Let's talk squirting. Otherwise known as female ejaculate, it’s the liquid that sometimes comes out of your body during and/or post-orgasm. For some women, it may happen every time they experience an O—but for others, it may never happen at all.
Unfortunately, there’s not a ton of info or research out there on squirting though, so TBD what the actual liquid is, where it comes out of, and what causes someone to squirt. Honestly, it just might be the greatest mystery of our generation.
But to help clear things up, here’s what five women had to say about the sensation they feel when they squirt. And don’t worry: It’s totally normal to squirt, but also totally normal not to.
How did you first discover you were capable of squirting?
- "It was during a massage. They are given by licensed practitioners; It's like going for a full body massage—but for your vulva. The entire massage was three hours long and toward the build-up at the end, my body released fluid after a long time of G-spot stimulation. The first time, I wasn't sure if I had squirted, so I asked and was shown the fluid on a towel." —Kat, 30
- "I first discovered it in college with my then-boyfriend. He was fingering my G-spot and I felt as if I had to simultaneously pee and orgasm. I was so relaxed and in the moment that I just went with it. All of a sudden, I felt a huge release and felt a sudden wetness." —Sally, 35
- "I had been doing some research on squirting and one thing that came up a lot was to just let go and let your body do what it wanted while you were having an orgasm, so I tried it. At first, it felt like I had to pee and so I wanted to hold it. But when I just let go, I realized that I could squirt." —Tayshia*, 27
- "It happened a few months ago. My partner was going down on me and fingering me at the same time and all of a sudden the sheets were soaked. It was totally random. I knew about squirting but I was definitely not trying to squirt." —Jarin*, 22
- "I first I noticed I was having more intense orgasms and that they were more wet than usual, but I didn’t know squirting was a thing. Then I had an orgasm in missionary and it seemed as if I just peed, although the feeling was far from it. After that experience, my partner suggested I might be squirting and explained what it was. It sounded like something that only happened in porn. Then I went online and read more about it and the descriptions fit what I felt." —Cady*, 28
How did it feel, physically speaking?
- "Physically, it felt like a deep letting go. Which is much different than a clitoral orgasm that has a definite build-up and then a 'spike' at the top point of the orgasm. For me, as I neared my G-spot orgasm and squirting, I physically let my muscles in my vagina relax, which released the fluid." —Kat, 30
- "It felt like a huge pressure was building up and then...released. It was almost like peeing while orgasming, except that the release is like a dam bursting. In other words, it's a widespread gush instead of a focused stream. It's an odd analogy, but you know the feeling of tension release during a massage—when they press into a muscle and it just releases, and all these muscles you didn't realize were tight just let loose? It feels like that, but centered around my vagina instead of my back." —Sally, 35
- "It felt amazing! When I squirted, I got this warm, excited feeling that made me arch my back and squeeze every muscle in my body." —Tayshia, 27
- "I didn’t even know it was happening until the sheets were soaked underneath me. I was under the impression squirting only happened during at orgasm, but for me it did not. I was certainly feeling pleasure but it wasn’t anything out of the norm, pleasure-wise." —Jarin, 22
- "Right before I felt like my body temperature rose from between my legs to my stomach and legs. Then I felt a soft tremor on the inside of my thighs and the urge to pee, like a need for release. When I orgasmed, my legs shook a bit and I felt a warm liquid (thicker than urine) come out." —Cady, 28
And how did you feel about it afterward, emotionally?
