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Sexual Arousal Essay

Masters & Johnson outlined four phases of physiological responses in their sexual arousal model, which are: a) Excitement, b) Plateau, c) Orgasm, and d) Resolution (SexualHealth. com). This model assumed that men and women have similar sexual responses, though they are stimulated in different places. One difference they pointed out was that men undergo a certain refractory stage after an orgasm, which makes them unable to ejaculate again, while women have no refractory stage, making them capable of multiple orgasms.

On the other hand, Kaplan another element which is desire, and then condensed it into just three phases, which are: a) desire phase, b) excitement phase, and c) resolution phase (Greenberg, Bruess and Conklin). However, this model also assumes that men and women have the same sexual responses, so it doesn’t clearly outline the women’s phases described. Just like the Masters and Johnson’s model, this has been criticized because it doesn’t touch on non-biologic experiences (pleasure, satisfaction) or take into consideration the place of sexuality in the relationship.

Zilbergeld & Ellison on the other hand, outlined five stages in the sexual response process, which are: a) desire, b) arousal, c) physiological readiness, d) orgasm, and e) satisfaction (Greenberg, Bruess and Conklin). This is in response to Masters & Johnson’s disregard for the cognitive and subjective aspects of sexual response. Zilbergeld & Ellison also pointed out several differences between genders when it comes to these five components.

An example is the arousal state, wherein it is a subjective feeling of being “turned on”, something which may differ in men and women. Physiological readiness is also manifested differently between the sexes. Lastly, Reed’s model outlines four components in his Erotic Stimulus Pathway Theory, which are: a) seduction, b) sensations, c) surrender, and d) reflection (SexualHealth. com). Reed points out that sexual experience should be evaluated accordingly.

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First, seduction involves actions to enhance attractiveness, and this greatly differs in both sexes, and from individual to individual. Sensations are the feelings and thoughts that heighten or increase the arousal. Surrender is the stage where one submits to climax, wherein in order to achieve an orgasm, he has to let go of everything just to reach satisfaction. And finally, reflection evaluates the experience itself, its meaning, or its purpose.

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