Heather Corinna replies:
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?
What you're asking about is female ejaculation, sometimes colloquially called "squirting."
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.
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 women 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.
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: