We live in a highly sexualized society, where
everything from children’s toys to the grocery store
checkout aisle are practically screaming “SEX.” But
when it comes to female pleasure, there’s still a
lot of mystery and misunderstanding. Most women
still don’t talk frankly about sex with their
doctors. We have yet to see the first rollout of a
prescription drug that would be the counterpart for
women of a Viagra or Cialis. Even medical
researchers admit they don’t know everything about
the female orgasm.
However, there’s plenty that couples can do, and
many resources available to ensure she’s not getting
shortchanged. Here’s an overview to help you get
started down the path to peak pleasure for her.
Female Sexual Response Cycle
In the heat of passion, it’s not too likely anyone’s
thinking about “stages” or compartmentalized little
steps, but medical literature does spell it out just
that way, in four main stages. That is, you won’t
need this info so that you can give a big “woo hoo!
We just hit stage two!” However, it’s helpful to
know a little something about how it all works,
whether you’re the woman seeking ultimate pleasure
or her partner who’s aiming to please. Here are the
four parts of the female sexual response cycle:
Excitement begins with sights, sounds,
smells and/or ideas and anticipation, or with
touching, kissing or other physical stimuli. In
this stage, you’ll see or feel increased heart
rate, quicker breathing, and vaginal swelling
and lubrication due to increased blood flow.
Often the excitement stage is an excellent arena
for experimentation and the use of interesting
stimulants or oils, as described in the article
Having Sex or Having the Big One.
is the continuation of arousal, as long as
stimulation continues. There’s more vaginal
swelling and an increase in muscle tension.
Breasts may also swell, the nipples become
erect, and the uterus dips.
is the climactic peak of the arousal, where
muscles in the vaginal, anus and abdomen
contract in rhythm. This intensely pleasurable
stage may last seconds, minutes or longer. Some
women describe orgasm as a series of diminishing
waves; others say it’s like a seismic event
(hence popular references like “rock my world”
or “the earth moved”). This is the stage that
most often confounds men, because they often
aren’t sure what will tip her over from plateau
to orgasm. In Having Sex or Having the Big One, there
are a number of tools and techniques for
achieving climax described in more detail.
Resolution is that wiped-out, blissful
state following orgasm, where the body’s
revved-up functions return to normal -- blood
releases away from the vagina, breasts and
nipples relax, and heart rate, breathing and
blood pressure go down.
It’s also important to understand that women don’t
typically just boom-boom-boom through the stages in
order, and in fact, that is one of the beautiful
things about a great sexual session: all the stages
are pleasurable and nice, and a woman may cruise
back and forth between almost-climax and back to
plateau. Playing this ebb and flow, prolonging it
and drawing out the physical stages, may actually
contribute to a greater, more satisfying orgasm.