Previous studies have demonstrated variable influences of sexual hormonal states on female brain activation and the necessity to control for these in neuroimaging studies. However, systematic investigations of these influences, particularly those of hormonal contraceptives as compared to the physiological menstrual cycle are scarce. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure hemodynamic responses as an estimate of brain activation during three different experimental conditions of visual erotic stimulation: dynamic videos, static erotic pictures, and expectation of erotic pictures. Plasma estrogen and progesterone levels were assessed in all subjects. No strong hormonally modulating effect was detected upon more direct and explicit stimulation viewing of videos or pictures with significant activations in cortical and subcortical brain regions previously linked to erotic stimulation consistent across hormonal levels and stimulation type. Upon less direct and less explicit stimulation expectation , activation patterns varied between the different hormonal conditions with various, predominantly frontal brain regions showing significant within- or between-group differences. Activation in the precentral gyrus during the follicular phase in the nC group was found elevated compared to the C group and positively correlated with estrogen levels.
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Sexy Thoughts: The Mind Is Key in Female Orgasm | Live Science
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Sexual arousal also sexual excitement is typically the arousal of sexual desire during or in anticipation of sexual activity. A number of physiological responses occur in the body and mind as preparation for sexual intercourse and continue during it. Male arousal will lead to an erection , and in female arousal the body's response is engorged sexual tissues such as nipples , vulva , clitoris , vaginal walls and vaginal lubrication. Mental stimuli and physical stimuli such as touch, and the internal fluctuation of hormones , can influence sexual arousal. Sexual arousal has several stages and may not lead to any actual sexual activity, beyond a mental arousal and the physiological changes that accompany it.
Sexual stimulation is any stimulus including bodily contact that leads to, enhances and maintains sexual arousal , and may lead to orgasm. Although sexual arousal may arise without physical stimulation , achieving orgasm usually requires physical sexual stimulation. The term sexual stimulation often implies stimulation of the genitals , but may also include stimulation of other areas of the body, stimulation of the senses such as sight or hearing and mental stimulation i. Sufficient stimulation of the penis in males and the clitoris in females usually results in an orgasm.