From Big Medical Encyclopedia

SEX LIFE — set of somatic, mental and social processes and the relations, to-rykh is the cornerstone and by means of to-rykh sexual desire is satisfied.

Though Item. is an important component of normal life activity of the person, however the instinctive, bezuslovnoreflektorny basis it has no absolutely defining value. It gains qualitatively new aspects from the person: serves not only the purposes of reproduction, but assumes personal association between the man and the woman, spiritual communication between them. In formation of a sexual behavior and character of the Item. at the person the crucial role is played by social conditions, individual experience, education and moral and ethical views of the personality (see. Sex education ).

The sexual love as individually selective inclination is result of development of humanity and represents an integral part of its culture, always directed edges and coordinated diverse manifestations of sexuality. «The modern sexual love significantly differs from simple sexual desire... First, she assumes mutual love at a favourite being... Secondly, force and duration of sexual love happen such that the impossibility of possession and separation are presented to both parties great if not the greatest misfortune; they take the huge risk, even stake the life only to belong each other...» (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd prod., t. 21, p. 79 — 80).

Relationship of floors in the developed human society is regulated by system of moral standards. Already in ancient civilizations there were various forms of the Item., one of to-rykh were considered as normative and even caused emergence of cultural symbols (e.g., a fallichesky cult, orgiastic rituals of the East), and others were condemned and prohibited. Prohibition of incest (incest) was the most ancient and universal. Many aspects and forms of the Item. (e.g., premarital and illegitimate bonds, an onanism, homosexuality, etc.) different societies and cultures were perceived inadequately. In antique society the sensual inclination, sexual passion to possession was very appreciated (Eros), and an object of an inclination sometimes paled into insignificance. The dual relation to the Item is characteristic of the European Middle Ages. The official Christian morals saw an ideal in full abstention, even in marriage, allowing the Item. only for the sake of reproduction. However in life and secular art the medieval culture was very tolerant to sexuality. Further, in process of formation of bourgeois morals, dualistic opposition of «sublime» love to «low» prevailed to sexual desire (see) that was reflected in medikopedagogichesky literature of 18 — 19 centuries. The bourgeois Puritan morals considered women asexual, deprived of sexual requirements. For men coldness of official bourgeois marriage was compensated by the legalized prostitution. In 20 century there were considerable shifts towards liberalization of sexual morals and weakening of «the double standard» (different standards of behavior for men and for women) thanks to such factors as intensive involvement of women in public and labor life, acceleration (see), growth of independence of youth of parents, easing of traditional religious morals, development of scientific sexology (see) and distribution of more rational relation to questions of a floor, emergence of effective contraceptives (see), etc. Noting that in questions of marriage and the sexual relations profound changes are about to happen, V. I. Lenin condemned petty-bourgeois and anarchical interpretation of this process and emphasized need to consider it in the light of radical interests of society, including in connection with development of the brachnosemeyny relations which and at socialism remain the most important regulator of the Item.

Features of the Item. each person are caused by many factors — psychosocial, genetic, hormonal, nervous, and also individual properties of the personality. All this defines variety of manifestations of sexuality at the person. From here an inevitable conclusion follows that universal standard of the Item. (its intensity, duration etc.) no. It changes depending on age, sex, personal features caused by education and life experience and other factors. Thus, what for one person is norm in the Item., for another it is represented a sharp deviation from it, something unnatural. In view of specific difficulties of setting standards of the Item., it is necessary to recognize that until recently even such characteristics as, e.g., normal duration of sexual intercourse were not defined.

Uniform classification of forms of sex life does not exist. So, A. Kinzi allocated the following main forms of sexual satisfaction: a heterosexual coitus (see. Sexual intercourse ), a homosexual coitus and the sexual intercourses with animals (see. Sexual perversions ), onanism (see), a petting (English pet — to indulge, caress). However this classification causes objections of hl. obr. because in it in one row are put as normal manifestations of the Item. (a heterosexual coitus), and perverted (a homosexual coitus, contacts with animals). More differentiated classification in 1977 was offered by G. S. Vasilchenko, according to a cut distinguish as extragenital forms of the Item. (including Platonic love), and genital, to the Crimea refer replaceable manifestations of sexual activity (emissions, masturbation, a petting) and so-called substitute forms of a coitus (see. Sexual intercourse ). Normal form of the Item. the sexual intercourse (sexual intercourse, a coitus) between the man and the woman is, a cut together with their spiritual unification enters the concept «full-fledged sex life». The petting close to a phenomenon of mutual masturbation is treated by G. S. Vasilchenko (1967, 1977) as aspiration to achievement of an orgasm by irritation of erogenous zones at the contact excluding direct contact of genitalias. At a superficial petting (is more often in the form of kisses and close embraces) erogenous zones, usually always open while genital zones are irritated only through clothes are directly irritated. The deep petting assumes direct manual irritation of the erogenous zones which are usually covered with clothes.

