The care and attention given to sexual partners after sex, which can include cuddling, pillow talk, hydration, reassuring each other, and processing emotions. This helps build intimacy, trust, and communication between partners.
Substances believed to increase sexual desire, pleasure or performance. Common aphrodisiacs include oysters, chocolate, peppers, and ginseng. Their effects are mainly psychological rather than physiological.
The physical and psychological changes that occur in response to sexual stimuli, marked by increased heart rate, genital sensitivity and lubrication. Arousal precedes sexual activity and is needed for orgasm.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is an active ingredient that is derived from the hemp plant. It does not cause a high and is not addictive.Clitoral engorgementThe clitoris, like the penis, has two erectile chambers that can fill with blood and become engorged or erect, though not fully rigid.
A sensitive sexual organ found near the top of the vulva. It contains thousands of nerve endings and is the primary source of female sexual pleasure. Stimulation of the clitoris can lead to intense sexual arousal and orgasm.
Methods used to prevent pregnancy during sexual intercourse. Common forms include condoms, birth control pills, IUDs and vasectomies. Using contraception allows people to enjoy sex while avoiding unintended pregnancy.
Counseling that helps romantic partners improve their relationship. It provides support for issues like intimacy problems, communication struggles, infidelity and conflict resolution. The guidance of a licensed therapist can strengthen bonds between couples.
Parts of the body with heightened sensitivity, which may provoke sexual arousal when stimulated. Common erogenous zones include the nipples, ears, lips, neck, lower back, inner thighs and genitals. Focusing on these areas can enhance foreplay.
A hormone made in the ovaries, and in much smaller amounts in the adrenal glands at the top of your kidneys, and sometimes even fat tissue. Many people take extra estrogen after menopause or as part of transgender care.
The release of fluid out of the urethra during intense sexual excitement or orgasm. The fluid comes from the Skene’s glands, which are located in the vulva near the opening of the urethra. Sometimes called “squirting.”
The physiological changes in the female genitals during sexual arousal, marked by engorgement of erectile tissue. As women become aroused, blood rushes to the clitoris, labia minora and vagina, causing them to swell and become sensitive. The clitoris becomes erect and the vaginal walls lubricate to prepare for intercourse. Though less visible than a male erection, these changes signify a woman is sexually excited and ready for penetration and climax.
The complex integration of neural, vascular and hormonal function in the brain and genitalia that enables desire, arousal and orgasm.
In both sexes the sexual response includes desire, arousal and orgasm. In women this may not be linear but rather there may be feedback where, for example, the ability to be aroused may increase desire, secondarily.
Sexual activity that precedes intercourse, usually consisting of kissing, touching, caressing. It helps arouse both partners, enhancing enjoyment of the overall sexual experience. Engaging in extended foreplay can lead to increased lubrication and erections.
A set of expectations about behaviors and characteristics based on sex or gender identity. Every culture has standards about how people should behave based on their sex and/or gender identity.
Increased blood flow to the genital region during sexual arousal, causing erectile tissue to swell and become firm. In men, engorgement results in an erection of the penis. In women, it leads to swelling of the clitoris and labia as well as vaginal lubrication. Engorgement facilitates penetration and sexual intercourse. Certain medications like Viagra enhance engorgement when it is insufficient. Lack of engorgement may indicate low arousal, sexual dysfunction or an underlying medical issue.
Chemicals that cause changes in our bodies and brains. They naturally exist and can also be made in a lab.IntimacyA close connection between partners, characterized by loving feelings and vulnerability. Intimacy encompasses emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical closeness. It requires openness, empathy and commitment in a relationship.
Pelvic floor exercises that strengthen the pubococcygeus muscles. Regularly contracting and relaxing these muscles gives women more control over urination and sexual pleasure. Kegels can intensify orgasms and prepare the body for childbirth.
Sexual activity between women who are romantically or sexually attracted to other women. It encompasses a variety of intimate acts that can include kissing, touching, oral sex, vaginal penetration using hands/fingers or sex toys, anal stimulation, and more. Lesbian sex does not require a phallic object or vaginal intercourse. Partners emphasize mutual pleasure, communication, and comfort. Since pregnancy is not a concern, barrier methods are generally not used, but can protect against STIs.
An acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning. It represents the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities beyond cisgender heterosexuality. LGBTQ+ emphasizes inclusivity and advocates for the empowerment of these marginalized groups.
A person's overall sexual drive or desire for sexual activity. Libido varies between individuals and can fluctuate due to factors like age, stress and medications. Low libido is a common sexual concern, especially for women as they get older.
Substances applied to reduce friction during sexual activity. Vaginal lubrication occurs naturally during arousal, while additional lubricants like KY Jelly enhance comfort and pleasure. Using sufficient lubrication prevents sexual pain and irritation.
