A CBC radio program called "One Sex or Two?" that focussed on female
ejaculation was broadcast on IDEAS on 15 February 1995.
Some listeners liked the program and others didn't.  A "review"
appeared in the Toronto Sun on April 2nd.  Letters were written to the
CRTC and to CBC officials.  They are reproduced here, together with a
transcript of the program.

As the producer of this program, I'd like to hear your reactions to the
program, the letters, and the controversy.  I'd especially like to know
what you think ought to be done next.  The net seems like a good place
for listeners and program-makers to talk about contentious issues.  Any
ideas?  Our e-mail address is ideas@toronto.cbc.ca.

- Max Allen, producer, IDEAS

One Sex or Two is available as an Audio Cassette from RadioWorks for $14.95 
plus tax and shipping. The Transcript is $7.49 which includes GST.
You can order from:
P.O. Box 500 
Station A Toronto
M5W 1E6
OR call 1-800-363-1530 or in Toronto (416) 205 3456
Of course you can also order from this site. 

by Peter Stockland
Toronto Sun, 2 April 1995

Gee, what will the geniuses at CBC try next?

It's a question being asked with anger by listeners subjected to Mother
Corp.'s airing of a radio documentary on female orgasm, complete with
graphic anatomical descriptions of the so-called G-spot whose deft
manipulation reportedly lets some women ejaculate as men do.

How graphic was it?  Believe it or not, they actually had a woman named
Shannon Bell masturbate herself to orgasm on air using a "little yellow
vibrator" whilst giving play-by-play about her bodily fluid.

"It tastes fairly good.  You can taste your own, but don't taste
anybody else's because that's not safe sex," Bell told listeners who
hadn't thrown their radios out the kitchen window by that point.

I count myself lucky to have missed the original when it aired last
month on the prime time series IDEAS. Reading a transcript of the show
was enough.  The raw language used, the crudity of the themes pursued,
would have been right at home in the letters section of the more
scurrilous skin magazines.

Equally bilious, though, was the pseudo-intellectual, feminist
clap-trap wrapped around the more prurient parts for a veneer of
academic respectability to justify such aural soft-core porn.

One who was not fooled by this trickery was Calgary MP Jan Brown,
Reform Party critic for the CBC, who's demanding Mother Corp. explain
airing such vulgarity.

"It's so far outside the bounds of acceptable community standard [sic]
it's beyond belief," Brown told me.

She stressed she has no prudish qualms about such topics being
discussed in appropriate settings -- e.g. a doctor's office or
counselling session.  She just doesn't think her constituents -- or
other Canadians -- want it boomed at them by the tax-funded national

"I don't advocate censorship, but what happened to basic judgment?  Is
this what we want our public radio to do?" she demanded.

Brown's hopeful other citizens who detest such tasteless, de-humanizing
material will let her know so she can bring pressure to bear on the CBC
powers that be.

"It's got to be the population at large that demands accountability or
it will just be worse the next time."

Ironically, the program's conclusion not only justified that concern,
but detailed why she's correct.  After all the bathroom-talk about
sexual appendages and orifices was completed, after Sharon [sic] Bell's
little vibrator hummed its last, a University of Toronto chap explained
why our enlightened age encourages women to masturbate on public radio
while our less progressive ancestors would have blanched at the whole

"These were profoundly prudish societies and the idea...would have
seemed to them absolutely obscene," said Edward Shorter, who directs U
of T's history of medicine program.

But why, an intensely-progressive CBC interviewer asked, were these
earlier societies so prudish?

"They had a sense of human transcendence that we don't, a sense of
man-God relations -- the fact that we are put on this Earth to do
something else than achieve our own self-actualization," Shorter said.

"If one sees religious fulfillment as the purpose of life, then things
like human sexuality decidedly take a second rank because they direct
one's attention toward one's self, toward one's inner workings rather
than outwards toward the Godhead as it's supposed to be."

He did not worry that the loss of our "human transcendence," our "sense
of man-God relations," lets us debase a fellow human being by
exploiting her sexuality as raw material for a radio program.

He did not fear that our newfound "self-actualization" dumps the
unitive and procreative beauty of human sexual relations into the mire
of masturbatory fantasy.  On the contrary, he said, we're better freed
of such "artificial" moral constraints.

We must, he said, "accept (that) the rules of the game in 1995" mean
there are no rules of the game anymore.

Gee, doesn't that hint at what the geniuses at CBC will try next --
i.e. anything they can get away with unless they're stopped.

[PLEASE NOTE: In fairness to Edward Shorter it should be said that
Stockland misstates by omission, revision and outright invention what
Professor Shorter said on the program, a complete transcript of which
is included at the end of this posting.]



[[1]] To the producers of IDEAS:

On Wednesday evenings when I tune into the program IDEAS I am, for the
most part, pleasantly surprised at the content--which usually promises
me an hour of interesting and informative radio.

On Wednesday evening last, February 15th, I was surprised all right,
but not pleasantly!  Granted I did not hear the introductory comments
to the program, but as the hour passed I became more and more disgusted
and angry that I and countless others across Canada should be saddled
with such appalling junk.  In my opinion this material might have some
place in a pulp magazine, but not on a national radio program.

Was I to believe that there was some cultural or artistic merit in the
woman's description of the female ejaculatory processes when she has
been sexually aroused?  Moreover, did we need to have a detailed
description of the "how-to-do-it" masturbation--complete with some
orgasmic heavy breathing sequences?  Frankly, I failed to find any
redeeming features in this so-called documentary whatsoever.  I write
to register my protest at the subject matter chosen for this segment.
I am disappointed in you.

Murray ...
British Columbia

[[2]] To Lister Sinclair:

The IDEAS program on female ejaculation was great!  I applaud CBC for
its willingness to enter risky territory.  I came home and turned on
the radio (a conditioned response) about half way into the program--to
the surprise and confusion of my ears!  The commentator returned
shortly and told newcomers that the woman we had just heard was
alright, she had just had an orgasm!!  Instead of going to bed, I sat
down and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the program.  Please find my
cheque enclosed for $7 for a transcript and also the reading list.

Lana ...

[[3]] To the CBC:

My full attention was not on the radio on Wed. evening after the 10 pm
news so I do not know the name of the program.

However, after hearing the pornography of the airwaves with a moment by
moment graphic description of ongoing female masturbation, I am
disgusted that such obscenity was permitted, and STRONGLY protest again
it ever happening again.

What people do and say in private is their own affair.  Love between
people is good but is not to be aired or viewed by others.

Your standards have fallen to the gutter.

Patricia ...
Nova Scotia

[[4]] To Lister Sinclair and IDEAS:

I would like to congratulate you on your programming in general.  It is
almost always fascinating.  (A few too many classical music
programs--we can listen to it all evening on every weeknight and there
is no shortage of classical music on weekends either).  In particular I
wish to commend you on your program on female ejaculation.  It was
extremely respectful of women as a celebration of female sexuality.  I
appreciate this because it was not pornographic and belittling like so
much of our media is.  So a big pat on the back for that!

Could you please mail me the reading list.  And could I please have a
schedule of IDEAS for the 1995 season.

Thank you very much and keep up the excellent work.  In little towns
like mine where there is not much in the way of "culture" it keeps our
minds hopping.  I love to listen to CBC when I am sitting at my
spinning wheel in the evening.

Kirsten ...
British Columbia

[[5]] To Allan Darling, Secretary General, CRTC:

I am writing this letter to you to lodge a formal complaint at the
highest level.

