The Sexual Response Cycle

Essay by sharon33College, UndergraduateA+, March 2009

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The Sexual Response Cycle

Sharon Akers


January 31, 2009

The Sexual Response Cycle is a term used to describe the changes

that occur in the body as men and women become sexually aroused. The cycle consists

of four stages which are; excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. The sexual

response cycle is characterized by vasocongestion and myotonia. Vasocongestion

is the swelling of the genital tissues with blood. It causes erection of the penis

and swelling of the area surrounding the vaginal opening. The testes, the nipples,

and even the earlobes swell as blood vessels dilate in these areas (yes-the earlobes).

Myotonia is muscle tension. It causes facial grimaces, spasms in the hands and

feet, and then the spasms of orgasm (Chapter 13 excitement phase pg. 445).

The first phase that I will talk about is the excitement phase. This phase effects men

and women in similar ways such as; the skin may take on a rosy sex flush, the nipples

may become erect in both men and women, muscle tension, and the heart rate and blood

pressure also increase.

When the excitement phase begins for men it can cause an

erection as soon as 3 to 8 seconds. The scrotal skin also thickens, becoming less baggy.

The testes increase in size and become elevated. For women the excitement phase begins

as soon as there is vaginal lubrication, which may start 10 to 30 seconds. Vasocongestion

causes swelling of the clitoris this causes the vaginal lips to spread. The inner two-thirds

of vaginal walls thicken and turn a deeper color.

The second stage, called the plateau stage continues to increase blood pressure, and

heart rate. Muscle tension also continues in both men and women. Vasocongestion is also

a factor in this stage between both men...