While you might know the basics of the sexual response cycle as well as the signs of arousal, which includes vaginas becoming wetter, you may not know precisely how it works.
Many of the symptoms are caused by a rush of blood, which happens throughout the entire body and not just the genitals. In men, this blood creates the telltale sign of arousal: an erection. But it’s not that different for women. The vagina and vulva become engorged with blood and appear swollen, and the clitoris becomes erect as well. All of this is accompanied by genital sensitivity.
However, women differ from men in that blood can’t just cycle back into the body. Your body responds by forcing moisture from blood plasma to leave the body in the form of vaginal lubrication, in a reaction similar to sweating. It’s also believed that the Bartholin glands contribute to this lubrication. The result? Pleasurable wet sex and pressure relief.
What does female arousal fluid look like?
If you’re curious what it looks like, the answer is, well, wet. It’s often clear; although, it can be a bit milky as it mixes with cervical fluid and secretions from the Bartholin glands. While it may be possible to see this fluid externally, it’s not always noticeable.
For many women, becoming truly aroused is key to getting wet; although, that’s not the only signal of arousal. As blood rushes to your genitals, you might feel a bit bloated or internally 'wet'. A flush spreads over your body, resulting in reddened skin that can make you feel warmer. Your heart will beat faster, and breathing may follow suit.
In fact, when you think about it, wetness isn’t a particularly good signal for arousal by itself, especially internal wetness. The vagina is always moist to an extent, and guys who think they can tell how turned on you are just by inserting a finger are probably wrong.
Still, getting wet isn’t just an indicator of arousal. It enables you to experience penetration, whether from hands, a penis, or a toy, with more ease and comfort. If you’re not properly lubricated, penetration can lead to tiny tears in your vaginal tissue, which makes it easier for you to get an STI or bacterial infection.
And arousal includes vaginal tenting to make room for penetration.
On top of that, being wet lets you have sex longer, which is important if either you or your partner takes a little longer to finish and simply allow you to enjoy sexual activities.