On Wednesday February 15, 1995, The CBC Radio station in my home town
broadcasted a show called "IDEAS".  This was the first time I listened
to this program so I don't know what it's mandate is nor do I really
care at this point.  Because what I had listened to has appalled me.

The show's topic was Women's sexuality.  The show was bordering
pornography at the first but during the last part they took a full turn
and was to me pornography.

I was sitting at my kitchen table when I heard the host of the program
comment, "if you are not open to new ideas or are a bit squamish, you
can wash your dishes now or put the children to bed."  This many not be
the exact comment but it is as close that I can remember.  The next
thing I was listening to a lady MASTURBATING on the air!!  This lady
was explaining exactly what she was doing in very graphic detail.

This whole ordeal took about fifteen minutes.  Then she did the whole
thing over again.  She was explaining what she was doing and spoke how
much she was enjoying herself pleasure.

Mr. Secretary, is this where my tax dollars are going to?

Where are the morals of the journalist who covered this story?

Is this type of pornography allowed on the public airways?

Is this the next new program for the CBC Television?

Mr. Darling I'm appalled that this type of program with this sexual
conduct would get pass the C.R.T.C.  Just what is your job?

Please Mr. Darling I am asking for your immediate attention with this
matter.  I will be looking forward to your reply in the very near

Please be advised that I have forwarded a copy of this letter to the
Ombudsman for CBC, my federal member of parliament and my provincial
member in St. John's Newfoundland.

Thank you for giving this matter top priority.

Todd ...

[[6]] To IDEAS:

A regular CBC Radio fan, I have the radio tuned to CBC all the time and
often enjoy jumping into the middle of a conversation or programme.
Such was the case this past Wednesday, February 15.  I had just
finished my evening swim and had jumped into a cold car and was driving
out of the parking lot.

Imagine my reaction to have tuned into the middle of a woman's orgasm.
Delighted as I was to be there during her climax, I was amazed as the
woman continued to extol the merits and preferred technique of using
her vibrator to achieve ejaculation.  The whole subject fascinated me
and I wish I had the courage to order a cassette copy of the
programme.  Alas, I don't.  But please send me a copy of the reading
list.  I feel a little like I'm pretending to buy Playboy for the
articles but I'll be damned if I'm going to pass up an opportunity to
know more about such a subject.  Frankly, I suspect CBC will soon be
self financing once word of the programme gets out.  Imagine if this
had been a co-production with CBC television!

Sandy ...
Nova Scotia

[[7]] To Lister Sinclair, host of IDEAS:

In a recent letter to the CBC I deplored the decline from the
significant to the trivial in such programs as Morningside and As It
Happens.  I also stated that other programs, including yours, maintain
a high standard of excellence in terms both of host and content.

This is still true of programs which you host yourself.  (I did
appreciate Ideas in the Summer).  But those programs hosted and
developed by others leave something to be desired.  But last night's
program on female ejaculation knocks the bottom out of the barrel.  Oh,
I am not prudish.  I was very interested.  But they failed to
distinguish between lubrication fluid and ejaculate at the beginning,
which left me confused through more than half the program.

Secondly, you said that there would be no foul language.  Well, there
was.  One of the women used the f... word to designate intercourse,
which made me wonder what, precisely, the whole program was about.  One
of the women masturbated on the air.  I do not see a reasonable purpose
in this.  I find it offensive.  If a man had done this, the feminists
would have raised a storm.  Do women have special privileges?

Certain ideas, or rather statements, were repeated several times,
hammered in, generally statements that blamed men.  It seems to me that
men acted more from ignorance than ill-will or desire to dominate, even
the ignorance created by the biologist's obsession with (species)
survival function.  But the worst of it was the frequent emotional tone
of accusation and hostility against men.  I find that disturbing and
insulting.  No man could get away with such a tone  Once more I must
ask, Do women have special privileges?

I am sick and tired of being emotionally battered by feminists.  I am a
man of liberal and humanistic principles.  Indeed, I am a man of
compassion.  I have a natural tendency to side with the underdog.  I
have always treated women as equals and have stood for equality.  I do
not deserve such treatment.  Yet I have to suffer it, when I want to
hear an informative broadcast on the CBC.

But it is not only women who demonstrate to me that the oppressed can
easily turn into oppressors.  I have been the target of discrimination
and prejudice also in Quebec simply because I couldn't speak French.
This is even carried into other countries.  A native of the Dominican
Republic (national language is Spanish) addressed a Quebecer in English
and was scolded for his pain and lectured that he should speak French
instead of English.  And when I worked on northern Manitoba Indian
settlement with Native self-government and school board I, and the
other white teachers, had to take daily verbal abuse.  In one case it
was even life-threatening.
What I have disclosed here, is not politically correct.  Is my
experience not politically correct?  Do we live in a dictatorship?

When I arrived in Canada in 1957, thirty-eight years ago, I fell in
love with country and people.  That lasted 15-20 years.  Since then it
has been one disappointment and one disillusionment after another, and
painful experiences piled on other painful experiences.  Rudeness,
intolerance to independent thinking, impotence vis-a-vis corporate
business, utter lack of empathy, fads and fashions even in education
and the individual's need to jump on the bandwagon, only to throw it
out utterly when the fashion changes.  I have had it, Sir.  Later this
year, when my money comes, I shall leave Canada for good, not to go to
my European country of origin but to a Spanish-speaking country.  I
have sometimes been told, Why don't you go back to where you come from,
if you don't like it.  Well, I am now ready to take that intolerant and
inhospitable advice.

Rougard ...

[[8]] To IDEAS:

Please send a copy of your reading list for last night's IDEAS program
on women's sexual arousal techniques and history.

You will no doubt receive negative opinions about your program.  But I
found it wonderfully fascinating and enlightening and indeed expect to
find it an aid to better living.

Canadian ignorance about the body, both female and male, is appalling.
The way to learn about ourselves is not through blackboard lecture,
encyclopaedic writings or mumbling embarrassees.

Your personalized straight talk and honest, open, unabashed description
of what really goes on--and how to make it happen yourself--or in my
case with a partner, remains in the mind like the images of good

Your truly sensitive probing (sorry, I couldn't resist) of one of
life's great mysteries and most powerful pleasures is the kind of thing
I have come to expect from Lister Sinclair and all of you at IDEAS.  It
is the reason I am a regularly fascinated listener to this my favourite
of CBC radio's first class offerings.  Thank you.  Again and again.

Joe ...
British Columbia

[[9]] To Anthony Manera, Acting Chair, President and CEO of the CBC.
cc: Keith Spicer, CRTC; Rosemarie Ur, MP, Lambton Middlesex; Rosanne
Skoke, MP, Central Nova.

I have long been a fan of CBC radio and television and have never been
in favour of budget cuts that may affect their programming.  However,
on Wednesday evening, February 15, as I was driving home with my car
radio set to CBC, the program IDEAS was airing.  The topic was
sexuality and I didn't pay much attention for a while.  Then I couldn't
believe my ears as a woman (she was leading a workshop) started to
explain in great detail how to achieve female ejaculation.  She
actually went through a verbal demonstration, complete with heavy
breathing ("I'm really getting turned on" she told us) and then her
shriek when she achieved her goal.  She went through this not once, but
twice.  We were told that she liked to do this to herself using a
mirror so she could watch, and she felt she should let us know that it
tasted nice.  But (perhaps to be politically correct) she did let us
know we shouldn't taste anyone else's (ejaculate) as that was not
"practicing safe sex".

I do not believe that I am a prude and I'm not shocked very easily, but
I say in my garage in disbelief at what I was hearing.  Did the CBC
really feel it was necessary to tell women how to masturbate?  Are most
of the women in this country looking for this kind of information?  (I
am sure there are plenty of books available to those who want to learn
about this.)  I can't help but feel this is aimed at the lesbian

I feel this program was in extremely poor taste.  If it were on a
private station, one could boycott the sponsor.  What can we do when it
is on our national station?  Perhaps only express our anger that tax
money is spent on the production of this extremely offensive material.

I hope you will investigate my complaint and give me the courtesy of a

Jane ...

[[10]] To Max Allen, IDEAS producer:

Well, there I was, in my faded flannelette nightie and my woolly
slippers, padding wearily around the kitchen with a mug of hot milk
about to fill my hot water bottle and betake myself to bed early, when
I thought, "No no no, Margaret, what you need is some intellectual
stimulation.  Stir yourself! Make an effort! Stay up late tonight and
listen to IDEAS!  Whatever is on is bound to expand your horizons."  So
I turned on the radio, mid-programme, trusting IDEAS, as always to
provide the much needed stimulation.

It was female ejaculation night.

My first thought was "Who produced this? and my second was "I should
have done it when I had the chance!"  Some years ago in London I was
invited to a female orgasm (and I think ejaculation) workshop, which my
producer cheerfully assured me meant sitting on top of mirrors with
dildos.  And you know, I didn't have the nerve.  And NOW look what's
happened.  A whole show about it on IDEAS.  Oh the great missed
opportunities in my reporting career. ...

What I want to know is, are you SURE your ejaculating contributor is
all right?  I was glad of the reassurance, but a bit unconvinced.  Mind
you, I though two raccoons were killing each other in a tree the other
night, but they were just mating and I'm sure they're all right now,

So I thought I would write to thank you for the intellectual
stimulation.  I expect the letters are just pouring in!

Margaret ...
British Columbia

(The writer is a BBC and CBC reporter and documentary maker, whose work
includes six series for IDEAS including The Dead Sea Scrolls, Seven
Deadly Sins, The Burning Books, The Book of Job, etc., and the book
"Beyond Golgotha" published in 1993.)

[[11]] To Keith Spicer, Chairman, CRTC:

On Wednesday, February 15, 1995, my wife and I tuned into the CBC
broadcast IDEAS.

We heard a very emotional female, full of sexual passion, teaching the
public how  woman would masturbate and then ejaculate: and seemed to be
preforming the very act on our public broadcasting system - If
unchecked, we foresee this appearing on CBC TV.  We found this subject
to be very offensive, outrageous, and of extreme pornographic nature.
Some people may call this type of material erotica, but to us, the
word, erotica, was fostered by those who condone pornography.

We believe this material is the product of a few reprobates that have
not the love of God before their eyes, and do not care about the plight
or state of the many abused women, children, disabled, and elderly
citizens of our country.

We wholeheartedly believe that this type of disgraceful material should
be completely prohibited from being aired; not only on our public
broadcasting systems: but also on all the other broadcasting systems in
our country - CANADA: A nation fading into the depths of iniquity,
immorality, and ungodliness.  May God grant CANADA the grace to recover
from this evil, and keep her glorious and free.  Marriage is honourable
in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers God will judge.

Where we feel very strongly about this matter, we have sent a copy of
this letter to the following: President of the CBC Ottawa, Ont. -
Regional Director, CBC, St. John's, NF - VOCM Radio Station, St.
John's, NF - Read Admiral Fred Mifflin, MP, Ottawa, Ont. - Preston
Manning, leader of The Reform Party, Ottawa, Ont.

We are expecting a written reply stating your position on this

David & Josephine ...

[[12]] To IDEAS:

As per my telephone conversation of today, I am submitting a cheque in
the amount of $7.49 for a copy of the transcripts of a program aired
Wednesday 15 February 1995, which I was lucky enough to hear (midway)
over my car radio.  Being a frequent listener to IDEAS, I can only
assume that the program, which your colleague informs me was titled
"One Sex or Two" came under that series.

Discussion between the genders are, to say the least, guarded in this
area and I feel that you are to be complimented in the frank but
tasteful way that it was executed.  Since this subject is basic to the
animal world and even humans fit this category, it is hoped that
further focus can be devoted to similar subjects.  Congratulations!

David ...

[[13]] To CBC Radio:

I am a regular listener to CBC Radio, starting with the 8 a.m. news
then Peter Gzowski throughout the rest of the morning.  I find the news
and feature stories to be of superior quality, however I was appalled
and disgusted by Lister Sinclair's programme on Wednesday, February 15
at 10 p.m.

I tuned in rather late and didn't pay too much attention until I heard
a segment of the programme discussing the clinical aspects of
ejaculation by both males and females. One female in particular gave a
live demonstration of how the so-called "G" spot can be located, by
going through masturbatory steps to achieve an orgasm of monumental

I am a liberal-minded person, but I must say that I found this a bit
much to stomach.  No doubt the programme has its merits by enlightening
listeners as to what the human body is capable of doing.  However, I
think this segment in particular could have been presented in a
different venue such as, perhaps, a learning centre of sexual

Mrs. M. ...

[[14]] To Whom It May Concern:

I just happened to tune into the IDEAS show on female ejaculation and
sexuality.  Unfortunately I missed the first part of the show.
Of what I did hear, I thought it was fascinating and very educating (my
partner agrees wholeheartedly).  This is a new topic for me and I
hadn't realized such a thing was possible.  It's about time that things
like these were brought out into the open.

Female sexuality is an important and wonderful thing.  Thank you CBC
for yet another timely and educational show.

Could you please send me a reading list from the show.  Keep up the
great work!

Lisa ...

[[15]] To IDEAS:

Please send two copies of the reading list related to the February 15
program on female ejaculation.  Congratulations on the program.

Mary ..., Ph.D
Certified Sex Educator, Counselor and Therapist/AASECT
Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary

[[16]] To Max Allen, IDEAS producer:

I am writing in response to our phone conversation on February 22
regarding the show "One Sex or Two", aired February 15, 1995.  When I
called you, I did not expect you to agree with my point of view but I
was pleased to find you willing to discuss it with me.  Thank you.

You had asked me to follow up my arguments with a letter so I will
summarize them as follows:

1.      It is not the tope (female ejaculation) that I have a problem
with.  Obviously from the amount of mail you received thanking you for
addressing this topic, it made a difference to a lot of people.  The
part of the show I missed was the medical debate but from the sound of
it, it was good, helpful dialogue on the subject.

2.      Your argument for airing the segment where a woman at a
workshop is masturbating and providing ongoing monologue, is that it
"proves" that female ejaculation actually occurs.  Apparently there are
people that remain sceptical in spite of the women who claim it happens
to them.  If I am not convinced by intelligent debate between people
who are medical experts and claims by women who say it does happen to
them, do you think I would be swayed by "hearing" it happen?

3.      Are you justified in doing whatever it takes to "prove" an
unusual phenomenon?  Is there integrity in having a good debate and
then proving one side is true?  Would it not be better to have a good
quality debate and let people make up their own minds?

4.      Unless you are a doctor or a therapist, does it matter whether
you believe that female ejaculation exists?  If it happens to me I know
it exists, and my partner also knows it exists.  The debate would be
enough for me to realise that it happens to others.  If I have not
experienced it, is it that important that you bring a private act into
the public arena just to "prove" that it happens by having a woman
masturbate?  What if I didn't believe it unless I saw it?  Are you then
justified in putting it on TV?

