LIFE Female Ejaculation Why are we still in the dark about female sexual anatomy and physiology? Sophie Feltes Writings on female ejaculation date back over 2000 years, from the ancient Greeks Hippocrates and Aristotle, to Chinese Taoists. Thanks to our historically sexist society, we have long understood the male sexual organ and everything it can do, so it seems ludicrous to me that not only is there rampant debate about the composition of “shejaculate,” but some medical professionals still question whether this phenomenon exists at all. In-depth research into female ejaculation is very new, but we are making some headway, including a notable study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine that finally seems to make a clear distinction between squirting and female ejaculating. If you are thinking, “I didn’t even think squirting was real and now you’re telling me there are multiple kinds?!” you are not alone. I found it fascinating the number of angry responses posted online by women in response to valid clinical studies, comments along the lines of, “Sure we’ve all heard about it, but do any of us actually know someone who can?” I chose to investigate this topic when I realized that if I wanted to know what the f*** this weird stuff was coming out of me, the only way to find out was to research it myself. Even in a recent international online survey composed solely of women capable of ejaculation, the extent of their isolation and lack of information was clear. The majority of respondents said that they did not know a single other woman who had ejaculated. This study, which at a measly 320 participants constitutes the largest study on female ejaculation to date, also exposed the lack of knowledge that many if not most women around the world have about their own sexual anatomy and physiology. When questioned about their perceived source of the fluid, almost half of the women marked “unknown,” while the remainder of responses were fairly equally dispersed between vaginal, anterior vaginal wall (g-spot), and urethra. Approximately half classified their ejaculations as stemming from clitoral orgasms, while the other half classified them as vaginal, and several women reported squirting during anal sex. Contrary to popular belief, there is no concrete link between the G-spot, also still a controversial topic, and squirting. Here is what little information we know. It is estimated that a minimum of 10 per cent of women are capable of ejaculation. Most women who report 21 172.3 • Thursday, September 19, 2013 PHOTO BY WENDY SHEPHERD Some medical professionals continue to question the phenomenon of “shejaculate,” or better known as the female orgasm. Research into this occurrence is all very new, but in recent years studies have been making headway. squirting also report enthusiastic (albeit sometimes confused and surprised) partners, frequent occurrence, and a greater likelihood of multiple orgasms and further ejaculation after the initial orgasm. Some women report teaspoons of fluid, while others can release up to one liter! This is where much of the debate on the nature of the fluid comes from; doctors find it hard to believe that so much fluid could be contained anywhere but the bladder. It would appear that while “real” female ejaculate from the female prostate (aka Skene’s gland) does exist, it is very much like semen in consistency and composition, the only real difference being the absence of sperm. This is more rare than the squirting or gushing usually referred to as ejaculation. Both come out of the ducts surrounding the urethra (not the urethra itself) but “real” ejaculation takes place almost exclusively upon orgasm, while one might squirt out of intense arousal. Squirting usually involves the release of a clear fluid with no smell and a slightly briny or salty taste. It is essentially extremely diluted urine without the ammonia. The most important thing to remember here is that both are totally healthy, feel great, and are in no way evidence of an incontinence issue. Women have experienced ejaculating for the first time at ages as early as seven and as late as 68, while the average appears to lie somewhere around 25. So ladies, if you haven’t experienced this yet, do not assume that you aren’t capable, you might very well be. Try putting a pillow under your bum to tilt your pelvis forward so that your partner or favourite vibrator is more likely to hit your G-spot. While they may look uncomfortable from afar, hard curved toys with a round tip make the best G-spot stimulators. The combination of dildo, fingers making a “come hither” motion or even a wang up in there, plus clitoral stimulation is a real winner. Worst-case scenario, you’ll likely end up with mindblowing dry orgasm. I know, life is hard. A decision that changed my life Why volunteering abroad was the right decision for me Deighna Baes A year ago today, I was restless. I don’t know why exactly, but I felt like my life was lacking purpose. I had just come back from working all summer in retail, and the fall semester had returned in full force with enough assignments and deadlines to make me want to pack up and move to a tropical location. My major is Studio Art, but I needed another social science course so I found myself in Rozanski Hall in SOC 1100. Large first year lectures are always the same at the start, full of tutorials, library study groups, and advertisements for work and volunteer programs. One volunteer presentation caught my eye; a company called Reach Out Volunteers that had programs all over the world dedicated to “change one village at a time.” In my first year I had applied for a trip to Fiji, which I didn’t get accepted to. With this in mind I didn’t take the bright orange Reach Out flyer I had put on my corkboard seriously, assuming it was a pipe dream. A couple weeks went by and every time I worked at my desk I stared at this flyer with promises of travel and changing lives. I decided to apply to a program in Peru on a fluke without telling a soul, and I was accepted shortly after. Telling my friends and family led to an array of mixed reactions, mostly excitement but some confusion and worry. Would I be safe? How could I afford it? What would I be doing? How would I be helping people? With a newfound surge of independence I researched and planned. I was certain to make this dream a reality. After months of working retail whilst in school, selling paintings, and doing odd jobs, I had paid for the trip entirely on my own. Finally, in May the day came when I was ready to fly off to Peru. Flying on your own for the first time is scary but strangely liberating. After 30 hours of travel I made it there and met with my team members for the first time. If I can stress one positive aspect about doing a volunteer trip, it’s that you will meet amazing people from places all over the world. Our first night was spent in Cusco getting acquainted and preparing for the physical hardships we were about to experience. Bright and early the next morning we bused to Urubamba in the Sacred Valley where we were to stay every night between volunteering. By volunteering, I mean that we were to build a jungle gym for a tiny elementary school remotely set on a mountainside. Throughout that week we stripped the logs by hand and used hand tools and shovels to prepare the holes for the foundation, mixing cement, cutting logs, and attaching the wood together. The children there are truly fascinating, and were one of the highlights of my trip. Bright and eager, these kids could create entertainment out of anything. By anything, I mean tires, deflated soccer balls, and even the strips of bark we took off of our logs for the playground. After a week of grueling hard work, some altitude sickness, and avocado sandwiches, we managed to complete a jungle gym with monkey bars, towers, and a swing set. The kids’ reaction to the completed playground made all of our blisters worth it. It was difficult to wrap my head around how the children didn’t know how to use a swing set, but they quickly learned! After a good photo session, we headed back to Cusco for a week of hiking the Inca trail and sightseeing. Our team went white-water rafting, zip lining, biked down a mountain, and hiked the trail to see Machu Picchu. The sights I saw were truly breathtaking and will stay with me until my last days. Reach Out Volunteers did a great job of getting us to experience everything, from salsa classes to Spanish and cooking classes. It’s hard to decide what the best part of the entire experience was. Knowing that I changed some kids’ lives is something that no one else can take away from me. I have made some truly amazing friends who I have kept in contact with months later. We are all making plans to visit each other (out of the ten people in my group I have seen two since). Our next goal is to take another trip with my previous group to Cambodia in 2015. Volunteering abroad is something that I will always advocate, as it changed my outlook on life and I hope volunteering abroad changes yours.