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Free Tote Bag to Show Your Support for the Study of Women's Sexual Wellness w/ Purchases $60+

Free Tote Bag to Show Your Support for the Study of Women's Sexual Wellness w/ Purchases $60+

Free Tote Bag to Show Your Support for the Study of Women's Sexual Wellness w/ Purchases $60+

Free Tote Bag to Show Your Support for the Study of Women's Sexual Wellness w/ Purchases $60+

Free Tote Bag to Show Your Support for the Study of Women's Sexual Wellness w/ Purchases $60+

Blog  /  science & sex  /  What Is Squirting?
What Is Squirting?

What Is Squirting?

Some experts believe that every woman has the potential to squirt, while others think it's more about individual differences in our bodies.

What Is Squirting?

Some experts believe that every woman has the potential to squirt, while others think it's more about individual differences in our bodies.

Like many aspects of female sexual pleasure, squirting is a controversial and frustratingly misunderstood phenomenon. Despite being a thing for thousands of years, it's still somewhat of a head-scratcher.

Below, we give a lowdown on the available research on squirting and bust some of the most common myths. Specifically, what is squirting, is it different from female ejaculation, and is it just pee?

What is squirting?

In simple terms, squirting is when a person with a vagina releases fluid from their urethra as a response to sexual stimulation or orgasm. This fluid is typically clear, colorless, and odorless.

Squirting is different from the fluid that lubricates your vagina during sexual arousal — getting "wet". Lubrication during arousal comes from two pea-sized glands located on each side of the vaginal opening (called Bartholin glands), as well as fluid created by the vagina as blood flow increases.

How common is squirting?

There aren't solid statistics on how many women can squirt. The way women describe and report their experience with squirting can vary a lot, which makes the data a bit inconclusive. The psychological fear of accidentally wetting yourself might also stop many women from squirting.

Some experts believe that every woman has the potential to squirt (we love the encouragement), while others think it's more about individual differences in our bodies.

The International Society for Sexual Medicine suggests that somewhere between 10% to 50% of women ejaculate, but many might not even notice because the fluid can flow backward into the bladder. Meanwhile, research from the Journal of Sexual Medicine says up to 69% of women might ejaculate.

The amount of fluid varies widely, too. If you've seen squirting depicted in mainstream porn, you may be picturing gushes of fluid, but some women might experience a small trickle instead. According to a 2013 study, the amount of fluid released can range from a few drops to 150ml (5 oz). Remember: the sex you see in porn is rarely what real sex looks like.

Why do some women squirt?

The short answer is, we don't know. Everyone's body is unique and we all respond differently to sexual stimuli.

One theory has to do with the bladder and Skene's glands (more on those below), which are both involved in the process. Since they're located close to the G-spot, which is a few inches inside the front wall of the vagina, stimulating the G-spot could also stimulate the surrounding areas.

It's also unclear if squirting has a biological purpose beyond providing pleasure — not that it needs one. Some theories suggest that the fluid released during squirting could potentially help cleanse the urethra and prevent urinary tract infections (UTIs), but that's still up for debate.

Either way, squirting is perfectly normal and nothing to be concerned or embarrassed about. At worst, it just means you might have to wash your bedsheets more frequently.

What does squirting feel like?

Much like an orgasm, the sensation of squirting is pretty subjective and can vary from person to person. Some people say it feels like a deep, internal release that happens during orgasm, often described as a "bearing-down" sensation.

Others feel like they need to pee just before the fluid is released, which might be linked to the bladder's involvement. And for some, it just feels like a sudden wetness without any specific sensation.

Squirting vs. female ejaculation

Although people use the terms "squirting" and "female ejaculation" interchangeably, some experts argue that they aren't the same thing, but rather two separate phenomena that don't always happen at the same time. The fluids are different, as is where they come from and how they come out.

The biggest difference is that squirting is when a clear, colorless fluid comes out of the bladder. Female ejaculation, on the other hand, is a milky-white fluid with prostate-specific antigens (PSAs) that come from the Skene's glands. The Skene's glands are located on the front wall of the vagina and release fluid through ducts in the urethra.

Another key difference is volume. Squirting typically involves higher amounts of fluid that gush out, while female ejaculation usually involves a small release of fluid.

However, a 2022 study on women who can squirt found there's an overlap between the two. In the study, researchers emptied the women's bladders with a catheter and then injected a blue dye into them. They made them squirt through sexual stimulation and collected the fluid. The study found that the fluid was blue in all cases, showing that it came from the bladder. But it also contained fluid from the Skene's glands, which suggests a link between squirting and ejaculation.

Is squirting pee?

This is the million-dollar question. When it comes to squirting, there's not a lot of solid research out there. So, while there's still a lot we don't know about squirting, it's not quite accurate to say that it's "just pee." For starters, it's not yellow, and it smells nothing like pee. So where did this misconception come from?

For many years, researchers believed that female ejaculation was just urine, and this idea is still widely accepted by some.

A 2015 study involving seven women, published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, concluded that squirting is mainly the involuntary emission of urine during sexual activity. In this study, the women emptied their bladders before sex, and then had their bladders scanned before and after squirting. The scans showed that their bladders filled up before squirting and emptied right afterward. This study became infamous and people quickly jumped to the conclusion that squirting is just peeing.

However, not only did this study have a tiny sample size, but it also found that five out of the seven women had PSA in their ejaculate. PSA can be found in semen, but you wouldn't usually find it in urine. Urine is mainly water, urea, creatinine, uric acid, and traces of minerals like sodium and potassium.

Earlier research published in Sexuality and Human Rights showed that PSAs weren't present in women's urine before sexual self-stimulation, but were found in both their urine and female ejaculate after stimulation. Additionally, studies by sexologist Beverly Whipple (who coined the term 'G spot') showed that urea and creatinine were only found in female ejaculate at very low levels.

It's all pretty complex, and currently, there isn't a consensus among sexual health professionals and researchers about what squirt fluid is. It's clear that it comes from the bladder and has a similar makeup to urine, but more research is needed to fully understand squirting. For now, we can say that it's different to pee. Letting go of the idea that squirting is "just pee" can also make it easier to relax and give yourself a better chance of squirting.

Involuntarily peeing during sex can happen. It's called coital incontinence, and it's distinctly different from squirting. It's most common in women with existing urinary incontinence or pelvic floor dysfunction. Knowing the difference is important because it can make it all the easier to spot the signs of urinary incontinence. If you're experiencing urine leaks when you have sex or masturbate, see your healthcare provider, OB-GYN, or a pelvic floor specialist.

Why all the confusion?

It's safe to say that there's still no clear consensus on squirting, but dismissing it as just "diluted pee" does a disservice to what is a pretty complex and fascinating bodily function.

The question "What is squirting?" is still, for the most part, unanswered. You can blame society's discomfort with female pleasure (and the historical marginalization of women's bodies) for the lack of research. It also doesn't help that many study designs don't differentiate between squirting and female ejaculation.

It's a topic that deserves more attention, and the more we know about squirting, the more we learn about the female body.

The TLDR is that squirting is completely normal, and if it feels good, you definitely shouldn't be embarrassed about it. Just put a towel down first!