The human body is a wonderful thing. The things people do with them are, if anything, even more wonderful. Dancers can move their bodies in ways that are so beautiful they move the people watching them to tears. Doctors can take a kidney from one body, put it in another and, after a few weeks, both bodies can live and thrive and survive. Hell, people can MAKE OTHER PEOPLE using just their uteruses, and keep them alive using just their boobs. It’s astonishing, it truly is. And sometimes, just sometimes, we can give ourselves orgasms simply by holding in our wee.
Wait, I’m sorry, what?
Yes, it’s true. Filed away under Sex Tips You Wouldn’t Find In Cosmo is the news that women are giving themselves little orgasms by not going to the loo. A Redditor explained that his girlfriend holds in her wee for as long as possible because, when she eventually does have a wee, she gets an orgasm so intense that she feels it “all the way up her spine to her head” and that “leave her lightheaded and off balance”. Several commenters said that they’d experienced something similar, with one saying that they call them “the piss shivers” – coincidentally, also the name of my prog-rock band’s second album.
The fact you can feel something akin to arousal when your bladder is full is not new information – all the women I spoke to about this could relate to the sharp, weirdly-sexual-although-not-really-pleasurable feeling you get when you’ve got a full bladder – and there’s actually a biological explanation for it. Celeste Holbrook, PhD, explained to Refinery29 in 2016 that "The clitoris, vagina, and urethra (which connects to the bladder) are located very close to one another. A full bladder can push on to some of the more sensitive and arousing parts of the genitalia, such as the clitoris and its branches.” You don’t even need a clitoris to feel the sexy pee benefits – there’s a theory that morning erections are caused by an increasingly full bladder pressing on the prostrate gland. But, still, there’s quite a gap between “It feels a bit tickly when I need to wee” to joyfully yelling “Piss-shiver me timbers!” and purposefully giving yourself a peegasm, no?
And, to put my boring, sensible hat on for a second, there are health risks involved with this. Holding in your wee can trigger urine infections or UTIs, which might damage the kidneys. If you’re the kind of person who has to wee after sex religiously to ward off cystitis (hi, Caitlin Moran) then a peegasm might not be for you. Also, forcing your bladder to stay full on a regular basis can weaken the muscles and increase the risk of urinary retention, which means you can never fully empty your bladder. While some experts say that it’s absolutely fine to have the occasional peegasm as long as you don’t do it too often, others advise against it entirely because of the risks. Imagine chugging cranberry juice while constantly feeling like you need a wee, for the rest of your life. Are the piss shivers really worth it?
But then, yeah, maybe for some people they are. The orgasm gap is still a thing and one expert says that 10-20% of women never manage to orgasm. We live in a world where two-thirds of heterosexual women say that they’re unsatisfied sexually and female pleasure is so rarely discussed that the UK tabloids are losing their minds because they’ve discovered facesitting. And, you know, it genuinely works. One woman I spoke to has chronic pain, and having sex with a full bladder makes it easier for her to orgasm. I’m loathe to criticise other people’s sexual practices anyway, but if it’s letting women get theirs – and, to be very clear, not harming them – then I’m even more loathe to pooh-pooh (or pee-pee) it.
Hopefully, one day, we’ll be in a place where women are able to orgasm as easily and frequently as men and don’t have to settle for “piss shivers” over a full-on orgasm. Until then, if you can get yourself off using Andrex rather than Durex, then more power to you. But, y’know, try Love Honey, too. A bullet vibrator and a good GIF of Captain America might just change your life.