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Female Ejaculation 101: setting the record crooked

By Maya Khamala

There are lots of things both men and women are capable of doing but for which only men are properly recognized: building houses, flying planes, and, well, in case you missed the memo, ejaculating. 

Progress though there has been on these and other fronts, the latter remains among the most controversial of them all. So much so that in 2014 the British Board of Film Classification banned face-sitting and female ejaculation in porn. And it actually stuck. Why? Because it was among a list of acts deemed too obscene or dangerous. Again, why? Because apparently, female ejaculation, aka squirting, can’t be reliably distinguished from pee and is therefore too offensive for porn. 

These (quite frankly offensive) politics of bodily fluids might lead an alien life form scrutinizing us from afar to draw the following conclusions: a) men’s pleasure is the main event, and b) women’s pleasure is wrong/indecent/gross/questionable at best. Sigh. And of course, to complicate matters further, the fetishization of squirting in certain circles has led some women to feel that squirting (as depicted in mainstream porn) is expected of them—in an oppressive kinda way. No matter how you look at it, it seems everyone’s got their lackluster, conservative minds in our knickers—and very few of them have the anatomy to qualify ‘em for such explorations.

So, “controversial” as it may seem, here are some basic facts about female ejaculation to set the record straight (or crooked, for those of us who don’t subscribe to linear, wholly definable worldviews):

A little bit o’ herstory 

200–400 A.D.: the Kamasutra made mention of “female semen” that “falls continually.”

16th century: Dutch physician Laevinius Lemnius, referred to how a woman "draws forth the man's seed and casts her own with it." Back then, it was believed by many that female ejaculation was necessary to produce a baby.

17th century: François Mauriceau described glands near the female urethra that "pour out great quantities of saline liquor during coition, which increases the heat and enjoyment of women." Meanwhile, Dutch anatomist Reinier de Graaf stated he believed the fluid in question "which in libidinous women often rushes out at the mere sight of a handsome man,” was derived from a number of sources, including the vagina, urinary tract, cervix, and uterus, as well as the Skene's ducts.

19th century: In Psychopathia Sexualis, an 1886 study of sexual perversion by Austro-German psychiatrist Kraft-Ebing, female ejaculation is classified as "Congenital Sexual Inversion in Women" and associated with neurasthenia and homosexuality.

Modern-day squirting science 

There are not a lot of studies on squirting, and those that do exist are small (why doesn’t science get its priorities in a row already?). However, although scientists don’t totally agree about the exact origins of our sweet, unclassifiable nectar, de Graaf was likely onto something when he figured it was a combination of things.

While the enigmatic elixir in question does come from the urethra, it is created in the Skene’s gland, aka the female prostate, said to be part of the G-spot. Got that? Analysis has shown that the fluid contains prostatic acid phosphatase (PSA), an enzyme present in male semen that helps with sperm motility. It also tends to contain fructose, again, just as male semen does.

For years, the scientific community believed that women who ejaculated were experiencing incontinence, but this has since been disproved. A 2014 study of 7 women (the same year the UK banned squirting in porn) found that the fluid builds up in the bladder during arousal and exits via the urethra during ejaculation. First, ultrasound exams were used to confirm the participants' bladders were empty. The women then stimulated themselves until they ejaculated, all while continuing to be monitored with ultrasounds. The findings? All participants started with an empty bladder which promptly began filling up during arousal. Post-ejaculation scans revealed participants' bladders were once again empty.

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, between 10 and 50% of women ejaculate during sex. However, in an older study of 233 women, 14% of participants reported ejaculation with all or most orgasms, while 54% said that they had experienced it at least once. When the same researchers compared urine samples from before and after orgasm, they found more PSA in the latter, leading to conclusions that all females produce ejaculate but are not always aware of it as it sometimes flows back into the bladder to be passed during urination.

More fun facts 

According to Pornhub’s data analysts, women are 44% more likely to search for squirting videos compared to men, and the popularity of squirting decreases with age. Bellesa's 2017 year in review confirmed this! Worldwide, visitors from Colombia, South Africa, Venezuela, Vietnam, and Slovakia are far more likely to search for squirting videos than people in other countries. 

Bottom line: In case you’ve been led to believe otherwise, there is no right or wrong way to have an orgasm, silly. Whether you soak the bed, convulse with nary a drop to be found, or even experience pleasure without orgasming at all, anyone who casts judgment on the sanctity and veracity of your poompoom’s plight, purpose, or pleasure should be rapidly cast aside.

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