What is a Peegasm?
For a decade, I taught full-time to grades 4 to 12 in South Florida. Some years, I had zero planning periods and spent my minuscule lunch breaks tutoring. As fellow teachers know, you can't leave a classroom filled with children—no matter their ages—without supervision, despite how badly you might have to attend to bodily functions.
For that same duration, I also taught myself how to get through a full day without urinating. By the time I managed to get to a restroom, I found releasing that much urine to be more than a relief. It was actually a tingly, pleasurable sensation—almost the same feeling as when I'd get into my sunbaked car at 5 p.m. after teaching in an overly chilled classroom since 7 a.m.
A couple of years after I stopped teaching, I found out that this experience is not unusual, especially for those who work in professions like teaching or healthcare, where bathroom breaks are few and far between. In fact, some people have such seismic tremors after holding in their urine that they compare them to orgasms. That explains the colloquial name for such a phenomenon: peegasm.
A burst of interest about the peegasm—or the more formal medical term for it, micturition orgasm—came in 2018, after a thread on Reddit brought it to worldwide attention. But a quick search of Twitter shows that both the slang and the incidence of peegasm were around long before that. Those who have had them, either accidentally or deliberately, have been posting about them since as far back as 2010.
I'm finally going to admit it: Sometimes I delay going to the bathroom so I can build up a pee-gasm.— ElleKay (@Precaffeinated) December 31, 2010
What is a peegasm, exactly?
According to Corey Babb, D.O., an OB-GYN with Lake Regional Health System-Osage Beach in Tulsa, releasing an overly full bladder can trigger orgasmic-like sensations or even full-blown orgasms. That's because of the anatomy of the pelvic floor, especially for the female sex, which is where the Deep Vaginal Erogenous Zones (DVZs) lie. The structures in the female DVZs include the bladder, the urethra, the vagina, the G-spot and the clitoris, all of which are highly sensitive.
"The organs and the muscles are interrelated," Babb explained. "The bladder and urethra sit close to the clitoris. If the bladder is stretched, it can abut the other structures and cause muscular contractions that feel like arousal or orgasm."
Are male peegasms a thing?
While more common "for those who have a clitoris," the male sex can also apparently experience a peegasm. However, Babb said, it's much rarer, again because of anatomy. The male urethra is longer and has a dual function. "For people who have a penis," he said, "the urethra goes into the bladder and also into the prostate."
Given that the job of the prostate is to produce semen and help propel it through the urethra, Babb noted that a truly orgasmic peegasm is an even more unusual occurrence for men. This is what's called retrograde ejaculation, when the bladder sphincter, which usually contracts and seals the bladder before ejaculation, doesn't close correctly, forcing semen into the bladder where it mixes with the urine.
When it's involuntary, "that's actually a cause of infertility," Babb said. But some men can induce it in order to have peegasms or use it as a form of birth control.
How to have a peegasm
Because human anatomy is largely universal, give or take congenital anomalies, illness or surgical changes, a peegasm could technically occur in just about anyone. But age and culture also play a role: In order to have a peegasm, you must first understand arousal and orgasm.
In fact, micturition orgasm is directly related to sexual activity in some cases. While no medical studies exist, in 2020, the peer-reviewed journal Medical News Today wrote that "a peegasm may also occur if the person is already aroused when they release urine. For example, a person who takes a bathroom break during sex may orgasm while urinating. Alternately, a person may experience an orgasm if they happen to urinate shortly after masturbation, when the genitals are still sensitive."
On the other hand, some online commenters have noted that peegasms have actually taught them what desire and orgasms are and how they should feel.
I'm so glad that I was able to experience orgasm since a very young age, as I know many women have never experienced orgasm before even though they've had sex. So yup, this is the story of my first sexual experience that no one asked for. *wink wink— Ashley H (@Liching_hoe) May 25, 2019
And many believe that peegasms are a legitimate form of sexual pleasure, like masturbation. In this arena, Babb noted that, as with anything else, it's OK "as long as it's consensual and nonharming."
What are the side effects of peegasms?
Still, deliberately holding in your urine over and over again can be self-harming in the long term and have some lasting health effects. Among them: urinary tract infections, urinary bladder prolapse (when the bladder bulges into the vagina), incontinence, kidney stones and, in a very small number of cases, a burst bladder.
"The bladder is like a muscular bag. When it stretches, it sends a signal to the brain. We can override that signal for a time," Babb said, "but if your bladder is sending those signals and you're like, 'Whatever, bladder, I do what I want,' there may be consequences later on."
If peegasms are persistent and/or unwanted, that might be a sign that something is wrong, such as the aforementioned male infertility. Other health issues that can cause retrograde or dry ejaculations include diabetes, dysautonomia, cysts and tumors.
In women, peegasms could also be associated with persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD), a painful condition in which the sufferer is genitally aroused consistently and constantly, which affects females more than males. Micturition orgasms that temporarily relieve perpetual clitoral and genital stimulation are one possible correlation, Babb said.
For both sexes, he added, premeditated and purposeful micturition orgasms might become habit-forming, preventing you from having an orgasm any other way. But in general, if you happen upon a peegasm because you just didn't have a chance to get to the bathroom before your bladder was overly full, well, enjoy the sensation. Like getting into a hot car after being really cold for hours on end, it could be the best part of your day.
You know my week is awesome when the best thing to happen to me is the pee-gasm I just had— Flavortown Stan (@Gina_Rochelle) May 22, 2013