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(in psychology), an experience characterized by a more or less conscious notion of intention to accomplish some act (action). The realization of this act is experienced as the satisfaction of the desire. The word “desire” is most often used to mean an emotionally colored attraction toward some object. In this sense there is the connection of desire with feelings, emotions, and affects. Ethics and social psychology regard desire primarily from the viewpoint of its conditioning by social norms and values—in this sense desire is understood as an intention, more correctly as an impulse to achieve some goal, ideal, or daydream.

Desire is one of the most important elements of those psychological states of the personality that anticipate its behavior and activity. It characterizes primarily the motivational and volitional aspect of these states. Therefore, desire is described in psychology not only as an attraction (the emotional aspect) or striving (the value aspect) toward the object of activity but also as the will and intention of carrying out the very process of this activity. Will is understood here as the manifestation of the personality—that is, its volition, while intention is understood as the conscious inducement to realizing the action, which includes consciousness of the need for it.

The development of desire is determined both by the object of desire and the means and conditions of its satisfaction and by the persistence, duration, and strength of the desire itself. Depending on these factors desire may be feasible, unreal, contradictory, reckless, or purposeful. Desires, along with interests and convictions, characterize the conscious attitude of man to his activity.


Blonskii, P. P. “Psikhologiia zhelaniia.” Voprosy psikhologii, 1965, no. 5.
Rubinshtein, S. L. Osnovy obshchei psikhologii, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1946.


References in periodicals archive ?
In sum, the available scientific literature indicates that heavy drinking can have a long-term negative impact on the arousal and orgasm phases of the human sexual response cycle for women and on the desire, arousal, and orgasm phases for men.
Methamphetamine does not independently or directly target specific aspects of the sexual response cycle.
Offering women the basic opportunity to learn about the uniqueness of their sexuality and sexual response cycle can have a powerful effect and allows for the enhancement of a woman's sexual self as well as their communication with sexual partners.
As adolescents, they need opportunities to experience their sexual response cycle, to learn what their individual sexual limitations and abilities are and perhaps, more importantly, how to negotiate for sex with a partner, especially the orthopedically handicapped, who are assumed to be incapable of being sexual by most non disabled people.
Clayton and her associates developed and validated a questionnaire that addresses the different phases of the sexual response cycle.
discusses sexual anatomy, sexual response cycle, erectile dysfunction, fertility techniques, positions, and sexual aids.
at a recent conference on "Emerging Concepts in Women's Health," sexology has pursued a path of treating male and female functioning as similar, as evidenced by Masters and Johnson's development of the human sexual response cycle.
While Masters and Johnson revolutionized sex therapy in the 1960s by classifying sexual dysfunctions according to a four-stage sexual response cycle, Kaplan was among the first to recognize that their model did not account for sexual problems that are rooted in a lack of desire.
The final two chapters look toward a new sexology, examine new conceptualizations of arousal, the sexual response cycle, intercourse and sexual dysfunction, among other aspects of sexuality.