I don’t think there’s a way to contribute to the ever-intense conversation about squirt without being fully honest, so let’s start here: the first time I squirted, it was an accident. When it happened, mid-masturbation, I immediately got up in shame and sprinted for the paper towels. I thought, like many other people when they squirt for the first time, that I had peed myself. The liquid was clear, had little smell, and came after intense stimulation and penetration. I shrugged, figured I was just well-hydrated, cleaned up, and stowed any evidence deep in the trash can. My libido for the day was gone—I put away my dildo and didn’t try touching myself the same way for a year and a half out of fear.
I don’t know what exactly made me so scared, embarrassed, and confused after that experience. I know I was worried how a partner might react, and that I wasn’t sure how my body was capable of doing that. I was never taught about cum in health class except for the fact that it came from a penis and would impregnate me—I didn’t know that squirt was its own type of ejaculation, and that four years later, strangers on the internet would know my Instagram as a place where I talked about my perspective on it openly. But time works in mysterious ways and since I’ve made my rallying cry on the internet that “squirt isn’t pee” (it’s a generalization, we’ll get into it later), here are my notes as a sex educator in training and real-life squirter.
It’s still something we’re all learning about.
Nothing in our sex lives should be debated or routinely shrouded in mystery and misinformation—especially not something as common as squirting—but this form of ejaculation is buried in mainstream conversations. Whether it’s dismissed, mocked, or met with silence, we see an eager denial and a lack of interest to investigate this very normal phenomenon. Perhaps this is because the long history of gynecology has consistently conflated vulvas and womanhood: while anatomy does not determine gender, the associations between the two have been concretized, and misogyny has been invoked to look over vulvas in research. We’ve had to search for information in a world with a lot of bias against “female pleasure”—it was only fairly recent that vibrators stopped being administered as a treatment for hysteria (around the 1950s). Perhaps it’s not totally surprising that squirt, a phenomenon with relatively little purpose besides pleasure and sexual release, is so under-explored. But it explains why there’s a myth attributing squirt to wetness or lack of bladder control.
Though it’s been buried for a while, it doesn’t mean you’re alone or that there aren’t legitimate studies. An ongoing research project by Dr. Zhana Vrangalova and Kenneth Play (deemed the “World’s Greatest Sex Hacker” by GQ) seeks to correct the “embarassing” lack of research on squirting. Before their interactive lab, there was only one published survey exploring what percentage of vagina-owners can squirt, and only a half dozen on what the ejaculate was made of. Now, they’re making up for lost time: Vrangalova and Play’s site also has testimonies, an upcoming art exhibit, and comprehensive education. If you’re looking for more detailed explanations about the sensations and experiences of squirting rather than the science, sex blogger Hey Epiphora has covered the topic extensively in her decade of writing toy reviews.
How and where it happens
Let’s talk anatomy for a second. The shortest explanation for squirt is that it occurs after clitoral stimulation: either internally, through the vaginal canal, or externally, around the clitoral glans, or some combination of the two (hey, rabbit vibrator). It’s most commonly attributed to consistent stimulation of the internal clitoris, also known as the “G-spot,” an erogenous zone located two inches up in the vaginal canal. The G-spot feels sort of textured or ridged and can be stimulated through penetration or fingering. From there, Skene’s glands produce a sexual fluid that may release in puddles, gushes, or trickles: whatever you want to call it, that’s squirt! The Skene’s glands are located right next to the urethra (where pee comes out), so if your bladder is full before sex, pee may very well come out too. That’s where the connection between the secretion and urine lies: it can be hard to distinguish if they’re coming out of the same place. But it’s certainly not a function of the bladder: research suggests, in fact, that “liquid from Skene’s glands may have antimicrobial properties, protecting against urinary tract infections.”
Skene’s glands are sometimes referred to as the “female prostate” (significant eye rolls here): this is because—stay with me here, there’s more to unlearn—or most of your life, you’ve probably been told vulvas and penises are impossibly different. But that’s a lie! You can thank the gender binary for it. In truth, genitals have a lot of parts in common—there are a lot of variations, and a lot of the same parts in different places. This diagram can help you visualize the similarities if this is a new concept for you.
Basically, people with penises have a prostate. Located in the booty, it’s super sensitive, produces seminal fluid, is approximately two inches up in the anus, swells when aroused, and allows for great orgasms. The clitoris is also super sensitive, swells when aroused, allows for great orgasms…and…can release ejaculation! That’s squirt!
If you’re interested in learning more about how similar genitals are, I’d suggest you watch intersex advocate Emily Quinn’s amazing TED talk: “The way we think about biological sex is wrong.”
How it happens
Okay, teacher hat off. You know the what and the why—now, let’s talk about how! As I’ve said, clitoral stimulation is the way to go. Fingers or penises can get the job done, but (Ina Garten voice) store-bought stimulators are great too. If you’re interested in shopping for toys to assist, the two iconic squirt toys are the weighted Njoy Pure wand and the Magic Wand. The former, a stainless steel dildo, is curved for G-spot stimulation and heavy enough to apply a lot of pressure. The latter is a powerhouse vibrator with a huge head (providing stimulation to more of your clit at once) and a handle for administering. However, as they each chalk up to be in the hundreds, they’re not necessarily beginner toys. Any vibrator, textured toy, dual-stim toy, and/or weighted toy that focuses on the external clit or the G-spot will get the job done. Just make sure whatever you’re using is body-safe.
If you’re setting out to squirt and are worried about peeing too, it’s not a bad idea to hydrate accordingly and/or run to the bathroom before you start. Heck, lay down a towel too, or, if it’s taking up a lot of space in your brain, talk to your partner/s or experiment with masturbation beforehand. Take your time! Have fun! You’re allowed to feel good about this, you know. You can alternate between internal and external stimulation or try both at once—with a vibrating dildo, cock ring, or rabbit vibrator—or multiple partners. If you feel pressure on your bladder, keep breathing and focus on the feeling of release. Sometimes squirt comes before I know it’s there, sometimes I have to focus on it very intentionally, sometimes it comes out in gushes, sometimes I’m not even sure it happens. Use a mirror and watch it happening! Take a video (18+ please, legally required to say that) for the shits of it. Journal about it! Watch some ethical porn with it! Whatever you need.
Why it matters
I talk about squirt for the same reasons I talk about most of my other subjects in the sex-ed sphere. There’s a huge and unnecessary stigma, and it has real-world consequences. Pleasure is important. At best, it can be a way to rebel against strict and unnecessary ideals and constructs. At its “worst,” it’s nice to feel good now and then. Squirt isn’t bad (as long as it’s enjoyable and comfortable), and sex is messy. Put down a towel if you gotta and enjoy yourself! Life is too short not to cum the way you want to.
By Em Odesser
Illustration by Kim Roselier