Home Sitemap Contact Us

The Human Sexual Apparatus

Many human beings, in fact all too many, seem to think that our sexual apparatus largely consists of the genitals and associated structures.  They are wrong.

          The sexual apparatus  consists  of the entire human body, most of the essentials of which are not only necessary for the arousal of sex desire and the attainment of  orgasm , but are also intimately involved in climactic release.  As Kinsey and his associates (1953) most  dramatically and convincingly have shown, so many parts of the body are directly related to sexual excitement and satisfaction that listing all of them is like outlining  a textbook on human anatomy.

          For purposes of simple classification, we may say that  the min bodily  parts which directly and indirectly  affect sexuality are (a) the brain and the rest of the central nervous system: (b) the autonomic nervous  system; (c)  the sensory organs and the muscular system; (d) the hormone producing glands; and (exercises) the external genitals and the  internal reproductive  system.

          What are the major ways in which each of these parts of the body affects sex desire and fulfillment?   Briefly, these; The brain and central nervous system.  The human sex   brain, particularly the most highly developed part of it,  which is called the cerebrum or forebrain, is largely instrumental, once it receives impulses from the sensory  organs, in instigating or psychological sexual  arousal (Lastrucci,  1947).  When  the individual is aroused, his brain helps him reach orgasm and  provides  him with feelings of pleasure  or satisfaction .  With his brain severed from  the  lower part of his body (as occurs in some instances  where the spinal cord  is cut),  a man may becomes  genitally excited and may even have an ejaculation.  But his excitement  will come only through  tactile stimulation of his genitals, not  through thinking; and his pleasure will be nil.

          The brain also serves as a controller or inhibitor of sex excitement or climax.  Even when he receives  direct genital stimulation a person may focus his attention  on non-stimulating  thoughts (such as thoughts of  house cleaning or playing chess) and may prevent himself from becoming aroused  or reaching a climax (Walker, 1946).

          The central nervous system  includes (a) the brain and (b) an elongated  extension of the brain, consisting  of the spinal cord and a number of large  branching (which ultimately connect with the numerous smaller branchings of the peripheral nervous systems  conducts ingoing sensations from the skin, limb, muscles, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, etc., to the brain and  outgoing sensations or   impulses from the brain back to these  organs again (Durand Wever, 1952).

          The part of  the central nervous system that is  specifically  connected with sex sensations  is the lower region (or sacro lumbar area) of the spinal cord, situated  in the small of the back.  In this region important bundles of nerve cells are directly connected with the smaller  nerve endings in the genital and pelvic areas.  They control  the stimuli to and from these areas.

          If the nerves in the genitals are in good order and the nerve cells in the lower region of the spinal cord are also working   properly, stimulation of a man's  penis may lead to erection and orgasm even though (as in the case of some paraplegics) parts of the rest of his nervous system  may be severely  damaged. However, as noted above, a paraplegic  will not receive  any pleasure from his orgasm, since the nerves that would normally conduct sensations  to his brain and back again  to his genitals have been cut at some point in his spinal cord.

          Where all parts of the central and peripheral nervous systems are working effectively, sex excitement and satisfaction  are a two way process (a)  Tactile stimulations of the genitals sets up nerve pathways to the lower region  of the spinal  cord and activates return arcs to the genitals. These sensations are also submitted, through the upper part of the spinal cord, to the brain.  (b)  The brain , when impinged  upon by sensations from the lower part of the  spinal cord and by sexual stimuli from other channels (such as the individual's seeing a desirable sex partner), returns  nerve impulses  to the  lower region o the  spinal  cord, and thence  to the genitals again.

          By this  two way combination of local genital stimuli and  brain centered thoughts and signaling, the individual  becomes maximally aroused and satisfied. With  either of these two major  nerve circuits working  by itself, he is  likely   to achieve  only physical sex arousal  and or  satisfaction.

          The autonomic nervous  system.  The autonomic nervous system is a special nerve network  which tends to control involuntary actions (such as heart beating and breathing) while the central nervous  system controls  voluntary actions (such as running,  knee bending and throwing objects).   Although it is not presently clear how the autonomic nervous system acts to produce or enhance sexual desire, it seems certain  that it significantly causes or influences most of the  bodily activity   that occurs in conjunction with or immediately following orgasm.   Thus sexual responsiveness usually results in an increase in pulse rate, blood pressure, breathing  rate, genital secretion, salivary secretion, and so on; and all these responses seem to depend upon nerve impulses flowing along the channels of the autonomic nervous system.

          The sensory organs and the muscular system.The peripheral nervous system consists of the final branching of the nervous system and the sense preceptors or receptors (taste buds, hot and cold receptors, pain spots, etc.) And the muscles to which the sensory branches lead. Without this sensory motor system, humans would have no physical aspects would be painless and joyless. Not would they be able to move.

          Sexually, the sensory nerves conduct genitals, eyes, nose, mouth, fingers, and other organs of sensation to the spinal cord and brain; and. kinesthetically, from the pelvic. Genital, and other muscles to the brain.

          The central nervous system, in return, sends signals to the muscles that enable them to adjust in different ways so that sex (and other) movements are facilitated. Because, at bottom, sexuality is intimately related to sensuality, or to touch sensations, both arousal and orgasmic release largely depend on the proper functioning of the senses and the muscles. If these are seriously impaired, much sexual excitement and fulfillment becomes non existent.

          Next >>