Boom. Daniel Sochor/Shutterstock
Robin Andrews 10 Jun 2016, 16:18

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?

Covert Operations

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?

Ultrasonic Detection

It makes sense that ejaculation is there to aid the reproductive process, and that ideally, the female ejaculate is there to assist the appearance of the male ejaculate inside the vagina. If the sperm are able to swim through additional fluid that is of the right temperature, viscosity, and pH, then they would be more likely to reach the unfertilized egg and the end of the biological road.

One recent study wanted to know if female ejaculation was indeed an act of “hyper lubrication”, so they recruited seven women who self-reportedly produced enough ejaculation per orgasm that they could fill up a sizeable glass, enough to cause staining on the bed sheets. After providing the researchers with a urine sample, and emptying their bladders as they did so, they were then asked to go into an ultrasound machine and stimulate themselves until they orgasmed – with or without the help of a partner.

The amount of fluids produced per female orgasm varies from entire glasses of liquid to none at all. vvvita/Shutterstock

A sample of each of their ejaculations were taken, before the team looked through the ultrasound images. To their surprise, despite the bladder being vacant of any urine before they orgasmed, it began to rapidly fill up with fluid just before they orgasmed, suggesting that, for these women, squirting is essentially a massive release of pee.

The subsequent chemical analysis of the fluid samples confirmed that two of these women did ejaculate fluid that was almost entirely urine. However, the other five, despite also producing mostly urine, also showed traces of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) in their orgasmic produce. PSA is a substance that helps sperm swim, and it is actually also found in male ejaculate. It’s produced in the prostate gland in men, but in women, it is forged in the Skene glands, and it sometimes resembles a milky-white liquid.

The researchers came to the conclusion that there are two types of female ejaculation: urine dominant and PSA-infused, with the latter being designated as the “true” ejaculate, in that it contains a substance designed to assist the act of reproduction. Either version appeared to be equally as enjoyable to the subject, so in terms of sexual pleasure, it’s irrelevant which one occurs, or even if it occurs at all, of course.

There is a contentious debate as to whether or not all women can produce ejaculate when they orgasm, with some gynecologists arguing that they can. This particular matter is far from settled, but it appears as if the chemistry of the ejaculate, for all intents and purposes, is.

Science and Society

Curiously, female ejaculation was recently banned from UK pornography, whereas the act of male ejaculation was not. It’s not entirely clear why this was the case, but it was also deemed illegal to show alongside “aggressive whipping”, penetration by “any object associated with violence”, and strangulation, among others.

This was met with considerable protest, as it implies that female ejaculation is somehow too graphic or even perverse to show – unlike male ejaculation, which is hardly subtle itself. The implication was that, because the female orgasm is mostly urine, it should be classed as something more akin to an “obscene” pornographic act, like watersports, asphyxiation, and intentional violence.

Both types of ejaculation seem to serve the same purpose, yet one isn’t allowed to be shown in pornographic images. That’s society for you. worradirek/Shutterstock

As many commentators have pointed out, the fact that female ejaculation is mostly urine doesn’t make it any less obscene than the male product. When you’re drawing a line between microscopic tadpole-like critters and urine, you’ve simply got your priorities utterly wrong. Quite frankly, does it really even matter what it is as long as everyone is enjoying themselves?


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