Every sense plays a role in sexual experience, but some are more important than others.
Visual information plays a major role in human sexual attraction. Visual cues can be sexual turnons or turnoffs.
Although the sense of smell plays a lesser role in governing sexual arousal in humans than in lower mammals, particular odours can be
sexual turnons or turnoffs for people. Many organisms are sexually aroused by naturally produced chemicals called pheromones, but their
role in human sexual behaviour remains unclear.
The sense of touch has the most direct effects on sexual arousal and response. Erogenous zones are especially sensitive to
tactile sexual stimulation.
Taste appears to play only a minor role in sexual arousal and response.
Sounds can be turnons or turnoffs.
Alleged aphrodisiacs, such as foods that in some way resemble the genitals, have not been shown to contribute to sexual arousal or
Some drugs, such as antidepressants, dampen sexual arousal and response.
The alleged aphrodisiac effects of psychoactive drugs such as alcohol and cocaine may reflect our expectations of them or their effects on
sexual inhibitions, rather than their direct stimulation of sexual response. Alcohol is also connected with a liberated social role, and thereby
provides an external excuse for dubious behaviour. Some people report increased sexual pleasure upon initial use of certain
drugs, but frequent use can lead to sexual dysfunction.
The brain plays a central role in sexual functioning. The cerebral cortex interprets sensory information as sexual turnons or turnoffs.
Sex hormones have organizing and activating effects on behaviour. Both men and women produce one genuine aphrodisiac:
Many factors affect the sexual arousal of men and women.
Women show greater flexibility than men in sexual arousal patterns.
Masters and Johnson found that the physiological responses of men and women to sexual stimulation are quite alike.
The excitement phase of sexual response is characterized by erection in the male and vaginal lubrication in the female.
The plateau phase is an advanced state of arousal that precedes orgasm.
Orgasmic Platform: The third phase of the sexual response cycle is characterized by orgasmic contractions of the pelvic musculature.
Orgasm in the male occurs in two stages of muscular contractions. Orgasm in the female is manifested by contractions of the pelvic
muscles that surround the vaginal barrel.
During the resolution phase, the body returns to its prearoused state.
Kaplan developed a threestage model of sexual response: desire, excitement, and orgasm. Kaplan’s model makes it more
convenient for clinicians to classify and treat sexual dysfunctions.
Basson argues that for women, intimacy plays a key role in sexual response.
Multiple orgasm is the occurrence of one or