The Difference Between ‘Female Ejaculation’ and ‘Squirting,’ Explained
Squirting isn’t as commonplace in real life as it is in the world of porn. In the pornographic universe, sex is almost always followed by women having loud, intense orgasms, which, in turn, are accompanied by squirting. The reality, however, couldn’t be more different: for starters, almost 10% of women report never experiencing an orgasm in their lifetimes, and about 75% can’t orgasm from intercourse alone. As for expelling fluids out of pleasure, only between 10-54% of women can do so — they either experience it regularly or have, at least, once in their lifetimes.
But unlike what most people believe — either due to the absence of sex education or our general lack of awareness about female bodies — female ejaculation and squirting aren’t the same thing. Knowing the difference between them not only allows us to develop a better understanding of female pleasure, but also enables us to unlearn the sexual fictions we may have grown up believing in — courtesy of porn.
Squirt and female ejaculate originate from different parts of the female body, and are, in fact, constituted by different kinds of fluid. Their quantities can differ too: the amount of female ejaculate discharged during intercourse can go up to a tablespoon, if not lesser. Squirt, on the other hand, can make up to 10 tablespoons of fluid. Neither, however, gushes out of female bodies as projectile fountains — that’s yet another myth propagated by porn.
Female ejaculate is dense and whitish in color — making it look just like semen. Squirting, on the contrary, appears clear and watery. The latter, arguably, is just a flowerier (pun intended) term for peeing — it’s, basically, “diluted urine.”
Often, they’re mixed together in the fluid that’s discharged in the aftermath of a pleasant intercourse.
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As for their respective origins, female ejaculate originates in the “female prostate.” Not nearly as known as the male prostate, female prostate is another name for the Skene’s glands — a pair of tiny organs found on either side of the urethra. Besides prostate-specific antigen, female ejaculate also contains prostatic acid phosphatase and fructose, leading experts to deem it as “similar to male ejaculate but without the sperm.”
At the same time, the fluid ejected during squirting, originates in the urinary bladder, is expelled through the urethra, and is made up of urea, creatinine, and uric acid. But that’s not all it contains — it can also include prostate-specific antigen, an element it has in common with female ejaculate.
“It is this relatively clear, relatively odorless liquid that comes through the bladder and out the urethral opening, which depending on when the person went and peed most recently and how hydrated they are and all of those things, may or may not contain more or less traces of urine,” Zhana Vrangalova, a sex educator and adjunct professor of human sexuality at New York University, explains. “[T]he more a person squirts, the more likely pee is to be involved. The greater the volume… the more likely there will be urine in the composition — possibly a lot of urine,”
For a long time, though, the constituents of squirt have been largely disputed. “There’s confusion because people don’t understand female anatomy in general. There’s very little research on the topic; it’s only now getting any rigorous scientific study,” notes Gigi Engle, a sex educator.
Now, a new study, published in the International Journal of Urology, appears to have reached a relatively firmer conclusion on what squirt is made up of.
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The researchers involved in this experiment injected a blue dye into the urinary bladders of the participants. When they squirted upon stimulation, the fluid they expelled was blue. Testing its chemical composition, the researchers found out that the liquid was mostly urine. However, it did contain some amount of fluid from Skene’s gland — further confirming the idea that the fluids in squirt and ejaculate can often be mixed together.
“It is this relatively clear, relatively odorless liquid that comes through the bladder and out the urethral opening, which depending on when the person went and peed most recently and how hydrated they are and all of those things, may or may not contain more or less traces of urine,” Zhana Vrangalova, a sex educator and adjunct professor of human sexuality at New York University, explains. “[T]he more a person squirts, the more likely pee is to be involved. The greater the volume… the more likely there will be urine in the composition — possibly a lot of urine.”
Is there a biological purpose to squirting and ejaculation, though? Scientists don’t know yet. However, here’s a theory: past research suggests that the female orgasm may have evolved to help women with better mate selection. It might be possible, then, that the expulsion of fluids during sex merely reinforces the mate selection process — acting as a measure of the attraction and/or pleasure one feels toward different “mates” they’ve slept with. That, however, is just a hypothesis.
But arguably, squirting or ejaculation or orgasms don’t have to serve an evolutionary purpose. Research around them is instructive in understanding the body, how it experiences pleasure, and whether it can shape people’s ideas of themselves and their relationships.
With more than 75% of the respondents in a survey admitted to squirting having enriched their sex lives, there may be wisdom in just going with the flow (pun intended, again).