The Science of Sexual Arousal
Men and women experience sexual arousal differently. Physiological, emotional, and psychological factors play an equally significant role in determining the level of arousal. Psychological factors like mood, relation with the partner, level of anxiety and stress, and motivation contribute significantly to the experience.
Each individual is different; thus, various things can excite them sexually, like an intimate date with their partner, watching an erotic film, or fantasizing about it. Even the thought of cuddling with one’s partner can arouse them.
Sexual arousal leads to physiological activation with increased bool flow to genitals; muscles are tensed, breathing fastens, erection in males, and vaginal lubrication in females. Hormones like testosterone and oxytocin are released during sexual arousal, which further enhances the sexual experience. The genital areas like the clitoris in females and the penis in males, when stimulated, create a sensation of excitement and pleasure.
Researchers suggest that the nerve endings of the clitoris in females and of the penis in males are highly sensitive, which triggers sensation and pleasure. In women, sexual arousal is associated with the presence of estrogens (Cutler et al., 1987; Grio et al., 1999). In males, sexual libido and arousal have long been associated with the presence of androgens, and their role has been well documented (Gooren, 1985; Epperson et al., 1999).
Individuals begin with the excitement phase, which increases to arousal where heart rate increases, muscles tenses, and vaginal lubrication starts. Then during the orgasm, the climax is achieved, which gives heightened pleasure and satisfaction. It ends in resolution, and the body returns to the normal level of functioning.