Scientists using dye to study female squirting say that it is mostly — but not entirely — urine


Japanese researchers writing in the International Journal of Urology have made headway in settling a long-standing sexological debate: The clear liquid some people squirt from their vaginas during sexual stimulation is mostly just urine.

This differs slightly from female ejaculation, which some experts have defined as a thick, milky fluid secreted by the female prostate (aka Skene’s glands), although female ejaculate is a term often synonymous with squirting is used.

To make matters even more confusing, for centuries scientists and anyone willing to look there weren’t 100 percent sure where this liquid really came from. Many people assumed it was the bladder, but in some experiments that collected and analyzed the fluid (in the name of science, of course), researchers found prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is only produced by the female prostate. These two glands sit on either side of the urethra, so it makes a little sense why this was hard to figure out.

However, people knew about injections long before Jesus was born. Both the Greek philosopher Pythagoras and Hippocrates, the “father of medicine”, incorrectly referred to female excretions as “seeds”.

“The emission of fluid during orgasm in women was first described, to the best of our knowledge, in the 4th century,” researchers wrote in a 2010 article titled “The History of Female Ejaculation.” “The classic Taoist text ‘Secret Instructions Concerning the Jade Chamber’ contains information on the selection of love and sex partners, as well as the sexual act itself.”

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Eventually, squirting became known to Western scientists as well. William Smellie was an 18th-century English obstetrician – who may also have been a murderer, but was known as ‘the father of British midwives’. Smellie once wrote of “a fluid expelled by the prostate or similar glands” in women.

But we’re still learning about this phenomenon, as five researchers from Okayama, Japan, recently reported in a paper titled “Enhanced visualization of female squirting.” The paper was novel in its methods of identifying the origin of the mysterious liquid.

“Little is known about the composition of this liquid and the mechanism by which the liquid escapes,” write the researchers with the detached air of a car repair manual. The study also includes gems such as “it is difficult to collect splashed liquid because the direction of the splash is variable.” This was clearly a messy experiment.

The trials began in a very unsexy manor by first inserting a catheter into the participants’ urethra to empty their bladders. Then saline and indigo carmine (blue food coloring) were flushed back into the bladder. The dye would become crucial later in the experiment.

Most samples also contained non-bladder prostate-specific antigen. This suggests that the squirting is not all urine.

Five women took part, two each in their 30s and 40s and one in their 50s. Three were able to use their hands alone to squirt, while the other two required penetrating sexual stimulation, in this case from two male partners, to squirt. While their partners were happy to help, the researchers tried to make sure the male partners didn’t ejaculate, making it less likely that they would contaminate the result.

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In any case, every participant could squirt, and in every case, blue dye went everywhere – suggesting that the bladder was the origin of much of the secretion. As much secretion as possible was collected in sterile beakers.

“The liquid dispensed was blue in all cases, confirming the bladder as the source,” the researchers concluded. The use of dye helped confirm what other scientists have observed in pelvic ultrasound scans: “Squirting is essentially the involuntary expulsion of urine during sexual activity.”

However, there is a catch: Most of the samples also contained non-bladder prostate-specific antigen. This suggests that the squirting is not all urine; In addition, the presence of PSA in the mixture makes squirting different from urination or female ejaculation.

If you’re really curious about how this experiment was conducted, there’s a short video (warning: the video is descriptive, although the presentation is quite detached and clinical) of the sex acts, with blue dying bubbling all over the place, accompanied by music.

The authors emphasized that the subjects were not sex workers (since this could lead to somewhat skewed results) and did not have coital urinary incontinence, in which some women pee during sex. Coital urinary incontinence is a separate, distinct phenomenon that does not occur during orgasm. Unlike squirting, those who suffer from coital incontinence generally do not describe it as a pleasurable experience. As a reminder, female ejaculation, female ejaculation, urination, and coital urinary incontinence are all separate acts. We haven’t even mentioned the Bartholin’s gland, which secretes mucus to lubricate the vagina.

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The authors said it was difficult to find subjects for this study. Studies suggest that the percentage of women able to inject ranges from 10 to 54 percent. Such a range could indicate that there is still a great deal that science still doesn’t know about female sexual pleasure.

Males can apparently also inject. A 2018 case study of a 25-year-old man, also published in the International Journal of Urology, described a man who ejaculated and 20 seconds later “squirted” for about a minute. This liquid was analyzed and also confirmed to be mostly urine. The description of the experiment sounds downright uncomfortable because it involved an ultrasound probe that was inserted into the man’s rectum to measure contractions in the bladder.

The female reproductive system may have become a little less mysterious, but there’s a good reason why scientists don’t fully understand this anatomy: medical sexism. It is as prominent today as it was in the 17th and 19th centuries, when men like Alexander Skene and Caspar Bartholin the Younger named parts of the female anatomy after themselves.

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