Female ejaculation (colloquially known as squirting or gushing) refers to the expulsion of
noticeable amounts of clear fluid by human females from the paraurethral ducts through and
around the urethra during or before orgasm. The exact source and nature of the fluid continues to
be the topic of heated debate among medical professionals.
In questionnaire surveys, 35-50% of women report that they have at some time experienced the
expulsion of fluid during orgasm. Other studies find anywhere from 10-69%, depending on
the definitions and methods used. For instance Kratochvíl (1994) surveyed 200 women and
found that 6% reported ejaculating, an additional 13% had some experience and about 60%
reported release of fluid without actual ejaculation. Reports on the volume of fluid expelled
vary considerably from amounts that would be imperceptible to a woman, to mean values of 1-
5 mL (0.2-1 tsp), although much higher volumes have been reported.
The suggestion that women can eject fluid from their genital area as part of sexual arousal has
been described as "one of the most hotly debated questions in modern sexology". Female
ejaculation has been discussed in anatomical, medical, and biological literature throughout
recorded history. The interest devoted to female ejaculation compared to the basic acceptance of
its male counterpart has been questioned by feminist writers.
There are references to female ejaculation in Indian erotic texts, such as the Kama Sutra of
Vatsyayana (Bechtel 1996) and the sixteenth century Ananga-Rang, and many Indian
temples including Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh), Konark Sun Temple (Orissa) and Vijayanagara
temples (Karnataka) have carved images depicting female ejaculation. The Kama Sutra states
(II,1: 186) that;
The semen of women continues to fall from the beginning of the sexual union to the end, in the
same way as that of the male
Chinese sex handbooks, such as "Secret Methods of the Plain Girl" by Su Nu Ching (Sui
Dynasty 590-618 AD) also describe ejaculation "Copious emisions from her inner heart begin to
Greek and Roman accounts
Greek and Roman writers accepted female ejaculation as normal and pleasurable, but there was
debate as to whether the fluids, like male ejaculate, were progenitive (contained generative
seed). De Graaf claims that Galen mentions Herophilos (335-280 BC) as describing a prostatelike
organ in the fourth century BC, although this is debatable. Aristotle (384-322 BC) did not
believe that the fluids were progenitive, whereas Hippocrates (460-370 BC) and Galen
(129-200 AD) stated that they were, the two semen theory.
In the Generation of Animals, Aristotle argues that the function of the fluid is pleasure, not
Some think that the female contributes semen in coition because the pleasure she experiences is
sometimes similar to that of the male, and also is attended by a liquid discharge. But this
discharge is not seminal...The amount of this discharge when it occurs, is sometimes on a
different scale from the emission of semen and far exceeds it.
Hippocrates stated that "the ejaculate of the mans runs together with that from the woman", 
while Galen differentiated procreative and pleasurable female fluids, attributing the latter to what
he described as the prostate. 
The fluid in her prostate ...contributes nothing to the generation of offspring...it is poured outside
when it has done its service...This liquid not only stimulates...the sexual act but also is able to
give pleasure and moisten the passageway as it escapes. It manifestly flows from women as they
experience the greatest pleasure in coitus...
Eventually it was this two semen theory that prevailed in Arabic, and then Western medical
Sixteenth to eighteenth century
In the 16th century, the English physician Laevinius Lemnius, refers to how a woman "draws
forth the man's seed and casts her own with it". In the 17th century, Francois Mauriceau
described glands at the urethral meatus that "pour out great quantities of saline liquor during
coition, which increases the heat and enjoyment of women". This century saw an increasing
understanding of female sexual anatomy and function, in particular the work of the Bartholin
family in Denmark.
The Dutch anatomist Regnier de Graaf, wrote an influential treatise on the reproductive organs
Concerning the Generative Organs of Women which is much cited in the literature on this topic.
De Graaf discussed the original controversy but supported the Aristotelian view.  He
identified the source as the glandular structures and ducts surrounding the urethra.
