Back in 1966, sex researchers William Masters, MD, and Virginia Johnson came up with the term. He defined four phases, or phases, of this cycle:
Step 1: Enthusiasm. As soon as you’re excited, your heart beats fast and your breathing gets heavy. your skin red can. more blood flows into your genitals. the clitoris swells and gender stands up. nipples hard and Vagina may be wet. The muscles in your entire body get tense, which increases sexual tension.
Step 2: Plateau. Changes in your body accelerate. breathing, heartbeat, and blood pressure Shine. The muscle tension increases even more. Vagina It swells and its walls become dark in colour. The clitoris becomes very sensitive to touch. The testicles are pulled upward.
step 3: orgasm. Sexual arousal reaches its peak. You feel a series of intense muscle contractions as your body releases the tension. The muscles of the vagina and uterus contract. The muscles at the base of the penis tighten and release Semen in an ejaculation.
Step 4: Resolution. Now after expending your suppressed energy, your body returns to its pre-sex state. Your breathing becomes calm. The muscles relax. gender And the vagina returns to its original shape and color. You may feel calm, satisfied or tired.
This four-stage cycle is a very simple way to describe the human sexual response. In fact, human bodies (and minds) are unique. The way we respond to sex doesn’t always fit exactly into the four ordered boxes.
“Since the Masters & Johnson model, we have learned much more,” concluded Joycelyn Elders, Kristen Marks, PhD, Chair. sexual health Education at the University of Minnesota Medical School. “The exposure of one thing to another is grossly wrong for the human sexual experience.”
New thoughts on sexual response
For one thing, not every sexual act leads to orgasm. Some people have sex without any stimulation. Others have multiple orgasms in a row, and they don’t reach resolution.
The sexual response cycle model has received some updates over the years. In the late 1970s, sex therapist Helen Singer Kaplan, MD, PhD, added desire to the cycle. In his view, people should be in the mood for sex and emotionally ready to be aroused and have an orgasm.
In 2001, Rosemary Besson, MD, professor of sexual medicine at the University of British Columbia, threw the whole model for a loop—literally. She created a circular sexual response model. Its main idea is that people have sex for many different reasons, not just arousal. And each part of the cycle does not have to be in any particular order. For example, the desire may come late in the process.
Orgasm isn’t the only reward for having sex. You may do this for many other reasons, such as to increase intimacy or to please your partner. “Just because someone hasn’t had an orgasm doesn’t mean they aren’t feeling some level of satisfaction,” Mark says.
How is your sexual response cycle unique?
The sexual response cycle does not vary greatly by gender or sexual orientation, says Mark. But it can change from encounter to encounter. “It’s super-personal and really unique to each sexual experience.”
For example, if you’ve wanted someone for a long time and you finally have sex, the arousal phase may intensify. At the beginning of a relationship, when the person you are dating is new to you, desire can come before excitement. Once you’ve been together for several years, you may be excited before you feel the desire.
What can be wrong?
Problems can occur at any stage of the sexual response cycle. Desire may be retarded, you may have trouble getting aroused, or you may not reach orgasm.
Sometimes, a physical problem is to blame. For example, erectile dysfunction or vaginal dryness Can make sex more difficult or painful. In turn, a physical problem can trigger an emotional response where you don’t have much desire for sex, Mark says.
But then, everyone is different. Even if you’re never aroused, you can be fine with your sex life.
“Is there a problem that needs help” comes down to your quality of life and how important it is to you, says Irwin Goldstein, MD, medical director of San Diego Sexual Medicine.
If you are unhappy with your sex life, tell your doctor. You may have a treatable medical problem, such as vaginal dryness or impotence. some sort drugs Can also inhibit desire. Changing the dosage or changing the prescription may help.
If the problem isn’t physical, your doctor may refer you to a sex therapist to help you work through any emotional, relationship, or psychological issues that are affecting your sex life. The therapist can teach you and your partner how to manage problems such as lack of desire or trouble reaching orgasm.
It also helps to know your body’s sexual response cycle. Pay attention to how you react. Do you feel excited? What kind of touch brings you to climax? By learning about your own response, “you can have a more satisfying experience and communicate better or tell your partner what you like,” Mark says.