The Sexual Response Cycle

Topics: Sexual arousal, Orgasm, Sexual intercourse Pages: 4 (1251 words) Published: September 20, 2009
The sexual response cycle describes the changes that occur in the body as men and women become sexually aroused, which divides into four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Vasocongestion and myotonia are what characterize the sexual response cycle. Vasocongestion causes erection of the penis and swelling of the area surrounding the vaginal opening. Myotonia (muscle tension) causes facial grimaces, spasms in the hands and feet, and then the spasms of orgasm.

The first phase of the sexual response cycle is the excitement phase. Erection in the male, vaginal lubrication in the female (vasocongestion), muscle tension (myotonia), an increase in heart rate, and the erection of the nipples in both males and females are the characteristics of this phase.

The plateau phase is the second phase of the sexual response cycle. During this phase, there are increases in vasocongestion, muscle tension, heart rate, and blood pressure in preparation for orgasm. The level of sexual arousal remains somewhat stable during this phase of the cycle. Vasocongestion causes the perimeter of the head on a penis to show some increase in size; the testes are elevated into position for ejaculation and may reach almost twice their unaroused size. In women, vasocongestion swells the outer part of the vagina, contracting the vaginal opening to prepare for grasping the penis. The inner part of the vagina expands further. The clitoris withdraws beneath the clitoral hood and shortens. Breathing becomes rapid, heart rate increases, and blood pressure continues to rise in males and females.

The third phase of the sexual response cycle is the orgasm phase. Pelvic contractions occur during this phase, which are accompanied by intense pleasure. For the male, this phase involves two stages of muscular contractions. In the first stage, semen collects at the base of the penis, and the internal sphincter of the urinary bladder prevents urine from mixing with the semen. In the second...
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