Female Sexual Response Cycle

Have you ever wondered exactly what happens to the body during sexual activity?

The ultimate sexual experience occurs when sexual fulfillment is harmoniously created and shared by both husband and wife. Though the sexual response varies from person to person and from male to female, attaining feelings of sexual pleasure, emotional and physical build up, and complete sexual release is like a marital symphony.
Women generally have a significant learning curve once they enter marriage whereas men have had a head start on their sexual awareness due to the external nature of their sexual organs. Sexual fulfillment for women is a learned physiological response requiring time, experience, communication and information about the body and the sexual response.
While patience and understanding are critical, and should be part of overcoming sexual concerns, it is also important to dedicate specific time and effort to sexual learning. 
We must master our bodies and their sexual potential through study and intimate instruction to fully experience the ecstasy that is possible in marriage. Dr. Wheat proclaimed,
“When we discover the many intricate details of our bodies that provide so many intense, wonderful physical sensations for husbands and wives to enjoy together, we can be sure that God intended us to experience full satisfaction in the marriage relationship.”
Learning and understanding the phases of the sexual response cycle will help you identify what phase or phases you may be struggling with. The sexual response cycle describes the physical and emotional changes that women and men go through as they become sexually aroused.
Keep in mind that there are a number of different sexual response cycle models used by sex therapists and researchers, but this is only one example.
To better understand this symphony of the sexual response consider that:
Sex is a decision. For men it’s a reaction and for women sex is more of a decision. Women must mentally agree to sex before their bodies can begin to respond sexually. They often need to be turned on before they feel sexual desire, and in order to do this they must be willing to engage in the experience, having faith that their feelings will follow.
Natural unfolding. No expectation sex is the best sex. The focus should be on simply enjoying every touch, every kiss, and every caress, basking in the sexual energy you share. Let go of any pressure to perform and just relax and have fun. Husbands don’t go straight to the clitoris or her orgasm like you would a touchdown. Trust me your wife will not find sex satisfying if it’s done in this way.

Focus on self. This is the one of the best times to be selfish in your relationship. Wives you must be willing to RECEIVE during lovemaking if you want to give the greatest pleasure to your husband. Being self-focused sexually can help women achieve orgasm. The greatest gift wives can give their husbands is to be sexually satisfied. A husband’s greatest sexual fulfillment comes from lighting the fire of desire in his wife and watching it roar into flames of passion and pleasure. Understand these phases of the female sexual response:

  1. Warm-up
  2. Foreplay / Arousal
  3. Desire
  4. Orgasm / Climax / Intercourse
  5. Afterglow
How a person experiences sexual response is unique to them. It’s normal for people to spend more time in one phase than another, experience the phases in different sequences, and/or not to experience all of the phases during a sexual experience. For example, many people may need to be physically aroused before having the desire for sex. Additionally, not everyone will experience an orgasm every time they engage in sexual activity.
Going through each of the phases during a sexual experience are not necessary to have a pleasurable sexual experience. Many people have very satisfying experiences without having an orgasm.
Since men are like microwaves and women are like ovens, it is understandable that the warm-up phase is often overlooked or ignored especially by men.
Women are empowered to create the mood rather than waiting for the mood by doing the three T’s which are talk, touch and time to prepare themselves mentally and physically. The talk, touch and time devoted to this phase provides the opportunity for her to get in the mood and be an active participant in lovemaking.
For talk we have many things going on in our minds and this is where a brain dump comes in handy. You share with your man all the things that are swirling in your head. 
Prepare the environment with touch. Attention to personal hygiene can make a huge difference. Let him know what you like clean shave, lotion to soothe skin, brushed teeth, etc. Relax. Most men use sex for de-stressing, whereas most women have to be relaxed before engaging. Relaxation or deep breathing would be beneficial here.
For women to enter this phase they need some help from the men in regards to household duties. This is where time comes in. I’ve personally found that for me when Trent is an active participant in the household responsibilities, aka doing the dishes or helping with the kids, I want to engage sexually. As men learn to view their active interest and participation in the home and family as an integral part of their wives ability to engage sexually, both spouses’ needs will be better fulfilled. This assistance can ease a wife’s load and free her to relax and engage in some of the warmup. However your willingness to be a partner in the household responsibility must be constant and genuine to be effective.
Prepare mentally. With concerted effort you can learn to chose what you think and feel. Pay attention to your breathing patterns. If negative thoughts about sex or your husband creep in they become instructions-telling your body how to feel.
Connect emotionally. Give female sexual arousal a head start. Connect with her emotionally before penetrating.
Foreplay is not a one size fits all. It comes in as many varieties as there are individuals, and it can change with circumstances and moods.

