Vaso-congestion (bloodflow into the genitals) takes place in both men and women, the spongy tissues that help erect the penis and engorge the vagina happens almost immediately as stimulation commences. The vagina can start lubricating less than 30 seconds after thinking about the upcoming sensations and before sexual stimulation begins.
Of course, there is a vast difference from physical arousal and emotional readiness for sex. You may have heard of cases of rape where the body has a reaction to penetrative sex, and many men can recall moments during puberty where an ill-timed erection made things awkward.
The concept of sexual arousal beginning in the brain is true; hormones influence the physical reactions our bodies maintain. Once the bodies are physically prepared for sex, the friction and pleasurable sensations build in our genitals until arousal is at its peak, then orgasm occurs. In both men and women with strong muscles, orgasms do not have to end the sex act. Men that practice and strengthen their pubic muscles can orgasm without ejaculation. They can continue to engage in intercourse without a refractory period.
Men are capable of quick arousal and orgasm. Most women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, and even with physical arousal, emotional investment in the sex act is an important factor (but not a dealbreaker) for the ability to orgasm.
Dr. Ethan Gregory
Written for Bustle.com
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