In the first millennium BC, there came a period where humankind took an unexpected turn in changing the transformation of human consciousness. The transformation happened at the same time in three different regions: In China, India, and the Eastern Mediterranean. What happened is that the regnant cosmic and ritualistic consciousness of females an important changed to a male dominated, rational and analytical consciousness.
India, where Hindu culture dominates, even nowadays looks down on the erotic aspect of married life. Hindu women who are in the higher castes, do not even have a name for their genitals. Although this perception seems to be changing, sexual activity is still considered a duty, often done out of fear of abuse.
Sigmund Freud insists that both sexes pass through the early phases of libidinal development in the same way. Differences become most clear during the genital phase. Although women are sexually active during adolescence, peak orgasmic frequency is reached in their 30s. Sexual capacity is constant up to the age of 55 with little evidence that aging affects it.
How do Women Masturbate?
It is stated that 99% of young men and women masturbate occasionally, and the hundredth hides the truth. In women, masturbation can happen in different ways and the stimulation of the clitoris is the central issue. Typically the hand and finger make circular, up and down movements against the clitoral area. Direct stimulation of the glands of the clitoris is usually avoided because of extreme sensitivity. Vaginal insertion to reach an orgasm is not common. Orgasm can sometimes be reached by pressing the breast or even by fantasy alone. Vibrators can also be used for added enjoyment.
By masturbation, many women need <4 min to orgasm.
The Sexual Response Cycle Explained – How Do We Get Aroused, Excited and Satisfied?
Based on the pioneering work of Masters and Kaplan, the sexual response cycle in both sexes is commonly described to be a four-phase process. These four phases are desire, excitement, orgasm, and resolution. We wrote about this in great detail in our article “What does a female orgasm feel like“.
Let’s touch base the most important aspects of it here
The first stage, sexual desire, incorporates the motivational or appetitive aspects of sexual response. Sexual urges, fantasies, and wishes all are included in this phase. Men and women both experience these phases but the timing is often different. An example of this is that there is very little chance for both partners to experience orgasm at the same time. Also, the intensity of the response and the time spent in each phase usually varies.
Most women probably won’t go through the sexual phases in this particular order. Some of the stages can even be absent during some sexual encounters, or out of sequence in others. The desire itself for intimacy could provide motivation for sexual activity in some individuals. Better understanding and an enhanced sexual experience could come from understanding these differences.
Physiological changes don’t usually occur in this phase but here are a few that might happen during the sexual desire phase:
- Muscle tension increases.
- Blood flow to the genitals increases, resulting in swelling of the woman’s clitoris and labia minora (inner lips), and erection of the man’s penis.
- The woman’s breasts become fuller and the vaginal walls begin to swell.
Sexual excitement is considered a subjective feeling of sexual pleasure and is followed by physiological changes. Penile erection in males and vaginal lubrication in females is included in this phase. This phase usually occurs right before the orgasm, and could also occur as a result of desire or stimulation.
In this phase, there is a continuation of bodily changes that started in the desire phase, along with other physical and emotional changes. The vagina proceeds to swell, the inner sections of the vagina might lengthen, dopamine levels increase and the clitoris will become very sensitive and can retract from the clitoral hood. Plateauing (Which is sometimes regarded as a separate phase) represents the heightened state of excitement obtained with continued stimulation.
Physical changes that occur in the sexual excitement stage include:
- Heart rate quickens and breathing is accelerated.
- The skin may become flushed (blotches of redness appear on the chest and back).
- Nipples become hardened or erect.
- Vaginal lubrication begins.
- The changes begun in phase 1 are intensified.
- The vagina continues to swell from increased blood flow, and the vaginal walls turn a dark purple.
- The woman’s clitoris becomes highly sensitive (may even be painful to touch) and retracts under the clitoral hood to avoid direct stimulation from the penis.
- Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure continue to increase.
- Muscle spasms may begin in the feet, face, and hands.
- Tension in the muscles increases.
- Outer lips of the vagina flatten and move back from the vaginal opening
- Clitoris becomes enlarged
- Sex flush appears (variable and late)
- General neuromuscular tension is increased
- Vaginal lubrication continues but it might wax and wane
- Cervix and uterus elevate even further
- Further increase in breast size; areola enlarges
- Visual and auditory acuity is diminished
The third stage popularly known as orgasm is the peak of sexual pleasure. This phase is the climax of the sexual response cycle and it is the shortest of the phases because it generally lasts only a few seconds. It is followed by a rhythmic contraction of the genital musculature in both men and women, and it leads to ejaculation in men.
Although the orgasm phase is usually the shortest phase in the female sexual response cycle, it doesn’t make it any less significant. It’s described as the climax and tends to be the most pleasurable phase in the whole sexual response cycle. During this phase, you can experience different physical changes such as muscle spasms and contractions, contraction of the vaginal, pelvic, and uterus muscles, high blood pressure, and heart rate.
If you have ever experienced a rash or blotchy skin during this phase, you shouldn’t be worried because this reaction is fairly common.
General physical characteristics of orgasm include the following:
- Involuntary muscle contractions begin.
- Blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing are at their highest rates, with a rapid intake of oxygen.
- Muscles in the feet spasm.
- There is a sudden, forceful release of sexual tension.
- In women, the muscles of the vagina contract. The uterus also undergoes rhythmic contractions.
- A rash or “sex flush” may appear over the entire body.
- General loss of voluntary muscular control
What Happens After the orgasm?
The resolution phase is what happens when the body returns to the baseline, its unaroused state. What happens is that your heart rate and blood pressure will return to normal levels, swelling will diminish, and your muscles will return to their normal relaxed state. It’s very common to experience feeling tired, fatigued, and calm during this phase.
Some women may find it fairly easy to orgasm again from this point, but this will vary from woman to woman. In the case that you don’t experience an orgasm beforehand, the resolution phase will still occur as your body returns to baseline. A general sense of relaxation and well-being is the most common characteristic of this phase. In males, there is usually a refractory period that females don’t experience (recovery time).
Physical changes that generally occur in the resolution phase:
- Clitoris returns to its normal position 5-10 seconds after the orgasm
- Orgasmic platform disappears
- Vaginal lips return to their normal thickness, position, and color
- Vagina returns quickly to its resting size
- Return to resting color could take 10-15 minutes
- Uterus and cervix return to unstimulated positions
- Nipple erection slowly disappears
- A rapid disappearance of sex flush
- Irregular neuromuscular tension may continue
- Heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate return to baseline levels
- A general sense of relaxation
- Visual and auditory acuity return to normal levels
Even though we live in the 21st century, when it comes to female sexuality, there are a lot of cultures, and religions, especially in the developing world that still try to impose social restrictions. This ongoing restriction has led to an evolved sense of negativity among women regarding sexual activity.
Today, it is important to create a first healing step that leads to creating a factual awareness among them, as well as in the entire society as to what sexuality really is. Solutions like this could probably figure out most of the problems related to female sexuality. There are several sexual disorders that are specific to females based on a sexual response cycle. The prevalence of these disorders is not clear, mostly because of the stigma that is associated with sex.
Thankfully, there are several therapeutic approaches that can be used to effectively manage these disorders and help women.
Here’s our guide to best female libido boosters.
We have also a guide on how natural product can help with low libido.
We have also debunked some natural libido boosters that the studies show are a waste of money