“I’m a squirter,” she said, matter-of-factly.
Her self-description seemed to back up the idea that there were a small minority of women who ejaculated and the overwhelming majority who didn't. But then a few instructional videos started floating around online. They all seemed to suggest that it was something you could learn how to do, and soon, women I dated expressed curiosity in experiencing it first hand. This set me on a path to figuring out how to help open the flood gates—but first, I had to see what science had to say about this phenomenon.
First off, plenty of peer-reviewed articles attested to female ejaculation—sometimes called “squirting” or “gushing”—being a thing. One 2010 paper published in the Journal of Sex Research encapsulated the prevailing consensus like this: “Women can ejaculate, and that the female prostatic fluid discharged through the urethra is a component of female sexual fluids that contribute to erotic pleasure.” Subsequent studies looked into what this fluid is comprised of, with one concluding that there are two types of female ejaculation. “The real female ejaculation is the release of a very scanty, thick, and whitish fluid from the female prostate, while the squirting is the expulsion of a diluted fluid from the urinary bladder,” concluded the authors of one paper in 2011.
Making your body perform a neat new trick is reason enough to give it a go in the first place, but there were now articles being shared around suggesting that squirting orgasms were somehow better, more powerful, more emphatic, even more emotional. Given the extra prep and clean up they required, I imagined that they'd better be. I too was excited at the thought of learning how to make my partners' orgasms wet and wild, should they want them to be. I'd always put import on giving my partners orgasms. Being able to make them squirt, I imagined, would be almost as rewarding for me as it would be for them.
Over the next several years, more of my non-squirting partners mentioned that they'd like to try it. A few left a giant puddle on the bed during intercourse but not because they were trying to. When I tried to make it rain intentionally with my fingers, the only results were frustration and muscle cramps.
That's why I had low expectations when my girlfriend and I were invited to attend a seminar where sex coach Kenneth Play would give a 30-minute presentation on female ejaculation, demonstrate how to make it happen with his assistant, and then coach attendees as they went about doing it themselves.
Long story short, my girlfriend intentionally ejaculated for the first, second, and third time that evening, and so did virtually every woman in the room. Here are the steps outlined by Play—I followed them to the letter that night, and with every partner I’ve helped to squirt since.
How to Make a Woman Squirt
First, you both need to set your intention have a sincere and authentic desire to explore this phenomenon. At the same time, however, you need to establish that it’s for pleasure. “If there’s too much ego or pressure involved, it’s less likely to happen,” says Play, who now travels the world to share his carnal knowledge. A practical part of setting the intention is preparing the space for what might happen. If you’re worried about making a mess, you’ll be more likely to clench your muscles which, again, is going to decrease your chances of unleashing a sexy tsunami. During the workshop, all of the couples were given puppy pads so that everyone could feel good about letting go.
Staying hydrated is key, says Play, though he recommends that prospective squirters pee before getting things underway.
As with all sexual acts, front loading with foreplay and arousal is going to pay off big down the line. Play recommends taking your time to kiss, stimulate the clitoris for a sufficient amount of time. “During this arousal stage, the clitoral complex is becoming engorged with blood and, at the same time, fluid is building up in the paraurethral or Skene’s glands. Often called the female prostate, these glands are located on the anterior wall of the vagina, around the lower end of the urethra."
During his presentation, Play explained to the class that squirting requires a little reconditioning. "If we think [we're] going to wet the bed, we clench our muscles, but you can't squirt with clenched muscles," he says. Aside from not clenching, Play says to insert a finger into their vagina and have them cycle through three states: squeezing it, relaxing around it, and then trying to push your finger out.
"Generally speaking, squirters have got that pushing out move down," he says.
Once sufficiently aroused, Play recommends inserting your middle and ring fingers into the vaginal opening, your index and pinky fingers on the outer labia with the heel of your hand flush against the clitoral area. “Think of moving the engorged area on the inside front wall of the vagina over the pubic bone with the pads of your middle and ring fingers, while keeping constant contact with the clitoris with the heel of your hand,” he says, adding that the motion needs to be consistent and vigorous.
They key here, he says, is to make sure that you don’t get tuckered out too soon. “For that reason, I like to position myself towards my partner’s head and use my lats as opposed to my biceps,” says the former personal trainer.
At this point, the flood gates opened for a couple of attendees at the PlayLab, but many of the facilitators—me included—were seriously starting to flag. Turns out, there are two sex toys that, when used in conjunction, make eliciting female ejaculation much more comfortable: the Original Magic Wand and the NJoy Pure Wand. The former provides ample clitoral stimulation while the latter is especially good at offering consistent stimulation of the g-spot area.
"Squirting and orgasm don't always happen at the same time, but I've found that they are more likely to as well when you use these two toys this way," says Play. He calls the result a "blended, squirting orgasm."
Aftercare in the aftermath of ejaculation is very important. Play recommends holding your partner, letting them have their process as they return to baseline. "If someone has squirted, they may want to clean up right away, but it's important to let them know that you'll be taking care of whatever needs to happen," he says.
My girlfriend at the time, and every partner I've helped to squirt since, enjoyed their first experience of squirting. But interestingly, only a few actually requested it regularly. The consensus was that it was a neat trick, but more effort and trouble than it was worth. For the few partners who found that squirting took their orgasms to a whole new level, however, it's been a remarkable skill to bust out on request.
This article originally appeared on Men's Health