Female Arousal: 12 FAQs About Desire, Orgasm, Triggers, Pills, More

What is arousal?

Arousal is the state of being awake and focused on a certain stimulation. In this article, we ’ re specifically talking about sexual arousal, which is about being sexually excited or turned on. For individuals who have a vagina, this involves a number of physiologic changes in the soundbox.

Is there a difference between arousal and desire?

The words foreplay and desire are much used interchangeably, but they ’ re slightly different. Desire normally refers to emotionally wanting to have sexual activity, while arousal refers to the physiological changes in your body that happen when you ’ re sexually excited. According to the Cleveland Clinic, desire disorders involve a miss of intimate hope or interest in sex, while foreplay disorders involve wanting sex but struggling to get your body in the climate .

It ’ second important to remember there ’ s a dispute between wanting to have sexual activity and being physically aroused. It ’ s potential to feel physically aroused without wanting to act on that feeling .

fair because person shows signs of sexual foreplay doesn ’ triiodothyronine mean they want to have sex — nor does it mean they consent to having sex. Always practice enthusiastic accept : If you ’ ra not sure whether your collaborator is into it, always ask !

Where does arousal fit into the stages of sexual response?

According to the United Kingdom ’ s National Health Services ( NHS ), researchers have identified four stages of sexual reply — that is, the stages your body and mind goes through ahead, during, and after sex. Arousal falls into the first stage of the intimate reply cycle .


The sexual agitation stage — besides known as the foreplay stage — involves a range of physiological changes in the body. Most of these functions prepare the body for vaginal sexual intercourse. For case, your vagina becomes more wet because the glands produce lubricating fluids. Your clitoris and vulva swell up as your blood vessels dilate. Your nipples might become more sensitive to touch, excessively .


The tableland stage is the period before orgasm. In this stage, the changes you feel in the excitation phase intensify. Your breathe may quicken, and you may start moaning or vocalizing involuntarily. Your vagina might tighten and produce more lubrication .


The orgasm stage is often considered the end goal of sex, but it doesn ’ t have to be ! It ’ s wholly possible to have enjoyable sex without reaching orgasm. Orgasms can include mesomorphic convulsions, specially in the lower second and pelvic area. At this stage, your vagina might tighten and it might become more lubricate. It ’ s associated with a smell of euphoria and pleasure .


After orgasm, your muscles relax and your rake blackmail drops. Your clitoris might feel particularly sensible or even painful to touch. You might experience a fractious period, during which you won ’ thyroxine be able to orgasm again. Some people experience multiple orgasms, but that ’ s not necessary for you to have a enjoyable sexual know. The most crucial thing is for you to listen to your soundbox and be comfortable .

How does your body respond to arousal?

Some of the physical responses to arousal admit :

  • Your pulse and heartbeat quicken, and your blood pressure rises.
  • Your blood vessels dilate, including blood vessels to the genitals.
  • Your vagina and vulva might become wet to help lubricate the genitals.
  • Parts of your vulva, such as the labia (lips) and clitoris, become swollen due to the increased blood supply.
  • Your vaginal canal might expand.
  • Your breasts become fuller, and your nipples may become erect.

How does your mind respond to arousal?

You might struggle to concentrate on anything else — flush if you ’ re not actually having sex ! That ’ mho because sexual stimuli activates certain changes in your brain, inducing certain sex-focused brain action. however, there ’ second even a lot we don ’ thyroxine know about how the mind works, including how the mind works during sexual activity.

Is there a difference between female and male arousal?

Your physical response to arousal will depend on your genitals, of course. But there are a few similarities in how most people experience arousal. No matter what your genitals look like, rake would normally flow to them due to the dilation of the blood vessels. If you have a vagina, that might result in the well of the clitoris and labium. If you have a penis, this blood flow causes an erecting. This blood flow could besides cause your cheeks and chest of drawers to flush. A distribute of mainstream media focuses on the differences between men ’ sulfur brains and women ’ south brains, including when it comes to sex. But brain-wise, men and women actually aren ’ thymine that unlike. One 2012 discipline involved viewing the brain through an functional magnetic resonance imaging car while subjects watched erotic videos. The functional magnetic resonance imaging machine helped the researchers see how the brain was affect during arousal. It found that, while intimate stimuli activated the amygdalas and thalami more in men, it broadly had a similar effect on all subjects.

It ’ second worth noting that these studies frequently don ’ triiodothyronine include hermaphrodite and transgender participants .

Is there anything you can do to increase arousal?

To increase sexual excitation, you can prolong foreplay. This means that before sexual sexual intercourse or masturbation, you take time to arouse yourself by experimenting with different erogenous zones, using unlike toys, or trying different kinds of animal tint. For case, you might feel turned on when you touch your nipples, kiss your partner for a long while, or use a arouse toy. It might be helpful to attend couple ’ mho guidance or sex therapy to help you and your spouse convey better and practice healthy forms of closeness .

