Models of Human Sexual Response

Masters and Johnson first described the physiology of "human sexual response cycle" in 1966. Based on the physical components of sexual functioning, they described four phases of the sexual response cycle: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution (Fig. 43-1). Helen Singer Kaplan subsequently described a more subjective, psychologically oriented sexual responsiveness model with three phases: desire, excitement, and orgasm. Recently, however, nonlinear alternative models have been suggested, especially for women's sexual response (Basson and Schultz, 2007) (Fig. 43-2). In certain settings, men may have similar nonlinear sexual responses. Response phases establish a framework to discuss sexual dysfunction.

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