5.      Finally, I do believe that sex in all its forms (unless illegal
or hurtful) is private.  Should it ever be brought into the public
arena?  As far as the act itself, I can't think of a circumstance where
it would be therapeutic and appropriate to put it out for public
consumption.  An example of what I mean: If someone brought up the
subject of sexual dysfunction on the radio, I do not think I would need
to hear the couple having sex and experiencing the dysfunction in order
to believe it exists.  As a therapist myself, I think it is important
not to look at the subject of sex as taboo, but to allow ourselves to
leave the act itself with the dignity of privacy.  I can't think of any
therapist who would ask a couple with a sexual dysfunction to have sex
in her office so she could see it for herself.

Please feel free to contact me and discuss this further.  I appreciate
the time you took to respond to my concerns.

Janet ..., M.A.


Ideas  15 February 1995

One Sex or Two?

c1995 The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
All rights reserved

Lister Sinclair
I'm Lister Sinclair. The Valentine cards were on sale at half price
today, with their velvet messages of lust and sentiment.

Yesterday, no matter where you looked those messages were in evidence.
On radio and television, and in every newspaper, men and women were
talking about their deep and enduring affection for one another. An
affection which seems to us to represent a fundamental part of life,
until you examine the divorce statistics, or look back in history.

Ideas tonight is going to examine a mystery: two mysteries actually,
one inside the other. The first is a sexual phenomenon that, in public
discourse at least, is almost completely a secret; and the second is
why it's a secret.

Some background. Everybody knows there are two sexes. It's one of those
simple facts of life that are self-evident. Sexual dimorphism, it's
called: female and male, and they're as different as night and day.
We're talking about body structures here, not psychological yearnings
or socially conditioned behaviours, which are much more varied. And

But it could be argued that there are not in fact two sexes. Some
scholars (for example the anthropologist Gilbert Herdt, whose recent
book is called Third Sex, Third Gender) have presented convincing
evidence that two sexes aren't enough to account for human experience.

On the other hand, it used to be thought by philosophers, moralists,
and natural scientists that there was fundamentally only one sex,
though the basic equipment was organized differently in different
people. A conclusion that could be drawn from this was that since, in
men, the obvious result of sexual excitement was ejaculation, it must
also be the result in women. But if this is the case, then why don't we
notice it, or admit it, today?

And so here we come to the first part of tonight's programme. It's
about sex of course; you'll have to decide for yourself whether you or
your family, if you have one, want to listen. There's no dirty
language, but the ideas may be unfamiliar and startling. They're
presented by journalist Sue Campbell, who works for CBC Radio News.

Beverly Whipple
There are women who ejaculate a fluid. It comes out the urethra, the
tube through which you urinate. And the fluid is different in chemical
composition than urine, which is what most people think comes out the

Kathy Daymond
There's a sort of notion of female sexuality as very interior. The nice
thing about female ejaculation is that it exteriorizes female
sexuality. It moves female sexuality and female pleasure into public

Shannon Bell
It's something that people recognize as being quite powerful, something
that's got a politics to it. And the politics it's got to it is control
over your own body.

Sue Johannson
The idea is to learn everything you can about sex. Because sexuality is
a part of us. And as human beings we are the only ones who enjoy sex.
Animals do not enjoy sex, they have an urge for sex. It's like the
hunger urge to eat because you're hungry. It's like the urge to go to
the bathroom. It's like other urges. And it's a need but it's not
pleasure, it's not an enjoyment, there's no sense of satisfaction
there, there's no unity, no bonding, no closeness, no intimacy. It's
just something you do and then you walk away contented. So if we are
given this then it's a gift, and we have an obligation to learn about
all of these gifts that God gave us. And to enjoy them to the fullest.
Because that's why we were given them, not to be denied.

Sue Campbell
I'm Sue Campbell. Female ejaculation, and speculation about it, has a
long history. You can find references to it dating back 2000 years. The
Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote:

"...there are some who think that the female contributes semen during
intercourse because women sometimes derive pleasure from it comparable
to that of the male and also produce a fluid secretion. But this fluid
is not semen. And sometimes it's on quite a different scale from the
semen discharged by the male, and greatly exceeds it..."

In the second century, Galen described a female prostate that produced
a fluid that was expelled after orgasm:

"...the fluid in her prostate is poured out when it has done its
service. This liquid not only encourages the sexual act but also is
able to give pleasure and moisten the passageway as it escapes. It
flows from women as they experience the greatest pleasure in

Then in the 16th century, the Italian anatomist Renaldus Columbus
referred to female ejaculate while he was explaining the function of
the clitoris:

"...if you rub it vigorously with a penis, or touch it even with a
little finger, semen swifter than air flies this way and that on
account of the pleasure..."

And in the 17th century, the Dutch anatomist Regnier de Graff wrote a
book about female anatomy and spoke of female fluid "rushing out" and
"coming in one gush" during sexual excitement.

So female ejaculation was observed, and accepted, and talked about for
centuries. But in modern times references to it by both medical
practitioners and by moralists are scarce. Historian Thomas Laqueur:

Thomas Laqueur
In the 18th century, that whole way of understanding the body
disappears and one has a much more mechanistic, reductionist view of
the body. And certainly for whatever the female does, pleasure is just

Sue Campbell
Professor Laqueur teaches at the University of California in Berkeley.
He's written a book called Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks
to Freud.

Thomas Lawueur
What I discovered in doing this research is that prior to the 18th
century it was taken as a matter of fact that women as well as men had
an orgasm and more specifically "ejaculated" during intercourse. And
specifically that some form of female ejaculation was necessary for

Sue Campbell
Laqueur calls this view of the sexes the "one sex" model.

Thomas Laqueur
I coined that phrase to account for a view of sexual difference which I
thought was dominant from the Greeks to sometime in the 18th century in
which the male and female are seen as versions of one another, both
anatomically in the sense that the vagina is an internal penis, and
physiologically in the sense that the fluids in men and women are
fungible_that sperm can become blood, can become urine, can become
milk_and that that system is roughly possible in both sexes. And
finally, that the actual phenomenology of pleasure is comparable in men
and women.

Sue Campbell
To us the idea that the fluids of men and women are fungible_that they
can turn into one another_seems fantastic. But it was consistent with
the old idea that men and women were anatomically more similar than
different. The modern view of sexuality is based not on this kind of
"one sex" model, but on a "two sex" model.

Thomas Laqueur
It's a model of opposition and complementarity, in which anatomically
the male has a penis which is outside and the vagina is a quite
different thing that's inside. The testes and the ovaries are entirely
different. Sperm is active and eggs are passive and sit there.
Menstruation is a specific function of women, men don't have it. And in
terms of orgasm, it's not wildly relevant specific to the physiology of
reproduction at all in this model.

So the two sex model, you might say, is just about difference and
complementarity. It's apples and oranges. The one-sex model is a model
of hierarchy, apples and crabapples. But the notion that men and women
differ not as apples and crabapples, so to speak (that is to say the
same thing arrayed along an axis), but rather as apples and oranges
(that is to say they're different and complementary)_and that this
difference and complementarity is defined by anatomy, that is to say by
egg and sperm, penis and vagina, ovary and testicles_ that's really an
18th century development. In other words it's somewhere in the early
18th century that anatomy books quit depicting the penis as a vagina,
somewhere around 1760-1780 that they quit calling the ovaries testes.

So, it's in the 18th century that doctors, political theorists,
philosophers and midwives come to construe men and women as different.
And it's roughly then when the notion of the frigid woman, the
possibility of the frigid woman, or the notion that women are less
sexually engaged than men, makes its appearance in both medical and
popular literature.

