June 29, 2015
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Sexual Response Cycle (Phases of Sexual Response) (cont.)

Phase 2: Plateau

General characteristics of the plateau phase, which extends to the brink of orgasm, include the following:

  • The changes begun in phase 1 are intensified.

  • The vagina continues to swell from increased blood flow, and the vaginal walls turn a dark purple.

  • The woman's clitoris becomes highly sensitive (may even be painful to touch) and retracts under the clitoral hood to avoid direct stimulation from the penis.

  • The man's testicles are withdrawn up into the scrotum.

  • Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure continue to increase.

  • Muscle spasms may begin in the feet, face, and hands.

  • Muscle tension increases.

Phase 3: Orgasm

The orgasm is the climax of the sexual response cycle. It is the shortest of the phases and generally lasts only a few seconds. General characteristics of this phase include the following:

  • Involuntary muscle contractions begin.

  • Blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing are at their highest rates, with a rapid intake of oxygen.

  • Muscles in the feet spasm.

  • There is a sudden, forceful release of sexual tension.

  • In women, the muscles of the vagina contract. The uterus also undergoes rhythmic contractions.

  • In men, rhythmic contractions of the muscles at the base of the penis result in the ejaculation of semen.

  • A rash, or "sex flush" may appear over the entire body.

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Source: MedicineNet.com

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