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There are two kinds of people in the world: Those who have wondered what female ejaculation actually is, and liars. It’s as scientific a question as any other, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are plenty of scientists out there that have spent part of their careers probing this sensitive topic. So what do they have to say about it?

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First off, ejaculation does not happen without a preceding orgasm. Both men and women can ejaculate when they reach orgasm, but the male version is quite different from the female equivalent. Whereas the masculine piece of equipment is always quite simple – a few minutes of vigorous stimulation and you’ve got your fireworks – there are multiple ways for a woman to achieve orgasm, and they can produce highly varying fluid-based results.

Some take very little to reach the final hurdle, whereas others take far longer; psychology, mood, and emotional comfort play enormous roles in many cases. There’s often a debate as to how many kinds of orgasm a woman can have, but scientists generally settle on two: one caused by penetration, which stimulates the entire clitoral and vaginal complex, and another caused by external clitoral stimulation.

It’s a sensitive subject for some. Piotr Marcinski/Shutterstock

It’s a complex subject, but when a woman attains orgasm, fluids are sometimes released – ones very different from that released when a man gets overexcited. In terms of the first orgasm, men always fire out a flood of spermatozoa and enzymes, but only between 10 and 40 percent of women experience an involuntary emission of fluid. The volumes can vary wildly, but the amount of female ejaculate that appears per fluid orgasm falls between 30 and 150 milliliters (1.01 to 5.07 fluid ounces).

This is colloquially known as “squirting”, and for thousands of years philosophers, thinkers and, surely, all women, have wondered exactly what it might be. It certainly doesn’t contain sperm, so what exactly is it composed of, and why does it appear?

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