Sue Campbell
In other words, until that time the sexual activities of men and women,
and the equipment they employed to perform them, were accepted as
equal. Then the tide turned:

Beverly Whipple
If you look back in the ancient literature, from de Graff in the 1600s
back to Aristotle, you'll find that there are references in their
writings to the female ejaculation. However, from our looking at the
literature, it seems that during the period of time that the microscope
was invented, they looked at the fluids from both the male and the
female, and saw that the female ejaculate did not contribute anything
to procreation, and it seemed to be left out of the literature after

Now that's just our reading of the literature. But it seemed that there
was no sperm in the female ejaculate so therefore they didn't see it as
contributing anything to procreation.

Sue Campbell
This is Beverly Whipple from the Rutgers College of Nursing in New
Jersey. Dr. Whipple and her colleagues were among the first to
"rediscover" the phenomenon of female ejaculation in the 1980s. They
did laboratory tests of the fluid, and gathered reports from women
about what it felt like to ejaculate.

Beverly Whipple
We found through doing laboratory analysis comparing the ejaculate that
was expelled through the urethra to the women's urine, that the
ejaculate had high levels of something called prostatic acid
phosphatase, and it had low levels of urea and creatinine which are
found in urine_these are byproducts of protein metabolism. And also it
had high levels of glucose. The samples of female ejaculate were
significantly statistically different from the samples of urine.

Sue Campbell
So, if female ejaculation exists, how does it work?

Beverly Whipple
That's a very good question. We know that female ejaculation does
exist, but where it comes from and what is it? We know the chemical
composition of the fluid, and we just talked about that. It has
prostatic acid phosphatase and glucose, and some tests have shown
fructose, and a little bit of urea and creatinine. Where it comes from,
that's another question. We believe it comes from the female prostate
or the prostatic tissue, the glands and ducts that surround the
urethra. They're called the Skene's glands or the paraurethral glands.
But we're not sure because you can't do an autopsy and have the fluid
come out. But we believe in terms of studies that have been done, the
immuno-histochemical studies that have been done, that this is where
the fluid is coming from.

We do know that there's a sensitive area that's felt through the
vagina, and that it swells when it's sexually stimulated. In some women
stimulation of this area produces an orgasm and during that orgasm the
woman has an expulsion of fluid from the urethra. In other women
stimulation of this area produces an expulsion of fluid but with no
orgasm. And some women have an expulsion of fluid without stimulation
of the area of the Graffenberg spot. So my contention is that in some
women these two phenomena are related or correlated, and in other women
they are not.

Sue Campbell
Could you explain the G-spot? You've written a book on the G-spot;
could you give us a quick idea of what this is?

Beverly Whipple
The Graffenberg spot, or G-spot, is a sensitive area that is felt
through the upper or front vaginal wall, the interior vaginal wall. You
feel it through this wall about halfway between the back of the pubic
bone and the cervix. And you have to use a motion of two fingers_a sort
of "come here" motion. You have to use quite a bit of pressure to feel
it. What will happen is that there's an area there that will begin to
swell as it is sexually stimulated. A woman can also put her hand on
the abdomen right above the pubic hair line and she can feel this
sensitive area swelling between her fingers and the fingers of her
partner who is stimulating this area. It can also be stimulated with a
dildo or with a penis, depending on the position of intercourse.

The first publication we did was of a women whose fluid we analyzed,
but she also reported that she had this expulsion of fluid with oral
sex from her partner when she had an orgasm, and that was not in any
way stimulating the area of the Graffenberg spot. So these two
phenomena may be related, and may not.

Sue Campbell
You're calling it a phenomenon. Why?

Beverly Whipple
Because it's something that occurs.

Sue Campbell
Is it something out of the ordinary, would you say?

Beverly Whipple
No, not necessarily. It's just a way of describing something that
occurs. It's not necessarily out of the ordinary. We don't know what
percentage of women do experience female ejaculation. Nor do we know
what percentage of women have a Graffenberg spot.

Everyone that we examined in our study did have this sensitive area
that swelled when it was stimulated. But we don't know if everyone has
a Graffenberg spot. And we don't know what percentage of women do
ejaculate because, as you know, most sex research that is done_whether
it's a person filling out a questionnaire or someone coming into a
laboratory_is biased by the people who volunteer either to fill out the
questionnaire or come to the laboratory. So it's very difficult to get
a cross-section of people when you're doing sex research because
there's a group of people who just won't fill out a questionnaire.

Sue Campbell
Female ejaculation still isn't talked about much in scientific circles,
and what talk there is tends to focus, still, on the issue of whether
the fluid women expel is really "ejaculate fluid" or whether it's just
urine. The idea that it's really just urine can often lead to medical

Beverly Whipple
We have stated that we're very concerned because prior to our
publications, some women had surgery to correct this "problem", which
is just a normal phenomenon that occurs. These women thought that they
were urinating. Other women have been told to just stop having orgasm
and that would stop the fluid from coming out. Since we've conducted
our studies and published them, we know that we've helped a lot of
women not to have surgery for something that's a perfectly normal

Sue Campbell
The majority of modern sexologists have dismissed the existence of
female ejaculation altogether. In the 1950s Havelock Ellis reported
that muscular contractions of the vagina did produce genital
secretions, but he said that female ejaculation was an erroneous term
for it. In 1964, Wayland Young published an influential book called
Eros Denied: Sex in Western Society. Referring to female ejaculation,
he said:

"...women were thought to diffuse an actual fertile fluid at the moment
of orgasm exactly as men ejaculated. The old erotic books are full of
descriptions of the mingling of these vital fluids. Man does this at
the moment of pleasure, so presumably that little passive counterpart
of himself which is his woman does exactly the same. We wonder now how
this can ever have been believed..."

In the 1960s, the eminent sex researchers Masters and Johnson concluded
that female ejaculation was a myth, an "erroneous but widespread
concept." When I called Dr. Masters to find out what he thought today,
he told me he's changed his mind. He now believes that female
ejaculation does occur, but only in the "rare female."

Information about female ejaculation is nowhere to be found in most
medical texts. Most sex guides don't mention it either. The indexes are
full of references to male ejaculation, of course; when women are
mentioned, it's in terms of how the ejaculatory abilities of their male
partners affect their chances of conceiving.

So, how could something as significant as female ejaculation go
unnoticed by the sex professionals? Well, for one thing, if your field
is anatomy you tend to study dead bodies. And a cadaver is not sexually
aroused, so you won't find any evidence for what you're looking for.
Another problem is that women have to be taught how to do it_or at
least be encouraged to allow it to happen.

On her radio and television call-in shows, sex counsellor Sue Johannson
often finds herself explaining the "how to" to both men and women.

Sue Johannson
When I talk about it I describe it in living colour, a blow by blow
description so that they know exactly what to do. It's kind of like
"face front, raise right hand."

There are a few things that you need to do. You need to be very very
relaxed. You need to like your own body, really be comfortable with
your own body. So you're not worried about cellulite; you're not
worried about stretch marks; you're not worried about vaginal farts;
you don't care what your hair looks like, your mascara is running. You
can make noise and you can do what you want to do. So if you're lying
there with your heels behind your ears this is absolutely wonderful. Go
for it.

Sue Campbell
And then there's the more technical advice:

Sue Johannson
Generally women, in the beginning, will experience G-spot orgasm with
manual stimulation. When they get good at it they'll learn how to get a
position where penile thrusting will achieve the same end. But
generally, in the beginning, it's manual stimulation, two fingers. She
has to be very sexually aroused: she's had one orgasm, two orgasms,
three orgasms_she's on a roll. Then he will insert two fingers into her
vagina and just kind of crook those two fingers forward and very very
gently but firmly stroke the wall of the vagina.

