Sex + Dating

Everything You Need to Know About Squirting

Everything You Need To Know About Squirting
Daniel Fishel/Thrillist

Admit it: any time you hear the phrase “We have a squirter!” you’re either watching that one scene from I Love You, Man, or you take it to mean some lucky gal is having the best orgasm of her life.

Just goes to show how little you know.

“The first time I squirted, needless to say I was a little alarmed,” explains one woman. “Since then, I’ve personally only been able to do it when there was penetration involved. I heard all these stories about the ‘wonders of the clitoris,’ and I thought that I was doing something wrong because I didn’t particularly enjoy the feeling. When I finally let go and did what felt pleasurable is when it first happened. The intensity just kept increasing, and it kind of hit a plateau before I squirted. I tensed up (which I would later find helps the process along quite a bit), then I found myself completely sated.”

The reason this woman, along with many others who’ve experienced it, felt so dumbfounded by the process is simple: squirting (much like its sister, the female orgasm) is shrouded in mystery.

“It’s nothing that anyone knows a lot about," says Sex MD Madeleine Castellanos, "because it’s not taught or thoroughly explored -- at least not in medical school. There are of course general things that apply to everyone, like nerve endings and arousal -- but the 'how to' varies so much from person to person.”

In the interest of the greater good, Dr. Castellanos agreed to go deep on the subject. Here’s everything you need to know.

Squirting and female ejaculation are NOT the same thing

This is the big conundrum. Most people, when they talk about ejaculation, their frame of reference is men. If you take that same model and apply it to women, it doesn't translate. Squirting is a natural phenomenon and actually different than female ejaculation, but because it looks more like what we in our mind conceptualize as ejaculation because of what happens to a guy, most people think squirting is the same thing.

Ejaculation is a small amount of fluid secreted from our urethral glands at the time of orgasm. For some, it happens consistently in orgams, and others just when they’re really aroused in orgasm -- but it’s always orgasm-related. Squirting, on the other hand, can be orgasm-related or not at all.

Squirting does not come out of the vagina

When you see a woman squirting on a video, you can't always tell that it's coming from her urethra and not her vagina. And sometimes, porn stars fill their vaginas with water and then squirt it out. And that’s why people get the wrong idea that squirting comes from the vagina rather than the urethra. They’re so close to each other, and I have people swear up and down all the time it comes from their vaginas. And it can feel that way, since there are lots of nerve endings that are similar in the urethra and the opening of the vagina.

But no, anatomically squirting does not work that way. Think about it like when you hurt your neck, and you may feel it in your shoulder too. That doesn’t mean it’s where the pain is actually happening.

It’s actually similar to peeing

Squirting is when fluid is released from the bladder during any point of sexual excitement, stimulation, or orgasm. The fluid has been explained as clear, and with a sweeter taste. There are ultrasound studies that show it definitely comes from the bladder. It makes a lot of sense anatomically speaking, because there is no other structure in that area of the female body that can 1) hold that much liquid and 2) shoot it out with that much force. There are also characteristics that make the fluid similar to urine, but seem like a much more diluted version.

It’s possible you’ve done it without knowing it

For a lot of women, squirting is involuntary. And it can often get lost because most women have other lubrication going on at the same time. If you think about what might be happening when a woman approaches orgasm, the ejaculate can very easily get mixed in with natural lube or artificial lube that is being used. It’s not very easy to identify female ejaculation or squirting, but squirting and female ejaculation can and do happen at the same time.

It’s not like it appears in porn. At all.

People want to rate their sexual experiences -- especially guys -- and this is why squirting gets a lot of popularity. When you have something like porn demonstrating it very clearly, and as something that always happens -- all of a sudden guys now want to teach their woman how to squirt because in their eyes it means she had a good orgasm. Which is kind of silly if you think about it, because pleasure is all accomplished in the brain.

You can have an orgasm in your sleep without even touching yourself. And if you take all of porn to be your measuring stick, then that’s a whole other problem.

It can be an orgasm enhancer for some

For some women, when they feel that rush of fluid at the same time as orgasm it can really enhance the orgasm. I can’t know this for certain since I’m not a man, but it could be very similar to the rush they feel in their urethra when they are ejaculating and having an orgasm. Some women say it enhances it tremendously because they are able to let go a bit more. And that can be very erotic.

You can make yourself do it (here's how!)

It can happen to some women all the time, once in a blue moon, or it might never happen at all -- but yes, you can make yourself do it. That angle between the urethra and the bladder is like a kinked hoof when the bladder gets full. When you want to release it, you squeeze the muscles and it contracts like a balloon -- and it pushes open that kinked hoof, and then you can pee. This is why when you push on the G-spot and a woman is not aroused, she feels like she has to pee and it can be really uncomfortable. But when she is aroused, meaning the urethra is full of blood, it feels really good because it pushes up against the erectile tissue.

So basically, teaching yourself to squirt is learning how to relax a certain set of pelvic floor muscles while pushing up on that area in the G-spot, and opening up that angle, and then allowing yourself to relax enough to out with the bladder at the same time. Eventually you will just sort of learn those steps, and your brain will record it as muscle memory -- and then you associate that with tremendous amounts of arousal. And voila, you’ve learned how to do it.

But that doesn't mean you necessarily should

I wouldn't recommend people go out of their way to learn how to squirt. Because then you’re turning sex into a mission. And sex should never be a mission.

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Liz Newman is a contributing writer for Thrillist, and wishes Peter Klaven would read this article in case he still only thinks squirting happens when grandmothers ride Sybian machines. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter: @lizn813.