Essay on The Sexual Response Cycle in Men and Women

Essay on The Sexual Response Cycle in Men and Women

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The Sexual Response Cycle

Men and women sexually go through a cycle. This cycle is known as the sexual response cycle. The sexual response cycle is made up of four different phases, the excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution phases. The cycle is also categorized in two ways, vasocongestion and myotonia. Vasocongestion is where swelling occurs because blood rushes to certain areas of the body such as earlobes, for women to the opening of the vaginal area, and for men around the testes, it also causes the erection of the penis. Myotonia is what causes hands and feet to spasm, affects the face, and the involuntary movements of orgasm, these occur because the muscles are tightening creating these movements and spasms to occur. (Nevid & Ruthus, 2005).
The excitement phase is the first phase of the sexual response cycle. This is the phase where things start to “heat up” or both the man and women experience excitement and arousal. To many this stage consists of foreplay, arousing both individuals to want and need the sex. When a man is in this stage he experiences many genital changes, his penis becomes erected, testes enlarge, and skin thickens on the scrotum. Women experience more changes than the man, their breasts enlarge, the clitoris swells, the vaginal lips flatten and swell, and also the vaginal lubrication will form. Men and women in this phase also will experience some of the same effects. Both will experience elevated heart rates and blood pressures, and in some individuals the nipples will erect. (Nevid & Ruthus, 2005).
The next phase is known as the plateau phase. This is the phase right before orgasm because it is what leads up to the orgasm. A plateau means that it is stable and has little to n...

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...uch a key impact, it is important that when an issue does arise to take action. All of the sexual dysfunctions can be treated by going through sex therapy. This is where they can talk out their issues that could be causing the sexual dysfunctions and also it can give them ideas and tips to use to enhance the sexual relationship. (Nevid & Ruthus, 2005).
Men and women are sexual beings. Even though they both have different genitalia they both are going through the same four stages of the sexual response cycle. When there is a break in the cycle because of a sexual dysfunction, it is important to seek out help instead of ignoring it because it can potentially lead to the relationship falling apart.


Nevid, J.S., & Rathus, S.A. (2005). Psychology and the challenges of life: Adjustment in the new millenium (9th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

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