She must have permission to tell him whether that feels good: "oh
that's wonderful_you're right on; ah, that's marvellous," and give him
instructions. So he can't feel threatened or intimidated by her saying,
"A little to the left, a little to the right, a little harder, a little

Then she will notice the sexual excitement level rising and rising and
rising and all of a sudden she will have this tremendous urge to push.
It's the same feeling that women have when they're going to have a
baby. They just take a deep breath and they push down right to the
bottom, they just bear right down. And all of a sudden this fluid
literally shoots out. And you do not have control. You cannot say "Ooh!
I gotta stop this." You can't.
The first time I heard about this_I'd heard about the G-spot and I,
like most other people at that time (this was the late '70s)
pooh-poohed the whole idea_I was working at the Clark Institute in a
forensic sciences unit with prisoners. One of the guys was talking
about being out on a weekend pass, and his girlfriend "shooting." He
literally described it as "shooting." And of course in my superior smug
way I said, "Oh no, no; females do not ejaculate. Males ejaculate.
Females lubricate but they do not ejaculate."

Well, I lived to eat crow, believe me, because we soon found out of
course that females do ejaculate. I found out that females do ejaculate
and it was quite a shocker for me. And that's when I decided that I've
really got to find out a whole lot more information about this, because
if it's happening for me, it's happening to other women. I have access
to information; I have an obligation to make sure that that information
gets out there, regardless of whether some doctors, some medical
professionals, and some sex therapists say that it just does not exist.
It does.

Sue Campbell
Shannon Bell has given dozens of lectures on the subject and has lots
of experience holding "ejaculation workshops." In her day job, Dr. Bell
is a professor of feminist theory and political philosophy:

Shannon Bell
If you've seen a woman ejaculate and you've seen a man ejaculate, the
female experience is much more powerful. There's a lot more fluid. As a
woman you can keep ejaculating. A man has one ejaculation and he sort
of has to take a rest for a couple of hours, or longer. Whereas, with a
woman, you can ejaculate again in five minutes.

Sue Campbell
We're going to sit in on one of Shannon Bell's demonstrations. I should
warn you that if you're uncomfortable with frank sexual language, you
might want to listen to some music, or wash the dishes for the next six
or seven minutes.

Shannon Bell [at workshop]
It's fairly easy to ejaculate. One of the things you have to do,
though_and what I tell people when I'm doing the class_is that in order
to ejaculate you have to build up your vaginal muscles. The way to
build them up is doing what is called the Kegel exercise. The Kegel
exercise_ I'm doing it right now_is just closing and opening the top
wall against the bottom wall of your vagina. It's basically opening and
closing your vagina, touching the top wall to the bottom wall.

It's good to start off doing about twenty-five of them a couple of
times a day, and moving up to fifty a couple of times a day. In a
couple of months, I built up really strong vaginal muscles: before
this, I actually couldn't contract. It's one of the easiest muscles to
build up, and the payoffs are great.

You can do [the exercise] almost anywhere. You can also contract
against your finger, or a dildo, or your companion's hand, or a penis.
That's good, too, because it provides resistance. And it feels good.

If you're looking in your vagina, it's always good to have a surgical
glove around, because a surgical glove with lubricant on it feels great
when you're massaging the top wall of the vagina.

Now, where the ejaculate comes from is the glands and ducts that
surround the urethra. There are about thirty-three glands and ducts
that are between the top wall of the vagina and the urethra. It's
called the urethral sponge area. I think it's been renamed, by a
feminist health collective, as "the urethral sponge of the clitoris."
So it's like a woman's clitoris has gotten really, really big now: it's
not just that little thing on the outside; it's the top wall of the
vagina and the bottom wall, and it's like the whole can be really
erect. It's no longer separated from the rest of the sex organ_which I
think is really cool.

I'm just looking for my yellow vibrator. [vibrator switches on]

In order to get an internal erection, one of the best things is a
really small vibrator, just to ride on the top of your lips. Just place
it between your two lips, sort of just below your clit. What it does
is_it really feels nice, you get little vibrations_it starts the
erection happening inside.

The other thing is, that in order to ejaculate, you really have to push
out. The feeling that a lot of people have when they're making
love_that they have to pee_that's usually a sign that you feel that you
are ready to ejaculate. What you need to do is to push out. We've been
training ourselves not to push out, but to hold back because we think
we have to pee; and if you actually push out, train yourself to push
out, you can push the fluid out. It's really an incredible high.

I'm going to do that right now.

What I find happening is, I can feel fluid building in the glands and
ducts surrounding my urethral sponge. I can actually feel it from the
outside. If you put your hands from where my clit is up to where my
ovaries are, you can actually feel the glands and ducts filling up with

Now, I normally ejaculate pretty easily. I'm in the scientific group
that they call the "easy expulsors": it takes me from one to three
minutes at the most. I can usually ejaculate a lot, and repeatedly.
There's a middle category where it takes women longer before they can
ejaculate with stimulation; and there's also a group where it's harder
to induce but it's a really powerful ejaculation. I try to have a lot
of them, and powerful too.

What I'm doing here is, I'm getting somewhat turned on. I'm feeling
like I'm starting to have to ejaculate. I can feel internal
contractions. That was just kind of warming up.

I actually like to ejaculate on mirrors. I've written about it. The
reason I like to do it is that it's got this phenomenal sound; you can
actually see yourself ejaculating really well; and it's just very very
beautiful. So I'm going to do that.

What I'm doing now is getting ready to ejaculate. I'm masturbating, the
way I normally masturbate: I've got my fingers between my two lips that
pull on my clit; and I'm also pushing on the ducts that surround my
urethral sponge. From the outside, I can feel them getting full of
fluid. ...

...The thing about having a penis inside of you and ejaculating is
that, often, the penis is too big and you can't really push out. So you
have to take the penis out to do it, because you need room to be able
to push out.

I like to have mirrors around, so I can see what I'm doing. I also like
to ejaculate on mirrors, because you can see yourself ejaculating; and
when the ejaculate dries, you can see that female ejaculate isn't all
that much different from male ejaculate. It's a bit thinner, of course,
because it doesn't have the semen properties. But we do have an
equivalent to the prostate gland, so the fluid is there, and if you
were to have both side by side, you could see that female fluid is a
white fluid on the mirror_when it dries; it's clear, usually, when you
ejaculate_and it's got a lot of minerals in it.

Also, it tastes fairly good. You can taste your own, but don't taste
anybody else's, because that's not safe sex.

Breathing is important, because you're channeling a power and energy.
It's good to circulate your breath.

Sue Campbell
If you came in in the middle of that, you're probably wondering if
she's okay. She is. That was Shannon Bell, in one of her workshop
demonstrations of female ejaculation.

Beverly Whipple
It's not okay or comfortable in most societies to talk about sexuality.
Sexuality is considered very private. And it's very difficult for most
people to speak about sexuality. Male ejaculation is something that has
been out there and seen, and it also has to do with procreation. So,
therefore, male ejaculation is more acceptable to talk about because it
has a purpose and the purpose is to supply the sperm for procreation.

Whereas with female ejaculation, is there a purpose for it other than
pleasurable? This is something we're looking into.

Shannon Bell
It's had different codings. I mean, it's had codings of whether it
contributed to fecundity, whether it contributed to childbirth, whether
it was pathological.

