The five phases of male sexual arousal

During sexual activities, our bodies undergo several changes, physically and psychological. A short overview of these changes will be presented in the context of the different phases of sexual arousal particularly in males.

Excitement Phase


First is the arousal or the excitement phase. To avoid confusions, we’ll use the latter, excitement phase. In male, this phase is most obviously

First is the arousal or the excitement phase. To avoid confusion, we’ll use the latter, the excitement phase.

In men, this phase is most obviously characterized by penile erection, which may be caused by either physical elements such as kissing or direct stimulation or psychological aspects such as sexual dreams and thoughts.

When the body is subjected to these sexual stimulations, certain excitatory signals from the brain cause bodily changes. The penile tissues become filled with blood; thus, the penis enlarges and becomes harder. In addition, the testes, just like the penis, may also increase in size and maybe slightly elevated in this phase.

Aside from these changes, breathing also becomes more rapid, heart rate and blood pressure will also rise, there may also be an increase in muscle tension and nipple erection though this may vary for some men.

Plateau Phase

In the second phase, known as the plateau phase, the same changes from the previously described are experienced; however, these are intensified and maintained at a certain level with continued sexual stimulation. The penis, for instance, becomes firmer, and skin colour may also darken. 

A clear, viscous fluid or better known as pre-ejaculate secreted by the Cowper’s or bulbourethral glands, may also start to come out from the penis. This pre-ejaculate prepares the urethra such that it’s well lubricated for efficient passage of the sperm and eliminates foreign substances and traces of urine and sperm within the urethra. 

The testes may continue to increase in size and are drawn more closely to the abdomen. Heart rate and blood pressure continue to shoot up, and muscle tension becomes intensified.

Orgasm Phase

The next phase is known as the orgasm or climax. In this phase, a series of spasms are felt in the sexual organs and throughout the body. The body also flushes, and heavy breathing occurs.

These involuntary muscle contractions may lead to ejaculation. However, this may only be true for some. It is possible to delay ejaculation and have multiple orgasms with the aid of certain exercises such as Kegels, which will be further discussed later and its relation to the pelvic and perineal muscles.

One common technique in preventing ejaculation and have multiple orgasms include squeezing the urethra.

Point Of No Return (PONR)

The Point Of No Return (PONR) is sometimes also called “ejaculatory inevitability”. This describes a certain phenomenon in man wherein he has
already reached the peak of his sexual excitement and ejaculation has become inevitable. In this so-called phenomenon, the body prepares itself for ejaculation as the prostate and seminal vesicles start to contract, moving the semen toward the urethral bulb, ready for expulsion tThe Point Of No Return (PONR) is sometimes also called “ejaculatory inevitability”, that phenomenon in man wherein he has already reached the peak of his sexual excitement, and ejaculation has become inevitable.

Resolution Phase

The fourth and last phase of the sexual cycle is the resolution phase. Immediately after orgasm, men experience a refractory period. During this period, the body starts to shift from an excited state to an unexcited state which means that further sexual stimulation will not trigger another erection or orgasm.

The refractory period varies among individuals and has been proportional with age, lasting for a couple of minutes in young males during hours and even days for older males. In females, the refractory period occurs rapidly that their bodies are capable of reverting to the orgasm phase when further sexually stimulated and for this reason, having multiple orgasms is a lot easier for females than for males.

During the resolution phase, the body diverts back to its normal state gradually. The penis becomes flaccid, testes regain their normal size and may descend back to their normal position.

The rate of breathing, blood pressure and heart rates normalizes, and muscle tension slowly decreases and finally becomes fully relaxed. At this phase, the person somehow feels a certain level of satisfaction and might feel drained at the same time.

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