Masters and Johnson developed the term "sexual response cycle" to describe the four stages of sexual responsiveness. These two sex therapists use their term to describe the body's sexual responses to each of the four stages. Each of these stages is a continuation of the other, with no clear beginning or ending to each stage. The therapists also took into consideration the fact that men and women experience sex differently. There is not a right or wrong way to experience any part of these four stages.
Simultaneous OrgasmsWhile men and women both experience the different stages of the sexual response cycle, they normally experience them at different times. This makes achieving a simultaneous orgasm extremely difficult. While it may seem like an ordinary occurrence in the movies, it is not. Men and women who constantly try to orgasm at the same time may find themselves experiencing a less than satisfying sexual life.
Stage One: ExcitementMen and women's bodies respond differently to being aroused, but they both experience some of the same physiological responses. Elevated heart rate and pulse rate mark the beginning of the changes that are occurring in the body. Breathing may also become more rapid. Some people may experience a reddening of the skin, or "sexual flush" when they become sexually excited.
Men will notice that their testes have begun to draw up into the scrotum, and that their penis is becoming erect. Their nipples may also become hard and erect. Women's physiological changes include the lips of the vagina swelling as it expands and starts to become lubricated. Her breasts may become more sensitive also.
Stage Two: PlateauAs the excitement continues to build, men and women bodies begin to experience other sexual responses. Men will notice that their penis is now fully erect and their testes are completely withdrawn into the scrotum. While women begin to experience swelling in the lips of their vagina as the opening becomes more narrow. Her clitoris will become withdrawn into it's hood, and the inner lips of her vagina may turn color. This is normally a pink to reddish color depending on whether the woman has given birth.
Stage Three: OrgasmThis stage is considered the apex of the cycle, and unfortunately it is also the shortest of the stages. While this stage may only last for a few seconds, it really is the most important stage and it is also when most of the physiological changes occur. Both men and women will experience a profound sense of relief, and even some feelings of extreme emotion. Breathing, pulse, and heart rate are now at their highest rates, and muscle spasms are also not uncommon.
Men experience ejaculation and muscle spasms from the base of the penis, while women experience muscle contractions in their vaginal walls and sometimes in their uterus, those this is rarely felt.
Stage Four: ResolutionIn this final stage, the body begins to return to it's normal state. Breathing, heart rate and pulse will gradually return to normal. Muscles will begin to loosen up and relax, and it is not uncommon for feelings of euphoria and even sleepiness to occur. Men will notice their penis returning to it's normal flaccid state, and a woman's vaginal swelling will subside. This final stage in the sexual response cycle can last anywhere one a few minutes to more than an hour, and it usually lasts longer in women than in men.
Thanks to two sex therapists, we know have an understanding of the body's sexual responses. The more we understand about our body's, the more we can enjoy a normal and healthy sex life.