- "Emotionally, it feels like letting go—almost like softening and a surrendering. It was opening up in a way that simply isn't felt in other experiences of intimacy. It feels vulnerable—like allowing someone to truly see me and feel me on a deeper soul level." —Kat, 35
- "I felt embarrassed at first. My partner stopped, thinking I had peed. I would have thought so too if it wasn't for the fact I had just gone to the bathroom before, and the smell was sweet. It was such a u-turn to go from ecstasy and release, to feeling confused, ashamed, and clamming up. I avoided partners fingering my G-spot for a long time after that." —Sally, 35
- "When I was younger and was still learning about my body, I used to feel bad because I didn't understand it much. But as I got older, I realized that it is a natural thing and emotionally, it makes me happy. It's almost like I can feel the endorphins going through my body and I feel on top of the world." —Tayshia, 27
- "At first I was so embarrassed because I really thought it was pee, but my partner was very supportive. Once I smelled it and realized it didn’t smell like pee at all, I was excited to have squirted." —Jarin, 22
- "After I squirt, I still get embarrassed because my first thought is that I peed, and the extra wetness feels weird and out of place, like something I need to clean right away. I’ve only squirted with my husband, and since he knows that I feel some shame, he reassures me that it’s normal and sexy." —Cady, 28
Do you squirt every time you have sex, or is it something that only happens sometimes now and then?
- "I've actually never squirted during actual intercourse. When I've squirted, it was through manual stimulation with fingers." —Kat, 30
- "I squirt in about 25 percent of my orgasms. My now-husband loves it! It's as if me squirting is an accomplishment for him, which makes me feel incredibly sexy and celebrated. It's so empowering." —Sally, 35
- "I've never actually squirted during penetrative sex, only during masturbation or when I receive oral sex. It's something that I've tried to achieve but I just have to keep trying." —Tayshia, 27
- "It’s only happened a few times. It tends to happen when I’ve already had sex a few times that day." —Jarin, 22
- "I don’t always squirt and I’m not sure what causes me to do so, physically. It happens more often with penetration and simultaneous masturbation, and is more likely to happen when there’s more time in between sex. I have no way to control it or predict it. I orgasm anyway without the squirting." —Cady, 28
Are there any particular positions that make it more likely for you?
- "Hand and finger position are important when stimulating manually. First, it's important to start slow and gentle, and as arousal increases, to increase speed and pressure. Once arousal is high, using more pressure with both fingers in a 'come hither' motion forward stimulates the G-spot and primes for squirting." —Kat, 30
- "My husband fingering me works best. The best sex position is cowgirl when he's rubbing my clit, or in any other position if I'm really, really turned on. But again, this leads to squirting much less consistently than fingering." —Sally, 35
- "Though I haven't squirted during sex yet, I think the two positions that would make it more likely for me is the cowgirl because I have more control and the spooning position because of the closeness my partner and I have." —Tayshia, 27
- "The only times I’ve ever squirted are when my partner was going down on me and fingering me at the same time." —Jarin, 22
- "Me on top and simultaneous manual clitoris stimulation. Missionary but on certain angle in which the clitoris rubs against him and this one but laying entirely with simultaneous clitoris stimulation." —Cady, 28
How do your partner(s) feel about it?
- "He loved it! It literally would light up his entire face. It turned me on and brought me a lot of joy and pleasure to witness how much pleasure he experienced. This made me feel like it's a shared experience together, rather than just me being the only one in pleasure." —Kat, 30
- "I'm currently single but my past partners have actually loved getting squirted on. It turned them on and made sex more enjoyable." —Tayshia, 27
- "My partner did not mind at all. Putting a towel down is not a big deal." —Jarin, 22
- "He finds it sexy and makes him feel like he’s in a porn movie. He gets more excited than I do when it happens." —Cady, 28
How do you think squirting is perceived by the rest of society?
- "I think that it tends to be taboo because a lot of people don't understand it, or their bodies. Also, many people think that squirting doesn't exist and women are just out here peeing on themselves, which is definitely not the case. I think if those people gave squirting an honest chance and relaxed their bodies more, they would realize how much of a real and pleasurable experience it is." —Tayshia, 27
- "Before I squirted, I was convinced squiring was pee. I also thought that it only coincided with an orgasm. Now that I’ve experienced it, I know that isn’t the case." —Jarin, 22
- "I think there’s lack of information about it and it’s not a regular conversation topic. If anything, it’s spoken of as a myth or conflated with urine, so it’s easy to be judgmental of it." —Cady, 28
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.