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The difference between male and female sexual arousal

Female Orgasm

The difference between male and female sexual arousal

“Love is a matter of chemistry, but sex is a matter of physics.”

Men tell me that almost anything can turn them on—a simple brush of their partner’s hand across their penis, a flirtatious look or seeing their partner in the nude. What they don’t always realize is that sexual arousal works differently for women.

Sex researchers Masters and Johnson were the first to outline the four stages of sexual response in human beings: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Although men and women go through the same four stages, their respective journeys can vary in time and physicality.

The Stages of Male Sexual Arousal

If you’re a man, you can’t understand the female cycle of sexual arousal unless you first understand your own. You may think orgasm is simply a matter of getting aroused and getting off, but believe me, there’s a lot more to it than that!

  1. Excitement: The physical signs of male sexual arousal are easy to spot. Your testes begin to elevate, the skin around your scrotum becomes thicker, and your penis becomes increasingly erect. If you don’t proceed to Stage 2, your excitement will pass fairly quickly.
  2. Plateau: At this point, your testes are fully engorged and reach their highest point of elevation, your penis’s corona becomes engorged with blood, and seminal fluid (which aids in lubrication) begins to secrete through the tip of your penis. At this stage, the desire for sex becomes very strong; if you aren’t able to move to Stage 3, things can become painful.
  3. Orgasm: The fluids from different parts of your reproductive organs collect at the end of the urethra, creating a feeling of heaviness that men recognize as the signal of imminent orgasm, and then you experience the contractions you associate with climaxing. It’s possible to hold back from completing this stage so you can continue sexually stimulate your partner, but only for a short time.
  4. Resolution: During this stage, the penis goes back to non-erect size and all the blood in the testes returns to the rest of the body.

Men also have what is known as a refractory period, which means that for a certain time he will not be able to achieve another erection. That period of time varies from as little as two minutes to as long as two weeks. On average, as a man ages, his refractory period grows longer.

The Stages of Female Sexual Arousal

Now that you understand how your own body works during sex, it will be easier for you to spot the differences in your partner’s cycle of sexual arousal. Keep in mind that although some women go through these four stages very quickly, most require more time than men before they can move to the next stage.

  1. Excitement: Her nipples become erect, her vagina starts becoming lubricated, her clitoris begins to swell and grow larger, and the inner walls of her vagina begin to expand. Her breasts may even increase in size if she becomes highly aroused. As these are all physical cues, it’s important to pay attention to her body language, too. If she’s touching you or kissing you, she’s probably excited.
  2. Plateau: Her heartbeat speeds up, her breasts may increase noticeably in size, her vagina swells, her vaginal opening begins to narrow, her clitoris becomes more erect, and the color of her labia darken in color. Only near the end of this stage will her body be ready for vaginal intercourse. Not all women experience this stage of arousal, which is why it’s important to give her plenty of foreplay.
  3. Orgasm: Intense muscle contractions through the pelvic area will occur during the orgasm—a woman can have three to fifteen of these contractions depending on the strength of her climax. She may also experience muscle contractions in other parts of the body as well. Most women’s bodies become temporarily rigid at the highest point of their orgasm.
  4. Resolution: If a woman has achieved orgasm, she may be able to have multiple orgasms during the resolution stage. Otherwise, her body will return to normal, but at a slower rate than if she had climaxed. During resolution, her breasts and nipples can become very sensitive, so don’t touch them aggressively.

Now that you understand the physical stages of sexual arousal in women, you’ll be able to identify them in your lover, which will enable you to give her the foreplay and stimulation she needs to experience an incredible orgasm.

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31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Mario

    December 27, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Thank you Gabrielle. Very interesting article and a point to be more explored and developed. Have a good vacation/Holidays in Miami.Best Regards.

