The sexual response cycle refers to the series of physical and emotional changes that occur when a person becomes sexually aroused and engages in sexually arousing activities including intercourse and masturbation. Understanding how your body responds during each stage of the sexual cycle can improve your relationship with your partner and help you distinguish the case of any sexual problem.
What are the stages of the sexual response cycle?
The sexual response cycle includes four phases: arousal, settling, orgasm, and regression. Both men and women go through these phases although their timing often varies; For example, we find that it is unlikely that a couple will reach orgasm at the same time. In addition, the intensity of the response and the time it takes for each stage varies from person to person, and understanding these differences can help the couple to better understand each other’s body and response and improve sexual experience.
Stage one: excitement
The general features of the arousal phase, which may last from a few minutes to several hours, include the following:
- Increased muscle tension.
- Rapid heartbeat and rapid breathing.
- The skin can turn red (red spots may appear on the chest and back).
- Hardening or erect nipples.
- Increased blood flow to the genitals leading to swelling of the clitoris and labia minora in women; And male genital erection in men.
- Vaginal hydration begins.
- A woman’s breasts swell and the walls of the vagina begin to swell.
- The man’s testicles also swell, the scrotum tightens and the man begins to secrete moist fluid.
Stage two: stability
General features of a stable phase that extends to the edge of orgasm include:
- Intensify the changes that occurred in the first stage.
- The vagina continues to swell due to increased blood flow and the color of the vaginal wall turns dark purple.
- In women, the clitoris becomes very sensitive (and may be uncomfortable to touch) and deals within the foreskin to avoid direct stimulation from the penis.
- The man’s testicles rise and return to the scrotum.
- Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure continue to rise.
- The muscles of the feet, face, and hands may begin to contract.
- Increased muscle tension.
Third stage: orgasm
Orgasm is the culmination of the sexual response cycle. It is the shortest of the stages and generally takes only a few seconds. The general features of this stage include:
- Muscles begin to contract involuntarily.
- Respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure reach their highest levels with high oxygen consumption.
- Contraction of the muscles of the feet.
- A sudden strong release of sexual tension occurs
- In women, the vaginal muscles contract. Regular uterine contractions also occur.
- In men, regular contractions of the muscles at the base of the penis cause semen to be ejaculated.
- A rash or “sexual flushing” may appear all over the body.
Fourth stage: backtracking
During the decline, the body slowly returns to its normal functional levels; The parts of the body that have swollen return to their previous size and color. This stage is characterized by a general feeling of happiness, enhanced intimacy, and often fatigue as well. Some women can quickly return to the orgasm phase as sexual excitement continues and may experience several orgasms. Men necessitate a time of rest after an orgasm called a refractory period during which they cannot reach orgasm again. The refractory period varies from man to man and usually increases with age.