Squirting isn’t something that’s mythical or just in porn. For a lucky minority of women, female ejaculation is something that just happens when they’re stimulated in the right way. Five women spoke out about the politics and practicalities of squirting.

How old are you?

Woman A: Twenty-three.

Woman B: Twenty-five.

Woman C: Twenty-three.

Woman D: Twenty-two.

Woman E: Thirty.

How did you first discover you were capable of squirting?

Woman A: I was with a partner I felt very comfortable discussing my sexuality with. I’d expressed a desire to see if I was capable, curious about how it would feel. He was really into the idea, and we tried various positions and techniques until it happened.

Woman B: My girlfriend and I had a very active sex life when we started going out. It was the first time I’d been able to orgasm with another person and I was so much more comfortable with her than I’d ever been before. We used to spend days in bed, bunking off work, and then, suddenly, one day, after lots of gentle sex and stimulation, I squirted everywhere. Since then I quite regularly squirt with her.

Woman C: It was actually pretty recently, just over a year ago. I was using a vibrator to stimulate my clitoris like I normally do. Apparently I’ve always ejaculated a tiny bit when having a clitoral orgasm but had never noticed before. This time I was wearing my menstrual cup, so there were no vaginal fluids coming out, and I could notice the tiny bit of fluid that shot from my urethra. It was a nice surprise!

Woman D: I was having sex with my boyfriend in the early days of our relationship. He was standing and I was kneeling on the edge of the bed, with him taking me from behind. I could feel myself building to something slowly and steadily rather than in waves, which is how I usually feel when I’m on track for an orgasm. All of a sudden, the feeling intensified through my body and I ejaculated.

Woman E: My husband of seven years and I were having sex. I was bent over the side of the bed and he was behind me. I moved one leg up on the side of the bed to get a better angle because he kept hitting a spot that felt really intense, but would miss it with the next stroke. After a rapid succession of strokes hitting that intense spot I felt a really strong, but unfamiliar sensation and had the desire to push from the pelvic floor. I felt a sudden rush of liquid spill down my legs and the noises from him thrusting became much more squishy sounding.

How did it feel, physically speaking?

Woman A: Intense. It was a very intense experience.

Woman B: That’s difficult — describing sexual feelings in words is so hard! I think my labia got really full and big, like I was about to give birth or something. And the pressure of them being so swollen felt really intense and then I felt hot liquid all over me in bursts.

Woman C: It felt kind of like urinating, but not similar enough that I could confuse the two. It felt powerful like a male orgasm, with very strong and clear spasms of my abdominal and pelvic muscles.

Woman D: It was a strange feeling; quite different from the orgasms I was used to. It was more of a sublime, gradually intensifying feeling that spread through my body than it was an “unbearably good” sensation. So I only vaguely felt myself ejaculate. The sound of it hitting the bed is what made me aware of what happened.

Woman E: Like … a rush or a surge. I wish I had a better explanation for the sensation.

And how did you feel about it afterward, emotionally?

Woman A: Surprised that my body was capable of that. Impressed.

Woman B: We weren’t sure whether it was urine or not the first time, but it didn’t smell and I had peed just before sex so we didn’t think I could have. We were excited because it’s such a mythical thing that we were a bit like, “Woah, did that just happen?” My girlfriend loved it because she felt that it was a sign that she made me feel really good!

Woman C: It was very fulfilling. It was super-hot to have something akin to a male orgasm with more obvious results. It was so exciting to feel and see a product of my orgasm, instead of some mysterious internal process.

Woman D: As soon as it happened I stiffened, unsure of what to think and unable to measure my boyfriend’s reaction. I was freaked out that I might have peed, and I remember feeling quite shocked and self-conscious for weeks afterward, particularly because it was so unexpected and out of my control. I tried to avoid doing it from then on, though in the last few months I’ve become more relaxed.

Woman E: Excited! I’d heard about it and seen it in porn, but never done it.

Do you squirt every time you have sex, or is it something that only happens sometimes now?

Woman A: It’s only happened a handful of times, with one partner who knew how and where to stimulate me in order for it to happen.

Woman B: It happens about 50 percent of the time now. Most of the time when I squirt, I have been having sex for ages so I kind of relax after it and don’t bother about the orgasm. It doesn’t feel like I need to orgasm if I squirted loads.

Woman C: I ejaculate at least a little bit every time I have a clitoral orgasm, but never when I orgasm from penetration.

Woman D: It only happens occasionally. I’d say that it would coincide [with orgasm] more often than not.

Woman E: Only when coming with penetration. Clitoral stimulation alone doesn’t do it. Usually I’ll ejaculate a few times (and it feels really great) before I have an orgasm.

Are there any particular positions that make it more likely for you?

Woman A: Having my G spot rubbed quite roughly simultaneously with my clit.

Woman B: I am much more likely to squirt when we’ve been messing about for ages, particularly if my girlfriend has been stimulating my clitoris for a long time.