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When women orgasm, where does it come out from?

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Confused and Uninformed asks:

Hi, I've been looking around some sites for a while and haven't found any information on what I'm looking for and maybe that's because it's so obvious, but the more I look up information the more confused I get.

When a woman orgasms, where exactly does it come out? And do you need to lose your virginity before you can come? Some sites referred to the clitoris as a gland, which made me wonder if it came out there, but that didn't seem likely... so as you can see, my research hasn't helped and now I'm just outright asking. Thanks for your time and sorry if this is really a stupid question.

Heather Corinna replies:

When you don't know the answer to something or can't find it, it's never, ever stupid to ask a question. What would be stupid is NOT to ask! Too, women -- and plenty of men -- are very often taught little to nothing about their sexual response systems and cycles, so not knowing about it hardly makes you stupid: it makes you have a lot in common with almost everyone.

Understand that for men and women alike, orgasm and ejaculation are separate -- though often related -- events. When a man reaches orgasm, he will often -- but not always -- ejaculate right afterwards. But things are a bit different for women, likely in part because (we can only theorize, never having seen the original blueprints for the design of the human sexual anatomy) female ejaculation isn't part of human reproduction like male ejaculation is.

Not all women ejaculate, and those who do rarely ejaculate with every orgasm. Too, it's pretty common for women who do ejaculate to do so either before orgasm -- sometimes well before -- after orgasm, or only with or around one orgasm before another. For those women who do ejaculate, when they do, it's understood to come through the urethra (where we also urinate from, just like male ejaculate comes through their urethra) and/or the paraurethral ducts, and most researchers at this time think that fluid comes from the Skene's gland, which is inside the vagina. But again, women orgasm all the time without ejaculating, even women who do and can ejaculate, which not all women do. There are plenty of women having plenty of orgasms but never ejaculating, or not noticeably so.

In case that isn't clear, what orgasm is isn't a sexual fluid excretion. That's what ejaculation is. Orgasm is, instead, a nervous system event, which many people often reach -- and experience genital, as well as whole-body sensation from -- through various kinds of genital sex. But some people can reach orgasm sometimes without any genital stimulus at all!

As far as virginity and orgasm goes, if by virginity you mean have vaginal intercourse, no. You not only do not need to have vaginal intercourse first or ever to orgasm, most women will not reach orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone. Orgasm for women is more likely to happen either through clitoral stimulus -- which intercourse doesn't often provide much of all by itself -- or, for those who have intercourse with orgasm, by combining activities which do provide clitoral stimulation during intercourse, such as by adding manual (with fingers) clitoral stimulation to oral sex. Lots of women never have penis-in-vagina intercourse but have orgasms all the time.

The clitoris isn't a gland: it's a sexual organ whole unto itself. In fact, when we're in utero, before we're born, the clitoris is the homologous structure to the penis (in other words, fetuses which turn into boys have that structure become a penis; those which will be girls have it develop into a clitoris). When we're fully developed, they are largely the same size and still similar in many ways. We just can't see the whole size of the clitoris because a large portion of it is internal, around part of our vaginal canal, our outer labia and even stretching a bit down into both inner thighs, believe it or not. Nothing comes out of the clitoris, as it isn't an opening like the urethra, vagina or anus.

Take a look at these links below. They should round out what you're missing and leave you feeling a lot more informed:

Heather Corinna • Scarleteen Founder, Editor & Advice-Slingin' Sister • Author, S.E.X.

written 05 Dec 2007 . updated 05 Dec 2007

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