Blush: Skene’s Gland

The other day, as I was scrolling through Tumblr, I came across a question about squirting; whether it was a real thing and what it actually was.

The person said it was a real thing, gave a couple references with the disclaimer that they were all gender-insensitive, and said that when you squirt, it’s urine.

Which made me pause.

Because I was pretty sure that I remembered my University professor talking about squirting, and saying that it was NOT urine.

So I figured, if I’m going to research this anyways, I might as well write a post about it.

A surge pool in New Zealand. Image from www.sciencesource.com.

First of all, I have got to agree with that Tumblr user: gendered language is rampant when you try to find resources on this topic. So please, be warned if you click the links in the blog post.

Secondly, WOW was it hard to find references from good sources! Because squirting is considered a “fad” right now, there are a lot of magazines and random reddit pages dedicated to it. None of these have actual sources, just personal experiences.

Not to discount personal experience. That is super important. It tells us that squirting is a thing that happens, to more people than “a few”. It is normal and nothing to be ashamed of.

However, unless those people have a degree in Biochemistry or at the very least, know how to test the contents of the fluid that is emitted, those personal experiences do not tell us anything about what the fluid is composed of.

The first place I looked was on Dr Lindsey Doe’s Sexplanations channel. She had done a video on squirting, and that was helpful in a way. Taking a look at the transcript, here is the key moment:

I hear about the Skene’s Gland, that there’s an identified organ from which the fluid exits the body. It’s considered a para-urethral tissue, meaning it’s around the urethra, which is why fluid content is two percent urine: proximity. Ejaculation is also comprised of – oh we don’t know exactly – why is that.

Great! I feel a surge (pun intended) of validation. However, she doesn’t include her sources in the video.

So I dove back into the research pool.

The first article I found was…not very helpful. It essentially said that the ejaculate was urine.

Okay…

I clicked on the link within that article, and it is to Wiley Online Library, a textbook resource. Great, I think. This will be a valid source.

This particular source is a study done with ultrasounds before, during, and after sexual stimulation. It showed that the bladder was empty before, filled during, and was empty after the emission.

I’m starting to doubt my memory of the professor’s lecture.

I change tactics. I now research the Skene’s gland. Hopefully that won’t draw in the articles that are all about the “fad” of squirting.

I get a definition, firstly. (Modified to eliminate gendered language)

The Skene’s (paraurethral) gland is the histologic homologue to the […] prostate. […] This gland is formed by tubuloalveolar adenomers surrounded by connective tissue and smooth muscle fibers.

Okay. That doesn’t help with much, other than it exists.

Next I read a really interesting study that explains how the Skene’s gland morphs – the more you use it, the easier it is to use it and the more openings there are, essentially.

Great. But that doesn’t explain why that study found the the bladder appeared to be full when they did a pelvic ultrasound.

So I decided that I wanted to see a picture of the Skene’s gland. Where was it EXACTLY? And more importantly, could it swell with fluid to make it seem like the bladder was full?

Do you know how many diagrams of the genital system don’t even bother to label the Skene’s gland?

A lot.

I found a couple that were properly labelled. Click for images of the vulva and interior shots.

The Skene’s gland is found around the urethra, between it and the vaginal wall. Colloquially, you might know it as the G-Spot.

So now I know exactly where it is. But I still have no idea if it can swell with fluid or if it mimic a full bladder. And I’m out of resources.

Unfortunately, not a lot of research has been done on this, as it has only recently been discovered. I can tell you a couple things, though:

  1. With the proximity of the Skene’s gland openings to the urethra, leftover urine would most definitely be in any samples collected from the Skene’s emissions.
  2. The fluid emitted from the Skene’s gland contains PSA – prostate-specific antigen – the same biochemical component found in prostates.
  3. Not all people with vulvas have this gland, and even if they do, they might not have many openings for the emissions.
  4. More research is desperately needed for this. The lack of valid sources on this topic was discouraging.

So I’m going to have to leave this topic here. I can’t say with absolute certainty why that study showed a full bladder with a pelvic ultrasound, but I have a hypothesis that it was the Skene’s gland masquerading as a bladder. Anyone want to prove me wrong?


References

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzngn1ZPr4k
https://nerdfighteria.info/v/lzngn1ZPr4k/
http://www.thesexmd.com/squirting-really/
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jsm.12799
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12201043
https://www.jsm.jsexmed.org/article/S1743-6095(16)30629-4/fulltext
https://medwrite.biz/61478_skenes_gland_diagram_skenes_gland_diagram/
http://www.actforlibraries.org/the-skenes-gland/


If you’re enjoying the Blush blogs, consider learning more with Blush: The Card Game from Renaissance Press.

