The Sexual Response Cycle

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When a male or female become sexually aroused their body goes through several different changes. These changes are known as the Sexual Response Cycle and a male and female tend to have similar sexual response cycles. The sexual response cycle has been divided into four different phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. There are also two other characteristics of the sexual response cycle known as vasocongestion which is what causes an erection in males and the swelling of the vaginal opening in females. As well as myotonia which is the muscle tension in the body that causes facial grimaces, spasms in the hands and feet and the spasms of orgasm (p. 445). The first phase of the sexual response cycle is the excitement phase. In a female during this phase is characterized by the swelling of the clitoris and the breasts and lubrication of the vagina. The inner part of the vagina becomes wider and the vaginal lips spread and become flatter. The male’s response in the excitement phase is a little different. When a male is sexually aroused within a few seconds they develop and erection, the scrotal skin thickens and the testes become enlarged. During this phase male and females do share some similar response such as the “rosy sex flush” that the skin takes on. Heart rate and blood pressure increase and the nipples in both sexes become erect. The next phase of the sexual response cycle is referred to as the plateau phase. During this phase blood pressure continues to increase as well as the heart rate which can get to between 100 and 160 beats per minute. (p.446). The vasocongestion during this phases causes the tip of the males penis to turn a purplish color and increase in size. The testes of the male also become elevated and enlarge to up to one and a half time their size in order to prepare for ejaculation. In a female vasocongestion causes the
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