How to Do It

I’ve Started Producing “Female Ejaculate”

Be honest—am I just peeing myself?

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Deagreez/iStock/Getty Images Plus.

How to Do It is Slate’s sex advice column. Send your questions for Stoya and Rich to howtodoit@slate.com.

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Dear How to Do It,

I’m a 20s cis woman who either doesn’t orgasm or has really weak orgasms, possibly due to a medication I take. I’ve never had an unequivocal, earth-shattering orgasm, but I enjoy sex anyway. Sometimes a particularly thorough boyfriend or a vibrator will get me feeling way better than usual, and the sensation builds up almost painfully. Usually I back off, but today, I didn’t. I kept masturbating until I felt like I could release, but that release turned out to be … me peeing myself. And no, I wasn’t into it. I know some women “squirt,” but I didn’t experience euphoria and delight. I just felt turned off and a need to wash the sheets—unless coming is the exact same sensation as urinating and everyone’s been lying this whole time. I didn’t have a particularly full bladder before I started. What gives?

—Wet

Dear Wet,

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I can’t tell you what gives. You need to see at least one, if not two, doctors. First, you’ll want to speak with whoever prescribed this medication that may possibly be interfering with your orgasms. You should report this potential side effect, and if orgasms are important to you, you may want to ask about alternatives.

The other doctor you should see is a gynecologist. She can do an exam, ask all sorts of questions, and use her bucketloads of medical training to help you figure out what’s going on.

As for squirting, some women love it. Others resent it for various reasons—cleanup, pain, having to explain to partners. We still don’t have a firm answer on whether female ejaculate is pee; some studies say it’s something else, while others have been done saying that yep, it’s totally pee.

While you’re waiting for these doctor appointments, you can experiment with your own two hands or a vibrator and collect data. Try getting up to pee just before you have an orgasm. Does fluid still come out? That’ll be useful information for your doctors.

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And a note on orgasms: We’re conditioned to expect these earth-shattering waves breaking over one’s body, and that isn’t necessarily the case for everyone. If we expect fireworks all the time, we’re setting ourselves up for disappointment when all we get is a tiny splash. Try to focus on the sexual pleasure you do get, not what you imagine you should.

Dear How to Do It,

I’m a divorced straight man in my mid-50s. Since the divorce I’ve had a series of relationships (less than one a year) that have all come to an end within a few months. In each case I’ve never developed deep feelings, and the relationship always ends because she can feel that, or I can’t live up to the pressure of trying to meet the emotional needs of someone I’m not in love with. The reason I get into these relationships is that while I have a deep-seated need for touch and physical affection, I don’t really need anything else. But I do need that, and it drives me to find the next one. Mind you, I want each relationship to be the one, forever. But I’ve come to recognize that my odds of forming a relationship with someone I can really love are small, and I’m tired of hurting women, and tired of the emotional investment I need to put in to start a relationship to have it end.

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Maybe someday the magic will happen, but I no longer expect it, and I just can’t bring myself to make that first move on a dating site anymore. In the meantime, I need an alternative to get the intimacy I can’t seem to live without. It’s not even sex; it’s just to have someone touch me, and someone to touch. I’d like to consider sex workers, but there are so many stories about how women are coerced into these roles that I can’t in good conscience go that way. Or can I? Is there a safe way to arrange transactions for physical intimacy where I can know the other person is truly a willing and unexploited participant?

—Needs a Hug

Dear Needs a Hug,

Americans benefit every day from labor that is exploitative. So we need to draw a distinction between “acceptable” exploitation (someone providing a service, and someone profiting from it) and unacceptable exploitation (physical force or emotional manipulation). I wouldn’t think of sex work any differently.

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Be clear about what you’re after. There’s no shame in seeing a sex worker for some PG snuggles. Treat your provider like you would any skilled service worker you hire—a construction worker, a lawyer, an accountant—and you’ll do OK.

One way you can address your worries is to stick to your provider’s boundaries—whatever they may be—and compensate her properly for the job without haggling. Don’t question whether the providers you see really enjoy their work, really enjoy their time with you, or really enjoy some other specific detail. If you must ask, you should prepare yourself to believe what the worker tells you about their willingness to participate in your sessions.