[VI:66-7]The urethra is lined by a thin membrane. In the lower part, near the outlet of the
urinary passage, this membrane is pierced by large ducts, or lacunae, through which pituitoserous
matter occasionally discharges in considerable quantities. Between this very thin
membrane and the fleshy fibres we have just described there is, along the whole duct of the
urethra, a whitish membranous substance about one finger-breadth thick which completely
surrounds the urethral canal... The substance could be called quite aptly the female 'prostatae'
or 'corpus glandulosum', 'glandulous body'...The function of the 'prostatae' is to generate a
pituito-serous juice which makes women more libidinous with its pungency and saltiness and
lubricates their sexual parts in agreeable fashion during coitus.
[VII:81]Here too it should be noted that the discharge from the female 'prostatae' causes as
much pleasure as does that from the male 'prostatae'
He identified [XIII:212] the various controversies regarding the ejaculate and its origin, but
stated he believed that this fluid "which rushes out with such impetus during venereal combat or
libidinous imagining" was derived from a number of sources, including the vagina, urinary tract,
cervix and uterus. He appears to identify Skene's ducts, when he writes [XIII: 213] "those [ducts]
which are visible around the orifice of the neck of the vagina and the outlet of the urinary
passage receive their fluid from the female 'parastatae', or rather the thick membranous body
around the urinary passage". However he appears not to distinguish between the lubrication of
the perineum during arousal and an orgasmic ejaculate when he refers to liquid "which in
libidinous women often rushes out at the mere sight of a handsome man". Further on [XIII:214]
he refers to "liquid as usually comes from the pudenda in one gush". However it should be noted
that his prime purpose was to distinguish between generative fluid and pleasurable fluid, in his
stand on the Aristotelian semen controversy.
Krafft-Ebing's study of sexual perversion, Psychopathia Sexualis (1886), describes female
ejaculation under the heading "Congenital Sexual Inversion in Women" as a perversion related to
neurasthenia and homosexuality. 
"the intersexual gratification among ...women seems to be reduced to kissing and embraces,
which seems to satisfy those of weak sexual instinct, but produces in sexually neurasthenic
It is also described by Freud in pathological terms in his study of Dora (1905), where he relates it
to hysteria. 
"The pride taken by women in the appearance of their genitals is quite a special feature of their
vanity; and disorders of genitals which they think calculated to inspire feelings of repugnance or
even disgust have an incredible power of humiliating them, of lowering their self-esteem, and of
making them irritable, sensitive, and distrustful. An abnormal secretion of the mucous membrane
of the vagina is looked upon as source of disgust."
However, women's writing of that time portrayed this in more positive terms. Thus we find
Almeda Sperry writing to Emma Goldman in 1918, about the "rhythmic spurt of your love
juices".   Anatomical knowledge was also advanced by Alexander Skene's description of
para-urethral or periurethral glands (glands around the urethra) in 1880, which have been
variously claimed to be one source of the fluids in the ejaculate, and now commonly referred to
as the Skene's glands.
Early twentieth century understanding
Female ejaculation is mentioned as normal in early twentieth century 'marriage manuals', such as
TH Van de Velde's Ideal Marriage: Its Physiology and Technique (1926). Certainly van de Velde
was well aware of the varied experiences of women. 
It appears that the majority of laymen believe that something is forcibly squirted (or propelled or
extruded), or expelled from the woman's body in orgasm, and should so happen normally, as in
the man's case. Finally it is just as certain that such an 'ejaculation' does not take place in many
women of sexually normal functions, as that it does take place in others.
Yet the subject was largely ignored for most of the early part of the century. In 1948, Huffman,
an American gynaecologist, published his studies of the prostatic tissue in women together with
an historical account and detailed drawings. These clearly showed the difference between the
original glands identified by Skene at the urinary meatus, and the more proximal collections of
glandular tissue emptying directly into the urethra. 
The urethra might well be compared to a tree about which and growing outward from its base
are numerous stunted branches, the paraurethral ducts and glands
To date most of the interest had focussed on the substance and structure rather than function of
the glands. A more definitive contemporary account of ejaculation appeared shortly after, in
1950, with the publication of an essay by Gräfenberg based on his observations of women during
An erotic zone always could be demonstrated on the anterior wall of the vagina along the course
of the urethra...analogous to the male urethra, the female urethra also seems to be surrounded
by erectile tissues...In the course of sexual stimulation, the female urethra begins to enlarge and
can be felt easily. It swells out greatly at the end of orgasm...Occasionally the production of
fluids is ...profuse...
