12 Things You Need To Know About Pre-Ejaculate

If you have an active sex life, chances are you just focus on your pleasure and your partner’s and don’t give much thought to the technicalities of what you’re actually doing and the biology of both of your parts. Pre-ejaculate, or pre-cum as it’s often called, is a clear and colorless liquid that gets released by the penis before or during sex. You’ve probably noticed it before as it seeps out of the head of the penis during foreplay. You might not really give it much thought because you’re more focused on a guy’s ejaculation, but you should know these 12 important things about pre-ejaculate.

  1. Where does pre-ejaculate come from? While ejaculation (or “cum”) comes from the testicles, pre-ejaculate actually comes from the Cowper’s glands, and it flows out of them into the urethra. The Cowper’s glands are the size of peas and a man has two of them in his reproductive system. They’re found deep in the perineal pouch, at the base of the penis and behind the urethra.
  2. Is it different from ejaculate? Although pre-cum comes from a different part of a man’s body, experts say it’s still basically the same thing as ejaculate.
  3. Why does it look different sometimes? Wait, if ejaculate and pre-cum are the same thing, then why does ejaculate sometimes look thicker and whiter than pre-cum? This is said to come down to how little (or how much) a man ejaculates. If your boyfriend’s ejaculating regularly, his cum will be clear like his pre-cum. If he doesn’t, it’ll look white and thicker in consistency. Hmm, seems his bodily fluids can reveal all his secrets!
  4. What pre-ejaculate actually does. There are quite a few jobs pre-cum has. One is to clean out a man’s urethra, and another is to provide lubrication to the vagina during sex. How thoughtful of it! Pre-cum also neutralizes any acidity in the man’s urethra, which can kill off sperm if not neutralized. So, really, pre-cum is there to enable healthy sperm to reach the egg.
  5. Pre-cum means he’s turned on. If you’re touching and stroking your boyfriend’s penis and you see some pre-cum come out of it, it’s a good sign that he’s aroused. What you’re doing is working!
  6. It can get you pregnant. Although in itself pre-cum doesn’t contain sperm, it can contribute to you getting pregnant. WTF?
  7. It can store leftover sperm. To understand how pre-cum can get you pregnant, let’s create a scenario: Your boyfriend ejaculated earlier and then didn’t go to the bathroom to pee so that the sperm could flush out of his urethra with urine. There’s therefore still some sperm left behind in his urethra without him even realizing it. Later, when you and your boyfriend are getting down and dirty, some of this sperm can mingle with the pre-cum that comes out of his penis. The pre-cum carries the sperm into your vagina during sex, where it can make you fall pregnant. Ugh!
  8. How many men actually have sperm in their pre-cum? It’s way more than the number you’re probably thinking of. A 2011 study of 27 men found that 11 of them produced pre-cum that contained semen. And, 10 of them had a “reasonable amount” of motile sperm, meaning that the sperm had the ability to move and swim.
  9. It’s extremely risky. While it’s not as much of a pregnancy risk as a guy ejaculating inside you, pre-cum is still a risk. And, what makes it even more possible for pregnancy to occur in this way is that men don’t have as much control over when they’re pre-ejaculating as they do over when they ejaculate. There could be some pre-cum that comes out of the penis without the guy even noticing. Besides, how can he notice if he’s leaking pre-cum when he’s inside you? Yikes.
  10. The “pull-out” method doesn’t work. The “pull-out” or “withdrawal” method in which the man takes his penis out of you just before he ejaculates isn’t a good enough protection against pregnancy, and now you have proof. So if you’ve been relying on it, stop ASAP! According to Planned Parenthood, 27 out of 100 women who use the withdrawal method will fall pregnant over the course of a year.
  11. You can get STIs from pre-cum. You want to wear condoms to protect yourself from pre-cum because not only can it get you pregnant, but it can cause you to contract STIs from your sexual partners, such as chlamydia, HIV/AIDs, hepatitis B, and gonorrhea. STIs are transmitted via sexual bodily fluids, so pre-cum is one to be careful about, just as much as ejaculate.
  12. Not all men release the same amount of pre-cum. Your boyfriend might only release a small amount of pre-cum, whereas other men you’ve slept with might’ve released much more. WTF? If it’s less than what you’re used to, don’t think that you’re not making him feel aroused enough. The average amount of pre-cum that gets released during arousal is a few milliliters, but some guys only release a few drops of pre-cum just before they ejaculate. For other men, it’s more. And for some others, their penises release so much pre-ejaculate that it leaks through their underwear, causing them embarrassment.

The more knowledge you have, the easier it will be to make well-informed decisions in and out of the bedroom. This is vital for your own safety and well-being, so commit this stuff to memory!

In addition to pre-ejaculate, there are some other elements of your guy’s parts you really should know about

While you’re not trying to become some doctor of dude bits, it will serve you well throughout your life to be well-educated when it comes to what he’s packing downstairs if you date biological men. It might take a bit of research, but try to brush up on these topics if you can.

  1. The importance of size (or lack thereof) You’ve probably heard a million times about how “size doesn’t matter” and it’s all about the “motion of the ocean” or whatever that cringeworthy saying is. While it might sound ridiculous, any woman who’s been with enough partners knows that it’s actually true. Whether a guy is over-endowed, totally average, or a little below, that really has no bearing on how much pleasure you can receive from it during intercourse or other sexual activity.
  2. Sensitivity Just like there are certain parts of a woman’s genital area that feel better when touched/caressed than others, the penis is the same. For men, the shaft is the least sensitive since it has very few nerve endings. However, the head is where it’s at. The rim and underside of the glans are a pleasure palace, as is that vein that runs all the way down the back to the perineum. Work on finding out what feels good for your partner and you won’t be able to go wrong.
  3. Nocturnal penile tumescence Otherwise known as nighttime erections, it’s important to realize that yes, these still happen to adult men. You probably heard about nocturnal emissions in Sex Ed class back in school, and while your grown guy likely isn’t emitting much of anything without knowing about it these days, it’s still likely that he’ll experience hard-ons from time to time while sleeping. As men’s sexual health expert Dr. Laurence Levine explained to Better, this is actually a good thing and very healthy. “This is a very important organ for a man and for the species,” he said. “You want to protect it so even if you’re not sexually active, at least it’s being exercised every day.”
  4. Male horniness Yes, it’s kinda annoying when a guy wants to go at it 24/7, but the fact that he does is a sign of good health. Dr. Levine described the penis as “the divining rod of vascular health” and pointed out that 70% of men who’ve had heart attacks have had issues with erectile dysfunction within the previous three to five years. In other words, the better his libido, the better his health.
  5. Orgasms While women undoubtedly get the better end of the stick here with an average orgasm time of 23 seconds, men’s average on only six seconds. However, on the flip side, they tend to be ready to go again much sooner than us, which is something to keep in mind when your partner gets amorous a bit too soon. He can’t help it – it’s just his biology.
  6. Circumcised vs. uncircumcised. There’s really no right or wrong answer here and the decision is largely personal (or religious). Sex with both kinds of penis can still feel amazing. However, it is worth noting that uncircumcised men will need to take extra care to ensure the area beneath their foreskin is kept clean in order to avoid infections.

For more information on pre-ejaculate, check out this video from Planned Parenthood below.

Jessica Blake is a writer who loves good books and good men, and realizes how difficult it is to find both.