I think what's really interesting now, is now it's really being talked
about by women as pleasure. It's not a debate about whether it's
pathological, whether it contributes to fertility; what it is is it's
recognized as being a pleasurable sexual experience and it's there
simply for sexual pleasure. It's something that someone who wants to
enhance their sexual pleasure can pursue.

Sue Campbell
But, and this was emphasized by everybody I talked to, it's not
mandatory. Dr. Whipple:

Beverly Whipple
In providing this information to women, I hope that we're not going to
see people set up a new goal that they have to achieve: that they have
to find their G-spot or they have to experience female ejaculation.
Each women is a unique individual who has the capacity of responding
sexually in many ways. I'm always concerned when I talk about this
information because I don't want to set up a new goal for people to

I think of sexuality as being pleasure-oriented rather than goal
oriented. When I teach I used the analogy, for goal-oriented sexual
activity, of the staircase where each step on that staircase leads to
the next step. So if a person is goal-oriented, they would start off
with a look, a kiss, a touch, a caress, penis-and-vagina intercourse,
leading to the top step of orgasm. And if they don't reach that top
step they don't feel good about what's happened along the way. Or that
top step may be the G-spot and they have to find that. And if they
don't, there's something wrong with all the pleasurable experiences
they've had.

Whereas if you think of pleasure oriented sexual experiences, use the
analogy of the circle, where each thing on the circumference of the
circle, whether it's touch, holding, holding hands, kissing, oral sex,
whatever it is_can be an end in itself. It doesn't have to lead on to
something else.

I'm sure many of your listeners have felt completely satisfied holding
hands with someone or being held or cuddled; and every experience
doesn't have to lead to something else. And that's why I don't want to
see the G-spot or female ejaculation set up as a goal that women feel
they have to achieve or men feel they have to find for the women.

Sue Campbell
Sex counsellor Sue Johannson:

Sue Johannson
We see ejaculation as something males do. So there's almost that
feeling that this is a poor second, when in actual fact, in terms of
quantity of fluid, it is absolutely amazing.

Sometimes we are afraid to let go and afraid to do that because we've
been brought up to be very conscious of a male fragile ego,
particularly in the area of sex and sexuality. So we are afraid that
once again we are walking all over him, we are bulldozing him down and
we can do everything better than men. So we generally tread very
cautiously, trying again to protect males, which is unfortunate. It
would be much better to be comfortable with ourselves and make this a
joint experience, a shared experience and a shared pleasure.

Sue Campbell
This is still, in the late years of the twentieth century, not an easy
project. There's a very long history of hiding female sexuality.

Thomas Laqueur
I think women came to be seen as less sexual beings for a variety of,
essentially, political reasons, some of which women shared. It's
basically a kind of, you might say, Republican political view_that the
public space is a male space and a space of reason and public action;
and that the female space is a space of moral education and moral
guidance; and that space is one in which sexual excitement and energy
and lust are inappropriate.

Kathy Daymond
You know Aristotle was writing about female ejaculation and there was a
debate about whether it had a part in reproduction or whether it was
purely about women's pleasure. So this discourse has existed at various
moments in history. Then it just disappears, it gets buried. It crops
up here and there, and in the 19th century it reappears again in
Victorian pornography. But it also appears then in medical discourse as
some kind of pathology. That kind of discourse has continued, where
women who do this and don't know what it is and go to the doctor are
told this is abnormal and it's dysfunctional and it should be
surgically dealt with.

So you have to understand it's been a part of female experience
throughout history and partly because of the way discourse has been
constituted_and by whom and in whose interests_we're now at a moment
where male ejaculation is considered some kind of a norm, but anything
female is "other" in relation to that.

Sue Campbell
In 1990 Kathy Daymond produced a thirteen-minute film on female
ejaculation called Nice Girls Don't Do It. She's been surprised by
people's reactions to the film:

Kathy Daymond
Dramatic things like bursting into tears and saying "Oh geez, God,
thank you; I'd stopped fucking because this weird thing happens to me;
and, I went to the doctor and the doctor said that they could fix it by
performing some kind of surgery on me; and, my boyfriend trashed me out
and basically said don't do this, stop doing this". There was all this
kind of real shame and real secrecy and really serious misinformation
about it.

It's not like everyone has to embrace female ejaculation as the most
important part of their sexual experience, but for those women for whom
it does happen, it needs to be taken back as something that's exciting
and pleasurable and powerful. And perfectly acceptable. It needs to be
normalized, I think.

Sue Campbell
I asked Sue Johannson to read some of the letters she's received from
her radio listeners:

Sue Johannson
This is a wonderful letter from a lady. Her boyfriend of three years
knows exactly where her G-spot is, and he knows exactly how to "work
it." He only needs to use one finger, and together, she reached
"forty-three orgasmic expulsions in a matter of fifteen minutes." The
trick? Simple: she pushes, like giving birth, to the count of about
four seconds. Then she relaxes for about eight seconds. Then she
repeats it, until a "tickling sensation" begins. She tells him about
that, and then he moves his finger; he wiggles it faster until she
"comes." Those are her words: "I completely soak the bed. It shoots

There's another letter here; this lady signs herself "G-Whiz" (that's a
wonderful way to describe the G-spot orgasm). It is only now that she
has discovered the difference between clitoral and vaginal orgasms. She
has a great "bearing down" sensation, followed by the release of
"copious amounts of clear, sweet-smelling fluid from the urethra. This
expulsion of fluid can take place for several hours; it was
unbelievable, the amount of fluid. My box-spring and my mattress dried
out for one week after our first G-spot encounter."

I'd encourage them to relax and enjoy, and just let it happen. Don't
worry about peeing the bed; because once it's happened a few times,
they'll realize that this is not urine.

Everybody who's had a child who peed the bed knows that urine stains
the mattress: you get this big, ugly, yellow ring. Then you get another
ring, and another ring, and another ring, and by that time you have to
throw the mattress out. G-spot fluid does not stain the bed. It does
not stain sheets. There is no odour, once it's dried. Urine has a very
strong odour.

The sheet will be a little stiff; it's just a little stiffer. It needs
some fabric softener or something like that in the dryer.

The only problem is, it takes a long time for it to dry on an ordinary
mattress, because the fluid soaks in. So I always tell females: once
you've hit the G-spot, and once you know that you can do this_you can
do this_then you're in control. You can decide when you want to do it.
If you're going to do it, make sure you do it on his side of the bed.
Let him have the wet spot for a change.

Women who do hit the G-spot get very smart. They'll take a green
garbage bag and open it up on one side and across the top and stretch
it out, and then they'll take a beach-towel or a big flannelette sheet
and pin the four corners to the green garbage bag.

She'll keep that rolled up under the bed, and when she want to hit the
G-spot, she just hauls this out_of course, her partner gets the
message: okay, tonight's the night, big boy, pant-pant, we're going to
go all the way_and she slides this under her hips and down to her
heels. Then she's free and can just relax.

Other women get even smarter_and they buy a waterbed. This is the
ultimate, because then you never have to worry about a wet mattress
whatsoever, and you do not have to plan ahead. If it happens: "Oh,
well, isn't that wonderful? What's a little bit more water around

Shannon Bell
Will all women ejaculate the same way as all guys ejaculate? I think
the potential's there. I would say that once anybody has ejaculated a
few times they're not going to go back to not ejaculating. It's too
pleasurable. It's too much fun. And it gives you a different
consciousness in terms of sexuality.