If there is the opportunity to observe the orgasm of such women, one can see that large
quantities of a clear transparent fluid are expelled not from the vulva, but out of the urethra in
gushes. At first I thought that the bladder sphincter had become defective by the intensity of the
orgasm. Involuntary expulsion of urine is reported in sex literature. In the cases observed by us,
the fluid was examined and it had no urinary character. I am inclined to believe that "urine"
reported to be expelled during female orgasm is not urine, but only secretions of the
intraurethral glands correlated with the erotogenic zone along the urethra in the anterior
vaginal wall. Moreover the profuse secretions coming out with the orgasm have no lubricating
significance, otherwise they would be produced at the beginning of intercourse and not at the
peak of orgasm.
However this paper made little impact, and was dismissed in the major sexological writings of
that time, such as Kinsey (1953) and Masters and Johnson (1966), equating this "erroneous
belief" with urinary stress incontinence. Although clearly Kinsey was familiar with the
phenomenon, commenting that (p. 612);
Muscular contractions of the vagina following orgasm may squeeze out some of the genital
secretions, and in a few cases eject them with some force
as were Masters and Johnson ten years later, who observed (pp 79-80)
Most women do not ejaculate during orgasm...we have observed several cases of women who
expelled a type of fluid that was not urine (emphasis in original)
yet dismissed it (p. 135) - "female ejaculation is an erroneous but widespread concept", and even
twenty years later in 1982, they repeated the statement that it was erroneous (p. 69-70) and the
result of "urinary stress incontinence".
Late twentieth century awareness
The topic did not receive serious attention again until a review by Josephine Lowndes Sevely
and JW Bennett appeared in 1978. This latter paper, which traces the history of the
controversies to that point, and a series of three papers in 1981 by Beverly Whipple and
colleagues in the Journal of Sex Research, became the focal point of the current debate.
Whipple became aware of the phenomenon when studying urinary incontinence, with which it is
often confused. As Sevely and Bennett point out, this is "not new knowledge, but a
rediscovery of lost awareness that should contribute towards reshaping our view of female
sexuality". Nevertheless, the theory advanced by these authors was immediately dismissed by
many other authors, such as physiologist Joseph Bohlen, for not being based on rigorous
scientific procedures, and psychiatrist Helen Singer Kaplan (1983) stated;
Female ejaculation (as distinct from female urination during orgasm) has never been
scientifically substantiated and is highly questionable, to say the least.
Even some radical feminist writers, such as Sheila Jeffreys (1985) were dismissive, claiming it as
a figment of male fantasy;
There are examples in the sexological literature of men's sexual fantasies about lesbian
sexuality. Krafft-Ebing invented a form of ejaculation for women
It required the detailed anatomical work of Helen O'Connell from 1998 onwards to more
properly elucidate the relationships between the different anatomical structures involved. As she
observes, the perineal urethra is embedded in the anterior vaginal wall and is surrounded by
erectile tissue in all directions except posteriorly where it relates to the vaginal wall. "The distal
vagina, clitoris, and urethra form an integrated entity covered superficially by the vulval skin and
its epithelial features. These parts have a shared vasculature and nerve supply and during sexual
stimulation respond as a unit".
Female ejaculation appears in 20th century anthropological works, such as Malinowski's
Melanesian study, The Sexual Life of Savages (1929), and Gladwin and Sarason's "Truk: Man in
Paradise" (1956). Malinowski states that in the language of the Trobriand Island people, a single
word is used to describe ejaculation in both male and female. 
Both the male and female discharge are called by the same name (momona or momola), and
they ascribe to both the same origin in the kidneys, and the same function, which has nothing to
do with generation, but is concerned with lubricating the membrane and increasing pleasure
In describing sexual relations amongst the Trukese Micronesians, Gladwin and Sarason state that
"Female orgasm is commonly signalled by urination". Catherine Blackledge (p. 205)
provides a number of examples from other cultures, including the Ugandan Batoro, Mohave
Indians, Mangaians, and Ponapese. Amongst the Batoro, older women teach the younger women
"kachapati" (spraying the wall) at puberty. (See also Chalker 2002 pp. 531-2, Ladas et al 1983
Controversies and debates
The debates in the current literature focus on three threads: whether ejaculation exists or not, the
sources and composition of the fluid, and the role of female ejaculation in constructing theories
of sexuality.  Inevitably such a debate becomes politicised in terms of people's beliefs, and is
influenced by popular culture and pornography in addition to physico-chemical and behavioural
studies. From a feminist perspective, there is resistance to what has been perceived as a male
lens in interpreting the data and construct. More often than not the debate is tied to the existence
or not of the G-spot,  since stimulation of the anterior vaginal wall involves simultaneous
stimulation of the para-urethral tissue, the site of the homologous prostatic glands and ducts, and
stated source of the ejaculated fluid, and therefore it was variously stated that stimulation of this
spot resulted in ejaculation. These tissues, surrounding the distal urethra, and anterior to the
vagina, have a common embryological origin to the prostatic tissue in the male.
