Piss or pleasure?

Sex on Tuesday

My right hand was massaging along my labia while I was showering when all of a sudden I felt a tepid moisture trickle down my legs and into the shower drain. Initially, I assumed it was nothing, probably just the water from the shower.

But the next time I started messing around in the shower, it happened again. And again. The correlation began to stand out, so I started trying to fiddle with myself in my room (with many towels laid out) in order to figure out exactly what was going on.

Despite my efforts, I only ever seemed to have this result in the safe, warm confines of the Foothill showers. Was this the “female ejaculation” I’d heard so much about? Or was it just my wishful thinking?

Confused, I took to the internet and tried to figure out exactly what was spewing out of me. And although I found some explanation, most of it was speculative. Unfortunately, not a lot of research has been done on non-male pleasure, and even less of it has been focused on understanding more about this phenomenon that is experienced by some indeterminate number of people.

Much like the G-spot, squirting is like an elusive unicorn of sex — many people think it’s like a mythical creature that exists only in unrealistic porn depictions.

The term “female ejaculation” isn’t especially clear either. There are multiple different fluids that can be emitted from a vagina. What happens for me is more accurately described as squirting or gushing. In short, I expel a clear and more diluted liquid that originates in the bladder (as some researchers believe). Other people, however, experience the release of a substance that is more analogous to semen — a smaller amount of a more viscous and opaque fluid, potentially coming from the paraurethral glands.

People think that the former is just piss. But some research suggests that the makeup contains only trace amounts of urea, so it’s not just me peeing myself in the shower.

Although some people call squirting “gross,” it has also somehow become an ideal that people with vaginas are expected to meet. If someone says they’re a squirter, their sexual prowess and desirability are immediately elevated.

Knowing this, I was pretty excited about my newfound ability. But so far, I’ve never actually squirted in the presence of another person. I can only do it in the shower, and when I do, it isn’t paired with an orgasm — it’s more of its own thing.

The one time I showered with a partner after a particularly good romp, I wanted to see if I could make the gushing magic happen with him. I tried to stimulate myself in the ways I knew would get me there, but even so, I wasn’t able to squirt … until after he left the shower. A veritable torrent of liquid spewed out of me, but only once his back was turned.

I’m not alone. Squirting, while possible, can be rare and inconsistent.

Perhaps part of the problem lies with the intermittent and contradictory research out there — no one really knows what exactly causes squirting. There’s still a lot of debate over whether it’s actually possible for everyone who has a vagina to squirt because researchers don’t know if everyone’s glands are capable of it.

Squirting seems like an elusive unicorn to many of us because there isn’t enough concrete and reliable research on it. Many people with vaginas have all these unanswered and unanswerable questions, but still, society puts this absurd pressure on us to gush every time we are aroused.

There are numerous guides on how to “make” yourself a squirter, and even more on how to get your partner to squirt. There is a prevailing belief that squirting is a choice — that it can be easily controlled and that you “should” learn it to make sex even hotter for the other person. But it isn’t something that you can just turn on and off. And if we’re with a partner who doesn’t find it hot, then we’re made to feel embarrassed because “It’s, like, pee! So gross!”

Until we begin to listen more to people who squirt and validate their experiences by conducting more research, squirting will remain something of a mystery. And as that mystery persists, so will these unrealistic expectations of it.

So here it is: I’m a squirter, and I’m proud. Squirt with confidence.

Rebecca Martin writes the Tuesday column on sex. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @beccasexontues.