Blush: Sexplanations Recommendation

When Dr Lindsey Doe’s channel Sexplanations went live almost 3 years ago, I was super excited to hear about it. She has uploaded tons of videos since, and although I’m not a religious watcher of her channel, I think its a fantastic resource! She’s adorable, hilarious, and educational all rolled into one package. Highly recommended!

Blush: Demi-sexual

The questions have been written and sent to the editors but if you’d like something answered on this blog feel free to ask us your anonymous questions!

blush back2
Blush: A card game logo. Image by Caroline Frechette of Renaissance Press. Follow them on Facebook and Twitter!

Hello S. M. Carrière. Thank you for answering my questions today!

My pleasure!
For those who don’t know, what is demi-sexual?
A demi-sexual is someone on the asexual spectrum who requires a strong emotional bond with a prospective partner before there is any chance of sexual attraction. Which is to say, they don’t experience sexual attraction except in certain, quite particular, circumstances.  I should note here that a strong bond doesn’t necessarily equate sexual attraction, either.
How did finding out that there was a name for your sexuality affect how you saw yourself?
Honestly, the fact that there was a name for my identity gave me such a sense of relief.  I suddenly felt like I wasn’t a freak, after all.  Enough people are like me that they have a name for it, and it describes my identity almost perfectly.  It certainly has helped in giving me the language necessary to describe myself to others, and it’s a language that helps normalise my experiences.  That’s huge.  It’s helped me so much, especially in raising my self-confidence.
Are there any fictional characters you believe represent demi-sexuals in a positive way?
No, actually.  I’ve been racking my brain to find a character who is explicitly demi-sexual that I am aware of.  I can’t think of any at all. Asexuals of any stripe are wildly under-represented in media, it seems.
What kind of reaction do you like the most when people are told you are demi-sexual?
“Oh. Okay.”
Not to have your identity put under an aggressive cross-examination is refreshing, and I always feel less judged, less freakish, and less alone when the people I confess to aren’t really bothered about my sexual identity.
What kind of reaction do you dislike the most when people are told you are demi-sexual?
People can get ridiculously patronising when they find out, as if I couldn’t possibly understand my own identity as well as they understand me.  There’s usually some variation of: “Oh sweetie, you just haven’t had good experiences.”  It’s so frustrating and diminishing and, depending on who says it, quite upsetting.
I’ve also had the slimy: “Come home with me, I’ll change your mind.”  My sexual identity is not a challenge to be overcome, and acting like a sleaze is generally not conducive to forming that bond I require before I even entertain the idea of sex with someone.
Honestly, I’m not entirely sure which is worse.
Why do you think people have such strange reactions?
Not a flipping clue.  I understand not comprehending something outside of one’s experience, but acting as if asexuality and the various identities along the asexual spectrum don’t exist is really confusing to me.  Lack of comprehension should prompt questions, not outright denial.  I remain confused and bewildered by some of the reactions I’ve received.
Are there any attitudes or societal norms that are frustrating for demi-sexuals?
I cannot pretend to speak for all asexuals, but asexual erasure really bugs me.  In a culture obsessed with sex, being someone who isn’t can make things tough.  It’s tough relating to people a lot of the times.  It’s worse when people outright disbelieve you, and try to come up with all kinds of psychological reasons, or other possible explanations for your sexuality.  It’s a slap in the face, because it’s tantamount to being called a liar, or broken/wrong/somehow deficient, or that an integral part of what makes you you simply doesn’t exist.
Do you know other people in the demi- or asexual spectrum?
No, actually.  At least, none that have openly identified as demi- or asexual.
Are there any communities and support groups (either in person or online) for people discovering themselves?
I’m a huge fan of The Trevor Project, which gives information on pretty much all sexualities.  It’s where I first discovered that asexuality was a thing, and that it didn’t mean I was broken/wrong/somehow deficient.  There are a couple of great YouTube channels that cover all kinds of stuff about sex and sexuality: lacigreen (Sex+) and Sexplanations.  Watching those in the early stages of self-discovery really helped open my eyes and got me asking the right questions.  Sexplanations led me to asexuality.org.
What is one question that you wish you could be asked about being demi-sexual?
Where can I learn more?
That would be nice.  No arguments about whether or not my identity is a real thing (it is), no sleazy propositions trying to get me to change my mind, just, “I don’t get it, where can I learn about it?”


Born in 1983 and raised in various countries around the globe, S.M. Carrière has always felt drawn to epic tales of heroes and villains.  An avid reader herself and despite always writing, she did not think of becoming an author until her final year of university, when she found herself compelled to the craft (when she ought to have been studying).  She self-published her first title, The Dying God and Other Stories, in 2011 at the urging of a friend, and has not stopped since, publishing one book each consecutive year.