Manual self-stimulation of the genitals to achieve sexual arousal, pleasure and orgasm. It is common across genders and associated with relaxation, self-discovery and understanding one's body. Masturbation is normal and healthy, unless done excessively or compulsively.
Medical lubricant for vaginal dryness are lubricating gels or moisturizers designed to relieve vaginal dryness and friction during intercourse. They add moisture to the vaginal lining to reduce discomfort. Medical lubricants are safe to use with condoms and can be water-based, silicone-based, or contain estrogens. Some brands may be covered by insurance when treating vaginal atrophy and menopausal changes. Using lubricant allows for more comfortable, pleasurable sex when vaginal moisture is inadequate.
The first time a person gets their period.
When menstruation stops because of hormonal changes. Usually happens between the ages of 45 and 55, but sometimes menopause happens earlier due to certain medical conditions.
Menstrual bleeding that’s heavier or longer lasting than usual.
The time from the first day of one period to the first day of the next period. During the menstrual cycle, the lining of the uterus grows, an egg is released by the ovaries, and the uterine lining sheds.
Lower belly pain that some people experience during ovulation.
An intense climax of sexual excitement, characterized by euphoric physiological changes and release of sexual tension. Stimulation of genital nerves triggers involuntary contractions in men and women, followed by pleasurable feelings and relaxation.
The period of time leading up to menopause during which some symptoms of menopause may start. Perimenopause usually begins in your 40s, but it can start earlier.
Emotional and physical symptoms that appear a few days before and during menstruation, including depression, fatigue, bloating, and irritability.
The practice of engaging in intimate relationships with more than one partner. Forms of consensual non-monogamy, polyamorous arrangements require open communication, constant negotiation, and emotional maturity from all involved.
A hormone made in the ovaries, adrenal glands, and testes.
Sexual activity using protection and precautions to prevent transmitting infections and avoid pregnancy. This includes barrier methods like condoms, dental dams, choosing low-risk behaviors and getting regularly tested for STDs.
Difficulties with sexual function that cause distress, such as low desire, erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, orgasm difficulties and genito-pelvic pain. Dysfunctions may have physical or psychological causes, and often benefit from medical treatment.
Formal instruction about emotional, physical and social aspects of human sexuality and relationships. Comprehensive sex ed provides accurate information about contraception, STDs, anatomy, healthy relationships, and more. It empowers youth to make informed choices.
A holistic approach to sexuality that focuses on embracing pleasure, cultivating intimacy and optimizing sexual health, both physical and emotional. Promoting wellness involves open communication, consent and safety, as well as access to healthcare resources.
Slang for lubricants intended to ease and enhance sexual activity by reducing friction. Water-based slickeries mimic natural vaginal lubrication, while silicone-based last longer. Applying them prevents discomfort, irritation and condoms breaking.
Sexually transmitted diseases/infections spread through unprotected sexual contact. Common examples are chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HPV and HIV. Getting tested regularly and honest between partners is key for prevention. STDs can often be cured or managed if treated early.
A gender modality that describes when a person’s gender identity is different from the one associated with the sex they were assigned at birth. For example, a woman who was assigned male at birth. Transgender people can have any gender identity, like “woman,” “genderqueer,” “man,” “agender,” and more.
Plasma like fluid that is leaked through pores or breaks in the cell membrane of capillaries that is low in protein and has few cells, like red or white blood cells.
An elastic canal leading from the vulva to the cervix and uterus. The vagina experiences lubrication and expansion during sexual arousal, facilitates birth, and discharges menstrual fluid. It is a sensitive sex organ that can provide pleasure when properly stimulated.
Outdated language that refers to thinning and irritation of the folds of the walls of the vagina. Caused by low estrogen production, which happens during perimenopause and menopause.
Insufficient vaginal lubrication during sexual activity, causing discomfort or pain. Dryness has many causes, including menopause, medications, anxiety and inadequate foreplay. It can disrupt intimacy between couples but is treatable with lubricants, hormones, or lifestyle changes.
When the vagina gets wetter and more slippery, which makes it easier for things to go inside it. This happens naturally with vaginal secretions, and can be done with synthetic lube. Sometimes happens during sexual arousal, but not always.
A procedure that removes the vagina to treat vaginal cancer or as part of gender affirming surgery (often, along with a hysterectomy).
A multi-stage gender affirming procedure in which a vagina is constructed from existing tissues.
A brand name for sildenafil citrate, a medication used to treat erectile dysfunction in men. Viagra enhances blood flow to the penis so an erection can occur with sexual stimulation. It helps restore ability to have and maintain an erection for satisfactory intercourse.