Talk:Sexual arousal

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Hmmm, I have a little problem with "hardening of the nipples" being listed as a sign of female sexual arousal. Seems to me this is a pretty widespread myth, one which might explain why men seem so obsessed with the phenomenon. In my experience, nipple hardening is very easy to bring about, just by touching, or exposure to cold, etc. This does not indicate that the female is sexually aroused. In fact, given the function of nipples, it seems unlikely. Since a baby suckling causes nipple erection, seems to me that it has far more to do with its milk delivery function, i.e. forming a firm nozzle, than anything to do with sex. In addition, male nipples become erect by much the same token, and I'm sure most men would agree that sexual arousal doesn't follow from that. Conversely, I have been in the presence of women who were sexually aroused, whose nipples remained resolutely un-erect in the absence of stimulation. I'm not saying that nipple play doesn't have a role in sex, clearly it does, but I dispute that it is per se an indication of arousal. Such stuff probably should remain in the minds of smut-obsessed schoolboys, and not become a "fact" stated in an encyclopaedia. Discuss. Graham 01:46, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I'm halfway with you. It isn't a per se but rather the reverse.... sexual arousal is one possible cause for nipple hardening. Different women have differing amounts of a sexual flush; some women have almost none, some have quite a large flush over much of their chest, neck and face. - UtherSRG 01:52, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

More external links[edit]

More external links may improve this article. Try want Wikipedia to appear Chauvinistic in it's aproach to sexual arousal. I don't have access to a vagina at the moment, but I plan on being around some this weekend. However, that might not work out. I guess what i'm trying to say is that I might not be able to add a picture of a moist vaginia to this article, so if someone else has access to one and could snap a picture, that would be great. Thanks.Jonesjim5 02:19, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

inappropriate reference[edit]

I removed this link as it goes to aroused due to aggression not sex.


I for one am tired of people trying to put penis images on every page where they might get away with it. "I could take a picture of my boner" does not indicate a serious, mature contributor, in my opinion. Evercat 13:06, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

I am serious and mature. I didn't know the correct term for it, as I only learned English through friends and they always called it a boner. Please do not look down upon me or my additions to Wikipedia because I am a non-native English speaker. The picture of the boner adds something to the article that it didn't have before: a picture. One of the things that seperates the Wikipedia from a traditional reference book is that Wikipedia is more multi-media. We are not limited by sapce or size constrants as far as pictures go. Why shouldn't every article have an appropriate picture to go along with it? Some people learn well by reading, while others learn well with pictures. If any reader has a question about Sexual Arousal, the picture I added (and soon the picture of the moist vaginia) will hopefully answer it. Also, when readers think about Sexual Arousal, the pictures will equip them with a visual reference. Also, this might help rape-victims. After reading this article girls will realise that if a man is coming at them with a boner that looks like the one on the right, he is sexually aroused. This could prevent the rape of many young women who that would be the first time they experienced an aroused boner. Thank you. Jonesjim5 17:12, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

"This could prevent the rape of many young women". I still don't think you're serious. Evercat 19:07, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Not every page about sex has to have a picture of a penis just because it can. I think this attitude is at least a little childish. Evercat 23:48, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Due to your constant use of ad hominem attacks, your constant revertion of this article, and your general dislike for me, I have reverted this back to the original. Your arguements against the picture in this article seem to stem from the fact that I, as the one responsible for its adition, have a non-'serious attitude' and you even claim that I am 'a little childish.' Your main arguements have nothing at all to do with the article itself, but instead you constantly rely on unjust characterizations of my attitude for an excuse to revert my additions. This is severe anti-social behavoir leading me to question weather or not you are a vandal trying to disguise your page vandalism under the guise of a legitamate issue. If this issue continues, I am unafraid to contact Jimmy Wales and have him set the issue straight once and for all. Thank you. Jonesjim5 22:45, 30 July 2006 (UTC)

I agree with Evercat. I dont think you need a big picture of someone's erect penis. I think it's completely inappropriate because many children access these articles. You could at least have a scientific picture, not some home-made porn picture. I think it's obscene and should be removed. You could even add a link to a scientific picture, instead of this.

There needs to be a photographic example. Just keep it clean,no fluids,or maybe it should only be half-erect instead of at the orgasmic stage of the process.

> Finally done as of 30 Oct 2008. There are some properly composed male and female examples on commons. Shame it took 2 years to get them.

