So, I recently had an incident happen where one of my partners made me squirt. NBD, except it’s only the second time it’s ever happened in my life.

To be honest, I’m not a fan. It’s a mess, and frankly, doing laundry tops my long list of domestic shortcomings. I’m sure some women find it a highly sexual experience, but when it happens to me, I’m horrified and highly apologetic.

My boyfriend gets turned on hearing about my sexcapades with others, so I didn’t think twice when I mentioned to him how awkward the incident made me feel. The response was not what I expected – he got highly defensive about feeling inadequate. I then mentioned it to a female friend who piled on that her BF makes her feel inadequate because she can’t do it.

What’s the deal with feeling inadequate for not being able to squirt? On the flipside, why do so many people feel insufficient if they can’t make their partners squirt? Sex is about pleasure, not about achievement. Or, at least, it should be.

Read: Why I Did Not Like Squirting

I totally get that an involuntary waterfall of liquid from one’s pussy when reaching orgasm has its appeal. Pornhub backs up this act’s widespread fame. Between 2013 and 2015, the popularity of squirting videos (SFW) has held steady as one of the site’s Top 20 categories. Fair enough. I mean, I get turned on pretty much any time a partner is turned on and getting off – no matter the liquid evidence. Still, this holy grail-meets-fairy tale act has been so hyped by the porn industry and unnecessarily tied to success in the bedroom – for both sexes.

For a little over 10 years the most common way for Rebekah Dyana, a sex educator from Santa Cruz, to “come” was squirting or ejaculating. “Whatever term you prefer and if you believe it's real or not,” she says. It started after a delicious day of outdoor exhibitionist sex at a local nude beach with one of her lovers. “He didn't let up on my pussy's ravenous hunger for penetration and deftly worked a curved-tip dildo in and out of my vagina while I writhed happily on the back seat of his Volvo. I massaged my clit with whatever lube we had at the time and mixed it in with a little bit of wine for a Bacchus effect,” she recalls.

“Suddenly, it happened. I felt the first gush of warm liquid spill over onto my vulva lips and my fingers. I quickly opened my eyes to the sight of a mini fountain of clear liquid rising out of my pussy. It was all quite romantic.”

Rebekah did enjoy this female ejaculating a lot of the time, though she spent hard earned cash on a couple of ruined mattresses, blankets, and pads, as wells as precious time washing a multitude of towels every week. “It could be labor intensive preparing my bed for a hot night of wet sex,” she says.

“It seems like squirting is a double-edged sword in some ways, because some women are super embarrassed by it,” says Jenny Block, author of "The Ultimate Guide to Solo Sex." “Those are usually the women who happen to do it all the time and they don't even know how or why and then they're worried about ruining the bed linens and all that.” Block tells these women that there’s nothing to be ashamed and to use those blue hospital pads if need be. Just like some people don’t orgasm, some women don’t squirt. “It is what it is.”

Block wants to emphasize that squirting is not a party trick and women are not party trick providers. “We're not the clown at the birthday party and when you're asking a woman to squirt, you might as well be asking her to squirt M&M's out of her pussy.”

Read: Pop Your Cork: The Ultimate Guide to Squirting Orgasms

Either it happens or it doesn’t. “I'll tell you, under controlled circumstances I've tried to ‘make it happen’ and when I try to ‘make it happen’ it doesn't,” says Block. “So, I don't know if that's because I'm too nervous or stressed out or too focused on it. The couple times it has happened, it's been a complete and total shock.”

If you can’t squirt, Block says don’t worry about it. “I know men like a sign,” she says. “It's pretty obvious when men have come and women don't necessarily have that. So, if this is about an outward sign, we need to let that go, because it's not even about having an orgasm. You can squirt and still not come. And you can ejaculate, which is different from squirting, and even that isn't coming.”

Read: 6 Good Reasons to Believe That Squirting Is a Real Thing

As soon as we take "I made her do that” out of the equation, we can solve a lot of problems, says Block. “If that's what you're looking for, then find out what her thing is when she comes and be happy when that happens,” she suggests. She reminds partners that they’re simply there to participate, to play a supporting role. “She's the only one who can orgasm and she doesn't need you. She can want you, but she doesn't need you. And you can't make her orgasm – you can only be part of the facilitation of it.”

Block believes the connection between self-validation and squirting comes down to male ego – and that should have nothing to do with female sexuality. “If it's about pleasure, find out what pleasure actually means to her. Not what you think it means, but what it actually means to her.”

The bottom line: squirting and not squirting are both normal. So let's all just chill out about it, OK?