Thursday, November 29, 2007

the ejaculate fairy

The other day I did a presentation for my History of Sexuality class on the female prostate. I began by quoting 17th century Dutch physician Regnier de Graaf. In 1672, he was the first to recognize the prostate as the ejaculatory source in women. He observed: The urethra is lined internally by a thin membrane. In the lower part, near the outlet of the urinary passage, this membrane is pierced by large ducts, or lacunae, through which pituito-serous matter occasionally discharges in considerable quantities. Between this very thin membrane and the fleshy fibres we have just described there is, along the whole duct of the urethra, a whitish, membranous substance about one finger breadth thick which completely surrounds the urethral canal…The substance could be called quite aptly the female prostatae or corpus glandulosum. Here too it should be noted that the discharge from the female prostatae causes just as much pleasure as does that from male prostatae.
I also provided the class with visuals taken from Female Ejaculation and the G-spot by Deborah Sundahl, which was referencing Dr. Milan Zaviacic's The Human Female Prostate: from Vestigial Skene’s Paraurethral Glands and Ducts to a Woman’s Functional Prostate. Dr. Zaviacic studied the female prostate extensively from 1982 - 1999.

These illustrations are courtesy of Dr. J.W. Huffman who created molds of prostates removed during autopsies.

I meditated on why this information has been suppressed/ignored. Sexologists Sevely and Bennet believe the debate began as a semantic confusion. They outline the debate as follows in their 1978 essay "Concerning Female Ejaculation and the Female Prostate" Initially, the generic term semen was used to describe sexual fluids both male and female. "Galen and Hippocrates argued that a fetus is as much like its mother as its father; mothers therefore, as well as father have child producing semen."

Aristotelians differed. They claimed “If ejaculation of semen for generation never takes place unaccompanied by pleasure, it must be true that women do not contribute semen, since they sometimes conceive without experiencing pleasure.” Furthermore: “a female sometimes becomes pregnant without having excreted any of her own fluid, but never without having gone through the monthly cycle; menstrual blood is therefore essential for generation, but not female semen.”

Once the Aristotelians won the argument, the language used describe both sexes was left to the male alone.
With no words left to describe female ejaculate, it disappeared right along with female semen.

I segued into Dr. Zaviacic's research. Zaviacic confirms that the female prostate is a functional genitourinary organ with a specific structure and function.Compared to the male counterpart, the female prostate has a similar structure, expression of prostate markers and enzyme equipment.He identified two functions: exocrine (production of prostatic fluid, ie female ejaculate) and neuroendocrine (production of hormones)As of right now - only the production of serotonin has been established.

Then to illustrate the way science is often used to prove what one already knows seen through the lens of particular ideologies I listed these conflicting quotes concerning female ejaculation:

“…sometimes described as being emitted in a jet which is thrown to a distance.” -Havelock Ellis (1937)
“If there is an opportunity to observe the orgasm of such women, one can see that large quantities of a clear transparent fluid are expelled not from the vulva but out of the urethra in gushes.” -Grafenberg (1950)
“Since the prostate gland and seminal vesicles are only vestigial structures in the female, she does not actually ejaculate.”- Kinsey (1953)
Man does this at the moment of pleasure, so presumably that little passive counterpart of himself which is the woman does the same. We wonder now how this can ever have been believed…”- Wayland Young (1964)

The last one got some rather amused chuckles from other women in my class.
Then I sited tests done by Dr. Zaviacic and one done by Shannon Bell that prove ejaculate is not urine. It has a higher pH, more gravity, less urea, less creatine and a much higher concentration of glucose.
(And on a personal note - which I most certainly did NOT include in my presentation, I can personally attest to the distinct difference between ejaculate and urine.)


I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised that my presentation raised some ire but the whys still upset me. My prof really took issue with the fact that female bodied folks could have a prostate. He could concede that we ejaculate, but only men have a prostate. Since ejaculate has to come from somewhere and using the term prostate has come up against so much resistance - I propose we start telling people that in female-bodied people ejaculate is delivered by a fairy. That's right the ejaculate fairy. And since several parts of the female genitals already have already been named by the men who "discovered" them (Thanks Grafenberg! Thanks Skene! -even though you came up short) we can dedicate the ejaculate fairy not to me but to the lovely sexologist whose name I erased from my memory, who when comparing the vigor of the male orgasm to that of the female said: the woman's orgasm is a flimsy thing, a gossamer nothing. C'mon -everybody knows fairies love gossamer. See it all makes sense.

1 comment:

Zaharia said...

I've heard that garlic increases ejaculation power and taste.

Is this right?? Don't joke, cus if true, i'd really go to work every day smelling bad :P I'd be a natural garlic bunch :P jajaja