The Truth About Female Ejaculation

So, what exactly is squirting, other than something that's been recently banned from British porn? The short answer is that we're not entirely sure — but discussion around it is approximately one part science, three parts controversy.
Much was made last week of a recent study (first published online at the end of December in The Journal of Sexual Medicine) that claimed to hold insight into the mysteries of squirting. It was based on research on seven female volunteers who reported emitting large quantities of fluid during sex (around a cup each). Researchers evaluated samples of all of the women's "squirted liquid" and found that all seven consisted primarily of urine. Five of the samples also contained very small amounts of prostatic-specific antigen (PSA), an enzyme that in females is (probably) produced by the Skene glands and that in males is produced by the prostate gland. The researchers concluded that the data "indicate that squirting is essentially the involuntary emission of urine during sexual activity, although a marginal contribution of prostatic secretions to the emitted fluid often exists." In other words, according to this seven-person study, squirting produces mostly pee.
Some women who squirt insist they're doing more than peeing. But does it even matter whether what comes out during sex is mostly, if not all, urine? The issue here is the idea that there's some sort of "true" ejaculate — defined by the presence of an enzyme that characterizes male ejaculation. This is an example of androcentrism in sexual science — reminiscent of the movement to call the clitoris a "female penis." The question "is it cum or is it pee?" has real-world implications, such as the U.K.'s recent ban on squirting in porn. That decision was based on aversion to urolagnia, a form of sexual excitement inspired by urine, which the U.K. considers obscene. When the U.K. deemed female squirting as equivalent to urination, it also became "obscene."
We're still not entirely sure why women squirt, or why different women squirt different substances; we are sure that the results of this study should have no bearing on whether women are allowed to express themselves sexually.
Advertisement

More from Sex & Relationships

Watch

R29 Original Series

Watch Now
Documentary
Five love stories behind diverse, multicultural marriages.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Life experiments, 5 days at a time.
Watch Now
Fashion
The style of subculture.
Watch Now
Beauty
Viral trends, tried and tested.
Watch Now
Documentary
From vibrators to lipstick, learn how your favorite products are made.
Watch Now
Documentary
Extraordinary, one-of-a-kind individuals
Watch Now
Documentary
The latest stories to watch.
Watch Now
Lifestyle
Inside the homes of millennial women — & what they paid for them
Watch Now
Comedy
Let's talk about sex, baby.
Watch Now
Documentary
Female artisans around the world
Watch Now
Politics
Made by and for smart, opinionated women.
Watch Now
Film
We helped 12 female directors claim their power.