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Sexual Intercourse


The Most Intimate Behavior

In addition to recognizing a wider array of behaviors as constituting different types of intercourse, sex researchers and therapists have come to recognize that humans engage in sexual intercourse for many reasons beyond procreation. Sexual intercourse is among the most intimate behaviors possible between two people, and, for many people, it is also one of the most pleasurable and emotionally satisfying.

All of the types of intercourse mentioned above may produce orgasm for one or both partners. Orgasm is a complex physical and emotional release that can last from a few seconds to over a minute. Generally, it is followed by a significant sense of well-being and both physical and emotional relaxation.

While the experience of orgasm is generally similar among men and women, there are some differences. Male orgasm commonly follows a series of penile thrusts, rhythmic contractions of the prostate gland and the set of muscles surrounding the penis, testicle elevation, and ejaculation of semen from the penis. For almost all males, ejaculation is followed by a recovery period (that tends to grow longer with age) before it is possible to ejaculate again.

Female orgasm is variable, ranging from a single brief period of mildly pleasurable contractions of the uterine and vaginal walls to multiple episodes (approximately 0.8 seconds apart) of physically intense waves that cover the entire body and can last for long periods of time.

Copyright 2002 Sinclair Intimacy Institute


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