For men, erections typically occur. For women, the vagina begins to lubricate and the uterus begins to lift to make more space in the vagina to prepare for penetration. For women and men, the nipples harden, breath quickens, the skin becomes flush, and blood flows to the genitals. This phase can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Excitement or arousal is considered to be the combination of mind and body (“Am I feeling emotionally and/or physically excited?”).

Every person has erogenous areas on their body that when touched or stimulated increase sexual arousal. It is the opportunity and responsibility of husband and wife to embark on a lifelong treasure hunt to learn and develop each other’s sexual hot spots.

The search for these areas may take an excitingly long time. When all parts of the body are included in lovemaking a message is sent that all parts of that person are loved and accepted by the other. The feeling of being just an object of sexual gratification is dismissed when all parts of the body are loved and given attention.

As a couple you must share what you find pleasurable and what is a turnoff. Let each other know. How will he know what your feeling or what you want him to do if you don’t tell him or show him? Women can also teach without words as they guide their husbands hands, or moan their approval of particularly pleasing caresses or activities.

You are the foremost sexual teacher for your spouse. Only you can teach him what you want. You are, or should be, the authority on your body and it’s sexual functioning, as well as the expert on your husband’s sexual desires.

For many couples, foreplay and communication are interchangeable. Couples can use foreplay as a means to communicate with each other, and communication can make for great foreplay! For example, during foreplay, couples can use verbal and non-verbal cues to show each other what they like and what feels good. Partners can show each other how they want to be touched and where, which can help increase sexual satisfaction and strengthen the relationship overall. Foreplay is a vital aspect of any sexual relationship because it gives each partner the time their body needs to prepare physically for sexual activity. Without engaging in foreplay, a man may not give his body enough time to achieve and maintain a firm erection necessary for penetration.
A woman who does not engage in foreplay may not increase her arousal enough to prepare for comfortable sexual activities like intercourse. As a woman becomes excited, her vagina produces natural lubrication and expands to accommodate comfortable penetration—without these changes, intercourse may be uncomfortable or even painful. The amount of time spent during foreplay will vary from person to person and situation to situation. For example, one partner may be feeling stressed or struggling to become aroused, so they may need to spend more time in the foreplay period. The same couple may only need to engage in a few minutes of foreplay during their next sexual encounter. There is no such thing as too much foreplay as long as both partners are enjoying themselves. Unfortunately, people can and often do engage in too little foreplay.

Foreplay for Women

For women, foreplay can play a crucial role in overcoming vaginal dryness and preventing discomfort or pain during intercourse. Women need to give themselves adequate time for vaginal expansion and natural lubrication. To give their bodies enough time to prepare for sex, it’s suggested that women need to spend at least 10-15 minutes engaging in foreplay that they find sexually arousing. This can include receiving a body massage, engaging in dirty talk, or whatever else she needs to get sufficiently aroused.

