There’s no question that the human mind and body are wired to enjoy sex. But while it’s easy to say ‘I like sex’, it’s a bit trickier to understand just how we respond to sexual arousal and sexual contact. Taking a closer look can help you understand just why it’s such a fundamental part of the human condition.
We respond to sex in several different ways, depending on just what phase of sex is actually taking place. It’s generally accepted that there are four primary stages of sex, and the body responds differently to each one of these stages.
- Sexual Desire – This first stage is really nothing more than libido. It’s the phase when your body and mind want sex. During this phase, the body’s hormones trigger sexual desire, which in turn builds sexual desire. Genitals may tingle slightly or throb and small things like an image of the opposite sex in skimpy clothing could trigger a reaction.
- Excitement – This phase is when real reactions start taking place. Visual, physical, or psychological stimuli may occur at this point, and it’s generally the early stage of foreplay. During the excitement phase genitals will swell. This triggers an erection in men, and will cause the clitoris to swell in women. It also brings about things like an increased heartbeat, rapid breathing, a rise in blood pressure, and more.
- Plateau – This phase usually occurs during sex or masturbation. This is essentially an amplification of the excitement phase, and during it the testes enlarge and pull closer to the body, a few drops of fluid are released at the head of the penis, and additional engorgement of the genitals may occur. Changing sexual positions, speeds, and more could help intensify these experiences.
- Orgasm – This final phase is when orgasm is achieved. Heart rate and breathing rate will speed up even more, blood pressure climbs higher, and muscular contractions and spasms occur throughout the body. Men will ejaculate and at times women may do so as well.
After orgasm, another stage known as ‘Resolution’ occurs. This is basically the body resetting itself, and isn’t generally considered part of the overall ‘sexual stages’ by most researchers.
However you classify it, there’s no question that sex will have a big impact on your body. Understanding the physical ways that you react to sex will help you know what to expect physically the next time that you and a partner start enjoying one another.