Contrary to what many people learn in sex ed., there is far more to sexual anatomy than intercourse and sexually-transmitted disease. Pleasure serves a vital purpose, too.
“The thrill of physically touching and being touched by another warm body, the mounting excitement toward sexual release, the climactic ecstasy of orgasm, and the pulsating, peaceful afterglow of relaxation following orgasm,” said Stephen Diamond, Ph. D. in an article published in Psychology Today, “Human sexuality also serves both a psychological and spiritual purpose.”
The benefits of sexual satisfaction are immense, ranging from boosted immune function to better overall moods and intimacy. Once the brain is turned on, the body follows suit, making way for these benefits and more. Here are just some of the ways your body responds.
Kissing may kick off a foray into intercourse, but the lips don’t lead directly to orgasm. In the bedroom, the most obvious and often least attended female erogenous zones are the breasts; more specifically, the nipples. According to an article in Womens Health magazine, Dr. Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., a sexual-health educator at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, “The majority of research is geared toward keeping breasts healthy, and not nearly enough is known about how women can enjoy their breasts during sex.”
Nipple play is very important when it comes to lovemaking. During arousal, they darken in hue, tighten, and poke outward, indicating your excitement. Not only do they contain plentiful nerve endings, making them physically responsive, some are so sensitive that a woman can achieve orgasm through direct stimulation. In a study published in July, 2011 in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, researchers discovered that nipple stimulation activated a part of the brain called the genital sensory cortex–the same area activated by vaginal, clitoral and cervical stimulation. Although not often discussed, men’s nipples have just as many nerve endings as women’s, so they can be extremely sensitive as well.
Following the female anatomy south leads to the vaginal area; more specifically, the clitoris. Despite popular belief, the little pearl most people associate with the word is only a portion of the actual body part. The clitoral hood and glans, a little pearl shaped bundle of nerves hidden by a “hood” of skin until coaxed out upon arousal, are the exterior portion, but most of it is found inside the pelvis. The entire area swells to indicate arousal.
Many scientists believe that G-spot and clitoral orgasms are tied to the clitoris; internal portions of the clitoris are engaged indirectly during intercourse to create both types, whereas direct stimulation causes clitoral orgasm alone. The external portion’s sole purpose is pleasure, containing more nerve endings in the glans than anywhere else on the human body and why the clitoral orgasm is the most common.
Vaginal orgasms occur internally through insertion (of a penis, fingers or sex toy) and friction within the vaginal canal. It’s also the most difficult orgasm for many women to achieve. Recent studies, however, have claimed that deeper vaginal stimulation aids in more frequent orgasm attainment. According to the April, 2013 study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine the stimulation was achieved through masturbation with insertion. It’s important to remember that proper lubrication is important both for moisture and elasticity.
Navigating the G-Spot
At one time the G-spot was thought to be mythological, or a magical spot, virtually impossible to find, inside the vagina. Laura Berman, Ph.D in an article for Everyday Health, described exactly where to find it. “The G-spot is located in the lower distal, one-third of the way into the vagina,” she wrote. “If a woman is lying down on her back, then it is on the bellybutton side, meaning that if you insert your finger into your vagina and make a ‘come hither’ motion, you will be able to feel it. It’s a small, rubber-like spongy area, and some women compare its consistency to the tip of their nose.”
Keep in mind that the sensations from G-spot stimulation are quite intense. For a woman who’s never experienced it, direct pressure can make her feel as if she’s about to urinate. It is not urine, so don’t stop. This particular orgasm often leads to female ejaculation of fluids, also known as squirting.
Men’s Sexy Salute
For men, arousal is simpler. When a man is aroused, it’s virtually impossible to miss. His organ becomes engorged due to increased blood flow. This often occurs with physical stimulation or sexual thoughts, though they also can occasionally have a “spontaneous erection” without mental or physical help. Once men have ejaculated, the erection subsides. It’s also important to note that hours of lovemaking are not very common. The average timespan an erection is sustained is seven to 13 minutes.
Keep in mind that there are more than one kind of orgasm and each person is unique. If a woman has not achieved a particular type, it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong or that she doesn’t measure up in the bedroom. There is no right or wrong way to enjoy your sensuality. What matters is your pleasure and connection within the experience.
Psychology Today: Psychology of Sexuality
Women’s Health: Enjoy your Breasts: Six Ways to Have Fun with the Girls
Komisaruk, B. R., Wise, N., Frangos, E., Liu, W.-C., Allen, K. and Brody, S. (2011), Women’s Clitoris, Vagina, and Cervix Mapped on the Sensory Cortex: fMRI Evidence. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8: 2822-2830. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2011.02388.x
Psychology Today: What Science Tells Us about the Clitoris: It’s All Custom Under the Hood
Huffington Post: Emma Gray: Female Orgasm: Experts Debate the Existence of the Vaginal Orgasm (Study)
Brody, S., Klapilova, K. and Krejčová, L. (2013), More Frequent Vaginal Orgasm Is Associated with Experiencing Greater Excitement from Deep Vaginal Stimulation. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 10: 1730-1736. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12153
About.com: How Erections Work
Everyday Health.com: 9 Things You Didn’t Know About Male Anatomy
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