An example of the difficulties is provided by the contrasting views of Carol Darling and Heli
Alzate.   As Shannon Bell states, essentially they are discussing two different phenomena.
In an extensive survey, Darling and colleagues claim support for the existence of ejaculation,
while in a sharply critical response, Alzate states that direct experimentation fails to provide any
evidence. Alzate states,
the ignorance and/or confusion still prevalent among women about the anatomy and physiology
of their sexual organs may make them mistake either vaginal lubrication or stress urinary
incontinence for an "ejaculation"
Bell comments that Alzate simply dismisses women's subjective experiences in favour of
rigorous scientific proof, and is typical of male sexologists withholding the validity of
experience from women. Bell's critique lies at the heart of feminist concerns about this debate,
namely a tendency to "disregard, reinterpret, and overwrite women's subjective descriptions".
For some, she states, it is more a matter of belief than of physiology.
The discussion entered popular culture in 1982 with the publication of the bestselling The GSpot:
And Other Discoveries About Human Sexuality, by Ladas, Whipple, and Perry. The book
discussed the question of female ejaculation and brought the concept back into discussions of
women's sexuality, both in the medical community and among the general public.  This
was a popular account of three papers by the authors, the previous year, at the suggestion of
Alice Khan Ladas. Rebecca Chalker notes that this book was largely met with scorn,
skepticism and disbelief. The chapter on 'Female Ejaculation' is largely based on anecdotal
testimony, and illustrates another issue in the debate, the weight placed on anecdotes and small
numbers of observations compared to biomedical investigation and clinical trials. Importantly, a
number of the women stated that they had been diagnosed with urinary incontinence. However
the book advances another feminist theory, that because women's pleasure in their sexuality has
been historically excluded, the pleasure of ejaculation has been either discounted or appropriated
by health professionals as a physiological phenomenon. Whipple continued to publicise her
discoveries, including a 9 min video made in 1981 Orgasmic Expulsions of Fluid in the Sexually
Stimulated Female. The Journal of Sex Research described the debate as 'heated' in 1984.
Josephine Sevely then followed up her 1978 study by publishing "Eve's Secrets: A new theory of
female sexuality" in 1987, emphasising an integrated rather than fragmented approach to
understanding female sexuality, with the clitoris, vagina and urethra depicted as a single sexual
organ. This not only challenged the traditional fragmentation of female sexuality into
clitoral vs. vaginal sensation, but sexualised the urethra, and by reconstructing female sexual
anatomy addressed traditional thinking about the differences in male and female genitalia, often
described by feminists as phallocentric. 
Bell further questions why feminists have not been more outspoken in defence of women's
control over female ejaculation, pointing out that the literature frames the discussion in only five
separate ways; procreation, sexual pleasure, deviance, pathology, and a scientific mystery. 
The continuing debate is further illustrated in the angry exchange of letters between the author
and researchers in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2002 following the
publication of 'The G-spot: A modern gynecological myth' by Terrence Hines. Even in
2007, and 2008 the existence of a female prostate and of ejaculation are described as a
matter of debate, and articles and book chapters continue to appear with subtitles such as "Fact
Much of the problem in arriving at a consensus relates to a failure to adopt generally agreed-on
definitions and to research methodology. Research on this subject has used highly selected
individuals, case studies, or very small numbers of subjects, making generalisation difficult,
hence the continuing controversies and debates. For instance, much of the research into the
nature of the fluid concentrates on trying to determine whether it is urine or not. Problems relate
to the difficulties involved in the collection of specimens and of contamination. Since the area of
interest is para-urethral glands, it is impossible to completely separate the secretions from urine,
especially where there may be retrograde ejaculation back up the urethra towards the bladder.
