Sexual Pleasure

Sexual pleasure

Sexual pleasure is looked upon as a forbidden topic in some schools and religions, where sex is there only to preserve the species, and even the accompanying pleasure is a kind of taboo. The religion of Islam changed this view of sexual life, and pleasure was mentioned in the holy book of Quran, and sex was mentioned for an object other than having children.

“As for sexual intercourse and the expenses of marriage, his guidance in these topics was the most complete of all, preserving health, completing pleasure and self-joy, and accomplishing its purposes for which it was created” says Imam Abdullah inb Al-Qayyem.

Sexual pleasure

Sexual intercourse mainly has three main purposes:

First: preserving the human kind and ensuring continuity of the species until the time that God has decided for this world.

Second: Releasing the water, holding and congestion of which are harmful to the entire body.

Third: Sexual satisfaction, having pleasure, enjoying the blessing.

Its benefits include the following: lowering the gaze and self-control (off the opposite gender), capability to be chaste with regard to forbidden pleasures, the same for women. This is why the prophet Muhammad PBUH keeps it and loves it and says “I have been made to love three things from your world: women, perfume….”

The modern understanding of pleasure comes close to the Islamic understanding, so we need to study pleasure as a physiological act that occurs through humans in the sexual function, and it must be understood and continuously explored, so that it meets its required ends according to nature.

Pleasure should not be viewed from the masculine understanding that allows man to enjoy his wife while she remains passive with her own pleasure not cared about. We should know that pleasure is elevated if it was mutual between the couple, and then it also increases the intimate relationship between the male and the female.

Many people find sexual pleasure to be one of the most rewarding experiences in life, but there are lots of mixed opinions in our culture about sexual pleasure; that is why we may not have complete understanding of how pleasure works either to us or to our partners.

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We will try to explain the main points in the sexual process and the sexual pleasure to increase understanding and awareness of what is happening

Sexual pleasure

Sexual pleasure is a feeling that comes to the surface when we are sexually excited. Sexual excitement is the body’s response to sexual stimulus. It could be through listening, seeing, smelling, tasting, or touching (e.g., touching places that turns on sexual drive or when touching the partner) which can take place in the real world, in imagination, or in dreams.

Sexually sensitive areas are those areas in the skin are probably going to turn us on when we touch them. They contain enormous amounts of sensual receivers; for example, our genital organs are very sensitive to the touch (especially the clitoris and the penis).

There are other effective parts in the skin that can also arouse sexual desire, such as the arms, the back, the buttocks, the ears, the feet, the fingers, the legs, the nipples, and the vagina. Any part of the skin can be a sexually exciting area, but not everyone of us has the same sexually exciting area, but rather each person has different preferences as to the favorite touching place (i.e., the sexually exciting areas are unique per every individual and differs from one person to the other).


The cycle of the sexual response

The cycle of the sexual response is the mechanism of reacting to sexual stimulus, even during nocturnal emission. There are five stages in this cycle as follows:

1- Desire.

2- Arousal.

3- Plateau.

4- Orgasm.

5- Resolution.

Some or all of the stages are reached in every sexual experience either solo or with another person. And we can stop at any one stage and we do not have to complete the cycle to reach sexual satisfaction. One may not be aware of all the changes that happen to the body during the sexual response. The human feels these changes to varying degrees according to their unique body nature. Body’s response differs according to health and age and from one sexual experience to the other.

Imagination is an important part in sexual pleasure, and most sexual imaginations are short. For example, the person may imagine for a few seconds seeing movie stars naked or a touch in a certain manner, and there are other longer sexual imaginations, for example, they may remember sexual intercourse during masturbation or having sex with others.

The desire stage

The person may find themselves exposed to sexual excitement through thinking, as there are many different things that can cause two people to be attracted to each other such as

1- seeing each other;

2-listening to each other;

3- smelling the scent of each other;

4- looking at each other.

These things can lead to feeling of sexual intimate desire with the other person.

Moving from the desire stage to the next one—arousal—can take place within minutes, or it can take much longer than this.

