Overview of Sexual Response

Sexual responses are physical and emotional changes that are associated with, related to, and accompany sexual activity. In human beings, sexual response usually occurs in a cycle that involves a series of stages or phases. These stages, which occur in both men and women, include sexual desire, arousal (excitement), plateau, orgasm, and resolution.

The intensity and length of each stage of the sexual response cycle varies from person to person and with each sexual encounter. Sexual partners often do not experience the same sexual response phase at the same time or at the same intensity level. In people who have reached sexual maturity, sexual responses are normal physiological functions.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 07 Dec 2008

Last Modified: 05 Oct 2015