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We’ve been answering your questions for Sexual Health Awareness Month. If you missed some, catch up here.

Q: Is squirting the same thing as having an orgasm? I reach orgasm when I watch porn and masturbate, but I don’t get the same feeling during partner sex — though I do squirt with my partner. Squirting just feels different than the orgasms I have when I’m alone. Is it supposed to feel like this?

All bodies are different. Some folks find that squirting can feel like an orgasm, but for others it may not.

How squirting happens

For folks who do squirt, it generally results from making a “come hither” motion inside the vaginal canal with your fingers or a curved vibrator.

If you or your partner are relying on fingers to do the trick, curling the middle and index fingers and moving them back and forth — as though you’re signaling for someone to step closer to you — is key.

A curved vibrator naturally makes this shape, so all you have to do is insert it into the vaginal canal.

This “come hither” movement can stimulate the G-spot, which is near the Skene’s glands. When stimulated, the Skene’s glands become engorged.

For some folks, this can result in fluid being released — aka squirting.

How this release of fluid feels can vary from person to person and from experience to experience.

How solo and partner sex compare

It’s important to consider how similar your solo sexual activity is to your partnered play.

If you find that the types of touch or stimulation you use during masturbation are considerably different than what you and your partner do together, try to bridge this gap.

Squirting, for example, is generally the result of penetrative stimulation, whether that’s with fingers, a sex toy, or other insertable.

If you’re squirting with your partner but not when you’re alone — and you want to when you’re alone — I recommend practicing the “come hither” motion described above.

If you typically engage in nonpenetrative play when you’re alone and find that you orgasm this way, I recommend that you try the same technique(s) with your partner.

You might consider:

  • having a kitchen — not bedroom — conversation with your partner about what types of stimulation you enjoy so that they can do this the next time you’re together
  • masturbating in front of your partner so that they can see the exact way you enjoy being touched
  • touching yourself or using a clitoral vibrator during penetrative sex

How your sexual fantasies compare to your sexual reality

If you don’t see a pattern in the solo techniques you use to orgasm, you might consider the porn or erotica that you typically use during masturbation.

For example:

  • What type of porn are you watching? Who’s on the screen, and what are they doing?
  • What are you fantasizing about? Are you curious about role play or kink?
  • Are the sexual activities you and your partner engage in similar to the type of porn you’re using?

If you find that there’s a fair amount of discrepancy between your current sexual experiences and your sexual fantasies, this could explain why you aren’t reaching orgasm with your partner.

The best thing you can do is to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about how you’re feeling and what you would need or would like to try moving forward.

If you find that you’re both unsure of what to do next — or that you simply want another perspective — consider reaching out to a sex therapist to talk through your concerns.


Janet Brito is an AASECT-certified sex therapist and supervisor who also has a license in clinical psychology and social work. She completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Minnesota, one of only a few programs in the world dedicated to sexuality training. Currently, she’s based in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is the founder of the Center for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Dr. Brito has been featured on many outlets, including O: The Oprah Magazine, HuffPost, Playboy, Women’s Health, Thrive Global, and Midweek Publications. Reach out to her through her website or on Instagram.