Foreplay for Men

Foreplay is also necessary for men struggling with erectile difficulties. As a man becomes aroused, blood flows to his genitals, allowing him to achieve an erection. For men experiencing erectile difficulties, the blood flow necessary for an erection is impeded, by physical and/ or mental factors, making it difficult for men to get or keep an erection and making intercourse difficult or impossible. Taking the time to increase his excitement can help raise the likelihood that he will be able to achieve and maintain an erection.
Foreplay happens after the last orgasm!

Desire or libido, is the yearning, want or interest in initiating or responding to sexual advances. Desire is commonly identified as the first phase in the human sexual response. Common sense tells us that’s so. But I’ve found that although I might not have been thinking sexual thoughts or feeling particularly sexy; I pushed myself to get started when my spouse approached me, it felt good and I found myself getting into it. I thought I lacked sexual desire but have found that for me, desire doesn’t happen until I have been physically aroused! Movement creates emotion within the body to become aroused.

Below are some problem areas to look at and may draw some attention to you because it’s something you deal with:

  • Illness
  • Medications
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Sexual, physical or emotional abuse
  • Depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Poor body image
  • Fatigue
  • Stress
  • Time constraints
  • Going along to get along
  • Lack of forgiveness

So, for those of you who thought you weren’t sexual, it may be that you have always been sexual, but just didn’t understand that you needed sexual stimulation and arousal before sexual desire could occur. Sometimes I just need to go forward with the sexual experience committing myself mentally to it. I have to remind myself that I got into it last time, and I liked it. 

Once the stimulation is sufficient, I get swept up in the ecstasy of the experience. You’d think the need for a conscious choice would go away, but sex is still a decision I have to make EVERY time. It’s like an ‘act of faith’ to embark on the sexual experience without the sexual desire in hand. With that said you may have a low sexual desire and it’s good for you to find out why. 

Women say they need to:

‘Feel in the mood for sex’
‘Feel connected to their partner’
‘Feel loved and cherished by their partner’
‘Feel attractive, sexy or desirable’
‘Feel wanted or desired by their partner’
‘Have a romantic environment’

And while this is what woman say, what scientists and sexologists have shown to be true in their research that desire depends on:

1. An ability to become aroused

2. A healthy attitude towards sex

3. Proper sexual functioning

So when a woman is experiencing low libido or loss of desire, one of these three components has more than likely been impacted.

This is only a few things. We women are a mess sometimes, aren’t we? But when we can come into our sexual response cycle knowing where we are stuck and acknowledging it. We should then share that with our spouse and come up together with solutions on how to create a different experience when it comes to our desire. I am only barely scrapping the surface on this topic of desire. It will test your mental strength.
Some women regard orgasm as unnecessary because of their difficulty or inability to experience it, or because of the skill, time and effort it may require. But God created women with the capacity not only for orgasmic expression, but also the capacity to experience MULTIPLE orgasms.
Dr. Marie Robinson’s definition of orgasm is described as follows:

“Orgasm is the physiological response which brings sexual intercourse to its natural and beautiful termination…….in the moment just preceding orgasm, muscular tension suddenly arises. At the moment of greatest muscular tension all sensations seem to take one further rise upward. The women tenses beyond the point where, it seems, it would be possible to maintain such tension for a moment longer. And indeed it is it possible, and now her whole body suddenly plunges into a series of muscular spasms. These muscular spasms take place within the vagina itself, shaking the body with waves of pleasure. If a women is sexually satisfied by her orgasmic experience she will discharge the neurological and muscular tension developed in the sexual buildup.”

Sometimes a women does not know if she has experienced an orgasm. If you feel your vagina contracting involuntarily, if you feel excited at first, and later feel calm and physically satisfied, you can take this as evidence that you have had an orgasm even bough perhaps a weak one.

Orgasm might also be described as pleasurable sensations that slowly build, until the sexual tension bursts into a shooting star throughout the body.

The important question for many couples is not so much what an orgasm is, but how to create it. Lovemaking is an art that requires knowledge, practice and skillful application of what is pleasurable and sexually arousing. In the same way that a musician can become more knowledgeable and skillful, a couple can learn to freely and frequently experience the ecstasy of orgasm.