  2. Don Murphy

    December 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Hi Gabrielle. I have a problem that is just making me give up on being a good lover to my beautiful wife of 30 yrs. I am 100 percent disabled Viet Nam vet. I have a lot of health issues. But will talk about my ED problem. I also have peyronies disease. But my main problem is my wife turns me on, but I have a huge fear of letting her down so I am afraid to even try anymore. Once she gets turned on, I freak out with fear cause it takes a while to get my creative organ hard. But she wants it now. And then I get full of anxiety. I want to be able to have my c.o. aka creative organ to be hard, but it takes awhile because of impotence. In fact anymore I am afraid to get naked in front of her. I fear touching myself. This fear crap is really getting old for me and my honey. What should i do?
    Any help would be appreciated. Don

  3. Alex

    December 27, 2010 at 11:40 pm

    That was great gabrielle!! Thank u and i cant wait for more!! 🙂
    Kisses xoxoxoxo Alex

  4. doug

    December 28, 2010 at 3:24 am

    your expertise is excellent, best advice in the world. i wish i was where you are now, we just got belted with a blizzard over two feet of snow

  5. andel alexander

    December 28, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Dear Gabriel Moore,
    thank you from the depths of my soul for all this information ,even though am a woman am just beginning to understand why men can be so callous in bed [am so happy there is hope] ,as well as their behaviour towards women on a social level.i am also coming to terms with certain truths about my self as i become more confident in my power as a woman-namely knowing how my body works on a physical ,sensual ,sexual, spiritual level.still i have a delima i had mind blowin deep sensual sex with a best friend off and on and it seems am greedy [am not talkin about 5 minute sex -he just goes on into eternity ,each time is like the first ,afterward we would cuddle] .he does not know how much it hurts me to control my emotions and i keep comparing him with possible lovers because he always comes out on top [due to the lack of info that you have taken so much out of yourself to give to the world].i just want to stop crying all the time and i just want the pain in my chest to go i have come too far to believe in mr right. i just want to stop hurting like this i wanna move on and connect with others but its so hard to get him out of my head………….please help.andel alexander.

  6. Kelley

    December 28, 2010 at 6:37 am

    I’m 48 years old, never had an orgasm, I have a great sex partner willing to try anything for me. At this age I’m beginning to think it will never happen, I’ve read several books, tried doing what they say, still nothing. I really don’t want to miss out on this wonderful thing I hear so much about. Is it still possible for me? Any suggestion?

  7. earl

    December 28, 2010 at 6:56 am

    hi my dear everything worked for me so far , but now it comes to that point where my wife wants some and im not in the mood even if i try than i come with that excuse that im tired.

  8. Clay

    December 28, 2010 at 8:26 am

    DON MURPHY

    After some thought and re-reading your post, I feel confident to offer some advice. It would be a great benefit to you if you would change your frame of mind. Here are the facts that you need to realize and embed them in your mind.

    After 30 years of marriage, you 2 are not having sex, . . .you are making love to each other, especially if she still gets excited because of your presence. If that is the case then you need to realize that YOU are the only man she wants, and you have the ability and the characteristics that excite her. There is nothing for you to fear. Maybe she isn’t as concerned about your erection as you think. Maybe it is the way you talk to her or possibly the way you lick her that drives her crazy. Whatever it is . . .YOU have the ability to light a fire in that woman that still burns after 30 years. Thats a hell of an accomplishment. You need to focus on how to get her to the top and I’m sure that the fire you light will spread.
    When 2 people make love, it is about making your partner feel good. They’re are numerous ways to do that without an erection. You need to get your mind off of your body and focus on hers. Remember why you married her. Think of the love you have for her and ways of pleasing her will come natural. If you lay there thinking about your dick getting hard and it doesn’t on your command, then yes, anxiety will set in. Your erection is caused by chemicals that are released in your body. You telling your dick to get hard is not the key. . . . The key is to have your mind lost in a world of love, romance and passion with determination of getting her to the top and for me, there was nothing that made me harder than to hear my lady scream out in pleasure when I used my tonge. There was one time that I was pleasing her orally and the excitement of the moment brought me to a climax and I hadn’t even penetrated yet. And NO I’m not prone to Premature Ejaculation.

    I’m certain that if you get lost in a world of erotic passion that involves getting your partner to the top, I’m pretty sure that your tool will be ready when you need it. Remember . .A Watched Pot Never Boils”

  9. AbdulBaqiMughal@gmail.com

    December 28, 2010 at 10:48 am

    i read the article throughly and find information that are available are the Best. thank you

  10. Quale

    December 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Thank you Gabrielle and Merry X-mas to you & your sweetly one.

