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Sexual Performance in Males and Females

Sexual Performance in Males. The process of sexual arousal and satisfaction in the human sex  male normally consists of several steps:

          1. The entire body, and particularly its nervous and muscular tissue, achieves a sufficient amount of rest, oxygen, nutrition, etc., to bring it to a state of readiness for sexual activity.

          2. The testes and the other hormone producing glands secrete an adequate amount of sex hormones, particularly androgen, to pour into the blood stream and sensitize the genitals.

          3. The whole organism is bombarded with physical and psychological methods of arousing a sex sufficient degree and intensity to excite the nerve centers in the brain and lower region of the spinal cord. The main stimuli which are usually effective in this connection are the sight, touch, and thought of a sexual object particularly, of a member of the other sex (Dengrove, 1959; Kelly, 1957; Long, 1922; Moll, 1931).

          4. When the nerve centers in the brain and spinal cord are stimulated, the head and shaft of the male's penis become engorged with blood, causing the shaft to become rigid or bone like and the penis to rise or become erect, so that it stands out from the body.

          5. At the same time, the precoital lubricating fluid is stimulated into flowing from the male's urethra onto the head of the penis, thus facilitating .any intercourse and ejaculation that may take place. This lubricating fluid may occasionally contain sperm; but it is largely a secretion from Cowper's glands. It may become reduced in quantity and finally absent as the male ages.

          6. Urged on by his rising excitement, the male generally makes certain that some kind of steady friction is applied to the sensitive parts of his penis and he tends to focus his pelvic movements, particularly if he is having physical intercourse, so that they too, along with the steady penile sensations, send impulses to the nerve centers. Additionally, he may focus on movements of his lips, hands, shoulders, etc., which also send signals to his spinal cord and brain (Beach, 1956).

          7. To and fro, back from the spinal cord and brain centers to the penis and other end organs of his body, and then back again from these peripheral organs to the central nerve centers, the impulses of excitement keep moving and mounting.

          8. Finally, after a sufficient summation and intensity of neuromuscular impulses have been achieved by consistent penile and bodily movement and friction, the nerve centers send out impulses which trigger off orgasm, or what Kinsey and his associates (1953) term an "explosive discharge of neuromuscular tensions at the peak of sexual response."

          Orgasm in the male is usually accompanied by an ejaculation from the penis; but it may also occur, especially in young boys or in older males who have recently had prior orgasm, without ejaculation.

          Orgasm is normally associated with intense pleasurable sensations in the penis and other parts of the body and by several kinds of psychophysical sensations and spasms, including a marked increase in pulse rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, genital secretion, nasal and salivary secretion, pelvic congestion, and muscular movement in the pelvis, thighs, arms and legs, abdominal muscles, and almost all the other major muscle systems of the body.

          Sexual performance in female. As far as can be presently determined, sexual arousal and climax in females is remarkably similar to that which occurs in males, except for some physiological changes in uniquely female organs. Thus, Masters (1960) has recently found that during Sexual excitement to perform women's breasts and vaginas tend to expand considerably and the inner lips of their vulvas become, at the point of orgasm, bright red.

          When a woman has an orgasm , a quantity of mucus may be expelled from her vaginal walls and from Bartholin's glands and she may therefore seem to be having the equivalent of a male ejaculation. Actually, however, she has nothing analogous to the male's expulsion of semen.

          There is considerable talk in the popular sex literature about the sex deviations differences between males and females; but there has been relatively little factual evidence to validate this talk (Bonaparte, 1953: Mead, 1949; Scheinfeld, 1947; Woodside, 1948; Zimmerman and Cervantes, 1956).

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