Squirting happens as a result of sexual stimulation. Women have reported squirting because of vaginal stimulation (often around the so-called “G-spot” area), clitoral stimulation, and even anal stimulation, Vrangalova says. Most people who squirt report that squirting makes sex better, but some women report feelings of shame or humiliation around their squirting experiences.
It’s not clear if squirting has any biological function other than producing pleasure, but Queen says women likely ejaculate for the same reason men do.
“We develop in utero, regardless of the sex/gender we’ll be assigned at birth, from the exact same kind of early-gestation body. This body is influenced by hormones (as well as underlying genetics), but before the hormones hit and differentiate clitorises and penises, labia and scrotum, and all the rest, we start out undifferentiated,” she explains. “The tissue that comprises us at that stage doesn’t go away—but it may get repurposed.”
So just like the clitoris and the penis are actually the same body part that gets arranged in two different ways, women also have their own homologue to the male prostate. The Skene’s glands, or the “female prostate,” are located around the urethra and likely secrete an ejaculatory fluid in response to sexual stimulation, the same way men’s prostates (also located around the urethra) produce fluid to help ejaculate semen.
In other words, “male” and “female” ejaculation may be similar sexual responses—kind of like how people with penises still have nipples they developed in utero, even though those nipples don’t end up being reproductively relevant.
Some doctors do theorize that squirting is a form of stress incontinence, aka a response to excessive pressure on the bladder. Though Queen notes, “If it was really a medical problem, they would also emit liquid when laughing, jumping, coughing, etc.” One study found women who ejaculate during orgasm tend to have stronger pelvic floor muscles than non-ejaculators.