Summarize the phases of the sexual response cycle in males.

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There are four phases to the sexual response cycle.  These phases are called excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.  The same four phases are present in both the male and female sexual response cycles.  Let us look at these phases as they apply to men.

The first phase of the cycle is excitement.  This is the one whose duration is the most variable.  It can last a few minutes or a few hours.  When a man starts to become excited, his blood pressure can rise as can his heart rate, breathing rate, and muscle tension.  Blood flow to the genitals increases, possibly resulting in a full erection.  The penis can secrete pre-ejaculatory fluid.

The second phase of the cycle is plateau.  This is the phase in which the man is becoming more and more sexually stimulated.  The duration of this phase can also vary, but it is usually not very long.  The increases in blood pressure, heart rate, etc. that occurred during excitement continue.  Pre-ejaculatory fluid is released.  Both the penis and the testes increase in size.

The third phase is orgasm.  This is the peak of sexual pleasure and normally lasts less than a minute.  In this phase, the increases in blood pressure, etc. reach their maximum.  The pelvic muscles contract rhythmically and semen is ejaculated.  Other muscles throughout the body contract as well.  The penis immediately decreases in size and full erection is lost.

The final phase is resolution. During this phase, most aspects of the man’s body return to normal, pre-excitement states.  The man may well become very relaxed and drowsy. 

These are the four phases of the sexual response cycle in men.

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