The age, at Krom begins the Item., is defined puberty (see). Its intensity, i.e. frequency of the sexual intercourses, depends both on features of the personality, and on a row external, hl. obr. social, factors (education, including sexual, living conditions, etc.), and special value has the introduction in marriage (see), later to-rogo the Item., as a rule, becomes regular. The main manifestations of sexuality is sexual desire (see) and orgasm (see). At sexual intercourse at men come erection (see), ejaculation (see), women have an allocation of a vulval secret.

Expressiveness of sexual desire can change depending on sexual abstinence (see) and number of situational factors. The most typical manifestation of male sexuality are the erection and an ejaculation. It should be noted that frustration of an erection, edges still in the ancient time gained symbolical value of male sexuality in general (a fallichesky cult from many people of the ancient world from here), quite often not quite fairly are considered as the main and even only indicator of male weakness (see. Impotence ). In the course of the sexual intercourse, duration to-rogo can fluctuate from several seconds to several minutes, there occurs sharp increase of sexual excitement. An ejaculation as well as the erection, can arise also out of sexual rapprochement, napr, owing to masturbation. After an orgasm there is a recession of nervous excitement, the man during nek-ry time remains, as a rule, indifferent to sexual irritants. During this refractory period resuming of an erection does not occur, i.e. repeated sexual intercourse is impossible. Recovery of sexual excitability happens in various terms that depends on specific features of an organism, age, and also on the situational moments.

At availability of the sexual intercourses (e.g., in marriage) in the period of mature sexuality a certain rhythm of the Item is established. Frequency and a form of the sexual intercourses usually are defined by the man who adapts the level of sexual activity for the sexual temperament.

Features of female sexuality assume psikhol, training of the woman for sexual intercourse for the purpose of receiving the fullest sexual satisfaction. In this regard preliminary caress, character are of great importance to-rykh depends on specific features of sexual partners. The large role is played by so-called erogenous zones, i.e. those parts of a body, irritation to-rykh causes sexual excitement. It is characteristic that at women, unlike men, extragenital erogenous zones have bigger value, and sometimes even prevail over genital. Any part of a body can be such erogenous zone, and the irritation of certain zones causes sexual excitement in one women, and at others it is indifferent or even unpleasant. The initiative in preliminary caress usually belongs to the man.

Wellbeing of the Item. in many respects depends on that, specific features of the man and woman, i.e. from existence of so-called psychological and psychosexual compatibility of partners are how harmoniously combined among themselves. Individual incompatibility in matrimonial life is a basis of the most acute conflicts which are harmful influencing the sexual sphere and microsocial climate of a family. According to many sexopathologists, in large part cases of sexual frustration take place not actually of a disease of the sexual sphere, namely similar discrepancies between partners, lack of adaptation to each other. Harmony of the Item. can provide as various and even opposite specific features of partners which as if compensate each other (e.g., a combination of lines of choleric temperament at the woman — disbalances, irascibility, etc. — with lines of flegmatichesky temperament at the husband — steadiness, complaisance), and same (e.g., lines of sanguine or flegmatichesky temperament at the wife and the husband). At the same time collision of the same qualities (disbalance, intolerance, irascibility, authoritativeness, aspiration to leadership at both spouses) can be the least favorable. Important value in formation safe the Item. plays the experience gained by partners in joint life.

Features of female sexuality are that the aspiration to caress and tenderness is characteristic of most of women (quite often alien to young men); expressiveness of sexual desire at them unlike men is subject to cycle variations, amplifying or during the premenstrual period, or in the first days after periods. The orgasm at women to a great extent depends on conditions, in to-rykh the sexual intercourse, psikhol, preparation, mood and duration of preliminary caress is carried out. At most of women the first orgasm appears after more or less long period of the sexual intercourses, is frequent only after the delivery (by data A. M. Svya-doshcha, in 30% of cases). In process of accumulation of sexual experience also the percent of the sexual intercourses which are coming to an end with an orgasm while in the first years of matrimonial life not each sexual intercourse brings to the woman sexual satisfaction increases. Some women at intimacy never and under no circumstances test an orgasm (see. Sexual coldness ), along with it there are women testing an orgasm several times during one sexual intercourse. However the woman, even without having tested an orgasm, can receive nevertheless deep psikhol, satisfaction from intimate proximity with darling.

Specific recommendations concerning the acceptability of this or that sexual behavior during sexual intercourse do not exist. As a rule, over time the man and the woman find the correct way which allows them to bring each other the maximum satisfaction. Accepted between sexual partners it is possible to consider everything that becomes from mutual consent, brings both satisfaction and does not cause at the same time any damage.

Simplification of the Item., its data only to from time to time to the repeating stereotypic sexual intercourse and, as a result of it, the boredom and monotony arising in the relations between spouses sometimes push them on the way of adultery, Force to look for new hobbies. Except moral damage, illegitimate bonds are fraught also with danger of infection of veins. diseases and quite often lead family life to accident. Harmful influence on the Item. renders also alcohol. About a third of the people abusing alcohol suffers from decrease in sexual function, and at women periods early stop, ability to a child-bearing decreases, often there are complications of pregnancy and childbirth. In alcohol intoxication (see. Alcoholism ) counterinhibition of a sexual inclination is most often resulted by accidental bonds, undesirable pregnancy and infection happen effects to-rykh venereal diseases (see). Among the persons abusing alcohol quite often there is an opinion as if alcohol is the specific sexually strengthening means. Some resort to alcohol with the purpose to remove the internal stress, feeling of uncertainty and fear of the sexual intercourse. Alcohol at its systematic use causes sexual frustration in men, and arising thereof «alcoholic impotence» involves heavy experiences and various functional disturbances of c. N of page. The children conceived drunk, as a rule, more slowly develop, their mental retardation and various malformations is quite often observed.