A sex worker–led website might be a good place for you to start educating yourself about what sex work is like and how sex workers are misrepresented in the media. My own website, ZeroSpaces.com, has two preview pieces up from sex workers of various sorts. You might check out Morrigan Eris’ essay “Meow” for a trip behind the scenes at a legal Nevada brothel.

Remember, most sex workers are trying to navigate our society as best they can. Sometimes we don’t like our jobs. Sometimes that’s because the system needs to change, and sometimes that’s because we’re experiencing burnout. Just like any other worker.

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Dear How to Do It,

My wife and I decided a year ago that we won’t be having kids. Every form of birth control we’ve tried hasn’t worked out for various reasons. So basically we’ve just had “outercourse” for the past year. No penetration. Well, in a few weeks I’ll be getting a vasectomy. After I heal and have a confirmed zero sperm count, we plan on getting back to the good old days of penetrative sex. Do you have any advice for us as we relearn how to do it?

—Snip

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Dear Snip,

Congratulations! As various states in the U.S. make it more difficult for people with uteruses to access abortions, you’re doing the sensible thing—taking responsibility for your own baby juice. Bravo. You deserve a round of applause, as does anyone else with a penis undergoing the same procedure.

I think you’ll find that penetrative sex is like riding a bicycle: There’s a lot to balance, but your body tends to remember more than you might think it will. If you’re used to condoms and planning on forgoing them, you might find yourself more sensitive than in the past. Time and experience are the fixes for that, unless your wife is the sort of person to find early ejaculation somewhere between charming and erotic, in which case you’re already more than fine.

“Relearning” is definitely one way of looking at this situation. But I’d like to encourage you to do a little bit of reframing here; you and your wife have the opportunity to get to know each other’s genitals all over again. With pleasure as your navigation tool, you get to explore all the spots, angles, and techniques you can imagine. Enjoy yourselves. Keep notes if you’re feeling scientific. Focus on each other and express yourselves with your bodies. You’ll be great.

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Dear How to Do It,

I’m a bisexual woman in her mid-20s living in the Deep South with zero dating experience. I have kissed three people total in life that have varied in intensity, but I’m still a virgin. I ultimately want to be in a relationship, but because of the high stresses in my life currently, I want to have sex without one. The thing is, the few people I’m out to in my life have encouraged me to seek straight sexual relationships. I want to have sex with men and women! Dating apps are hard to navigate, but I’m willing to try. I just can’t seem to decide how I should go about dating and sex.

—Bi-ginner

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Dear Bi-ginner,

That should word … as if there’s some template for new-bis to follow, or a map of queerness. The word should makes me twitch, but that isn’t going to stop me from using it on you: You should date and have sex in exactly the way that feels best for you.

You’re going to have to work that out for yourself. You’re probably going to make mistakes, and you might make some that stick with you. You’ll probably find yourself in uncomfortable positions at times, and you’ll need to navigate them. You’ll have to set your boundaries. You’ll try things you aren’t sure about, and you might like some of them.

Your friends who are encouraging you to date people of the opposite gender may be concerned about the stigma surrounding LGBTQ people. Passing is a privilege, and you’ll have to decide for yourself what the risk/benefit of being out is. If your area has LGBTQ meetups, it might be worth stopping by to meet some people in person. And there are always the dating apps and sites. Consider trying a few until you find what works for you.

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Be upfront about what you’re looking for; from your letter, it sounds like you’re looking for hookups. Be cautious with whom you give your number to, and let a friend know whom you’re meeting, where your date is, and what time they should expect you to check in by. Remember that you can always slow things down if you get uncomfortable, you can always leave a date, and you can always block a number.

—Stoya

Advice From Dear Prudence

My new husband and I enjoy very rough sex. Unfortunately—in spite of efforts to keep quiet—my 12-year-old daughter overheard us. I got called in for a private meeting with her teacher outside of school hours. She told me my daughter heard her stepfather slapping me and was extremely upset. I was completely taken aback, not to mention embarrassed beyond belief, and couldn’t think of anything other than mutter that I was fine and everything was fine at home. Of course, this only made the teacher believe I was trying to cover up the “abuse” and told me repeatedly she was there to help when I was ready. I know I can’t just let my daughter continue believing her mother is being abused, and I really don’t want this kind teacher to be concerned over a complete misunderstanding. I just don’t know how to begin. Please help.


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