Sex: The Psychology of Sexual Arousal

Sexual arousal is a unique experience for everyone. The body’s ability to react to sexual thoughts and stimuli causes an involuntary reaction that’s distinctive in both males and females. These innate differences of psychological passion between men and women are extremely important — not only has it given researchers a deeper look at real-world problems and sexual dysfunctions, but it’s also given people a better understanding of themselves and their partners. In fact, gathering basic insight into these mental sciences can help strengthen companionship by heightening levels of intimacy, interpersonal connections, self-esteem, and overall well-being. To achieve this, though, it is crucial to first acknowledge how psychological and physiological arousal relate independently to each other in both men and women.

The Psychological Arousal of Men and Women

Although the psychological scope of sexual arousal varies amongst men and women, it is habitually recognized as the first step necessary for sexual activation and desire. Still, the way in which its accomplished is particular. Explicitly, the key difference of this component is the power of arousal, or the ability to develop a physical response to sexual desire, and the way its attained by the two sexes.

Psychological Arousal of Men:For males, their power of arousal is often strong. This allows their bodies to react quickly to their hotbed of energy, and sustain it during intercourse and other sexual acts. As a result, men usually climax much easier than women.

Psychological Arousal of Women: When it comes to females, their power of arousal is typically lower, making it more challenging for them to access and maintain their sexual appetite. For this reason, their ability to orgasm becomes much more difficult. The root of this issue, according to sex expert and author of Come As You Are, Emily Nagoski, relates to the sexuality model of women. Specifically, Nagoski argues her belief of the “responsive model of sexuality”— sexuality that generally occurs after romantic contact has begun. Whether it’s kissing or touching, this type of sensuality taps into women’s sexual thoughts that, in turn, develop their psychological arousal.

The Physiological Arousal of Men and Women

Flushed face, dilated pupils, increased heart rate and blood flow to the genitals — these are just some of the similarities in the physiological arousal shared by men and women. Aside from these though, the body’s involuntary reaction changes from person-to-person. Regardless of the fact that most men and women share the same genital makeup within their genders, the functioning of these body parts is dependent on various factors other than sex. Sexual health, as an example, can affect the level of sexual desire and engagement in both males and females.

So what happens when your physiological arousal is not aligning with your psychological arousal?

Physiological Arousal of Men:Physical reactions to sexual arousal usually take the form of a penile erection in males. Unlike many females, men’s connection between physical and mental states of arousal typically go hand-in-hand.  This meaning that a man’s genitals will most often emulate his mental arousal, except in cases of sexual dysfunction. In the instance of erectile dysfunction, for example, a lack of erection doesn’t necessarily mean that a man isn’t aroused. Yet, unless treated with lifestyle changes or an ED medication that improves blood flow, or supplements like testogen available at docarzt, it can hinder a man’s sexual performance. Beyond that, it can also negatively impact their relationship. The common associations between the psychological and physiological state of lust, if not understood correctly, can sometimes leave a partner feeling unsatisfied and undesirable due to their man’s inability to get an erection. 

Physiological Arousal of Women: The sexual experience for women may first be noticed in vaginal lubrication, along with engorged sexual tissues in the vulva and nipples. However, as mentioned before, the female response to sexual activity does not necessarily link to their emotional arousal. In reality, a female’s genitals will reflect their mental arousal less than 30% of the time, which has caused many women to resort to medications like addyi  to enhance their sex drive.

Why it Matters

Understanding you and your partner’s psychological and physiological relations of sexual arousal is vital to establishing a stable, fulfilling relationship. Exploring the science behind this full-body experience helps to demonstrate the unique sensation that follows the erotic engine. It should also help open a healthy dialogue between you and your partner about your intimacy and understanding of each other’s needs. By grasping the several stages that guide the awakening to the mind and body, you’re gaining control over these processes for yourself and boosting your own well-being.

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