Thomas Laqueur
There's been a recent and rather elaborate book written by a group of
women who hired a medical illustrator to draw, for the first time,
detailed anatomical drawings of the clitoris and particularly the
clitoris' internal structures. That book_Carol Dowler is the author_is
very specific in seeing the clitoris not as a smaller penis, but as an
"inside" penis. The argument is that most of the erectile organ of the
male is outside, but most of the erectile spongy tissues of the female
are inside.

The authors rightly point out that most previous anatomical drawings of
the cross section of the female pelvis just sketch in, in a very broad
and hazy way, what the female internal genitals of pleasure might be.
But if you draw these in, one can see structures which are very much
isomorphic to the penis. So if you look at this book_and they're very
explicit about this_the clitoris is as big as the penis, only it's

The point of this is_or I think the point of it is_that women should
imagine their sexuality to be as phallic, that is to say, as
aggressive, as authoritative, as male sexuality. It seems to me it's a
way of imagining, in the body, a particular version of what female
sexuality should be.

Sue Johannson
I want people to be able to enjoy their sexuality and to relax and to
be able to do what is comfortable for them. And if they are in a sexual
relationship and they feel like pushing down, don't hold back, don't
stop and think "oh I can't let go, I can't do that because I'll pee the
bed." What's the worst thing that could happen? You could have an
accident. You could pee the bed. It is possible. It's unlikely, but it
is possible. Let go, try it. And just relax and enjoy. But don't make
it your homework for the weekend: something I've got to do, add it to
the must-do chores for the weekend. No, just let it happen. Relax and
enjoy. And celebrate sex.

Lister Sinclair
On Ideas tonight, you've been listening to Sue Campbell's documentary
about female ejaculation.

To find out why we know the things we "know" about women and sex, and
how other "facts" are ignored or disbelieved, it's helpful to look at
history. And so Ideas producer Max Allen went to talk to Edward
Shorter, a historian of the family and head of the history of medicine
program at the University of Toronto.

Among the books he's written is A History of Women's Bodies, which is
also about women's lives in European societies from about 1600

Edward Shorter
Sex is defined in cultural and social terms as well as in physiological
terms, and I think that one can argue that before the beginning of the
Romantic period of family life, women really did not enjoy sex all that
much because the consequences of it were so devastating for them in
terms of the endless pregnancies they would have to endure, each
pregnancy placing the mother's life very much at risk. So universally
one finds that whenever women reached the age of menopause, they were
entitled not to have intercourse with their husbands any more, they
were entitled to drop out; and they cherished this right. This suggests
that there was at least a certain differential in the sexual experience
of men and women in past times.

Max Allen
Is it your observation that it's more likely that men had fun than
women, or didn't they enjoy it either?

Edward Shorter
No, these were the days of a double standard in which men were
permitted to enjoy not just their lawful wives, but the servant girls
and the barmaids and anybody whom they might find upon the High Road
and rape. It was perfectly acceptable for men to have a wide variety of
sexual experiences throughout their lives; it was not acceptable to a
women to have anything more than one man, ever.

The idea of using sex as a means of personal discovery or
self-actualization is really a very post-modern idea_for women, not for

Max Allen

Edward Shorter
Well, the world has really changed. The post-modern world has
fundamentally different playing rules than the modern world did, and
sex and family life are just part and parcel of that larger package.
There are just so many aspects of relations between the sexes and about
women's lives that have changed since the 1960s, that to boil this down
to sex and ask why sex has changed is really to beg the rest of these
really very interesting questions. Women are now driving fire trucks,
for example, and they weren't before the Second World War. Now they're
multiorgasmic and people are discussing on talk shows women ejaculating
during orgasm, which is a kind of dialogue that one didn't even find in
the medical literature before the Second World War. So: everything has
changed, and with it, female sexuality.

Max Allen
Well, one found that kind of dialogue if one went back far enough.
Starting from 1600 on, perhaps one didn't hear about it, but Aristotle
talked about it and Galen talked about it.

Edward Shorter
They talked about it in theoretical terms. They were interested in the
philosophical differences between men and women, and postulated a
female ejaculation. However, did they actually take the microscopes and
video cameras and record exactly what happened in those crucial four
seconds? No, they didn't.

Max Allen
Why do you suppose it is that, assuming that female orgasm is fun for
women, why didn't they pursue it more? I'm asking a question for which
there's probably no evidence, and you'll have to guess from the skimpy
historical data you can find_

Edward Shorter
They didn't pursue it any more because these were profoundly prudish
societies, and the idea of digging into women's physiology would have
seemed to them absolutely obscene. So it's for that reason that they
didn't do it.

Max Allen
And the question beyond that is: Why were these societies prudish?

Edward Shorter
They had a sense of human transcendence that we don't have.

Max Allen
What do you mean?

Edward Shorter
A sense of man-God relations. The fact that we are put on this world to
do something else than achieve our own self-actualization. If one sees
some kind of religious fulfilment as the purpose of life, then things
like human sexuality decidedly take a second rank, because they direct
one's attention toward one's self, toward one's inner workings rather
than outwards toward the Godhead as it's supposed to be.

Women who, themselves, might very well have been aware of ejaculation
would have been much too embarrassed ever to discuss this in presence
of men or to put it down on paper.

There was once this whole female subculture of women's special
knowledge that was transmitted from generation to generation in oral
tradition, and men didn't find out about it. When this female
subculture finally vanished, much of its special knowledge simply
vanished as well, including presumably all kinds of intimate
information about female ejaculation. It's not described in medical
literature because of course male doctors would never have seen it and
would have, a priori, considered it to be unlikely.

Max Allen
You have a section of your book called "The Quality of Intercourse,"
speaking of the time before 1900. Say something about it.

Edward Shorter
The quality of intercourse was brutish, nasty and short, as Hobbes
described life in Britain generally once, simply because there was no
foreplay and because men had very little sense of the importance of
their female partner's pleasure. Indeed, women were feared by men to
be, deep down, raging volcanos of desire who could easily get out of
control and overwhelm a man if they were turned on too much. So for
many men is was positively important not to loose this volcano, this
satanic streak which men feared lay just beneath the surface of the
women's group. And so there was almost a calculation about seeing to it
that women didn't derive too much pleasure from sex.

Max Allen
I've read this before, not only in your work but in others too. This
seems inconceivable to me. It seems to me that if what you were faced
with was the possibility of a volcano, that would be good and not bad.

Edward Shorter
But women's sexuality was seen as basically satanic, rather than
life-giving or fulfilling. Historically there are all these images of
Satan associated with the effluvia from a woman's pudendum. Under these
circumstances you can see why men would fear women and see something
sulphurous and hellish underneath the surface.

Max Allen
Today if you described a group of people who were thought by another
group to be in that situation, I would say: Well, why don't they do
something about it?

Edward Shorter
Well, Max, you say that because you're a post-modern guy and your first
thought is: Hey, we've got a problem here, let's fix it. The people who
lived in past times didn't see their lives as problematical, any more
than we see our lives as problematical. In parts of Africa today,
clitoridectomy is important and desirable, and the way we lead our
lives in Toronto is seen as somehow awful and having gone off the
rails. Similarly, women who lived in the seventeenth century saw
themselves as leading completely normal lives. They accepted the rules
of the game as given, just as we accept the rules of the game in 1995
as given.

Lister Sinclair
Edward Shorter, from the University of Toronto, author of A History of
Women's Bodies, published in paperback by Penguin Books. Ideas tonight
was produced by Max Allen and Sue Campbell, with Kathy VonBezold and
Liz Nagy. I'm Lister Sinclair.