The Sexual Response Cycle

The Sexual Response Cycle
PSY 210
Sunday May 30, 2010
Donna LeeAnn Wilson-Rachell

According to Masters and Johnson (1996), “males and females have the same biological responses to sexual stimulation, or the sexual response cycle.”   The term sexual response cycle is used to describe the changes that occur in the body as women and men become sexually aroused (Psychology and the Challenges of Life, Chapter 13, pg 445).   The cycle is divided into four phases; excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution.
The cycle is then broken into vasocongestion and myotonia.   Vasocongestion is defined as the swelling of the genital tissues with blood.   It causes an erection of the penis and swelling of the area surrounding the vaginal opening.   Such blood vessels to swell would include, nipples, earlobes, and testes.   Myotonia is defined as the muscle tension. It could cause facial grimaces, spasms in the hands, and also orgasm (Psychology and the Challenges of Life, Chapter 13, pg 445).
During the excitement phase, vasocongestion can cause erections in young men seconds after sexual stimulation occurs.   With females, excitement is characterized by vaginal lubrication.   Most women’s skin becomes a rosy flesh color and the heart rate in both a man and woman along with blood pressure will rise.
At the plateau phase, the level of sexual arousal tends to remain somewhat stable.   Some men show an increase in the circumference of the head of the penis and can show a purplish hue.   The testes are then elevated into position for ejaculation and could show one and one half the normal un-aroused size (Psychology and the Challenges of Life, Chapter 13, pg 446).   The woman’s outer vagina swells, contracting the vaginal opening in preparation for grasping the penis.   The inner part of the vagina expands further.   Breathing becomes rapid and almost panting.   Heart rate and blood pressure also continue to rise in this phase getting ready to prepare for the final stages of orgasim.