One of the most important aspects of the life of most people is sex. However,we do not understand much how we operate at the sexual level.It is therefore essential to know the most important characteristics of the sexual response process.
The Masters and Johnson studies were pioneers in studying the human sexual response.Despite the controversies they triggered in their day, they are today of great relevance. One of the most interesting discoveries of these two American sexologists was the sexual response cycle. Thanks to him, we know the different phases that our body goes through during the sexual act.
It is important to know thateach person shows his sexual response in different ways.Some moan while others emit virtually no noise; some move a lot while others barely make small movements, etc. Despite these differences, the body's response at the physiological level is identical.
The four phases of the sexual response
The theory of the sexual cycle shows us thatsubjects go through 4 phases during the sexual response: (a) excitement, (b) plateau, (c) orgasm, and (d) resolution.These phases always take place in this order, starting with the excitation and ending with the resolution period.Let's deepen this idea.
Sexual arousal phase
It assumes the beginning of physiological changes, which signal the response of the body to sexual stimulation. The stimuli that cause the beginning of the cycle can be both physical and psychological. The main function of this phase is thebody preparation for coitus.
The physiological changes that we find in women are multiple.Vaginal lubrication increases rapidly thanks to the control of the parasympathetic system. The upper part of the vagina expands to promote penile entry and the size of the clitoris and breasts increases due to vasocongestion.
In humans, we also find different physiological expressions.Due to the action of the sympathetic system and vasocongestion, the penis enters erection, the tension of the scrotum increases and the testicles back up. Regular contractions also appear in the rectum.
In addition, a series of common changes occur in both sexes.For example, sexual redness, increased heart rate and blood pressure …
Stage of the plateau
The stage of the plateau concerns a maintenance of the state and occupies the central (and the longest) part of the sexual response. It is during this phase that the sexual activities are realized. There is a significant increase in sexual tension, with high levels of muscle contractions and vasocongestion.The function of this phase is to maintain the sexual state until the arrival of the climax, or orgasm.
The physiological changes of the woman during this phase are: contraction of the vaginal walls, retracted clitoris, increase of the size of the uterus and obscuration of the labia minora. These changes are calledformation of the orgasmic platform.Involuntary contractions in the rectum begin to occur, just as in humans at the moment of the excitation phase.
In humans,the penis reaches its maximum level of erection, the testicles grow and rise to the maximum.The pre-seminal fluid also appears in the glans. Its function is to clean the seminal ducts. Contractions in the rectum continue to occur.
In addition,the sexual redness continues and the heart rate,blood pressure and respiratory rate continue to rise in both.
Orgasmic phase or climax
The orgasmic phase, or climax, consists ofan explosive discharge of neuromuscular tension extremely rewarding.It occurs unintentionally and suddenly when the stimulation reaches its maximum intensity. Orgasm supposes the end of the sexual act.
In women,the orgasmic platform contracts at intervals of 0.8 seconds, between 5 and 12 times.Contractions of the anal sphincter and other muscle groups also occur.
In men, the contractions of the urethra and pelvic muscles lead the penis to theejaculation of the seminal fluid.This ejaculation is performed at the nervous level by the sympathetic system.
At the same time, in both sexes,increases initiated in previous phases continue.Heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rate are increasing.
It assumes theprogressive loss of sexual tension and the gradual return of the body to the state preceding the excitation phase. The reversion of the previous processes normally lasts between 15 and 30 minutes.
Men enter a refractory periodduring which it is very difficult to have a new erection and live a new orgasm. The duration of this period is variable. It oscillates between several minutes and several hours (this increases with age!).
Women do not experience a refractory period.That's why they are able to have multiple or repeated orgasms in a shorter period of time. Another difference from men is that they have similar cycles in time and activation. Women, on the other hand, show greater variability among themselves. While some quickly reach orgasm, others do so more slowly and gradually.