This Is What Happens to Your Body When You Squirt

An expert explains if it can *actually* make orgasms better.

Despite covering sex and sexual wellness for close to a decade now, the one thing that I’ve always been a bit skeptical of is “squirting.” Although I’ve covered the topic multiple times and have had a few friends tell me that they had experienced the mythical female ejaculation, I usually listened with one eyebrow raised, wondering if maybe there were mistaken or exaggerating. Similar to the elusive G-spot orgasm, I had to experience it firsthand before I could completely buy into it. Breaking news: I’ve bought into it. Squirting has happened to me.

A couple of months ago, I was sexting with an Italian I’d met on a dating app with plans to be in Rome before the summer was over. (Of course, this was before travel restrictions were put in place due to coronavirus (COVID-19).) I thought meeting a guy there in advance with whom I could have a little tête-à-tête after months of lockdown would be fun. But, as is the case with a lot of sexting, our conversations eventually evolved from R-rated to X-rated to XXX-rated, meaning it went from chats to video fairly quickly.

So one time, when we were talking dirty over FaceTime, I reached for my LeWand Bow—a stainless steel dildo perfect for G-spot stimulation and P-spot, too—and I became extremely aroused. It was the type of arousal that only comes around when you meet someone with whom you have a massive amount of chemistry and you actually feel tingly all over; it’s such a deep-rooted desire for another human being that it feels like an ache—something I’ve experienced with only a few men in my life.

While he was jerking off, painting a perfectly dirty picture with his words, and I was using my Bow, I realized my bed was getting wet. Like, really wet. Although I was on the brink of an orgasm, so close that I could taste it, I jumped up thinking maybe I’d become incontinent mid-sexting and it was time to put my Kegel exercises into overdrive to prevent any further accidents. But when I looked at the wet spot there was no hint of urine; it didn’t look like it, and it didn’t smell like it. Could I have just squirted?

There was only one way to know for sure, and that was to bring in expert, Dr. Megan Stubbs, sexologist and author of the forthcoming book Playing Without a Partner: A Singles’ Guide to Sex, Dating, and Happiness.

What is squirting?

Before we even get into what happens to the body when someone squirts, it’s important to realize what squirting is. “Squirting is the releasing of fluid during sexual arousal,” says Dr. Stubbs. “This could be a gush or a trickle—but don’t expect a fire hose of fluid as it’s portrayed in porn.”

As Dr. Stubbs explains, while intense arousal is part of the equation, it doesn’t always accompany an orgasm. In my case, because the squirting caused me to jump out of bed fearful I’d pissed myself, an orgasm didn’t accompany my, well, squirt fest.

What exactly is squirting liquid made of?

One school of thought is that the liquid is urine or at least a watered-down version of urine. As Dr. Stubbs explains, this can be equated to the fact that the liquid comes from the urethra. “It’s not straight-up pee,” she explains, “but as it does exit the body through the urethra, it can pick up urine along the ride.”

But while some researchers have found that this liquid comes from the bladder, other experts are quick to mention that’s not always the case. As Dr. Stubbs points out, the liquid can come from the Skene’s gland (the female equivalent of the prostate gland), which is found on the inside wall of the vagina. What does this mean exactly? There are two different types of liquid that a woman can possibly expel during female ejaculation, one being a milky substance in small amounts and the other being the consistency of water in larger amounts.

Interestingly enough, because neither liquid serves a biological purpose, researchers remain baffled as to why it even exists. The milky substance from the Skene’s glands has been found to share some of the same components as male semen—minus the sperm, of course. But researchers can only guess as to why some female bodies ejaculate, with one study suggesting it “has a unique function in producing a secretion into the urethra that provides protection from urinary tract infections (UTIs).” However, that’s still not a definitive, matter-of-fact conclusion. Female ejaculation, in many ways, still remains a mysterious phenomenon.

Can someone make themselves squirt?

Maybe, but also maybe not.

“You’d have to be really aroused and be stimulating the G-spot area with a curved, wand-type dildo,” says Dr. Stubbs, adding that to do so could create the sensation of the need to urinate, a feeling that not everyone enjoys. But still, try as one might, there’s no guarantee that everyone can squirt—just like not everyone can whistle or wiggle their ears or tie a cherry stem into a knot with their tongue.

In fact, squirting still remains somewhat of an anomaly. Because of this, getting an exact number of how many women experience female ejaculation isn’t easy. A 1990 study found that, out of 2,350 women, 40% of them ejaculate when they orgasm; a 1984 study of 227 women found that percentage to be 54; and a 2013 study of 320 participants found that anywhere from 10 to 50% of women squirt during sexual arousal and/or orgasm. And, because that range isn’t vast enough, what’s considered “squirting” can be anywhere from a few drops to half a cup of liquid. To add to the WTF factor of squirting, the figures are just as vague as the theories behind it.

Does squirting make orgasms better?

Not necessarily, because an orgasm doesn’t always accompany squirting.

“Some women say they don’t feel a difference when they squirt,” says Dr. Stubbs. “Others say it’s the most powerful orgasm they’ve ever experienced, while others report that the squirting actually ruined their orgasm.” As is the case with most things in life, whether they’re sex-related or not, it all depends on the person. Not everybody is going to respond to stimulation in a certain way, nor should we expect that to be the case.

A few days later, after what I thought could’ve been a squirt session, the Italian guy and I once again had our chat evolve into pure raunchiness of the highest kind. This time, I was standing because I was curious as to what had happened to my body the previous time (had I joined the ranks of squirters?!). So I used my Bow again, and, low and behold, like “une femme fontaine,” as my French ex so eloquently called it, I squirted everywhere. I couldn’t believe it; I actually said out loud, “I squirt! I’m a squirter now!” I was equal parts proud, shocked, and disappointed in myself for thinking squirting to be just as mythical as dragons or Atlantis. Squirting, in real life, may not be as dramatic as it is in porn, and it may not be directly linked to an orgasm, but female ejaculation is legit and yet another testament to just how fascinating the human body is when it’s all hot and bothered.