You've heard of precum before, maybe from your eighth-grade health teacher that was trying to scare you away from having sex. Or from your boyfriend that told you about the horrors of precumming on the subway. Either way you know it exists, but what even is it?
by Hannah Rimm
11 March 2021

What is precum?

The TL;DR answer is that it's pre-ejaculation fluid, AKA, the liquid that comes out of a penis when it's aroused, like the way a vagina gets wet. The longer answer is a little more complicated. When a penis-owner gets aroused, the body's response is to get ready for ejaculation by creating a lubricant of sorts — usually about a teaspoon or less of liquid made by the Cowper's gland, the two small glands situated below the prostate.

Prostate stimulation

Did you know that the prostate (the P-spot) is the male equivalent of the female G-spot? Stimulating the P-spot can lead to incredible orgasms for penis-owners. Read the complete guide to prostate play from the sex educators at b-Vibe.

What does precum do?

It acts the same way as lube does before penetration, but its primary purpose is to lubricate the urethra to make the sperm's journey from the testicles to the vagina as smooth as possible. The pre-ejaculation fluid cleans the urethra of any urine or bacteria while balancing the pH so that it's in tip-top shape to shoot sperm. It's the body's way of making sure that the penis is ready to get a vagina-owner pregnant.

How much precum does the body produce?

For most penis-owners, the amount of pre-ejaculation fluid that the Cowper's glands product is insignificant, i.e., it's just enough to lube up the penis for putting it in a mouth, vagina, or anus. A selected few penis-owners may experience excessive amounts of precum, which can be somewhat cumbersome and inconvenient. While a lot of pre-ejaculation fluid isn't health-threatening, it can be quite annoying to suddenly drench your underwear whenever you see a hottie walking down the street.

How to deal with excessive precum

If you are experiencing high levels of precum, especially in situations outside of the bedroom, consult a doctor. There are medications that your doctor can prescribe to reduce pre-ejaculation fluid, while still receiving the natural benefits of pH balancing within the urethra.

Can precum cause pregnancy?

The chances of getting pregnant from precum are slim, but yes, it can still happen! And this is why the withdrawal method AKA pull out method before ejaculation is not ideal if you don't want to get pregnant. The chances of getting pregnant from precum may be small but it's still possible. The purest form of precum won't get you pregnant, but it can pick up leftover sperm from previous ejaculations and carry it into the vagina. After ejaculation, peeing is recommended by sex educators to clear any remaining sperm left in the urethra.

Can you get an STI from precum?

Precum is a sexual fluid that can carry bacteria or viral infections from the Cowper's glands, so yes, it can cause sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs can happen through all forms of sex, including sex that doesn't lead to pregnancy, such as oral and anal sex. When engaging in penetrative penis-vagina sex, the probability of pre-ejaculation fluid transmitting STIs is much higher than the chances of getting you pregnant. So if you want to get down and dirty with a hookup or one-night stand, always use a condom, even if you're planning to 'only' engage in oral sex. To wrap up this pleasure guide, here are the key takeaways about for penis-owners and vagina owners:

Precum for penis-owners

1. Precum is essentially pre-ejaculation fluid and completely normal. 2. If you produce an excess amount of pre-ejaculation fluid, consult a doctor. There are medications to help reduce the amount the body creates. 3. Your body creates precum to clean up your urethra before shooting out sperm, so that that your sperm doesn't die of acidity on the way to the vagina. 4. Precum works as lube, but you'll need more than the teaspoon your body makes if you're planning on a long, enjoyable session. At Le Wand, we're big fans of using coconut oil as lube.

Precum for vagina-owners

1. Precum can (and will) get you pregnant, so please don't use the pull-out method if you'd like to have failsafe, pregnancy-free sex. 2. Precum can carry bacterial and viral infections, so once again, don't rely on the pull-out method to prevent STIs. The only proven way to avoid STIs is with a barrier method of protection, such as a condom. 3. The pre-ejaculation fluid is created by the penis-owner when they're aroused, including when you are not having penetrative penis-vagina sex. So if you're looking to avoid pregnancy or STIs, be aware of your bodily fluids before engaging in any form of sexual acts — including those that cannot get you pregnant. And that's it, folks! Precum doesn't have to be scary or disgusting; it can be beneficial. So get out there, play, and stay safe!