Bringing Down the Waters: On Female Ejaculation
common ground magazine, oct 2016
What mystery and beauty we women have within our bodies! What surprising and messy expressions our sexuality holds! Female ejaculation, known in Sacred Daoist Sexuality as “bringing down the waters,” is one of these gifts. And like so many of our native feminine powers, it has been repressed, mocked, and misunderstood. Also remembered, celebrated, written about, and become a competitive edge that we measure ourselves against.
We all have the anatomy for this response, just as we all have the ability to be natural and sexually free. Our sex—our vagina and vulva—is filled with erectile tissue, the same tissue that enables men’s penises to swell and stiffen.
We have this tissue in our labia and clitoris and just inside our vaginas, at the bottom, against the wall between the vagina and the anus, and at the top, surrounding our urethra. The erectile tissue surrounding the urethra has become famously known as the “G-spot.” It is in fact a tube of tissue that swells with arousal, pleasure, and stimulation, becoming ever more sensitive. At a certain point in arousal, these erectile tissues contract, excreting fluids, and voilá: the waters. Sometimes this contraction is strong, creating a surprising and delightful fountain. Other times it is subtle and almost constant, like a bubbling spring. Unlike men, who have a recovery period post-ejaculation, a woman’s waters are abundant and endlessly renewable during pleasure and lovemaking.
The Taoists teach that there are three kinds of waters that come from three different places: the clitoris, the Jade Dome (the G-spot), and the High Dome (the cervix and uterus). Each water is of different significance medicinally, spiritually, and ecstatically. The release of our waters exemplifies the yin: yielding, surrendering, the chthonic, the source and the return. The Taoists also believe that our fluids contain our essence, the code of our individual destiny.
While this understanding of a woman’s sexual response—that she can release fluid during arousal, orgasm, and ecstasy—has become more common knowledge, liberating many women—those who haven’t experienced it can feel “less than,” or that there is one more thing they must now do to be “good in bed.”
Do we need to release our waters in order to have a deep sexual experience? In a word, no. Descending the waters is not some new standard that women must live up to or a new trick they must learn to impress a lover. Like so many things sexual, our conditioning, stress, confusion, and sometimes just the blameless ignorance of our sexual potential has prevented us from experiencing it—or perhaps even realizing that we already do experience it. Books that discuss this topic are careful to say that ejaculation is not necessary for good sex, orgasms, etc., and not to feel inadequate if you have not had this experience. All this is so very true.
And yet, as a woman following a path from the ancestors toward what is possible, and what in antiquity was considered holy about our sexuality, I encourage women to open themselves to this potential that every female body anatomically and spiritually holds: the sacredness of our deepest sexual and ecstatic responses. I want to be a whispering voice that suggests there is astonishing experience and beauty to be had, and that to seek it is to step onto a path of the yin, necessarily turning away from the yang imposition onto our sexuality, and the pressures and untruths of our current culture. It is an erotic baptism for ourselves and our lovers, an invitation to make love with our essence. It is a blessing of the deepest yin as described in the Tao de Ching:
The Valley Spirit never dies.
It is called the Mysterious Female.
The entrance to the Mysterious Female
Is called the root of Heaven and Earth,
Of inexhaustible energy.
And so . . . how?
What follows is not a prescription of some very specific practices that can help you experience your waters. What I offer is more of a way to pray, with your body, and to orient yourself, like a compass, toward this beauty.
The first step is not to create a goal of achieving female ejaculation.
The first step is to soften into your body’s sexual responses.
In your daily life, allow yourself to cry a little more often. Instead of clamping down on emotion as it arises, let your tears and feelings flow.
Become acquainted with your fluids, those that come through your sex as well as tears and saliva.
Let go of the constraints of time on your pleasure.
Massage your belly, releasing the tension and holding, and feel the sensuality and power there.
Penetrate and stimulate yourself internally and deeply, feeling the fullness and swelling of your sex in arousal, and the increasing sensation and sensitivity that comes with it.
Allow yourself to be “messy” in love: give yourself over to the irrational, emotional, confusing, and mysterious experience of yourself in the throes of desire, need, and pleasure and recognize that what issues forth from you is a blessing of the yin.
Choose lovers who recognize this as well and who can call this out from you, hosting you as you cross over into the unknown.
Then, when you find yourself on that precipice, about to crest into a mysterious and unpredictable ecstatic chaos, whisper to yourself yes . . . let go of the reins . . . receive your body’s deepest responses . . . and let the waters flow as they will.