Orgasmic Difficulty

Many couples experience difficultly reaching orgasm. Just as men need sufficient stimulation of the penis to climax or ejaculate, women need sufficient stimulation of the clitoris to reach orgasm.

Most cases of failure to attain orgasm that I have read began with poor preparation for marriage, a frustrating and fearful honeymoon, followed by a prolonged period of disappointment and boredom in marriage that conditioned the wife to feel there was no hope for fulfillment.

By obtaining sexual knowledge, overcoming barriers and inhibitions, practicing and having patience, couples can learn the art of orgasmic expression intended by God.
It is rare to find a woman who is incapable of an orgasm when she is properly stimulated. But a great book to read that would help with your mental thoughts about being incapable is called, “Slow Sex” Its a sexual meditation that you will do with your spouse to create more stimulation and awareness to your body. I highly suggest this process. It worked wonders on me!

When sexual energy and tension are not satisfactorily or fully released, this can cause anger or frustration, a dislike of lovemaking, and resentment toward the spouse. Most women don’t realize there is a relationship between the lack of sexual release during lovemaking and risk of physical and emotional “dis-ease”

Each time the stimulated wife fails to reach orgasm, this represents some injury to the pelvic organs and to her emotions, often leaving her with nervousness, weakness, fatigue, and moderate to severe pelvic pain and low back pain.

Husbands and wives make every effort to learn how to achieve FULL orgasm on a regular basis.


Just a small word about Quickies. Couples should work toward complete fulfillment in the lovemaking experience, but sometimes that may not be possible due to time or energy.

A quickie will most likely not provide sufficient time or stimulation for the women to reach orgasm. But if your attitude is right and circumstances are such, a quickie can be a little gift. Quickies can be okay, as long as they are mutually agreed upon and do not become the regular fare.

Types of Orgasms

Woman can experience 5 different types of orgasms which are vaginal, clitoral, nipple, Gspot, and anal orgasms. What these really refer to are the types of stimulation that cause an orgasm. There is only one kind of orgasm, which is the physical reaction that the body has to certain types of stimulation. When an orgasm occurs, muscles around the vagina, uterus, anus, and pelvis all contract in rhythmic, involuntary waves. These contractions occur the same way with each orgasm.
The stimulation that it takes to get to orgasm may vary, and it’s possible that different types of pleasure can bring about orgasms that feel somewhat different. Orgasms can feel stronger or weaker because they are muscles contractions, which are naturally not the same every time. However, the orgasm itself will be the same rhythmic contraction of the same muscles, no matter how a woman enjoys getting there.
Afterglow is a time when the couple can bask in the glow of love and pleasure. Full sexual satisfaction is followed by a state of utter calm. The body feels absolutely quiet. Psychologically the person feels completely satisfied, at peace with the world and all things in it. Blood flows away from the genitals. Men will experience what’s called a refractory period, which is a required resting period before an erection can occur again. Most women don’t require a resting period before they can experience physical arousal again.

While the husband may be tempted to roll over and fall asleep, he needs to remain attentive and loving throughout the afterglow, sharing this moment of closeness with his wife.

Imagine the most breathtaking beautiful sunset, drawing a delightful summer’s day to a close. Such is the afterglow experience. After orgasm, as the rush subsides, the tingling lingers, until it slowly fades, leaving a warm glow. You are emotionally, spiritually and physically content-even if it’s only for a few moments.

You’ve just experienced a recommitment of love and trust, reuniting husband and wife as one in one is the most sacred and spiritual experiences God created within the covenant of marriage.
Honestly I don’t ever do this last phase. I just want to clean up and just move on with my day/night. But as I’ve learned about its importance I’m going to implement it into my lovemaking experience.

To learn more in depth about how this knowledge helped me and Trent I wrote a book about it HERE so go be sure to snag a copy!