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Sexual Response in Men and Women

Franchesca Danica Pascual

Submitted 26 November 2013

The sexual response cycle refers to the sequence of physical and emotional changes that occur as a person becomes sexually aroused and participates in sexually stimulating activities, including intercourse and masturbation. There are many different changes in the body that occur with the response to sexual stimulation. Sexual intercourse can affect the body physically and chemically. There have been many studies conducted stating that sexual intercourse can have many benefits on different aspects of life.
Key words: Heart rate, blood pressure, oxytocin, hypothalamus, happiness, orgasm, well-being

Sexual intercourse can provide benefits to your health in many different ways. Not only can it provide stress relief but it can also work as a healthy and natural sleep aid (Hirschberg, 2011). Some even believe it can have added benefits, such as weight loss and improvement in your immune system, providing for a more healthy and full life. There are studies showing sexual intercourse adds to overall happiness and wellbeing, both physically and emotionally, in men and women alike (Finneran and Stephenson R., 2013). Sexual intercourse can affect heart rate, blood pressure, the nervous system, oxytocin levels, and physical and emotional health.
Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
Most people experience that by having regular and healthy intimate sexual intercourse, they experience significant relief in tension in both the mind and body. An orgasm increases a person’s heart rate at a healthy level by increasing blood flow throughout the body (Clark et. al, 2013). The extra blood flow is then responsible for bringing overall oxygen intake up and bringing blood pressure down, while stabilizing heart rate. People who were subjected to stressful situations noted that blood pressure reaction response improved in those who engaged in sexual behaviors (Rosen et. al, 2013). In addition, intercourse increases blood flow to the brain, which resulted in delivering an extra boost of glucose that is used to keep the brain energized and focused (Gomez et. al, 2010). Another study was able to successfully conclude that frequent intercourse was associated with diastolic blood pressure. Lower blood pressure helps to prevent life threatening disorders, for example, diseases that can include strokes, heart attacks, coronary artery disease and kidney disease. Sustaining from sexual intercourse can lead to sexual violence (Finneran 2013). Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men in the United States (Lieba-Samal and Wober, 2011). A study shows strokes were not associated with sexual encounters. On the contrary, out of the 914 men they had consistently followed during a 20-year period, found that the risk of a fatal heart attack was reduced by half in the men that had sex twice or more a week as compared with those who did not (Lieba-Samal and Wober, 2011). Men who have frequent orgasms are 65 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease than those men who do not. Although having an orgasm is not all that comes into play, it seems apparent that it can make a significant difference in the health of most men. Abstaining from sexual relations and relying on self gratification with the objective of merely reaching climax will not necessarily help blood vessels respond to stress (Rosen et al., 2013). Though researches are still examining stimulation of vaginal intercourse and how it plays an important role in leading a healthy sex life and lifestyle.
A natural chemical associated with intimacy, which is referred to as Oxytocin, is released during closeness to another person, which can then produce a calming affect (Gimpl, 2010). This then also is found to assist the body to lower blood pressure. Surprisingly, it can even decrease the symptoms of diabetes in some people