Are You Asking The Right Questions About Squirting?

 In Featured, General Musings

Squirting – it’s trending right now. It has been for a few years with everyone from Cosmopolitan to Buzzed News, The Frisky to Refinery29, Thoughtcatalog, Women’s Health Magazine, and Marie Claire for God’s sake debating and talking and polling and sharing funny little .gifs about the mystery of “female ejaculation” (their words, not mine) , having pulled the once party-trick-esque act out of the taboo world of porn and into every average Jane’s bedroom, it’s almost impossible for you to not have heard at least a little bit about it – unless you just found the internet yesterday.

There are umpteen different takes and opinions and studies on the squirting phenomenon, it can be daunting to even google let alone try to understand for yourself. Among the hundreds or thousands of points of view out there, there are two main schools of thought.

  1. The G-spot doesn’t even exist, and since the theory of squirting revolves around G-spot stimulation, if the G-spot isn’t real then neither is vaginal ejaculation. If squirting isn’t real, but someone with a vagina is still expelling fluid then this leaves us with only one option – they’re peeing the bed. Squirting is just peeing and we don’t want to admit we’re full-grown adults who pee ourselves so we call it something else. Further backed up by studies that show the fluid comes through the urethra which is connected to the bladder so duh obviously no other possibility than pee.
  2. The G-spot does exist, stimulating it causes an expulsion of fluid, that fluid comes from the Skene’s glands which are near the G-spot which has the unfortunate coincidence of being mashed inside you near the bladder as well and to stimulate one is to stimulate the other, but despite all that and even though it may or may not come out of the urethra – it’s definitely unquestionably certainly absolutely not pee.

There are a few more moderate ideas, like maybe the G-spot isn’t one “spot” and what you’re stimulating is a network of tissue that is mashed all up in there with the urethra and bladder (sort of like how we’ve recently learned that the clitoris is actually huge and not just that little tiny nub that sticks out under the labia) so maybe you are aggravating the area you normally use to pee except now you’re doing it for sexual purposes…and maybe it is- maybe it isn’t pee. Some studies show that the composition of the expelled fluid is sorta like pee but not completely pee, but it’s also only sort of like prostatic ejaculate but also not completely unlike it…which makes sense since we’re talking about vaginas and not prostates, but maybe people with vaginas have something inside them around that G-spot/urethral sponge tissue that acts like a prostate called the Skene’s glands…or maybe they don’t…

These discussions have gone round and round – quite popularly in the last half a decade or so –  and ultimately nobody has definitively proved anything. A bunch of mostly-cis-male scientists and doctors keep releasing papers and super small studies and opinion pieces that say it’s definitely pee, and then a bunch of mostly-cis-women say “I’ve had this vagina my whole life, I swear to little baby jesus my G-spot fucking exists and I would know more about it than you do, and by the way I’m not fucking pissing my bed!” and round and round it goes again. What your personal take-away from the topic is depends largely on whether or not you’re a squirter, and which think-piece you stumble upon. If you do squirt and you find an article that tells you you’re pissing in your bed, you might walk away feeling scared of ever having sex again and ashamed of your body. If you’re not a squirter and you find this same article maybe you feel relief, you can stop trying and trying and trying to force your body to do something it doesn’t usually do because who would want to pee their bed? On the other side of the coin, if you are a squirter and you find an article hailing it as one of the best things your body can do, hooray you’re validated, but if you’re someone who’s been struggling to learn how and you find someone’s blog post that tells you that “every woman can squirt and totally should because it’s the best ever” you might be feeling that same shame and guilt and fear of brokenness that someone who was told they were peeing their bed would feel. What a mess, right?

I have my own personal train of thought around G-spots and squirting that’s a bit of a mashup of everything I’ve read. I definitely do believe in the G-spot, I think it’s kind of silly not to when you’ve got millions of people providing personal experience with having one of their own. We – the human race, doctors, science, anybody – really don’t know nearly as much about the human body as your personal doctor would like you to believe we do when they’re lecturing you about your cholesterol, so it’s truly not hard for me to believe that we’ve just done a real shit job of figuring out the vagina and it’s neighbouring parts. Especially when it comes to parts of female-assigned bodies that exist only for pleasure and aren’t playing some vital role in keeping us alive (which can get sick and then need a cure which will cost lots of money), science really couldn’t give a single fuck, so of course we’re way behind in our understandings of these things.

Whether or not the fluid comes from the urethra or some hidden vaginal crevice or appears by magic, whether it’s because you stimulated a special gland or just annoyed your bladder by jostling everything around or you chanted the secret password, how much the fluid is or is not like prostatic fluid is all moot to me – I just do not care, it feels totally unimportant – to me, personally –  because I quit worrying about whether it was pee or not.

Which is what I mean when I ask, are you asking the right questions about squirting? The question I asked myself, and think you may (or may not, that’s cool too) want to ask yourself is – does it fucking matter, really? 

I’m not saying you have to take on this approach, I get that pee is gross to some people and of course many of us do not desire to piss the bed, that makes perfect sense to me. I am not personally one for watersports, so I don’t derive any glee from the possibility that I’m peeing on myself when I orgasm. Glee isn’t what I’m asking about though, I’m asking about just simply caring. I don’t derive any glee from sneezing either but I don’t freak out about it when I do, I just clean up the mess and get on with my life. Anyone who has ever been within a 5 foot radius of a toddler for more than 2 minutes knows that the human body is full of lots of fluids in varying degrees of unpleasantness, but we just clean them up and move on. Why can’t we do that as mature adults? If you can get past the total aversion to your own urine that society has bestowed upon you (with good intention, I’m not saying we should stop teaching kids to not play with their pee because it has a slight chance of affecting their sex life 20 years later…), can you find a place in yourself where you can say “if one day science does actually prove once and for all that it is definitely 100% pee…so what? Oh well.”? Can you put all the Huffington Post and Jezebel nonsense to the side, forget about what some random person says is or isn’t, and just let your body do whatever it is that your body wants to do? 

