We don’t know a lot about the science behind female ejaculation, a.k.a. squirting. We don’t know exactly what’s in it. We don’t know why some women can do it, while others can’t. Even women who squirt don’t fully understand how they do it (though they do generally agree it’s pretty dope). As if the female orgasm weren’t complicated enough, squirting adds a whole new level of confusion.
As a woman, I thought I was incapable of squirting until I found myself doing it one night while I was masturbating in my bathtub (easy cleanup!). As it turned out, part of the reason why I hadn’t squirted yet was because I had bought into the myths about squirting: namely, that you can only do it when you stimulate your g-spot, or that it always looks like you’ve taken a Super Soaker to your sheets.
It’s time to clear up these myths about female ejaculation once and for all. Here are eight common misconceptions about what happens when your partner showers you with love (pun absolutely intended).
SQUIRTING IS FAKE
If your experience with squirting is limited to watching it in porn, you’ve probably convinced yourself that there’s no way that Super Soaker blast is legit. But “there’s no question that squirting is absolutely real,” says Amanda Luterman M.A., M.E.d., C.C.C., a licensed psychotherapist who specialises in sexuality. While the science behind squirting is not fully understood, documentation of female ejaculation stems all the way back to the 16th century, and numerous studies since have found that some women do indeed expel fluid during orgasm. So yes, squirting is real.
That said, just because squirting is real doesn’t mean that all women do it. In fact, one study of 300 participants reported that only seven women self-reported female ejaculation during orgasm. “I would never tell a woman that she’s incapable of squirting, nor tell a woman that everyone squirts,” Luterman says. It’s like anal: porn may make it look easy, but not everyone finds it pleasurable or even comfortable. And that’s OK. So if your partner doesn’t squirt, don’t make her feel bad about herself. “Everyone is different. The body doesn’t go by a template,” Dr. Shepherd says.
OK, fine — there is some pee in female ejaculate. But it’s not all pee. “It’s a combination of ejaculatory fluid as well as urinary fluid,” says Jessica Shepherd MD, an OB/GYN. The ejaculatory fluid comes from glands on the anterior wall of the vagina known as the Skene’s glands. Urine is present in the fluid because these glands are in close proximity to the urethra, says Shepherd. So if you’re dating a squirter, chill. You might get a bit wet, but Shepherd says exposure to female ejaculate carries no health risks. (And by the way, dudes: FYI, there’s totally a little urine in your pre-cum.)
SQUIRTING IS THE SAME AS AN ORGASM.
“The top squirting myth is that it’s always an orgasm,” says sex educator Lola Jean, aka, “Lola Jean the Squirting Queen.” Jean teaches squirting workshops and says that while squirting and orgasm often happen in tandem, they aren’t always one and the same. Sometimes women will squirt without having an orgasm; sometimes, they’ll squirt while coming, and sometimes they’ll squirt after they get off, when they’re feeling more relaxed.
RELATED: How To Give Her a 60-Second Orgasm
SQUIRTING REQUIRES G-SPOT STIMULATION
Pleasuring the g-spot, the spongey area of the anterior wall of the vagina about half-way between the opening and the cervix, makes some women squirt. But that’s not the only road you can or should take to that particular destination. Some women squirt from clitoral stimulation. Remember: the clit is more than the little sensitive bump right above the vaginal opening. “Think of a tree growing all those roots; the ends of the clitoris go way under the vaginal area that you wouldn’t be able to see. So how those nerve endings respond or how sensitive they are will be different for everyone,” Luterman says. So instead of zeroing in on the g-spot, have your partner show you what feels best when she masturbates. Once you’ve figured out what works for her, she can show you how to touch her in a manner that may induce ejaculation.
IT LOOKS LIKE IT DOES IN PORN
If you watch a lot of porn, you’ve probably seen a woman’s vagina spout like a geyser. That’s likely the result of porn stars using douches prior to shooting a scene. While some women do squirt a lot, others dribble, while some make puddles that look like they wet the bed. That’s why you probably shouldn’t expect your partner to gush the second you thrust two fingers inside her.
IT TURNS HER ON TO ASK HER TO SQUIRT FOR YOU
Unlike men, most women haven’t been shooting fluid out of their genitals on the reg since middle school. So most women who dosquirt need to be ultra-relaxed to make it happen. Plus, some squirters may have been shamed for it by previous partners, which makes it even more difficult. So if you’re turned on by her squirting, that’s great — just don’t pressure her to do it, which will likely make her anxious. Just focus on giving her pleasure and having a good time.
IT WILL RUIN YOUR SHEETS
Yes, if your partner squirts a lot, staining is a possibility (especially if you have silk sheets). But hey, at least you’ll have sweet new tie-dye bedding. Seriously, if you’re concerned about ruining your sheets, just throw a towel under your partner. Jean suggests the Liberator Fascinator blanket, a glam plush throw designed to soak up sex messes. Need a squirting sheet protector in a pinch? “Regular old puppy pads are great for on the go,” Jean says.
This article originally appeared on Men’s Health US