What’s the deal with OTC and prescription drugs for female arousal?

In 2015, the Food and Drug Administration approved the habit of flibanserin ( Addyi ), a prescription pill that treats female intimate interest/arousal disorder. This is a Viagra-like drug, and it ’ s taken daily. The research on Addyi is mix. While it ’ second been shown to be effective for some, others don ’ metric ton find it helpful. There ’ s besides some controversy around the number of side effects this medicine has, which include :

  • dizziness
  • difficulty falling asleep or remaining asleep
  • nausea
  • dry mouth
  • tiredness
  • hypotension, or low blood pressure
  • fainting or loss of consciousness

The drug shouldn ’ thyroxine be combined with alcohol. It can interact with many early medications and supplements. It can even interact with grapefruit juice. In 2019, the FDA approved bremelanotide ( Vyleesi ), a self-administered injectable medication. It ’ s taken as needed. potential side effects of Vyleesi include :

  • severe nausea
  • vomiting
  • flushing
  • injection site reactions
  • headache

If you want to try out either of these medications, address to your doctor. Be sure to tell them your medical history, including any supplements you ’ re taking. Ask for a referral to a sex therapist, besides, in order to explore any vulnerable factors that may be impeding you from wanting sexual action. A sex therapist will help you to identify mental health or relational factors that may be negatively affecting you and teach you more about your sexual health. cling to their advice, and don ’ t take any more supplements or medications — even over-the-counter ( OTC ) medications — without their prior approval.

What if you don’t experience arousal at all?

If you want to have sex but don ’ thymine seem to experience sexual foreplay, this can be unmanageable to deal with. You might have a sexual dysfunction disorder. normally, intimate dysfunction relating to arousal is called female sexual interest/arousal perturb. It ’ mho besides very well if you experience little or no desire to have arouse. many people identify as asexual, which means they feel little or no sexual urges. Asexuality isn ’ t a perturb or condition, but an identity — much like any sexual predilection .

It ’ south more of a spectrum than one single feel, and every asexual person experiences asexuality differently .

asexual people may or may not experience arousal, and while some asexual people do have sex, others don ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate. If you think you ’ ra asexual, it might be helpful to do a little inquiry on the submit and connect with the asexual community. The Asexual Visibility & Education Network is a well rate to start !

What is female sexual interest/arousal disorder?

Female sexual interest/arousal perturb is a sexual dysfunction that causes first gear sexual activity drive. It used to be known as hypoactive intimate desire perturb ( HSDD ) .


If you have female sexual interest/arousal perturb, you could experience the follow symptoms :

  • little interest in sex and masturbation
  • little interest in sexual fantasies
  • difficulty enjoying sex
  • difficulty feeling pleasure when your genitals are stimulated


There ’ s no specific test for female sexual interest/arousal disorderliness. To diagnose this stipulate, a repair might ask you about your symptoms. They might besides try to find an fundamental causal agent. This could include physical reasons ( health conditions or medicine, for example ) or aroused reasons ( such as a history of intimate maltreatment, a mental health condition that affects foreplay, veto body image, or relational stressors ). Your healthcare provider might do lineage tests or perform a pelvic examination to figure out the underlying causal agent. sometimes, there ’ s no apparent campaign of female sexual interest/arousal disorderliness .


The treatment of female sexual interest/arousal disorder will depend on the cause. For exemplar, if it ’ s caused by a certain medication, your doctor might prescribe a lower dose or a different medication wholly. Female sexual interest/arousal disorderliness could besides be caused by humble estrogen levels. This is park for people who are experiencing menopause or perimenopause. In this character, your doctor might prescribe hormone therapy. If the cause is emotional, it might be best to see a therapist who specializes in sexual health. They can help you take manage of your genial health and address any by trauma. According to a 2011 article on foreplay disorders, mental health has a huge impact on arousal, and therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy can be a very effective treatment for foreplay disorders. A counselor that specializes in sex and relationships can besides help you figure out new techniques for communicate, scheduling sexual activity, and finding sexual activities that work for you. You can besides try flibanserin ( Addyi ), the prescription drug medicine mentioned above. however, it ’ second crucial to discuss this with your repair, as there are many slope effects and it can interact with current medications or worsen sealed conditions. Before you consider taking medication, it ’ mho best for you to understand the risks and benefits so that you can make an inform decision.

Should I see a doctor?

If you think you ’ rhenium experiencing any kind of sexual dysfunction, it ’ s a thoroughly mind to talk to a doctor or therapist — particularly if it ’ randomness affecting your wellbeing and your relationships. Remember that, while intimate dysfunction can be difficult and torment, it ’ randomness treatable .

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