What’s Up with the Male Erection? – Resolution Phase

In our last articles we covered the “Excitement Phase”, the “Plateau Phase”, and the “Orgasm Phase” of the male erection process.  Now let’s take a look at the last phase in the male sexual response, the “Resolution Phase.”


The final phase in the male erection, is the “Resolution Phase.” After orgasm, the male’s sexual orgasms, need time to return to their previous unexcited state.  Because of this the length of the resolution phase is directly proportional to the “Excitement Phase.”

Steps of the Resolution Phase

Detumescence of the Penis

Detumescence is the process of subsiding from a state of tension, swelling, or (esp.) sexual arousal.  This occurs directly after ejaculation, and consists of the penis decreasing from its erect state to about fifty percent larger than its flaccid state. The penis can retain some firmness for some time, especially if the excitement and plateau phases were extended. However, nonsexual activities or distractions can complete the loss of erection rather rapidly.

Swelling Dissipates

Sexual organ and body swelling subside. However the erection of the male’s nipples will remain visible for some time if they were aroused during the Plateau Phase.  The muscular tension within the body decreases.  Breathing, pulse rate, and blood pressure also return to normal.  Some men will even sweat after orgasm, but this reaction usually remains in the palms of their hands and soles of their feet.

Refractory Period

This is a period in the Resolution phase where it is physically impossible  for a man to have additional orgasms.  While the refractory period varies widely among individuals (ranging from minutes to days) most men cannot maintain or achieve an erection during this time.  Men may perceive a psychological feeling of “satiation” and are temporarily uninterested in further sexual activity.  The penis may be hypersensitive and further sexual stimulation may even feel painful during this time.

Pro Tip: It is good to note that in some men the Refractory Period can be prolonged or subverted with continued stimulation.  This added activity will result in an additional orgasm and will take longer to achieve.  For couples looking to share multiple orgasms foreplay and oral are great ways to excite the penis into a second erection for extended sexual activities.

That wraps up the male erection, and while it is not an overly complicated process, understanding it can increases the pleasures you and your partner get out of sex.  If you have any further questions about the male erection feel free to leave it in a comment below! Don’t forget to check out the previous articles as well: “Excitement Phase”,  “Plateau Phase”, “Orgasm Phase

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