The arousal stage

The body responds to desire and becomes aroused; the body reacts automatically to desire, as the couple attracted to each other are probably going to feel excitement in their bodies, and they can continue to sexually excite each other; and this can happen through gestures, touching, or making sounds during sexual excitement, and the body also releases nonvisual pheromones (and these are scents that increase attraction between the two).


Arousal prepares bodies to have sex, and the changes that take place in our bodies during the arousal phase are as follows:

A) In the woman’s body

1- Increase in heart rate

2- Increase in blood pressure

3- Muscles’ tension

4- Nipples’ erection and breasts’ enlargement.

5- Sex flush, with reddening or blackening of the skin, especially around the chest and neck, which may appear in some women of bright complexion.

6- Enlargement and some widening of the clitoris.

7- Separation of the vaginal outer lips.

8- Swelling of the vaginal small lips.

9- Moistening of the vagina and getting darker in color.

10- Slight elevation of the womb.

B) In the man’s body

1- Increase in heart rate.

2- Increase in blood pressure.

3- Muscles’ tension.

4- Sex flush, with reddening or blackening of the skin, especially around the chest and neck, which may appear in men of bright complexion.

5- Nipples’ erection.

6- Erection and hardening of the penis. And pre-ejaculation fluid is released from Cowper’s glands, getting ready to facilitate penetration.

7- Thickening of the scrotum, and the testicles are elevated to a level nearer to the body.


The arousal stage can be stopped anytime, and it can be short or go on for a long period before the plateau stage begins.

The plateau stage

Our bodies feel sexual excitement for long times and it is normally kept through many kinds of material stimulus, and this can include foreplay or rubbing the sexually exciting areas, the vagina or the anus, or oral sex and it can include all the aforementioned and can continue for a long time as much as the partners want it to.

Changes in our bodies during the plateau stage are as follows:

A) In the woman’s body

1- Breathing becomes quicker.

2- Heart rate is still on the rise.

3- Blood pressure is still on the rise.

4- Sex flush may continue.

5- Muscles’ tension continues with small spasms.

6- Bartholin’s glands release moistening fluids.

7- The clitoris disappears after its hood.

7- The areolas become bigger.

8- The vaginal outer lips continue to be pumped with blood.

9- The vaginal small lips get darker in color.

B) In the man’s body

1- Breathing becomes quicker.

2- Heart rate is still on the rise.

3- Blood pressure is still on the rise.

4- Sex flush may continue.

5- Muscles’ tension continues with small spasms.

6- Cowper’s glands releases pre-cum fluid prior to ejaculation.

7- The glans becomes bigger.

8- Testicles get larger and they continue to elevate to a level nearer to the body.


Many people try to maintain the plateau stage as long as possible, and some like to build up a lot of sexual and muscular tension as much as they can in order to get more satisfactory orgasms. Others find extreme pleasure in the plateau stage that satisfies them without going to the next phase which is the orgasm or the climax.


The orgasm stage (the intercourse climax)

The orgasm is the strongest climax in terms of sexual pleasure, and it can happen in masturbation cases or sexual conduct via imagining, kissing, or even during nocturnal emission. This takes place at the end of the plateau stage.

It is when the accumulated sexual and muscular tension resolves in a quick succession of pleasurable intense muscular spasms, and the body releases endorphins during orgasm which results in feelings of satisfaction.

Woman feels orgasm (the sexual climax) in different ways, and the orgasms can be different to the woman and in different times, as some may feel full-body shakes (which extends beyond the sexual organs) and some can feel multiple orgasms, and some can reach climax using imagination only as stimulus.

It is important for a woman to understand what is good for her, as some women may prefer stimulating the clitoris, the vagina, or the G-spot or may want to stimulate them all. Ideally, the woman can ask her partner for the type most satisfying for her; this may be more worthwhile compared to getting orgasm by mimicking other women.