The best data comes from studies where women have abstained from coitus, and where their own
urine is used as controls, pre and post orgasm. One way of sorting this out is the use of chemicals
that are excreted in the urine, so that any urinary contamination can be detected. Another
methodological issue arises from the fact that the composition of the fluid appears to vary with
the menstrual cycle, while the biochemical profile of the para-urethral tissues also varies with
age. Other issues relate to the sensitivity and specificity of the markers chosen. The key
questions are the source of the fluid produced, and its nature. Some findings have been
presented in conferences but never published in peer review journals, and many others are in
difficult to access resources.
Relation to urinary incontinence
For most of the last century, there was controversy over whether the effect existed at all, and in
recent history there has been confusion between female ejaculation and urinary incontinence.
Even in 1982, Bohlen explained the accepted wisdom;
The previously accepted notion that all fluid expelled during a woman's orgasm is urine is now
being challenged...sexologists must take care not to assume now that any fluid produced at
orgasm is "female ejaculate".
However, scientific studies from the 1980s and later have demonstrated that a substance is
produced which is distinct from urine, though it shares some qualities, such as alkalinity, with
urine. But women claiming to have ejaculations who have agreed to urethral catheterisation
prior to intercourse expelled large volumes of urine through the catheter at orgasm. There is no
doubt that some women are frankly incontinent of urine at orgasm (coital incontinence), 
which can be distressing. A recent study of women who claim to ejaculate found no evidence of
any urological problems, suggesting these two conditions (ejaculation and coital incontinence)
are quite distinct physiologically, although perhaps not always distinguishable in a particular
woman's mind. For instance Davidson's study of 1,289 women found that the sensation of
ejacualation was very similar to that of urination.  It may be important to sort out whether there
is in fact any incontinence in women who present complaining of this, to avoid unnecessary
interventions.  It is important to distinguish orgasmic ejaculation from vaginal discharges
which may require investigation and treatment. However in individual cases, the exact source of
any reported discharge may not be obvious without further investigation.
Nature of fluid
Critics of the concept have maintained that ejaculation is merely either stress incontinence or
vaginal lubrication. Research in this area has concentrated almost exclusively on attempts to
prove that it is not urine measuring substances such as urea, creatinine, prostatic acid
phosphatase (PAP), prostate specific antigen (PSA), glucose and fructose  levels. Early work
was contradictory, for instance the initial study on one woman by Addiego and colleagues
reported in 1981, could not be confirmed in a subsequent study on 11 women in 1983,  but
were confirmed in another 7 women in 1984. But in 1985 a different group studied 27 women,
and found only urine, suggesting that results depend critically on the methods used.
A 2007 study on two women, involved ultrasound, endoscopic and biochemical analysis of fluid.
The ejaculate was compared to pre-orgasmic urine from the same woman, and also to published
data on male ejaculate. In both women, higher levels of PSA, PAP, glucose but lower levels of
creatinine were found in the ejaculate. PSA levels were comparable to those in males.
Source of fluid
One very practical objection relates to the claims about the volume ejaculated, since this has to
come from some storage area in the pelvis, of which the urinary bladder is obviously the largest
source. The actual volume of the para-urethral tissue is quite small. By comparison, male
ejaculate varies from 0.2-6.6 mL (0.04-1.3 tsp) (95% confidence interval), with a maximum of
13 mL (2.6 tsp). Therefore claims of larger amounts of ejaculate are likely to contain at least
some amount of urine. The eleven specimens analyzed by Goldberg in 1983, ranged from 3-15
mL (0.6-3.0 tsp). One source states that Skene's glands are capable of excreting 30-50 mL (6-
10 tsp) in 30-50 seconds. but it is unclear how this was measured and has not been confirmed.
One approach is to use a chemical like methylene blue (or drugs like Urised which contain it) so
that any urinary contamination can be detected. Belzer showed that in a woman he studied, the
dye was in her urine, but not her orgasmic expulsion.