  11. Auxtin

    December 28, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    this is a bomb,anytime i read through your writeup.i cant imagine but appreciate the good impact you are educating/enhancing my sexlife. Thanks a trillion! Keep the mails coming.how is florida?

  12. elvis

    December 28, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    thk’s that was great it realy help me to know how i can use my girl friend. i realy need more and more.Gabrielle we love u

  13. Ambassador

    December 28, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Happy holidays and hope you ok. Thanks for the educative and entertainment articles. It is like there are so many things we take for granted in Life and think we are doing thwm perfectly well yet the reverse is true!!You may want to learn that here in Africa, discussing issues to do with Love making or sexual intercourse is a taboo of some sorts!! However, I was just wondering if you “Practice what you Preach”?? Take care and best wishes for the new year

  14. Isra

    December 28, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Thanks. Its been a wounderful lesson for me. Still an amature in this field.
    Kisses Gabrielle

  15. Baraka

    December 29, 2010 at 2:28 am

    thank you gebrielle that was nice

  16. Mr. Perez

    December 29, 2010 at 3:47 am

    Again, GREAT information Gabrielle:) Its very accurate and is very useful. Keep up the good work !!! 😉

  17. HelloThere

    December 29, 2010 at 5:16 am

    Ma’am, I’ve read so much of your articles and applying your ideas drives my girlfriend to an “pleasurably satisfied”. Now, I was just wondering how do u look like? Can u send me a picture of u. Tnx 🙂

  18. Kiwell

    December 29, 2010 at 7:53 am

    Thank you so much,gebrielle.I try to get it .

  19. Joe

    December 29, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    Don:

    I hope you are seeing a urologist about this; I too have Peyronies disease and the treatment was Vitamin E 400 twice a day for about a year! If that doesn’t work, I’m told surgery is the next option.

    But Clay’s answer is very good, you two can still have sex. Explain the problem to your wife, explain that you are getting treatment, and tell her about your anxieties. Love will supersede the problems of the physical problems, and the two of you can find a way, especially with your doctor’s help.

  20. jollyfellowuk

    December 29, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    As a mature male in my late 60’s I have I have masturbated for all of my adult life from the age of about 13. I did not have sexual intercourse until I was about 18, as in those days the fear of pregnancy was a great deterrent, let alone the lack of opportunity, in terms of time and place.

    My first point is that as a young person, masturbating and ejaculating three or four times in succession was not unusual and I developed the ability to ejaculate and still carry on maintaining an erect penis to the next one. By the way after three of four, ones testes start to ache, so this may not be recommended.

    This ability however was a real benefit when I became sexually active with girls, as I was capable of maintaining an erection for a long period of time despite the fact that I may have ejaculated in the meantime without them being aware of the fact.

    I agree in broad terms with your four stages however there are refinements. It is my opinion that there are two distinct forms of climax for a man. First of all there is ejaculation, this fulfils all the criteria although it may not involve an “orgasm”.

    To my mind an orgasm takes place when there is such a release of hormones that your body turns virtually into jelly possibly losing control of your muscles. This loss of control could be facial muscles and speech a well as arms and legs.

    As one gets older the ability to sustain such an orgasm diminishes as the ability for the production of hormones in the brain diminishes. This ability may be extended significantly by maintaining a healthy diet and body, as well as lots of regular practice!

    This orgasm is probably very similar to that which women experience when they float away into hormonal ecstasy. The release may by so powerful that the woman screams or moans uncontrollably, although having said that my own partner does not make any noise at that point. I can only tell that she has reached that stage by her breathing and muscle contractions.

    Everybody is different, which is one thing that makes sexual encounters so stimulating. The ability to bring your partner to this pinnacle of enjoyment is as enjoyable, if not more so, than necessarily reaching your own climax, especially as one gets older.

    The refinement of the art is to reach that point together and this can only be achieved by unselfish sex, something that a lot of men seem incapable of, either because of inexperience or just plain ignorance.

