Doing the Deed           

 Time: Unless you have mastered the quickie, doing the deed can take some time.  For example, it can take 30-45 minutes for a woman to orgasm.  One or two hours is always a good idea, especially if you want to cuddle afterwards.

Foreplay:  Seriously a must, it can make doing the actual deed more enjoyable (read: less painful), since your bodies will be more prepared for it.  Most people engage in outercourse before engaging in sex.

Putting on the Condom:  Students are instructed on condom usage at orientation, but review if you don't do it often.  SHAs and physicians can also demonstrate condom usage to students.  Be sure you know how to put a condom on correctly (even if you are female, you should know how to put on a condom correctly in case your partner does not.  Very important!)  Scarleteen has a good primer on condoms here. 

The Human Sexual Response Cycle: was detailed by William Masters and Virginia Johnson through their studies of human sexuality in the 1950s and 1960s.  Generally speaking, sexual acts tend to follow this pattern.

·   Excitement Phase:  The excitement, or arousal phase, is the first stage.  It occurs as the result of any erotic physical or mental stimulations.  During the excitement stage, the body begins prepared for coitus or sexual intercourse in the plateau phase.  Among both sexes, there is an increase in heart rate and a rise in blood pressure.  Many women and some men will have an eretcion of the nipples.  In males, the penis will become partially erect and the tstes will become drawn upward towards the perineum.  In females, breasts will increase in size and blood flow to the genitals will increase.  The clitoris will swell and vasocongestion of the vaginal walls will result in vaginal lubrication.

·   Plateau Phase: The plateau phase is the period of sexual excitement prior to orgasm.  Heartrate and circulation will further increase, as will sexual pleasure.  During this period the male urinary bladder will close to prevent urine from mixing with semen, and muscles at the base of the penis will begin to rhythmically contract.  For women, the areola and labia will further increase in size and Bartholin glands will produce further lubrication.  The muscles around the opening of the vagina will tighten.  For many women who never achieve orgasm, this is their peak of sexual excitement.  Both men and women may also begin to vocalize involuntarily.

·   Orgasmic Phase:  Orgasm is the conclusion of the plateau phase ina release of sexual tension.  Both men and women experience quick cycles of muscle contraction of the anus and lower pelvic muscles; women will also experience uterine and vaginal contractions.  Men will ejaculate approximately 2-5 ml of semen.  Usually orgasm are also associated with other involuntary actions such as vocalization or spasms.  A euphoric sensation is usually associated with orgasm.  Endorphins, which may cause relaxation and tiredness, are released.

·   Resolution Phase: The resolution phase occurs after orgasm and allows the muscles to relax, blood pressure to drop, and the body to slow down from its excited states.  Many men will experience a refractory period; their penis will return to a flaccid state and they will not be able to achieve another orgasm until some time has passed.  Not all females experience this refractory period, so further stimulation may cause a return to the plateau stage—allowing for the possibility of multiple orgasms.  Other women find continued stimulation painful in the resolution phase.