PAP and PSA have been identified in the para-urethral tissues, using biochemical and
immunohistochemical methods, confirming that the ejaculate likely arises from the ducts in these
tissues, in a manner homologous to that in the male. Another marker common to the
prostate tissue in both male and female is Human Protein 1
However, studies on the actual fluid are very limited compared to those on the tissues of likely
origin. PSA occurs in urine, which is elevated in post-orgasmic samples, compared to preorgasmic.
Simultaneous collection of ejaculate also showed PSA in all cases, but in higher
concentration than the urine.
Women's sexual function and orgasm in particular, remains poorly understood scientifically, as
opposed to politically and philosophically. Regardless of the actual facts relating to the
details of female ejaculation, the social significance of the popular accounts through the feminist
health care movement has been considerable. Women have reclaimed control over their
sexuality in a reconstructed narrative of feminine anatomy, and sexual arousal, and at the same
time have gained some insight into society's priorities in studying and understanding female
sexuality, where mainly dysfunction gets funded. "Society cannot accept female ejaculation
precisely because it makes men and women equal."  Bell and other feminist writers see a
reconstructed sexual female body as empowering through experience, revalorising an image that
they felt devalued in phallocentric discourse. These have traditionally emphasised the difference
between male and female bodies rather than their similarity.  Feminist theorists such as
Luce Iragaray  and Julia Kristeva have discussed the feminine in terms of the properties of
fluids, with ejaculation appropriated to the male.
Many women, before learning about ejaculation, experienced shame or avoided sexual intimacy
under the belief that they had wet the bed. Others suppressed sexual climax, and sought
medical advice for this "problem," and even underwent surgery.
There are, however, concerns. The terminology, such as female prostate and female ejaculation
invoke images of the female as merely an imitation of the male, mapping the female body onto
the male, as if, like the Galenic view, it was incomplete.  By contrast it could equally be
argued that the Y chromosome merely modifies a female template.  Furthermore
overemphasis of ejaculation may induce performance anxiety. For the reason that 'sameness'
has been constructed as a male perspective, some feminists reject the term ejaculation. Others
argue it should be retained as a distinctive feminine characteristic distinguishable from the male,
and imbued with different properties and purpose. A third concern is that of the increasing
'medicalisation' of women's sexuality, as expressed by Leonore Tiefer which finds its most
extreme manifestation in the concept of female sexual dysfunction. Tiefer has expressed
concern that overemphasising ejaculation will drive women who might feel inadequate to seek
medical attention,  as has the Boston Women's Health Collective.  other criticism comes
from Barbara Ehrenreich  and colleagues who see this new sexuality as one that privileges the
male in control, penile retention and body position, but this is denied by others. 
Contemporary women's health literature summarise what is considered factual as being that the
amount of fluid varies greatly and may be unnoticeable, occurs with or without vaginal
stimulation, and may accompany orgasm or merely intense sexual pleasure, and orgasm may
occur without ejaculation. Whether it can be learned or not, women report that they can induce it
by enhancing their sexual response.  Regardless, countless workshops now exist to teach
women that learning how to ejaculate is an important form of feminine sexual expression.
Sundahl describes it as a birthright and essential part of female creativity. 
The presence of chemical markers such as PSA or PAP in the female genital tract has been
considered evidence in rape trials, but Sensabaugh and Kahane demonstrated in four
specimens, that PAP was an order of magnitude greater in a woman's ejaculate than in her urine.
Recently, knowledge that these markers can be of female origin has led to acquittal based on
It is claimed that "most women, the overwhelming proportion of women" are capable of
ejaculation with training and practice. Many Tantric gurus such as Mantak Chia, among
others, educated followers about the existence and the techniques to achieve female ejaculation
as far back as the sixties and seventies. By the seventies and eighties, notable American and
British Tantric teachers were further popularizing it. With the turn of the century it was depicted
in pornography. Regardless of proven scientific fact, ejaculation is now firmly embedded in the
popular culture, with workshops and videos, as an empowering phenomenon. A recent example
is the film Divine Nectar  by Tallulah Sulis. These depict ejaculation as a spiritual
In the United Kingdom, the British Board of Film Classification has banned films alleged to
show female ejaculation, claiming that the expert medical advice they received informed them
that there is no such thing as female ejaculation, and therefore it was deemed to show urine. 
They later stated instead that they do not take any view on whether female ejaculation exists,
only claiming that all examples they have seen thus far during classification have been urination