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Ask Dr. Laura: Vaginal ‘Squirting’ and STDs

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Ask Dr. Laura
Dr. Laura McGuire

Dear Dr. Laura,

I have a question about Lesbians scissoring. If both ladies are squirting, is there a concern for infection? Anywhere?

Dear Safe Squirter,

Thank you for bring up the oh-so-seldom discussed topics of lesbian sexual safety and squirting. Where penises are involved, there are so many sources for information, but rarely is sex with two vaginas discussed in the sense of safety. Put on top of that the discussion about vaginal ejaculation or squirting, and you’ll find very little accessible info. Let’s break down some common myths about vaginal sex, squirting, and STIs so we can all stay safe, happy, and horny.

In October 2016, I discussed vaginal ejaculation as a healthy and common sexual occurrence. Vaginal ejaculate comes from a number of glands that line the urethra (where you pee) and while some urine can get picked up upon expulsion, it is not pee. In mainstream porn, some actresses do just pee so that they look like they can squirt on command, but in genuine squirting, this something completely different. The glands that create this fluid are very similar to the glands that create seminal fluid in men. Because we all start out the same in utero, with the same body parts that simply shift to be penises, vaginas, or other genitals, it makes sense that almost everything we have as cis women can be found in a cis-male body. Given this information, we can see that just as semen is a concern for transmitting STIs, so would vaginal fluids.

Vaginal fluid does not seem to transmit viruses or bacteria the way that semen does, so yay for that. The problem with this fact is that this leads many queer women to think they don’t need to use protection at all. Vaginas may have a lower risk, but that does not mean there is no risk. You can definitely get STIs from vagina-to-vagina sex, and that is probably one thing you don’t want to share with your lover.

To protect yourself, barrier methods are going to be your best friends. Using dental dams (squares of latex) for cunnalingus (oral to vagina) or analingus (oral to anal) sex is one great way to protect you and your partner. For fingering or fisting, using black or blue latex gloves is fantastic. Blue is the perfect color as you can more easily see tears in the fabric. But you asked about squirting and scissoring, a topic I covered in June 2017.  For this, I have a two-part answer: First, there isn’t really a way to fully cover all the skin and fluids during scissoring. You could try using non-microwaveable saran wrap, but even that would be hard to keep in place with so much friction. When there isn’t a reliable barrier method, you have two options. You could have sex this way as part of a monogamous relationship after you both know your STI status—and avoid scissoring with anyone whose status you don’t know for sure. Or, you can take a calculated risk and talk this through with your partner beforehand. There isn’t an easy answer,but it’s important to be honest, get tested regularly, and take only calculated risks with which you are comfortable.

In Sex Positivity,

Dr. Laura

 

Dear Dr. Laura,

Everything is so binary. How do you deal with seeing transgender people’s experiences excluded in most of the language around sexuality?

Dear Friend,

Many of us were taught plainly that boys have penises and girls have vaginas. The world back then believed that gender, sex, and sexuality were binary—and this is still true in many homes today. Meanwhile, in the non-binary world, those of us who are queer, trans, intersex, and the like have had to do the tremendous emotional work of unlearning these messages and understanding why we will never fit into one side of the spectrum or the other.

Sexuality is complicated, intersectionally experienced, and impossible to quantify. Many cisgender people struggle with loving and feeling at home in their bodies. Genitals are often places in our flesh that carry physical and emotional wounds. The world tells us sex is only a few things, only to be enjoyed by certain people, and only in certain ways. Add to all of this the experience of being a sexual trans/non-binary person and the magnitude of it all can be exhausting. When everything about penises only mentions male owners, and a vagina means you are a woman, it can feel like you have to decide between loving your gender identity and loving your sexual organs.

Take heart, dear one, for this is not so. Your body is your own, and you get to make the rules. No matter what society tells you, only you can decide what your body parts are called, when you want to do with them, and how this will define you. If you have a penis and want to rename/reclaim it as a vagina, your happy place, or something completely different, then do that. If you were born with a penis and want it to be a penis, but you are a woman or non-binary or genderqueer, then it is so. Your genitals and their medical names have nothing to do with your gender. Many people wish to surgically confirm their gender and change their aesthetic, but many do not. Surgery or hormones make you no more or no less valid, beautiful, or worth of adoration.

I know that all of this is easy to sit here and say. Living it is an eternal battle for many as the world around us so often will try to tear down the self-love we have built. When you see the binary messages turn away, say no thank you, or laugh it off as ignorant.  Cocoon yourself in trans-confirming messages, spaces, and communities. It is OK to not interact with the binary world for a while and to nurture yourself with affirmations. You were born into your squishy stardust shell we call a body. Love it, cherish it, and protect it from the haters. At the end of each day, thank it. Your arms, your legs, your mind, your sexual places— thank them for being exactly as they are.

In Sex Positivity,

Dr. Laura

 

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Laura McGuire

Dr. Laura McGuire is certified as a sexuality educator through the American Association of Sexuality Educators Counselors and Therapists.
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