I think the photographs are terrible. Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of these guys who are like "OMG kids read this!" but looking at it from an academic perspective, the photos aren't suited for the article. They both just look like semi-artsy home porn. We could do with clear (well lit) photos showing a flacid and erect penis side by side, as well as one for the female nipples and any others to highlight physical changes for arousal. Any concerns? ◄Ultre► (talk) 03:01, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

The photos could be better. Not sure if real photos or a diagram would be better (for a younger audience). Was quite shocked to see them at wikipedia. But i guess it's alright. (talk) 04:15, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not censored (talk) 22:59, 8 October 2010 (UTC)

Causes of human sexual arousal[edit]

This category is too vast to warrant shortlisting, which by nature would have to be subjective; better refer it to sexual arousal, attraction, or whatever the link is below it, or risk sounding silly grendel's mother 11:25, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Please edit it to improve it. As is, it is imperfect, but an attempt to help others understand. Removing it entirely because it isn't comprehensive doesn't seem like the right approach to me.

Okay but you open a big barrel of fish: how long can this list be? Where's the line between the present no. 1 and no. 2? Is foreplay, masturbation, and especially exhibitionism primarily a cause of human arousal or a result of it? Why is roleplaying there but another arousing fetish not? Is not one of the major instigators of arousal alcohol and drugs (in cultures that use them)? Now, don't you think it's best to redirect it all to sexual attraction to avoid circulating fragmentary musings on the matter?--grendel's mother 14:49, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

For that matter (and sorry to wax on about this but it's stuck in my head now), are there any non-humans reading this? Is it here to give asexuals a gist of the topic? The "causes" section is something that either a) needs not be covered at all because it is self-evident and entirely subjective, or b) sould be covered extensively to encompass everything. I'm for b) but I don't feel like having my wife catch me writing it. Leaving it like this is trite, like a section on "Why people eat" listing - they are hungry, they see something that looks appetising, they are trying to get their children to eat... and a full-stop after it grendel's mother 15:13, 23 September 2006 (UTC)

Removed claim[edit]

I've removed the following:

  • "Scientific data shows that male circumcision may cause neurological changes in the human brain, which is suggested to lower sexual excitability (Mackey, 1997), due to decreased sensitivity (as a result of keratinization of the surface of the glans penis). This is contested [1]"

My reasons? Firstly, the source cited didn't actually present any data, but merely claimed that it existed. Secondly, having searched far and wide, I've located only one study to investigate keratinisation. It found that the glans of circumcised and uncircumcised men are equally keratinised. I'm aware of only three studies to investigate sensitivity: again, these found no difference.

The text would need to be heavily rewritten to accurately reflect all this while conforming to NPOV and NOR. My feeling is that it's better left out of the article. Jakew 16:44, 1 October 2006 (UTC)


The merge between sexual pleasure and sexual arousal seems a bit artificial to me. The two are different terms: sexual arousal refers to the feeling characterized by an erection in males while sexual pleasure refers to the feeling that usually comes with the actual sex act, such as an orgasm or ejaculation. Yonatan talk 17:54, 16 July 2007 (UTC)


I've just come across (no pun intended) the above word, which is supposed to mean "sexual arousal derived from riding in trains". I'd like to put into an appropriate article but I can't quite see where. Any suggestions? -- JackofOz 05:17, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

- Presumably, it would go in paraphilias 09:56, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Famous doctor[edit]

I removed this paragraph since I cannot find a single line not only on the study but even on the "famous doctor". In the 1920s, Dr. Howard Flitz, a famous surgeon [citation needed], conducted a series of experiments in which he applied pressure and series of electric shocks to the sigmoid mesocolon nerve of his patients. After a few weeks many of his patients reported back that they were having trouble obtaining an erection. It has been said that damage to this nerve can cause permanent ED. This experiment would not be able to be conducted today as it is ruled unethical.--Dia^ (talk) 08:55, 9 April 2008 (UTC)

Inappropriate Pictures[edit]

I have removed the pictures as they come close to being "porn". If the community would like pictures related to this article, may I suggest medical diagrams.. Wikipedia is read by people of all ages!

Hmm, we seem to be going round in circles. Unfortunately those pictures are probably the best we currently have. The one of the guy seems reasonable enough because it seems to be a studied picture of arousal, and at least he has the blessing of not being fully erect. I agree that the picture of the woman is hardly does seem to be some sort of porn shot. But I just took a look on commons and there doesn't seem to be a more relevant one, the others are far worse. It's all very well saying we should use something like medical diagrams, but we don't have any. Also, I'm not sure how diagrams would properly convey sexual arousal in the context of the whole body, and that's what this article is about. I'm not sure...perhaps it is just best to just have no pictures for sexual arousal at all.

