Chapter 9 Lecture Sexual Response and Techniques
• The role of hormones▯Play a large role in sexual response in mammals. Human’s
key hormones are testosterone and estrogen. Testosterone produced by testies and
adrenal glands. Estrogen produced by ovaries and adrenal glands. Males have low
levels of estrogen; females have small amounts of testosterone.
• Organizing and activating effects
– Hormones in male sexual behavior
– Cause permanent changes in individual starting in the womb
– Testosterone levels determine sexual desire in males and females
• Castration ▯ Testies removes, bodies don’t produce testosterone,
almost always have no sexual desire, men who have been sexually
active before castration can usually still take part in sexual
– Hormones in female sexual behavior
• Estrogen and ERT ▯ estrogen has a role in sex drive, when women
goes through metaphase have trouble lubricating
• Research suggests that testosterone is very important for a
women’s sex drive. Less controlled by hormones by sexual
behavior, their sexual behavior is more constrained than men’s
overtime, so they have to regulate their behavior.
• High levels of testosterone is not necessarily better, but if
male/female is low in levels they will experience a lower sex drive
• Testosterone increases female libido (sex drive), only if they have
low levels to begin with. Exception: males who have higher levels
in adolescence engage in more sexual activity
• Women's cells more sensitive to testosterone, although they
produce much lower levels compared to men
• The brain
– Cerebral cortex affects thinking ▯ can be positive (fantasies) or negative
(parents say sex is shameful). Can enhance sex in human beings, some
women can have an orgasm through fantasy.
– Limbic system affects feeling & behavior ▯ key in humans and other
animals. Involved in motivation and emotion. When males see
pornographic images their limbic system lights off.
– Electrical stimulation of the hypothalamus triggers arousal▯key in humans
and animals. In humans and animals if there is damage to hypothalamus
they lose their sex drive.
• The senses
– Touch is the dominant "sexual sense"
– Solo sex or sex with others, touch makes a huge difference
• Primary and secondary erogenous zones ▯ areas of the body that are
sexually primed. Primary: ones that have a lot of nerve endings and
this are very likely to cause sexual arousal (genitals clitoris and Rachel Miller
penis, ear, neck, lips, breasts, inner thigh). Although these areas
have a lot of nerve endings, not necessarily arousing (Cerebral
cortex determines arousal). Secondary: with repeated pairing,
become associated with arousal. Massaging of back before sex
becomes arousing as it is associated with sexual behavior
– Vision next in dominance ▯ appearance of ones partner and undressing,
pornography is used by both males and females to become sexually
aroused. More popular for males. Males more visually oriented in terms of
Males and females ▯ subjective and objective measures are highly
correlated in men. Women say low levels of mental arousal, but their
bodies are in fact physically aroused. Men have an erection, and porn
designed to please men. Women get Cerebral cortex involved and say it is
not appropriate stimuli, and is fighting their physiological responses
– Smell may arouse or offend
Pheromones▯natural attractions have a high impact on animal
sexual behavior. Found in bodily secretions, excessive deodorization will
reduce natural pheromones. Have been found to have some impact on
sexual behavior, babies identify their mother through pheromones in
breast milk. Impact on menstrual cycles (armpits)
– Taste plays a minor role ▯ some people like taste of partners genital fluids,
– Hearing plays a variable roll ▯ some people like to have sex to music,
others like to talk dirty
• Aphrodisiacs ▯ substances that enhances sexual desire
– Foods & substances ▯ foods that resemble the genitals (cucumber, bananas,
muscles). Kill Rhinos for their horns and sell them for enormous prices in
some cultures (resemble sex)
– Viagra ▯ technically not aphrodisiac as it increases sexual function. Easier
to maintain an erection for men. Used to enhance sexual responses, but
will not create erection alone. Needs a target of desire.
– Alcohol ▯ makes conceptual sex impossible
– Lowers inhibitions ▯ if someone is socially anxious, or insecure
about their body, having a drink or two will enhance sexual
experience, as they will not be so selfconscious.
– Large amounts have negative effects ▯ lower you inhibitions get.
May not be able to perform sexually or orgasm. It is a nervous
system depressant and working against the physiological arousal
that creates an orgasm.
– Low quantities can enhance sex. Too much will lower inhibitions
and do something embarrassing to you, or illegal (sex in public)
– Other drugs ▯ cocaine is a stimulant and arouses the body, but frequent use
can harm sexual behavior. Marijuana improves sexual relations; time
stretches out and is an enhancement in terms of arousal. More acutely
aware of stimuli around them. Subjective as in some cultures (Jamaica)
considered negative affect. Rachel Miller
– “Spanish fly”? ▯Substance extracted from Spanish beetle and irritates
urinary tract and produces burning sensation that may be mistaken for
• Anaphrodisiacs ▯ substances that reduce sexual desire
– Drugs ▯ heroin and morpheme. Tranquillizers and antidepressents reduce
– Birth control—depo provera ▯ can lower your sex drive. Depo Provera is
used in chemical castration, which lowers their testosterone levels.
– Nicotine constricts blood vessels, slows vasocongestive response; reduces
• Masters & Johnson
• Discovered the basic physiological sources of arousal
• Vasocongestion: blood fills body tissues (how Viagra works)
• Myotonia: increased muscle tension ▯ what causes the spasms when
someone is having an orgasm
• Masters & Johnson's four phases (only need to know this model for exam):
1. Excitement ▯ can take from less than a minute to several hours. Muscle
tension begins, heart rate increases, men’s penis’s become erect and
women’s vaginas will balloon out. Women and men may get sex rash or
flush on chest area. Heart rate, respiration and blood pressure are all
increased. Blood flow to genitals.
2. Plateau ▯ physiological arousal of excitement increases. Heart rate, and
muscle tension even higher. Clitoris may withdrawal beneath the hood
(very sensitive). Prolonging this stage can lead to a more intense orgasm.
More muscle tension, longer the orgasms. Less likely to lose erection.
3. Orgasm ▯ many women do not reach this stage (in missionary clitoris is not
stimulated). Known for extreme pleasure. Consists of for both men and
women several contractions, anywhere from 34 to 1015. Spasms relate to
how long plateau stage was (longer plateau, longer orgasm).