Age features

Sexual function, as well as some other fiziol, functions, is defined by age, i.e. sexual manifestations arise during puberty and after childbearing age slowly, but steadily die away. To each age there correspond certain features of sexual manifestations. In the pubertal period (see. Puberty ) — this awakening of sexual desire; boys have an emergence of the first ejaculations, usually in the form of nocturnal emissions that in some cases is a push to the beginning of masturbation; girls have an emergence of periods.

In most cases after this period young men begin the Item., it is frequent in the form of accidental sexual bonds, alternation of excesses (in relation to men) with more or less long abstinences proceeding against the background of substitute (masturbation, day emissions, a petting) or vicarious (nocturnal emissions) forms of sexual activity. This period usually comes to an end with marriage. The age of 27 — 50 years which is considered the period of mature sexuality is characterized by rather equal level of sexual activity, to the corresponding specific features and living conditions. During the subsequent period, to-rogo accurately it is not possible to define borders, sexual activity usually gradually decreases, and at late age there is an easing of interest in the sexual sphere, fading of the Item. and respectively increase in the periods of sexual abstinence (see).

Hygiene of sex life

Despite an instinctive, bezuslovnoreflektorny basis, sexual function nevertheless is very vulnerable since at the person it is connected with participation of the highest parts of the nervous system and with the emotional sphere. Though sexual function at the person is also not as vital as at animals, nevertheless its disturbances are followed by heavy experiences and can be the cause of development of resistant neurotic states, the family conflicts which are quite often leading to disintegration of a family. In this regard harmonious Item. gains also social value. The large role is played by hygiene of the Item. Rules of the general hygiene remain also for the sexual sphere. And though in the Item. it is impossible to establish a clear boundary of norm for the corresponding groups of persons (depending on age, a profession etc.), after all it is necessary to adhere to some individual borders. One of criteria of such «normativnost» of the Item. it is necessary to consider good health, freshness, cheerfulness, feeling of satisfaction. As two persons participate in satisfaction of sexual requirement, it is necessary to aim at that the intimate proximity brought full satisfaction to both partners. The gradual decrease in sexual activity happening at advanced age is quite physiologic, natural, though occurs at different people in various terms. Full abstention from the sexual intercourses the first and last 2 — 3 months of pregnancy, and also in the first 2 months after the delivery is recommended to pregnant women. Similar abstention cannot cause damage to the man even if its high level of sexual activity was always noted. Usually enthusiasm for any activity promotes switching of its attention from erotic experiences and to decrease in sensitivity to them.

The all-hygienic rules ordering to keep clean a body belong equally and to external genitals (see. Personal hygiene ). Normal functioning of generative organs depends on a normality of internals. Importance in system a gigabyte. actions also protection of generative organs against overcooling, especially at women has. The correct day regimen, a balanced diet, exercises and sport as well as other recreational actions, promote normal course of the Item. and to the maximum preservation of the level of sexual activity inherent to each person.

Bibliography: Topical issues of sexual pathology, under the editorship of D. D. Fedotov, M., 1967; Ivanov N. V. Questions of psychotherapy of functional sexual frustration, M., 1966, bibliogr.; The general sexual pathology, under the editorship of G. S. Vasilchenko, M., 1977, bibliogr.; With in I - d about shch And. M. Female sexual pathology, M., 1974; Beauvoir S. The second sex, N. Y., 1953; Brecher E. M. The sex researchers, Boston, 1969, bibliogr.; Human sexuality in four perspectives, ed. by F. A. Beach, Baltimore, 1977; H y-n i e J. &Lekrska sexuologia, Martin, 1970; Kinsey A. Ch., Pomeroy W. B. a. Martin of Page E. Sexual behavior in the human male, Philadelphia, 1948; Kinsey A. Ch. a. o. Sexual behavior in the human female, Philadelphia — L., 1953; Malewska H. Kulturowe i psychospoteczne determinanty zycia seksualnego, Warszawa, 1967; Masters W. H. a. Johnson V. E. Human sexual inadequacy, L., 1970, bibliogr.; Robinault I. P. Sex, society, and the disabled, developmental inquiry into roles, reactions, and responsibilities, Hagerstown, 1978, bibliogr.; S with h n and b 1 S. Intimverhalten, Sexualstorungen, Person-lichkeit, B., 1976; Sexualitat, Fakten, Nor-men, gesellschaftliche Verantwortung, hrsg, v. H. Szewczyk u. H. Burghardt, B., 1978, Bibliogr.; Sexuologie, Geschlecht, Mensch, Gesellschaft, hrsg. v. P. G. Hesse u. a., Bd 1 — 3, Lpz., 1974 — 1978.

L. H. Gudkovich.