Even Aristotle knew women could squirt
Eons ago when I was a medical assistant in a women’s clinic, after we’d locked the doors at the end of the day, our nurse practitioner Judi would tell us stories. Her favorite patient was named Amanda. Amanda was built like a Barbie doll with plastic tits and platform shoes. She always wore tight white pants that made it obvious she wasn’t wearing sensible underwear. She was a serial monogamist and every month or so would come to the clinic for an STI check because she’d just met “The best guy ever!” and apparently all her best guys didn’t want to use condoms. One day Judi reported to us that Amanda had found a man who was so good at making her come that she wet herself.
“Is that common?” I asked, wondering if I was at risk of having an orgasm like that.
“I don’t know. I’ve never heard of it.” Judi replied. Judi was about fifty-five and had dutiful, uneventful sex every night with an insatiable husband. She kept a pump-dispensing bottle of lube next to the bed. None of the other 20-somethings on the team spoke up. Apparently no one else was familiar with the I’m-wetting-myself-orgasm. So we all shook our heads and secretly wondered if Amanda’s sexual escapades had set her up for early incontinence.
What we didn’t realize was Amanda was a squirter, but back then, well, we were flummoxed. Now days you can’t avoid talk of squirting. It’s become the orgasm du jour: proof of a man’s skills and a woman’s abilities. “I want to make you squirt, baby.” has replaced “I want to make you come.” Maybe it’s such a turn-on to men because, unlike a moaning, table-slapping, Meg Ryan orgasm, a woman simply can’t fake 100 cc’s of liquid blowing like a fire hose across the room from her vagina.
Even though I had never heard of squirting when I was younger, female ejaculation has been described as far back as 300 BC by Aristotle who wrote that female discharge during sexual intercourse “far exceeds” the seminal emissions of the man. A 17th Century Dutch gynecologist was the first to distinguish the distinct difference between vaginal lubrication and female ejaculation, describing it as “pituito-serous juice” secreted around the time of orgasm. Then in 1952 a German gynecologist Ernest Grafenberg, known for his detailed description of the vaginal erogenous zone we now call the G-spot, wrote an article called, “The Role of the Urethra in Female Orgasm” after observing masturbating women expelling fluid “in gushes” from their urethras at orgasm.
And maybe gushing from one’s urethra was exactly why squirting didn’t seem to be on my radar thirty years ago; because women didn’t want to admit it. Masters and Johnson, in their pivotal collection of data known as The Human Sexual Response went so far as to proclaim female ejaculation a myth. Known to Aristotle but denied by thousands of American women? Does that mean women weren’t admitting to it because they were embarrassed by the phenomenon? You’ve got to wonder.
But now we talk about squirting, and watch it, all the time. Squirting is one of the most sought-after acts on porn sites. It’s lost its stigma because not only does it demonstrate an obvious climax, we’ve been told repeatedly it’s not pee. It’s the ultimate cum shot; more powerful, more forceful, more exuberant than a man’s hiccuping spurts of semen.
But here’s the lowdown: we rather are peeing on our partners. Despite the fact that people swear up and down that female ejaculate is NOT pee, a study carried out last year shows that the fluid discharged by squirting women during orgasm is, incontrovertibly, coming from the bladder.
It was a small study conducted in France. The women who bravely volunteered to orgasm in a laboratory for the good of science were self-reported prodigious squirters. Ultrasound images were taken of their bladders right after they’d peed which, as expected, showed an empty bladder. Then they masturbated alone or with a partner for between 25-60 minutes. Just as they were about to reach orgasm (this is where you’ve gotta love being a sexologist in the lab), their bladders were scanned again. Somehow, within this period of increasing arousal, their bladders had filled significantly. After orgasm, samples of the liquid were collected and another ultrasound performed, which then showed empty bladders.
I know, you’re thinking, ‘But it’s nothing like pee!’ Sorry again. The biochemical analysis of the fluid discharged during orgasm was identical to the urine analysis before orgasm in two of the subjects. For the other five it was identical with the exception of a small amount of the female prostate specific antigen (PSA) thought to originate from a woman’s Skene’s glands.
Does this matter? It doesn’t, really. The fact is, pee is sterile and doesn’t pose any health risks, and fluid ejaculated by women during orgasm is incredibly dilute. A squirting orgasm is generally the result of some seriously pleasurable G-spot stimulation, though only a small percentage of women spontaneously squirt during intercourse. Practitioners, however, believe that most woman can squirt with enough practice, patience and a willing partner.
But like any orgasm, squirting needn’t be the end goal of good sex. I rather look at it as a novelty. It’s like the Flake on top of your Mr Whippy; a little extra treat in addition to the bodacious yumminess of your ice cream. It’s all about enjoyment, and with or without a squirt is just fine by me!