LOVE & SEX

Why are we so obsessed with female ejaculation?

Photo: Getty Images

It’s not about women’s pleasure; it’s about male insecurity, says Rachael Sigee

Added on

By Rachael Sigee on

Another day, another article claiming to reveal THE TRUTH about female ejaculation. At last!  Now, we – the dick-free; the penis-less underlings – might finally have the chance to orgasm like men. It’s basically the same as getting the vote.

This time, the news is that around a third of women may experience it and that the liquid in question is probably pee… but not always… but mostly… but, actually, no one really knows.

It then takes a slightly less sexy turn and essentially ends up as an article about women’s incontinence. Come on, science, you’re giving us blue balls here.

We love talking about female ejaculation. It’s such a fun, sexy mystery! A holy grail whose cup runneth over, literally. What better proof that a woman has had her mind blown than her actually blowing her load?

All the other indicators that she’s having a good time, including her actual… you know… words, just aren’t quite good enough without a (literal) shower of praise. Whether or not women “squirt” is really only interesting to them and the people they choose to have sex with – and it might be a whole lot of fun to try, whatever the results. But making it some kind of grand quest to be solved by men is just defining sex exclusively in terms that apply to dick-owners. Because their orgasms are denoted by spurting something gooey, so must ours be (nevermind that the actual moment of release might be more akin to getting the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube than a celebratory champagne pop).

It’s a bit like the obsession with the idea that the clitoris has the same number of nerve endings as the penis, just with a smaller surface area (which has no basis in science).

Or that women take much longer to orgasm than men. Journalist Suzannah Weiss wrote a great report dismantling the common statistic that women take 20 minutes – a statistic that she had quoted herself.

The real myth isn’t whether or not female ejaculation exists, it’s that the obsession with it – in the media, in porn, in casual conversation – is about female pleasure

Women’s sexual experiences are being compared against those of men and judged to come up short. The real myth isn’t whether or not female ejaculation exists, it’s that the obsession with it – in the media, in porn, in casual conversation – is about female pleasure.

It’s about male insecurity demanding physical proof of their exceptional skills in the bedroom – after all, the more spectacularly he shoots his wad is a measure of his exceptional virility, core masculinity and unrivalled fertility. So, it scans that he would enjoy a display akin to the Niagara Falls as a visual confirmation of his own sensational ability.

At a recent panel event run by The Femedic on female pleasure, sex educator and BBC Radio 1 presenter Alix Fox talked about how unhelpful it is for men to see a women’s ability or inability to come as a personal challenge to them. The focus shifts from her pleasure to his gratification.

It also often provides another excuse to suggest that women’s genitals are gross, icky and that women enjoying sex are phenomena. It shames those who do it and those that don’t.

But cool your jet-streams, ladies. We really don’t know much about this at all. Because of the vast lack of funding and interest in research into women’s sexual experiences, there is never any real science, but just enough suggestion to allow for a quick dip into a salacious subject. One 2015 study into female ejaculation only looked at seven women. Seven.

What we do know is that society puts certain things at the centre of sex at the expense of all others, and those things are male pleasure, heterosexual experience, penetrative sex and orgasm as the only indicator of a successful shag.

For so long, everyone has subscribed to the idea that sex means ejaculation and that ejaculation means masculinity. Hence the historical popularity of fountains. But because women’s orgasms might look different to men’s doesn’t mean we are broken or crying out to be fixed. Sex can be explosive with or without the actual explosions.

@littlewondering

Sign up

Love this? Sign up to receive our Today in 3 email, delivering the latest stories straight to your inbox every morning, plus all The Pool has to offer. You can manage your email subscription preferences at My Profile at any time

or
Photo: Getty Images
Tagged in:
Sex
Relationships
body

Tap below to add
the-pool.com to your homescreen

Close
Love The Pool? Support us and sign up to get your favourite stories straight to your inbox