  21. dasani

    December 29, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    u are the sweetest woman on earth! Keep it up, Gabby

  22. desiree

    December 30, 2010 at 10:14 am

    i must say it must be nice to have a good partner. i have a boyfriend of three years and most of this time he hasnt and wont have sex with me. i literally have to remind him every three to four months that hey im young im just starting my sexual peek. but it never fails i always tell him about how i feel about the fact that he still hasnt had sex with me. so the one time when he does try its right after i have mentioned that im getting tired of waiting. then i get upset because i know that if i do let him do something with me right after mentioning that we dont have sex that it will be the same thing again in 3 to 4 months later. after him having done this for 2 and a half years i finally stopped giving in to his having sex with me just cause i brought it up. cause if u ask me thats fake. he even admitted to me that he doesnt want to bother with trying till im pretty much crying. i dont know if im even saying this the way i mean to say it. he litteraly admitted that he waits till i cant handle it anymore and then he just gives in and gives it to me. im 26 and he is 48. he makes up every excuse i have ever heard as to why he doesnt want to start anything with me. and the 4 times a max in a year i do get it form him he last like 5 minutes and doesnt bother with any for play at all. im truely sick of it. but we have a kid together and i love him. so what do i do? ive done everything from growing my hair to shaving my head to dressing certain ways to doing really nice things for him. to buying him gifts and everything. his main excuse is our daughter is always awake. so i got her to bed really early a few times and all he wants to do when she is asleep is smoke his pot and then play his video games. please help me. please help me figure out what to do i am litteraly lost. i need sex i am only 26. the guy wont even watch movies that have sex or skin in them but i catch him watching sex cartoons on the computer. HELP

  23. GUESS ME

    December 30, 2010 at 11:21 am

    I have been able to put my partner in 5 orgasms. i will explain it in few days. but that will be added to your strength after knowing that. best of luck. by the way great articles.

  24. tony bonacci

    December 31, 2010 at 3:13 am

    Thanks for this interesting article. It’s good to have this general understanding but this is a little too simply put. Every woman is different and the subtleties of arousal very small and too complex to categorize them!

  25. philip

    December 31, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    Gabrielle you are wonderful teacher,my regard to your family and friends

  26. Anthony

    December 31, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    thanks very good advise

  27. Laylow

    December 31, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Desiree

    After reading your situation with your boyfriend, that has no sexual desire and no comunications with you, I think you both need to go to a social worker or PHD in mental Health that can work with both of you. Your Boyfriend may have some horrible childhood experiencs that need to come to the surface and maybe he can learn to leave that behind. He needs to get checked out by a doctor mentally and physically If he refused to do this I would TELL him you want a 3 month trial seperation. During this periond anything goes He can go out and date, have sex and you of course can as well. One of you would have to move out and it’s just something you would have to work out and visits with your child that you have together.

    I would go out and find a man that you are attracted to and feel safe with
    I would go for someone no older than 32. I would date a few and have some incredible safe sex. This would give you time to think and be more independant

    At the end of 3 months have a date with your current boyfrined and see where you both are. He may not even show up and then you have your answer. If he really loves you and wants to be with you he will go to the doctors and get fully checked out and not even let you or him move out for this 3 month experience

    I think you have to get support and get personal counseling to see how and why you let this go on This is the part that is your fault Life if very short and you are only 26 one time. You need to take some control of your own life and not let someone else starve your feelings, emotions and desires.

    I hope you get help an not let this go on month after month, it’s not good at all and nobody should have to put up with this

  28. ravi

    January 3, 2011 at 10:14 am

    thank you gebrielle that was nice

  29. Peace

    January 6, 2011 at 9:22 am

    So loving and kindly sexy you are. Love you Gab.

  30. Love

    January 13, 2011 at 8:42 am

    Thanks a lot Gab. I hope that every woman will gets multiple orgasm if man can learn …..what he dont have.

  31. eribati.eng

    February 4, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    thanz gabrielle.
    I learn alots from this discussion i will try to approve to my girlfriend as soon as possile.

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