-I would probably say have no pictures at all until we have something suitable

> Reckon it would be a hiding to nowhere trying to find diagrams for whole body arousal. However there is a less explicit female photograph on commons. It seems to show nipple erection (at least it does to my eyes), and it is about as "studied" a photograph as the male one from the last edit, so I've added them both in. Frankly, I think this is about as good as we are going to get image-wise for sexual arousal without tipping over the edge into porn.

>I propose we change the lead image to File:Uncircumcised-penis-wikipedia.jpg

File:Erection Homme2.jpg looks sleazy like some guy shot it in his bathroom. File:Uncircumcised-penis-wikipedia.jpg was taken in a medical setting by professionals, and it illustrates what an erection is much clearer and simpler.


How about getting one of a open vagina not closed if anyone agrees please add.Markstar (talk) 06:28, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Can we get cartoons depicting a vagina and a penis instead of pictures of real ones? Kids are also going to this website to search stuff.

Wikipedia is not censored. Family Friendlyness is not the point of Wikipedia, merely composing an encyclopedia is the goal...however, nipping the_nape.png seems unrelated, as though it was placed there by someone who likes porn. It has no caption indicating what it is for. It should be fixed, or removed. (talk) 02:05, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

I don't think we have anything to worry about. If kids are looking for the term "sexual arousal", i'm sure they're prepared to see an image. --Exer 505 (talk) 00:22, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

Kids might see body parts? OH NO THE HORROR. (talk) 10:38, 1 October 2010 (UTC)


Sorry for the angry-sounding title, but it is quite clear to me that this article is very 'unpolite' let's say, and sexually biased. My concerns are the following: it continually objectifies, 'most women... They like... They can be aroused... They can be touched in such places' this is unnecesary, sentences such as 'it is common for women to feel aroused etc' is much more acceptable.

Secondly, yet chiefly, this article has a section regarding sexual arousal in humans, and in females, but makes no reference at all in systems of arousal in other species and more importantly of the male sex. I think it is imperative that this article be expanded upon to include sexual arousal for males and other species in order to meet wikipedia's quality standards. (talk) 17:36, 16 June 2010 (UTC)


The study that is not cited here is highly controversial and inconclusive, and should not be mentioned. Many who cite this study fail to include that it also concluded that straight women were also aroused by chimpanzees having sex. Confession0791 (talk) 00:17, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Since there were no objections, I removed it. Confession0791 (talk) 05:53, 2 July 2010 (UTC)

Straight women aroused by chimpanzees having sex seems perfectly plausible to me. (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 09:09, 25 November 2010 (UTC).

WP:HOWTO approach to female arousal[edit]

I recently made some changes to this article and have just reset some of the further changes made by Ewawer. In what I had written, I had been careful to summarise material from the fairly serious literature about female sexual arousal. What I have just reverted seemed to me to step over a boundary into describing how to arouse a female, and then what you might get away with doing to her after you had done so. Three phrases from the short piece of removed material that illustrate this are, "these may lead to a woman being receptive to...", "This may in turn make her more open to..." and "parts of her body which would normally be out of bounds". I don't mean to be a prude, and I have no wish to censor anything, but these phrases made me feel a bit yucky and are not encyclopedic. I have also reinstated a previous sentence about orgasm, as I feel it is best to be less goal-oriented and prescriptive about what women "would usually" do. I note that Ewawer has removed the short description of female orgasm from here, but am happy to leave the validity of that to others to decide. --Nigelj (talk) 14:51, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

How about we make the pictures collapse by default[edit]

I'd edit that functionality in but I didn't come here to see another guys penis… (talk) 02:34, 4 June 2011 (UTC)

Massive changes to the article[edit]

There have been a series of large-scale changes to this article in these edits between 5 - 9 April 2012. Most of these changes were made by two new users - LauraLayland (talk · contribs) and 8kb12 (talk · contribs) - neither of whom had edited any other Wikipedia article before this. There are a number of problems with these edits.

