Squirting orgasms give women a sense of both pride and shame
A Swedish researcher has spoken to women who squirt. There are those who are ashamed, whilst others are envious of their ability to squirt.
Squirting is both a somewhat unknown and mythical phenomenon that some women experience when they have sex. Can it be compared to ejaculation in men? Is it better than a regular orgasm? And what do the women themselves think of them?
In a study from the University of Gothenburg, researchers spoke to women between the ages of 23 and 69 who had all experienced so-called squirting, or female ejaculation.
The type of stimulation that resulted in squirting differed, with some women experiencing it on their own or whilst having sex with men. Some also experienced the phenomenon with female sex partners.
In any case, the experience gave rise to very different emotions.
“Some described it as a superpower and were proud of what their bodies could do. Squirting gave them a deeper and different satisfaction than an orgasm without ejaculation,” Jessica Påfs, researcher in sexual health at the University of Gothenburg, said in a press release (link in Swedish).
She recently published a scientific article on the subject in the journal Sexualities.
Ashamed of squirting
But there were also women who were ashamed of squirting.
They felt embarrassed or ashamed that they “wet themselves” during sex. In many cases, this was linked to an anxiety about what the liquid really was, and whether there was urine in it.
Some women were also worried about how their partner would react and tried to prevent ejaculation.
“Meanwhile, there were others who were more or less indifferent to squirting. Some were also quite disappointed that it didn't give them an orgasmic sensation,” Påfs said.
28 Swedish women took part in the study.
What is squirting?
Sexologist and nurse Siv Gamnes has had several clients come to her with problems related to squirting.
She sees the same tendency as the Swedish researcher, that there are conflicting feelings on squirting.
But first: what exactly is it?
“Squirting doesn't necessarily have anything to do with orgasms. Squirting can come before the orgasm itself; it can come at the same time, or it can come afterward,” Gamnes tells sciencenorway.no.
The liquid is either expelled as a squirt, or it just trickles out from the woman’s vagina.
Might come from glands in the vagina
What this liquid is, is still a bit uncertain, according to Gamnes.
“Strictly speaking, we still don't quite know what kind of liquid this is. For some, only a little liquid comes out, which leads us to believe it comes from glands in the vagina. There exist some glands there that can contain that amount of liquid,” she says.
However, others can produce a lot of liquid. In such cases, there is no known gland in the vagina that can hold that much fluid.
“The natural conclusion is that it must be urine, because the bladder is the only thing large enough to actually contain as much liquid as comes out of some,” Gamnes says.
An Italian study from 2015 seems to confirm this. Researchers examined the fluid from seven women who had squirted and found that most of the content was urine, in addition to small amounts of creatine, uric acid, and an enzyme produced in the prostate gland in men.
Gamnes believes this contributes to some women feeling ashamed of squirting.
“Many women find it uncomfortable when it gets so wet. They are very afraid that their partner will think they have wet themselves. So that is often what makes it shameful,” says Gamnes.
“For some, this is such a big problem that they actually avoid having sex because they know that they will either dirty the sheets and mattress, or they have to cover the bed in plastic or take other precautions. This is a big challenge for some.”
A talking point
Gamnes has worked with sexual and reproductive health for almost 30 years. She has treated many who come to her wanting to get rid of this.
But she also receives visits from women who would like to squirt but cannot.
“Squirting has gained a kind of status; it has almost become a talking point. Some men, for example, experience squirting as the ultimate confirmation that they have been a good lover for their partner,” she says.
“This has been discussed in very positive ways, and I think it has probably led to many people thinking that it would be cool and special.”
Can be trained
Is it possible to squirt on purpose then?
“There are those who say that you can train yourself to squirt,” says Gamnes.
But it depends a little on what you think squirting actually is.
According to Gamnes, women have no control over any of the glands in their vaginas.
“The only thing we can control is our bladder. We can train ourselves to relax the muscles to such an extent that urine is ejected or squirted out of the urethra,” she says.
But if squirting is the result of a gland located somewhere in the vagina, it will be very difficult to control or train.
Feels like a strong urge to pee
How does it feel to squirt?
“Some get a strong urge to pee, right before thy squirt,” Gamnes says. “Most women experience it at the same time as their usual orgasm.”
This can give a slightly enhanced feeling of pleasure, because then the sensation of peeing becomes an added bonus.
“There might be some extra tension around it, and it can make the experience more positive for those who think squirting is okay,” says Gamnes.
“But those who squirt before or after the orgasm itself, describe it as a normal urge to pee, and that there is not much more to it.”
Translated by Alette Bjordal Gjellesvik.
J. Påfs A sexual superpower or a shame? Women's divergent experiences of squirting/female ejaculation in Sweden, Sexualities, 2022. DOI: 10.1177/13634607211041095