A man’s sexual response has several stages:
Your sexual response starts with a desire for sexual intimacy. This is also called libido. Sexual stimuli—either thoughts or physical actions—start the excitement phase. In the excitement phase:
The plateau is the phase between excitement and orgasm. It is usually short, but a man may be able to make it last longer by holding off ejaculation. What normally happens in the plateau phase is:
If you continue the sexual activity, you will often have an orgasm and ejaculation. Orgasm is a total-body response. It triggers a series of muscle spasms in the legs, stomach, arms, back, and penis. The feelings are intense and pleasurable. Ejaculation is the term for the time when semen comes out of the penis.
After ejaculation, your body starts to go back to the state it was in before the sex began. During this resolution phase:
If you become aroused but do not have sex, your body will slowly go back to its normal, unexcited state.
Young men tend to get full erections very quickly. As men get older, it usually takes a longer time for a full erection. With aging, erections may not get as firm as they were at a younger age. This is normal.
Some common myths about the male sexual response are:
All men will have some type of sexual problem at some time. For example:
You can get books about the emotional and physical aspects of sexuality and sexual response at stores and libraries. Talking to a friend or family member may also be helpful. You need not worry about occasional sexual problems. However, if you keep having problems that concern you or that affect your relationship with your partner, talk to your healthcare provider about it. While sometimes it is hard to talk about intimate sex concerns, you do not need to be embarrassed. Many healthcare providers are skilled at discussing these issues. Your provider can help you determine whether your problem is physical or psychological. In either case your provider can refer you to someone who specializes in problems with sexual function.
Additional information is available from: