Arousal comes with all types of bodily reactions: swelling, hardening, lubricating, shaking, even goosebumps. There’s a lot occurring within the warmth of the second, so that you may not understand you’ve got a intercourse flush (additionally known as a “intercourse glow”) till somebody factors it out, or till you are making an attempt to chill down and your pores and skin is not getting the memo.

Sex flush is the “reddening of pores and skin that turns into seen with arousal,” just like the form of redness you may see after a onerous exercise, says Jess O’Reilly, PhD, resident sexologist at Astroglide. It happens primarily within the face or chest, provides Jennifer Roelands, MD, board-certified ob-gyn and founding father of Well Woman MD, however you may additionally see it round your genitals “as a result of engorgement of the blood vessels there.”

Sex flush is a completely regular response to arousal (nothing to be embarrassed about!), and it is usually extra noticeable on light-skinned individuals. So why does arousal trigger this response in your pores and skin, and how will you assist it settle down after you are (ahem) completed? Can it ever be a signal of one thing extra critical? We spoke to a few sexual well being consultants to get the inside track.

Sex Flush: Why Does It Happen?

Sex flush occurs when your pores and skin turns pink or pink in response to arousal. There’s a legit purpose behind it, explains Lauren Haines, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, a nurse practitioner specializing in sexual well being for TBD Health. “Sexual arousal and stimulation causes a widening of the blood vessels in your physique,” she explains, “which permits further blood movement to delicate intercourse organs, leading to improved sensitivity and sensation.” Blood vessel dilation occurs everywhere in the physique, and the elevated blood movement can create a pink tinge in your pores and skin, she explains. And for what it is value, “it is tremendous widespread,” Haines provides.

Sex flush ought to resolve by itself inside a couple of minutes after intercourse involves an finish. If you wish to pace up the method, Dr. Roelands says, strive turning on a fan, taking a few deep breaths to relax, leaping in a cool bathe, or simply splashing some water in your face. “If the flush does not resolve inside a few hours and also you discover itching, ache, issue respiratory, or one thing feels off, you must seek the advice of your physician,” Dr. Roelands provides. Importantly, in the event you expertise issue respiratory or vital redness, ache, and/or extreme itching round your genitalia after utilizing a condom, it could be a signal of a latex allergy, she says. In that case, it is best to go to the emergency room or name a physician ASAP to deal with your allergic response.

Sexual Response Cycle

Sex flush is a part of what’s often called the sexual response cycle, a linear mannequin of sexual functioning that dates again to the Sixties. For context, “more moderen research have proven that sexual responses don’t comply with a linear sample however are extra round and fluid,” Haines tells POPSUGAR. Newer versions of this model say that psychological elements might also play a function in want and arousal, she provides.

Still, having a normal concept of the sexual response cycle and your physique’s reactions throughout every section could assist you to perceive what turns you on and enhances your expertise of intercourse. Here’s the fundamental define:

  1. Excitement: In this section, you are simply beginning to get aroused, and your physique is responding visibly. Sex flush can begin to occur, in addition to erection and vaginal lubrication. Your nipples could harden and your coronary heart fee and blood strain could rise. “This stage is important to constructing arousal and pleasure,” Dr. O’Reilly says. “Some individuals discover that they like to take their time on this stage, because it helps them to chill out and domesticate the presence required to additional enhance arousal and construct towards orgasm.”
  2. Plateau: You’re getting extra excited and aroused within the plateau section. You may see extra bodily indicators of this, together with swelling within the outer third of the vagina, testicles elevating nearer to the physique, and muscle stress and spasms. “Some individuals work their option to the plateau section after which decelerate to lower arousal as they edge their option to orgasm,” Dr. O’Reilly says. “Others work their manner by way of plateau as rapidly as doable as a result of they’re targeted on ‘ending’ up with orgasm.” Prolonging the plateau section, she says, may end in “new sensations, heightened sexual stress, and a more intense orgasm while you determine to take your self over the sting.”
  3. Orgasm: Experiences of orgasm differ between individuals and even between sexual episodes, Dr. O’Reilly explains — what an orgasm appears like at present may not be the identical as tomorrow. Physically, you may expertise a pleasurable launch of sexual stress, muscle contractions in your pelvic area, ejaculation, and dilation of your pupils. While orgasm is commonly considered the “purpose” of intercourse, do not forget that “intercourse may be extremely pleasurable no matter whether or not or not you’ve got an orgasm,” Dr. O’Reilly says.
  4. Resolution: In this closing section, your physique begins to return to its unaroused state. Swollen or erect physique elements return to their nonaroused measurement or coloration, and folks with penises will probably want a while to recuperate (aka the refractory interval). If you expertise intercourse flush, it’ll begin to dissipate at this level. “Some individuals name this [phase] the afterglow and bask within the sense of aid and overwhelming calm,” Dr. O’Reilly says.

It’s vital to do not forget that the sexual response cycle is a simplified illustration of our precise expertise of arousal and intercourse, which is exclusive to every particular person. In different phrases, “the sexual response cycle is neither common nor linear,” Dr. O’Reilly says. “You could expertise these indicators of sexual response to various levels (or in no way), and none of those indicators match neatly into particular classes.”

As for intercourse flush, know that so long as it does not hold round for hours or include itching, ache, or issue respiratory, it is simply a part of your physique’s pure response to arousal. Embrace all the nice emotions that include it.

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