The orgasm and ejaculation in men normally occur simultaneously, but they are not the same thing. In men, ejaculation is a series of contractions within the prostate and the seminal vesicles which mobilizes the sperm from the penis. And the man can ejaculate without the orgasm, and a man can orgasm without ejaculation as is the case in retrograde ejaculation.

Men are considered less prone than women to have full-body shakes or multiple orgasms, as most of the men enter the next phase in the cycle—the resolution phase—before they are able to climax or ejaculate again.

The changes that happen in our body during orgasm are as follows:

A) In the woman’s body

1- The heart rate, the breathing, and the blood pressure reach their highest levels.

2- Sex flush and reddening spread.

3- Muscle spasms occur, particularly in the pelvic area.

4- Clitoris undergoes no changes.

5- Contraction in the vagina and/or the womb and the anus, as well as the pelvic muscles.

6- About 1 out of 10 women has female ejaculation.

B) In the man’s body

1- The heart rate, the breathing, and the blood pressure reach their highest levels.

2- Sex flush and reddening spread.

3- Muscle spasms occur, particularly in the pelvic area.

4- Ejaculation becomes unstoppable, which is known as ejaculation inevitability, and this is when the vas deferens, the seminal vesicles, and the prostate start to contract.

5- The urethra, the anus, and the pelvic muscles start to contract.

4- Male ejaculation.

The orgasm stage is the shortest one among all the sexual response cycle’s stages and it normally takes less than a minute and is immediately followed by the resolution stage.

The resolution stage

The body returns to how it was before it was sexually excited, so the resolution occurs whether the person had or had not an orgasm, and this is the final stage in the stages of the sexual response cycle.

When the human body enters the resolution stage, it loses erection in what is called a nonresponse period (and it is the time that the man takes to regain capability for another ejaculation) and the length of the nonresponse period increases with age (i.e., a man takes longer to get another erection after ejaculation), and it takes a very short period in young men.

Women do not have a nonresponse period and they can be sexually aroused immediately after orgasm.

The changes that our body undergoes during the resolution stage are as follows:

A) In the woman’s body

1- The heart rate and the blood pressure are lowered and soon return to normal.

2- Full-body sweat, including hands and sole of the feet.

3- The breasts and the areolas get smaller and the nipples lose their erection.

4- The clitoris moves out of the hood and shrinks a little bit.

5- The lips return to their normal size and position and become brighter in color.

6- The vaginas’s color becomes brighter.

7- The uterine neck remains open which helps sperm to climb to the womb, and then it closes after 20–30 minutes.

B) In the man’s body

1- The heart rate and the blood pressure are lowered and soon return to normal.

2- The nipples lose their erection.

3- The penis becomes softer and shrinks.

4- The scrotum becomes softer and the testicles are lowered away from the body.

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Benefits of the sexual pleasure

  1. A) The sexual pleasure could be very important to our physical and psychological health, as the healthy sexual life—with or without a partner—is related to the following:

1- Better sexual and reproductive health.

2- Better general health.

3- Better growth.

4- Decrease in stress and tension.

5- Increase in self-confidence.

6- Younger look.

7- Better fitness level.

8- Longer life.

And it is unfortunate that a lot of us grew up hearing only about the dangers and risks of expressing yourself sexually, while these dangers are not accurate, as it is also true that practicing sex—with or without a partner—can be a positive strong force in our life, and that it helps us build connections with other people and helps us enjoy our world.

Finally, we can summarize pleasure as consisting of three unities as follows:

The instinctive unity: it combines the lustful elements and the aggressive elements in making love, as love and compassion are alone able to save from falling into the pits of deviation, and with this balance one can avoid contradiction and can realize instinctive unity.

The physical unity: the experience of the sexual pleasure helps to realize a feeling of self-unity, as the pleasure that is free from the cuffs and desires of wrong-doings secures reconciliation between soul and body and combines the two in one pot.

The unity with the other: The sexual pleasure does not reach its climax except when it is mutual between the two partners. This unity cancels the duality of the bodies; no, it rather makes them unite with the broader world through pleasure, and this is the highest purpose for pleasure for humans.


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