help you become more comfortable during sex, instead of feeling like you have to stop.

G Marks the Spot, or Anatomy 101

Imagine yourself standing up in front of a mirror, from the side. The bladder, which holds all of our urine before going to the bathroom, is located right in front of the vagina (between your vagina and belly button). Connected to the bottom of your bladder is the urethra, which is a thin tube that ends where you pee from. If it's hard to visualize, check out Innies & Outies: The Vagina, Clitoris, Uterus and More for diagrams and an overview of how all the parts of your genital anatomy fit together.

Understanding how everything fits together inside of us explains a lot! Even if your bladder is empty, feeling pressure on the front wall of the vagina through sex, masturbation or fingering can give the feeling of having to pee. We learn at a very early age to recognize that feeling of pressure as a signal that we have to go to the bathroom. Of course, if the bladder isn't empty, then you will almost certainly have that feeling.

In addition to the bladder and urethra being located right in front of the vagina, there is also a little area of tissue inside the vagina called the "g-spot", or Grafenburg Spot. The g-spot is an area of tissue that surrounds the urethra, and can be felt on the front wall of the vagina. When aroused, you can feel around with your fingers about an inch or two in, and the surface might feel spongy or textured differently than the rest of the vagina. Know that if it doesn't feel that way, it doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you; everybody's body is different.

For more information on the g-spot and the rest of your anatomy, read over With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body. This article covers anatomy of different bodies, but with information on how our body parts might experience sexual pleasure.

When it comes to the g-spot - and just about everything else sex-related - everyone is different. For most people, the g-spot is not a "magic button" that will lead to an orgasm when pressed the right way. However, many people do find that g-spot stimulation can feel really great.

If you find that g-spot stimulation, either by yourself or with a partner, does not feel very good, that's also not uncommon. Some people find that it doesn't feel like much (there are more nerve endings on the clitoris and opening of the vagina than deeper inside, so that's no surprise), or it might feel too intense--even, for some, painful. In fact, some people find that g-spot stimulation makes them feel like they have to pee! Others still might find that g-spot stimulation can lead to what is known as female ejaculation.

Riding the Wave of Ejaculation

Ejaculation can occur during sexual stimulation, and is when fluid comes out of the urethra. The source of ejaculate for people who have vulvas has been debated, but most researchers agree that it is not urine. Not all women experience ejaculation, and for those that do, it does not happen every time, or always with orgasm. Often times, however, ejaculation happens when the person with a vagina is about to orgasm and feels that sensation of having to urinate, instead of stopping or holding back, they continue sexual activity and remain relaxed, or continue sexual activity and bear down as if urinating and release the fluid. If their bladder is full, that will result in also urinating of course, but if their bladder was empty, and something comes out, then they can know it is ejaculate.

Ejaculation does not always happen that way, but for many people, that is how it tends to happen. There are some really great, in-depth resources that can give you more information on ejaculation that I would suggest checking out: Squirt: On Female Ejaculation and Female Ejaculation and the G Spot by Deborah Sundahl are a great start.

It is possible that the sensation you have been feeling could be a number of things: your bladder might not be entirely empty and pressure on the front wall of your vagina is making you feel like you have to pee, or you might be experiencing the feeling just prior to ejaculation. Or, you may be feeling pressure on your empty bladder and interpreting that as needing to pee. As I said above, we learn when we're young that a feeling of pressure means it's time to go to the bathroom, and when we experience pressure external to the bladder--such as from fingers or a penis--it can be hard, at first, to distinguish that from the internal pressure of urine that needs to get out. Whatever it may be, there are a few things that you can do to ensure you are comfortable and (hopefully) not have to stop doing whatever you are doing.

  • Urinate before sex. Peeing immediately before any type of sexual activity can help ease worries of having to urinate. If your bladder is entirely empty during sex, then chances are that the sensation of having to urinate has more to do with pressure on your bladder, or potentially a precursor to ejaculation. Also, if your bladder is empty, then you know that if any fluid does come out of your urethra during sex or orgasm is not urine. Urinating after sex is also a good idea, because it flushes out any bacteria from your urethra and can help prevent urinary tract infections.
  • Sex towel. Laying down a towel prior to sex or masturbation is another way to potentially ease any concerns of peeing or letting out any fluid. It might sound silly, but plenty of people use towels specifically for sex to keep their sheets or furniture clean of any lubricant or bodily fluids.
  • Sex in the shower. This is not an option for everyone, depending on accessibility or mobility, but if you can have sex in the shower, it might be a good way to explore releasing any fluids if you have that sensation, and not worry about feeling embarrassed or making a mess.
  • Masturbate. There are countless reasons why masturbation can be a great sexual activity for many people. Some reasons why masturbation might be great for you are that it can help you explore your body without worrying about peeing or ejaculating while with a partner, and that it can also help you explore orgasm. You mentioned that you have never had an orgasm before, which is definitely common and totally okay. If you do not currently masturbate, however, you might find that it is a great way to learn more about your body and what types of sensations your body responds to. or more on masturbation and orgasm, check out Having trouble reaching orgasm? Masturbation is your friend.

Last but not least is communication. Having open communication with your partner is one of the most important components of a healthy sexual relationship. It sounds like your concern has more to do with worrying that you have a problem (you don't), but I still want to make sure that you also feel comfortable during sex, instead of worrying about whether you are going to pee or not. Letting your partner know that it is possible that you might let out a little fluid during sex, and that it might be ejaculate, might help you feel more at ease. In fact, you might even want to show them this answer!

My favorite resource for open communication is Be a Blabbermouth! The Whys, Whats and Hows of Talking About Sex With a Partner. It has some really great tips for talking about sex, particularly those conversations that might be a little more awkward to have.

To sum it up, the bottom line is that NO, you do not have a problem. If you find yourself constantly feeling the need to urinate during any type of sexual activity, or that this sensation is interfering with your ability to enjoy sex or masturbation, then I would suggest seeing a healthcare professional near you. Other than that, the keys are to relax, feel comfortable, and have clear and open communication with your partner.

Resources

Squirt: On Female Ejaculation
Sexual Response & Orgasm: A Users Guide
Innies & Outies: The Vagina, Clitoris, Uterus and More
With Pleasure: A View of Whole Sexual Anatomy for Every Body
Female Ejaculation and the G Spot by Deborah Sundahl
Having trouble reaching orgasm? Masturbation is your friend.

written 30 Jan 2013 . updated 21 Jan 2014

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