The body’s reaction during sex
During sex men and women go through various phases of arousal. The phases are not exactly the same for everyone and they can be different each time.
- calming down.
First you feel sexual desire. You feel like having sex.
If your body is stimulated, then you can get excited:
- the penis hardens, gets bigger and rises up: this is an erection (men);
- the vagina gets wetter (women);
- the labia and clitoris swell (women);
- the nipples harden;
- the heart beats faster.
When you are stimulated further, the arousal in your body grows.
Sexual arousal depends not only on what happens in your body, but also on what you feel and think. You can also have tender feelings towards your partner or have sexual fantasies in your head.
The orgasm is the discharge of sexual energy in your body:
- the pelvic floor muscles contract;
- Men often ejaculate when they have an orgasm. Semen dribbles or squirts out of the penis.
- Some women have a thin vaginal discharge during an orgasm, similar to ejaculation.
Men and women do not always have an orgasm.
After orgasm, the arousal slowly goes away and your body calms down.
More information or help needed?
You can talk to a family doctor about almost every intimate issue. If necessary the family doctor can refer you to a specialised health professional. Find a family doctor in your neighbourhood:
Community health centre (wijkgezondheidscentrum)
You can visit a family doctor in a community health centre. Other care professionals such as nurses and social workers also work at community health centres. Care is provided free of charge. Find a community health centre in your neighbourhood:
CAW - Centrum Algemeen Welzijn
Centre for general well-being - Help with all kinds of issues: a difficult relationship, medical, financial, administrative, legal or material problems, family problems,... CAWs also provide assistance to victims of violence and abuse. Find a CAW in your neighbourhood: