Anatomical Terms: Please see the “Female Anatomy” page.
Sexual Arousal: Sexual arousal is the physiological response to any sexual thought or stimulus. Sexual arousal causes an increase in genital blood flow, engorgement of erectile tissue, increased heart rate, dilation of the pupils, and, often, flushing or redness of the skin.
Orgasm: Orgasm, or climax, is defined physiologically as a series of rhythmic muscular contractions resulting in a release of sexual tension. At its peak, orgasm is most often accompanied by a release of fluid, called ejaculate.
Penetrative Sex: Penetrative sex occurs when a body part or other object is inserted into a body orifice, such as the mouth, vagina, or anus. The term typically connotes a sexual act of some sort.
Sexual Peak: In the past, a person’s sexual peak was determined solely by the rise and fall of their sex hormones. Currently, a more holistic approach is assumed, and a person’s sexual peak is determined by a number of issues, including psychological health, personal maturity, and life experiences. An optimal way to achieve a sexual peak is to stay committed to mental and physical health, which includes sexual health and vibrancy.
Sexual Pleasure: According to The Global Advisory Board for Sexual Health and Wellbeing, “Sexual pleasure is the physical and/or psychological satisfaction and enjoyment derived from solitary or shared erotic experiences, including thoughts, dreams, and autoeroticism.”
Slut-Shaming: A great description of slut-shaming comes from writer Leora Tanenbaum: “Slut-shaming is the experience of being labeled a sexually out-of-control girl or woman (a ‘slut’ or ‘ho’) and then being punished socially for possessing this identity. Slut-shaming is sexist because only girls and women are called to task for their sexuality, whether real or imagined; boys and men are congratulated for the exact same behavior. This is the essence of the sexual double standard: Boys will be boys, and girls will be sluts.”