For the past few years I’ve been battling these issues with myself. I can say with certainty that I’ve squirted at least once, but I can only be completely sure of that one time. I know at least some of it was ejaculate because it was a goddamn flood coming out of my vagina and as someone who is chronically dehydrated who also made sure to pee before the sex began, there is no way that what happened to me was only peeing. It’s just not possible. I’ve never pee’d that much in my life even when I did drink enough. Lots of people describe squirting as a needing-to-pee sensation and I’ve felt that plenty of times when masturbating with a showerhead, but since I’m in a stream of running water there’s no way to tell if I’m expelling anything and if I am, what it is. It’s entirely possible that in these instances I actually am peeing and not ejaculating, since the showerhead pulsing can be quite intense and irritating to sensitive bits like urethras. The water could even be getting forced into the urethra and then expelled back out. Some people report being able to squirt from clitoral stimulation but the vast majority require something internal, so it’s possible that clit stim might be aggravating enough to cause some people, me included, to pee and mistake it for squirting – who knows. As I got used to just letting myself pee or squirt or whatever it is I do when I’m masturbating in the shower, I found myself experiencing that same need-to-pee feeling outside the shower with more and more frequency. I’ve either accidentally unlocked my ability to easily squirt, or I’ve accidentally trained my body to be comfortable with peeing when I’m not “supposed” to be. I’d prefer it be the former rather than the latter, but I don’t really have a way of knowing for sure. I spent about a year or so actively noticing that feeling and then making sure I held back when having sex or masturbating in bed because nobody wants to sleep in the wet spot (and especially not a pee spot, if that’s what it is.) This was getting more and more uncomfortable and leaving me feeling like I wasn’t able to experience my orgasms in full if I’m terrified I might pee, so in April 2016 I decided to just make myself a waterproof throw to put down so I could do what I thought would be the best solution to the problem – stop caring. I also began exploring my G-spot for the first time in earnest last year, and if the G-spot truly is the gateway to squirting it just seemed like a good thing to have on hand just in case. Even on days when there isn’t a drop of anything leaking out of me, I can still wipe the lube off my hands onto something that I don’t care about staining (unlike my sheets) so it’s all around just a really good idea to have and I’m really glad I made it. (There’s a whole lot of them you can buy but I’m a stubborn DIYer who has to do everything the hard way.)

Giving myself that “safety net” has made a world of difference. I’m able to focus entirely on my pleasure and my orgasms without being scared of having to do the laundry or staining the mattress. If I really am just peeing…so what? What’s the harm? If you need a little extra convincing, consider that it’s kind of cool to be so severely wrapped up in sexual ecstasy that you can’t control your body anymore, like that is really intense okay, whatever you’re doing that’s some good shit. By giving my body permission to do whatever it is it needs to do to feel good, I’m allowing myself to experience those earth-shattering sensations in their fullness, rather than holding them back and overanalyzing what’s happening, trying to figure out where my body lies in this ridiculous debate.

I wouldn’t mind the debate so much if it weren’t so damn shamey. The doctor/scientist side seems hellbent on proving that it’s pee, instead of being interested in just knowing one way or the other. While just about everything begins as a theory you want to prove or disprove, if you insist your theory is right and do everything in your power to make the results show that….that’s not good science. I have absolutely nothing against anyone who wants to honestly and objectively research this stuff, I would very much like for the world to gain knowledge and understanding about vulval/vaginal pleasure, lord knows we deserve it, but that’s not what’s happening and the slant is too hard to overlook.

They never present their findings like “welp, turns out it’s just pee, but that’s cool if it feels good for you, keep on doing whatever you want! Now we just know what it is” – no – it’s always some gotcha, like “A ha! We’ve proven it! You’re a dirty pee-er! You think it’s fun to piss yourself! Lookit you, peeing!”, they seem to want to prove that you’re doing something wrong with your body, and it’s worse that you like it. The ‘It’s not pee’ side is not perfect either, their vehemence that they are not pissing themselves is still a bit shamey to the idea that someone might leak during orgasm, which is very common especially after childbirth and as we get older. They want to make sure you know that it can’t be piss because they would never willfully piss on themselves, goodness no. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.

If you look into forum threads on squirting you will always find at least a handful of people who will admit that they are so grateful to have found out about squirting because they really believed they’d been pissing themselves all these years – I’d argue that if they hadn’t been able to tell the difference in sensation, color, smell, texture, etc etc between urinating and squirting, then there’s probably a handful of people out there who are, at least some of the time, actually peeing. Some of these self-professed squirters were probably a part of these small-scale studies everyone is trying to use to definitively prove squirt is pee, which of course skews the data to make it look like all squirters are just pee-ers. Currently, all the tests are flawed, and both sides of the argument are flawed, which is why I think it might be a good idea, if you’re feeling shamed, to just remove yourself from it, throw down a towel, and try to just do what makes you feel good.

The number one question to ask about squirting might not be “What is it?“, but “Does it make me feel good?” If the answer is “yes”, how about we just do it without worrying so much?