Image: Mad Men.
The ‘mystery’ of the female orgasm never fails to fascinate researchers (and, well, the rest of the world it seems).
There have been endless studies into how many forms of the orgasm exist and the physiology behind it all. Just last year, a review published in the journal Clinical Anatomy shattered everything we thought we knew, claiming the oft-discussed vaginal orgasm was nothing more than a myth — and so was the G-spot.
How orgasm is reached is one issue, but then there’s what happens afterwards. Research suggests there are two different processes that can occur when women climax, and they involve different fluids that originate in different parts of the body. (Post continues after gallery.)
One is ‘true’ female ejaculate, which comes from the female prostate, and the other is what we commonly know as… squirting. Just FYI, in French it’s known as femme fontaine — fountain women — which is rather pleasant-sounding, don’t you think?
Though it tends to make fairly regular appearances in pop culture and porn, there are mixed reports as to the number of real-life women who have experienced an expulsion of clear liquid from their urethra during climax.
Studies over the years have placed this number anywhere between 10 and 60 per cent of the female population, which is pretty damn vague.
Regardless of how common it is, there's another squirting-related question that's stimulated (sorry) just as much interest: what's actually in it?
In December, French researchers conducted a very, very small study to explore this very topic. To be clear, they were focusing on the clear fluid released when a woman 'squirts', not the milky white substance known as female ejaculate (which helps you stay lubricated during sex).
Seven healthy women (see, told you it was small) who had previously experienced recurrent and "massive fluid emission during sexual stimulation" subjected themselves to lab-based sexual arousal. They all reached orgasm, either through masturbation or with their partner, within 25 and 60 minutes. (Post continues after video.)
To determine the biochemical nature of the squirted fluid, researchers performed pelvic ultrasound scans on each woman after she urinated — to ensure her bladder was empty — and while she was sexually excited, both before and after squirting.
They also examined pre- and post-arousal urine samples, and a squirting sample, to examine concentrations of chemicals including urea, creatinine and uric acid, along with prostatic-specific antigen.
Interestingly, the pelvic scans revealed all the subjects' bladders had noticeably re-filled during sexual arousal, and post-squirt they had emptied again, indicating urination had occurred.
In five of the women's squirt samples, prostatic-specific antigen — an enzyme produced by both the female and male prostate — was also present. In six of the seven women, this enzyme wasn't detected in the urine sample taken before sexual stimulation.
"This study presents convincing evidence that squirting in women is chemically similar to urine, and also contains small amounts of PSA that is present in men's and women's true ejaculate," Rutgers University professor Barry Komisaruk, who wasn't involved in the study, told New Scientist.
Further study is underway. Until then, keep on enjoying those orgasms — whichever form they take.
What questions do you have about orgasms?