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The Sexual Response Cycle

1. Summarize each phase of the sexual response cycle for males, females, and commonalities for both males and females.
2. Include a brief description of any sexual dysfunctions which can occur and common methods of treatment.
Please provide all references. Thank you.

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RESPONSE:

1. Summarize each phase of the sexual response cycle for males, females, and commonalities for both males and females.

The sexual-response cycle is divided into Fjive phases: desire, excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Although both men and women go through all four or five phases, the timing is different. Men typically reach orgasm first during intercourse, while women may take up to 15 minutes to get to the same place. This makes the likelihood of simultaneous orgasm during intercourse a rare event (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51105).

The five phases of the sexual response cycle are as follows. However, it is important to remember that there are many individual differences, and people will not accept all types of treatment offered for the sexual disorders.

1. PHASE ONE: DESIRE (also called libido)

This stage, in which a man or woman begins to want or "desire" sexual intimacy or gratification, may last anywhere from a moment to many years (http://www.engenderhealth.org/res/onc/sexuality/response/pg2.html).

Men: Initially men (not all) desire sexual gratification more than intimacy.

Women: Initially, women "desire" sexual intimacy.

2. PHASE TWO: EXCITEMENT

This phase usually begins within 10 to 30 seconds after erotic stimulation, and can last anywhere from a few minutes to many hours.

Men: The penis becomes slightly erect. A man's nipples may also become erect.

Women: Vaginal lubrication begins. The vagina expands and lengthens. The outer lips, inner lips, clitoris and sometimes
breasts begin to swell.

Both: Heart rate, blood pressure and breathing are all accelerated.

3. PHASE THREE: PLATEAU

The changes that started in the excitement phase continue to progress.

Men: The testes are drawn up into the scrotum. The penis becomes fully erect.

Women: The vaginal lips become puffier. The tissues of the walls of the outer third of the vagina swell with blood, and the opening to the vagina narrows. The clitoris disappears into its hood. The inner labia (lips) change color (although it's a bit hard to notice). For women who've never had children, the lips turn from pink to bright red. In women who've had children, the color turns from bright red to deep purple.

Both: Breathing and pulse rates quicken. A "sex flush" may appear on the stomach, chest, shoulders, neck or face. Muscles tense in the thighs, hips, hands and buttocks, and spasms may begin.

4. PHASE FOUR: ORGASM

This is the climax of the cycle. It is also the shortest of the four phases, usually only lasting a few seconds.

Men: First, seminal fluid collects in the urethral bulb. This is when a man may have the sensation that orgasm is certain, or "ejaculatory inevitability." Next, semen is ejaculated from the penis. Contractions occur in the penis during the orgasmic phase.

Women: The first third of the vaginal walls contract rhythmically every eight-tenths of a second. (The number and intensity of the contractions vary depending on the individual orgasm.) The muscles of the uterus also contract barely noticeably.

Both: Breathing, pulse rate and blood pressure continue to rise. Muscle tension and blood-vessel engorgement reach a peak. Sometimes orgasm comes with a grasping-type muscular reflex of the hands and feet.

5. PHASE FIVE: RESOLUTION

This phase is a return to the normal resting state. It can last from a few minutes to a half-hour or longer. This stage is generally longer for women than men.

Men: The penis returns to its normal flaccid state. There is usually a refractory period, where it's impossible to orgasm again until a certain amount of time has passed. The amount of time varies among men by age, physical fitness and other factors.

Women: The uterus and clitoris return to their normal positions. Some women may be able to respond to additional stimulation with additional orgasms.

Both: Swelling recedes, any sex flush disappears, and there is a general relaxation of muscle tension.

(Source: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=51105).

2. Include a brief description of any sexual dysfunctions which can occur and common methods of treatment.

There are three major categories of sexual disorders: SEXUAL DYSFUNCTIONS, PARAPHILLA, and GENDER IDENTITY DISORDERS. This question deals only sexual dysfunctions.

SEXUAL DYSFUNCTIONS is a sexual disorder that prevents or reduces an individual's enjoyment of normal sex and prevents or reduces the normal physiological changes brought on normally by sexual arousal ( Atkinson, Rita L. et al. Introduction to Psychology. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., 1993). These dysfunctions can be classified by the phase of the sexual cycle in which they occur. It is important to keep in mind that the diagnosis of sexual dysfunction is made only when the disability persists (Atkinson, Rita L. et al. Introduction to Psychology. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc., 1993). Any of them could occur occasionally or be caused by a temporary factor such as fatigue, sickness, alcohol, or drugs.

(1) THE DESIRE PHASE

There are two (or three- some include excessive desire) types of dysfunctions that can occur during the desire phase.

A. HYPOACTIVE DESIRE

MEN ...

Solution Summary

This posting summarizes each phase of the sexual response cycle for males, females, and commonalities for both males and females. It also describes types of sexual dysfunctions that can occur in different phases of the sexual response cycle, as well as common methods of treatment. References are clearly provided.

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