  1. All the new references appear to be to individual papers. Per WP:PRIMARY and WP:MEDRS this gives us a problem as, without a lot of research by other editors, it is not possible for non-specialists to verify (WP:V is a core Wikipedia policy) whether each of these papers has been well-received, heavily criticised or indeed superseded by later research (some of the references date back into the 1980s). This is the reason we tend to use secondary sources and general or systematic reviews rather than raw research papers when writing articles.
  2. All the new references use a non-standard citation format that does not include hyperlinks to on-line versions of the papers. This is contrary to WP:MOS and makes verification of the new material all but impossible for those not sitting in a well-stocked university library. Citation templates are available from a drop-down on every edit page and these make for consistency of citation formats across the encyclopedia.
  3. This is a general-readership article about an everyday topic. Much of the new language is dense and rather technical (e.g. "Toates emphasizes the importance considering cognitive representations in addition to external stimuli; he suggests that mental representations of incentives are interchangeable with excitatory external stimuli for eliciting sexual arousal and motivation." etc). Secondary sources may have already put some of these research findings into more accessible language. This is not a complex medical topic.
  4. When we use the {main} template, for example "Main article: Human sexual response cycle", we expect that the main article has detailed coverage of a topic and that here we have a short summary of the material that can be found in that article. In this case, in the section Models of human sexual response, most of the material added here would have been better in the {main} article as most of it is not mentioned there.
  5. Quite a few WP:red links have been added to potential new articles that would explain many of the technical terms introduced here. Are we sure that these obscure topics are not covered anywhere in Wikipedia's millions of articles? Are these new authors planning on creating them soon? Is it necessary to introduce these topics in order adequately to explain sexual arousal encyclopedically in this article?

I was tempted to revert the whole lot to a previous version and ask the new contributors to introduce their changes one at a time so that we could discuss them and give a few tips about Wikipedia's Manual of Style and content policies as we go. I have a feeling that these users may be editing as part of some undergraduate Easter holiday project, and so we may never hear from them again. If that is the case, I think reversion might be the best solution for now. If not, there is now a great deal of work to do here. --Nigelj (talk) 16:39, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree. And they are definitely from a class, as even one of them stated. Flyer22 (talk) 20:57, 22 April 2012 (UTC)
Taking the time to look at these new sources, most are from peer-reviewed journals...such as Archives of Sexual Behavior, Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, and so on. Flyer22 (talk) 04:14, 21 June 2012 (UTC)

Effects on pain tolerance?[edit]

Doesn't being aroused make you more tolerant to pain than you would be otherwise? Why it's not mentioned in the article? --TiagoTiago (talk) 07:50, 15 April 2012 (UTC)

"...out of bounds..."[edit]

The statement "those parts of their body which would normally be out of bounds" seems like an awkward way to refer to these regions of the body. I will try to do some reading in attempt to find a statement that describes these regions with less or no implication of social normalcy, which seems irrelevant to the subject matter. (talk) 01:53, 31 August 2012 (UTC)

Image for female sexual arousal?[edit]

[[2]] I am offering this image as an option for female sexual arousal. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Fotomannforever (talkcontribs) 00:41, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

Using sources[edit]

I’m quite aware of the fact that my adding Kazimierz Imieliński monograph to this article may not meet the policy of the English WP. On the other hand, the WP:NOENG guidelines states: "Because this is the English Wikipedia, English-language sources are preferred over non-English ones, assuming English sources of equal quality and relevance are available." The problem is that I fail to find relevant sources on this particular subject in English. Besides, I live in Russia, with the consequence that I have restricted access to the sexological literature of the west. Maybe someone is in a position to name the corresponding English sources that are more recent than Imieliński’s book. --SU ltd. (talk) 14:45, 22 January 2013 (UTC)

Lead picture[edit]

Martin van Maële's print Francion 15
The Wave (1896), William-Adolphe Bouguereau

In this edit, the lead picture was swapped for another. I know this is a subjective matter, that we will never get to the bottom of, but I have to say that I prefer the previous pic. I don't see any evidence for, or even any suggestion of, sexual arousal in the painting of the woman in the water's edge. I don't think we should equate nudity, or females, or even sensual pleasure, with sexual arousal. --Nigelj (talk) 19:53, 4 May 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. --TBM10 (talk) 20:17, 4 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done --Nigelj (talk) 07:34, 8 June 2013 (UTC)

Remove images[edit]

Offensive material should be used only if its omission would cause the article to be less informative, relevant, or accurate, and no equally suitable alternative is available (Wikipedia:Offensive material). Clearly, words are enough. Therefore, the images of sexual arousal in section 'Physiological response' should be removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:11, 7 June 2013 (UTC)

Images removed[edit]

I have removed these video images as being unnecessary. I don't know if the note above refers to the same images, but the ones I have just removed do not, in my opinion, contribute anything encyclopedic to the article. Rather than simply restoring them, I reckon we should try and get consensus here on this. --Technopat (talk) 10:51, 4 August 2013 (UTC)