What’s the toilet dash…and why don’t we talk about it?
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That moment after penetrative non-barriered penis in vagina (PIV) sex and you get that sensation of dropping in the pit of your stomach. Hopefully it’s not because you’ve just had a terrible shag or that you *really* should have used a condom, but rather that true physical sensation of penile ejaculate running down your vaginal canal and out into the world. You have no choice but to leg it to the nearest bathroom and wait for it to cause a weird oily puddle in the toilet bowl. It’s often wise to have a wee at this point for good measure too (helps prevent cystitis, but that’s another chat). This is the toilet dash.
This phenomenon is not talked about in sex education or in the media. I remember first being told about it aged 13 at a sleepover by some older school friends and an unfortunate incident where it ended up on her grandmother’s rug. Most vagina owners will tell you about finding out in a similar manner, in an intimate setting having a frank discussion with others about the aftermath of sex. If they’re not that fortunate, they will have been greeted with the frankly odd sensation after the first time they have condomless PIV. Many have been terrified of it. Due to the colloquial nature of this information spreading, there are many different names by which is goes by…”the toilet dash”, “the toilet run” or many other names I have never heard of.
So why does this happen? Time for a brief physiology lesson! Penile ejaculate is made up of only 2-5% sperm and is mostly other gloopy goodness which helps the sperm swim and neutralises vaginal pH. When ejaculation occurs, this substance is flung at a velocity of 28mpH to reach the top of the vagina and allowing it to swim on up to the cervix and beyond. The assumption is that all this stuff, which has an average volume of 5ml, is going to sit in the uterus until it *poof* disappears…nope.
There are a multitude of reasons for this. We have already established that over 95% of ejaculation is not actually sperm, so it can’t swim anywhere. Another reason is the velocity and power of ejaculation is only designed to reach the top of the vagina, so really there is nowhere else for it to go but back out the way it came. For most of a menstrual cycle or if you are on any form of contraception, the cervix is a physical barrier to letting sperm pass. It’s either tightly closed or has a thick mucus plug, or both! There is also requirement of uterine contractions to aid the successful movement of sperm into the uterus, and the body cleverly only does that during the time of ovulation to protect against infection. In summary, thick sticky stuff not designed to go anywhere further than the top of your vagina, it’s going to fall out quicker than the body could absorb it.
Now, the most interesting part – why don’t we talk about it? This is likely two fold. Primarily, it’s a disgusting totally human natural thing. It is not glamourous. Why on Earth would the media portray it in any way? Standard TV sex is heterosexual with both parties orgasming at the same time followed by a nice snuggle then sleep. You can’t show that awkward disentangling followed by a run to the bathroom, hands cupped between your thighs or the sticky thighed wet patch in the middle of the bed if you ignore it. The other part of the story comes back to our sex education. Sex education, especially for the Millennial Generation, focussed on disease and pregnancy avoidance. There has been no discussion around pleasure. As we don’t ever really talk about what we are signing up for with sex and frank discussion would be viewed as “perverted”, it simply does not happen. Without safe spaces to communicate about our bodies, these normal parts of sexuality simply get ignored.
Be you. Be better. Be Kandid.
Dr Elesha Vooght