There’s a whole lot of curiosity about squirting — in fact, “how to squirt” is one of the most-Googled sex queries, according to search data. This sexual act is still a bit of mystery, one that continues to flummox sex experts and regular people alike.
Here’s what we know: Squirting occurs when fluid is expelled through the urethra during sexual stimulation or orgasm. It’s sometimes referred to as “female ejaculation,” but it can happen to trans and non-binary people, too.
While many people use the terms squirting and female ejaculation interchangeably, some experts believe they are actually two distinct phenomena that produce different fluids. However, research on the subject is lacking, and the studies we do have involve very small sample sizes.
Those who differentiate between the two say squirt is a large amount of clear liquid that is chemically similar — but not identical — to diluted urine (more on that later). Ejaculate, on the other hand, is a smaller quantity of a thicker, milky substance.
“Squirting involves fluid coming from the bladder. And female ejaculation involves fluid that comes from the Skene’s glands,” Milstein said. Also known as the “female prostate,” these glands are located near the opening of the urethra.
Female ejaculate has been found to contain a high concentration of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), while squirt may also contain PSA, but in a lower concentration. It’s worth noting that squirting and ejaculation can also happen simultaneously.
The release of fluid during female arousal or climax may be a fairly common occurrence. Some studies have put the prevalence at between 10% and 54% of women.
“We pee when we’re peeing, we squirt when we’re squirting, and sometimes we pee during sex. All separate events.”
“The first group of people idealise squirting and romanticise it as the only way to experience a deep satisfaction,“ Moali told HuffPost. “The other group includes women who feel embarrassed by it.” If it happens during sex, she said, they worry “their partner may assume they’re urinating.”
Sex experts address these common concerns, and others, below.
First off, squirting is not just peeing.
Let’s clear one thing up. Squirting may occur via the urethra — the tube that connects the bladder to the outside of the body — and the fluid may contain urine, but it’s not the same as urinating during sex.
“We pee when we’re peeing, we squirt when we’re squirting, and sometimes we pee during sex,” sex and pleasure educator Luna Matatas told HuffPost. “All separate events. I think the big concern is more about body and sexual shame than it is about squirting facts.”
Science “doesn’t center the pleasure of vulvas in research,” she added, “so we are way behind on understanding the pleasure anatomy and its functions.”
A sex toy reviewer who goes by the name Epiphora — and runs the blog Hey Epiphora — pointed to the studies that have found prostate-specific antigen in squirt, as well as her own experience with squirting, as evidence that it’s not “just urine,” as some claim.
“An army of vagina-owners, including myself, know the stuff they ejaculate does not look, smell or taste like pee,” she told HuffPost.
Squirting can feel good, but it’s not the be-all, end-all of sexual pleasure.
Despite what porn and other media might have you think, squirting is not a measure of how much a person enjoyed a given sexual activity.
“Some women may love the sex play, and yet never squirt,” Milstein said. “And some women may squirt every time they’re sexually aroused. That doesn’t mean that every time they have sex, it’s the best sex of their lives.”
Similarly, some people consider squirting “the pinnacle of sexuality,” said Moali. If they’re unable to do it, they feel like they’re missing out, their body is letting them down or their partner is falling short.
While squirting “can be pleasurable, it’s not a necessity for experiencing pleasure during sexual encounters,” Moali said. “If you’re interested in trying it, squirting can be fun. But if you’re not, your sex life can still be very hot.”
Nor do squirting and orgasms always go hand in hand. And when squirting orgasms do happen, they’re not necessarily more satisfying than other types of orgasms.
“Bombastic media coverage loves to claim that squirting equals bigger, better orgasms,” Epiphora said. “This is an insidious lie. Squirting is not a life requirement in any way, shape, or form. If you want to pursue it, great! Your sexual explorations should be dictated by you, not pressure from culture.”
Can you teach yourself to squirt?
There’s some disagreement as to whether you can learn how to squirt, Milstein said. However, if you have a vulva, you “can probably experience it with enough practice,” said Moali.
Again, squirting is by no means necessary for a fulfilling sex life, and you shouldn’t feel pressured — by a partner or yourself — to do it. However, if you’re interested in getting to know your body better and uncovering new sensations, read on. (Just know that not everyone enjoys the feeling, Epiphora noted.)
First, lay down a towel or sex blanket to prepare for any potential mess. Then, take a deep breath and relax. Our experts agreed that if you want to squirt, taking the stress out of the endeavor is essential. When you’re so focused on a particular outcome, it’s difficult to enjoy the experience.
“Stop trying so hard,” Matatas said. “Our body relies on our nervous system being in a receptive and relaxed state in order to open up the flow for arousal and for muscle contractions to happen. When we focus too hard on a goal like squirting or orgasm, it takes us into our heads and often results in more tension and less relaxation.”
Another tip? Slow things down and leave plenty of time for foreplay.
“People learning to squirt will want to allow at least half an hour to get fully turned on and stimulated,” Moali said.
Matatas recommended getting the body “super aroused” with 20 minutes or more of an activity you know you respond well to. That might be making out, watching porn or using sex toys.
Pay special attention to the G-spot; the erogenous zone located along the anterior vaginal wall is key for many people who squirt.
“Give G-spot-specific stimulation with a firm and curved G-spot sex toy,” Matatas said. “G-spots like firm and continuous stimulation, so rocking instead of thrusting might work better for building pleasure. Don’t hold your breath, remember to breathe, and notice any tension anywhere in the body. Take breaks if it is taking too long for you, and remember you can always try again.”
You may still find “mind-blowing pleasure” with these kinds of toys “even if you don’t actually squirt,” said Milstein.
You can also stimulate the G-spot by pressing with the fingers, Moali said.
“You can pinpoint the exact spot that you or your partner likes,” she said. “Plus, they are flexible enough to try different motions until you learn what your partner needs to squirt.”
“Your sexual explorations should be dictated by you, not pressure from culture.”
When Epiphora squirted for the first time 15 years ago, it didn’t “just happen” to her — she “had to pursue it,” she said. She had read online that intense G-spot stimulation could lead to squirting and that the initial feeling would be like the one you get when you need to pee. One day, she was using a curved dildo when she felt that sensation and followed it, she said.
“I sped up, thrusting as quickly as I physically could, until a warm sensation washed over my vulva and fluid poured out of me. It was an intense moment. I was in awe,” Epiphora said. She credits sex toys with her “G-spot awakening,” which helped her enjoy penetration for the first time in her life. (The best sex toy for squirting, in her opinion? The njoy Pure Wand.)
Over time, squirting became easier for her to achieve. These days, her orgasms are “regularly accompanied by a small gush,” but “full-on squirting is a once-in-a-while thing” because it’s “too messy,” she said.
The G-spot may often be associated with squirting, but you don’t need to stimulate that area in order to squirt, Matatas said.
“You can stimulate other erogenous zones like nipples, anuses, lips, etc.,” she said. “Explore fuller body pleasure by giving attention to under-served erogenous zones like necks, scalps, thighs, bellies, backs.”
And while squirting can be an enjoyable addition to your sexual repertoire, “it may happen sometimes and not others,” Milstein said. “Or it may not happen at all.”
“Regardless, don’t let the focus on squirting get in the way of you enjoying what you’re doing,” she said.