The term “pee-gasm” sounds kinkier than it is—we’re not talking about water sports, here. Instead, “pee-gasm” refers to the pleasurable feeling that some people (especially vulva owners) get when they’ve been holding their pee, and they finally go. The term seems to have originated—where else?—on Reddit in 2018.
That Reddit thread sparked a debate on the sex-ed internet, with journalists and commentators questioning whether orgasms could result from urination, whether the practice was safe, and why people craved these sensations in the first place. (We actually caught wind of the debate from @clitoriscious on Instagram.)
Well, our staff sex educators know a few things about pleasure, pee, and combining the two. Below, we’re giving you straight facts, so you can fill up your brain (or bladder?) before the next time you play.
MYTH: PEEING CAN’T CAUSE AN ORGASM
Pee-gasm is real, but far from universal. Here’s how it works in people with vulvas: Because the bladder, internal clit, and urethra inhabit the same area of your body, a full bladder can press against your internal clit. Then, when you pee, you’re releasing that pressure, which causes nerve endings to fire off in some people. Different people experience orgasms in different ways, so if this feels like an orgasm to you, we say it’s fair to call it an orgasm.
MYTH: HOLDING YOUR PEE BEFORE SEX IS SUPER DANGEROUS
Most of the mainstream news stories about pee-gasms advise readers not to hold their pee for sexual pleasure, because that increases a person’s chances of getting a UTI or, over time, becoming incontinent. But here’s the thing: There’s a huge gray area between “safe under all circumstances” and “never, ever do this.” Choking during sex is in that gray area; pee-gasm is as well.
If you want to experiment with pee-gasming, only do it very occasionally, and don’t hold your urine until it hurts. Avoid it altogether if you’re prone to UTIs or kidney infections. And if you’re not sure about it, don’t bother—there are easier, less risky paths to a big O.
MYTH: IF YOU FEEL LIKE YOU HAVE TO PEE DURING SEX, SOMETHING’S WRONG
While the urge to pee makes some people feel sexy, the reverse is also true—having sex makes some people feel like they have to pee. A penis or toy pressing against the walls of the vagina might indirectly press against the bladder. All this is totally normal. If you find that the need-to-pee impulse distracts from your pleasure, just remember to use the bathroom before you get busy!
If you do pee a little during sex, know that that happens to a lot of people. You can always do pelvic floor exercises—SMARTBALLS DUO is great for Kegels—for better control.
MYTH: EVERY VULVA OWNER HAS TO PEE RIGHT AFTER SEX TO PREVENT A UTI
For years, “pee right after sex” was presented as a no-exceptions rule to vulva owners. It’s a difficult rule for some people to follow, though, if they’re caught up in a moment or luxuriating in a post-orgasmic cuddle.
New research suggests that the pee-after-sex guideline isn’t necessary for everyone. The correlation between that habit and rates of UTIs is pretty weak. Basically, if you’ve been peeing diligently after sex and it’s kept you UTI-free, then by all means, keep doing it. But if you’ve been skipping the trip to the bathroom, problem-free, then don’t stress about it!
As any sex educator worth their salt will acknowledge, different bodies work differently, so what works for one person might not work for you. The most important thing is that you’re listening to your body, connecting, and having FUN.
All ideas included are for educational and entertainment value, and do not constitute medical advice.