For example, sometimes people can be sexually stimulated from residual arousal arising from something such as exercise, being transformed into another type of arousal such as sexual arousal. In one study  participants performed some physical exercise and at different stages of recovery had to watch an erotic film and rate how aroused it made them feel.
They found that participants who were still experiencing excitatory residues from the exercise rated the film as more arousing than those who had fully recovered from the exercise. This suggests that the remaining arousal from the exercise was being transformed into sexual arousal without any external stimulation.
Alternative routes[ edit ] The human sexual response is a dynamic combination of cognitive, emotional, and physiological processes. Whilst the most common forms of sexual stimulation discussed are fantasy or physical stimulation of the genitals and other erogenous areas, sexual arousal may also be mediated through alternative routes such as visual, olfactory and auditory means.
Visual[ edit ] Perhaps the most researched non-tactile form of sexual stimulation is visual sexual stimulation. The multibillion-dollar industry that is pornography is yet another example. A common presumption in society and the media is that men respond more strongly to visual sexual stimuli than do women. This is perhaps best exemplified by the Kinsey hypothesis that men are more prone to sexual arousal from visual stimulation than women  and, arguably, can be seen depicted through the "male glaze"  that dominates the pornography industry.
Nonetheless, both sexes can be sexually aroused through visual stimulation. In one study, visual stimulation was tested by means of an erotic video. Although significantly higher in the male group, sexual arousal was the main emotional reaction reported by both sexes.
Their physiological responses to the video also showed characteristics of sexual arousal, such as increased urinary excretions of adrenaline. These same areas are activated during physical sexual stimulation highlighting how powerful visual stimulation can be as a means of sexual arousal. One study investigating olfactory sexual stimulation found that men experience sexual arousal in response to a female perfume. Individuals rated odourant stimulation and perceived sexual arousal.
They also had functional MRI scans taken during the experiment. The results showed that olfactory stimulation with women's perfume produces activation of specific brain areas associated with sexual arousal in men. In one study, males rated visual and olfactory information as being equally important for selecting a lover, while females considered olfactory information to be the single most important variable in mate choice. Additionally, when considering sexual activity, females singled out body odour from all other sensory experiences as most able to negatively affect desire.
Making sounds during sexual arousal and sexual activity is widespread among primates and man. These include sighs, moans, strong expirations and inspirations, increased breathing rate and occasionally, at orgasm, screams of ecstasy. Many of these sounds are highly exciting to men and women, and act as strong reinforcers of sexual arousal, creating a powerful positive feedback effect.
Commercial erotic material mainly produced for the male market uses such sounds extensively. As early as the s and 30s, several genres of singers turned to "low moans" for erotic effect. Vaudeville Jazz singers often incorporated sex sounds into the narrative of the lyrics.
In one mood induction study, exposure to certain music resulted in significantly greater penile tumescence and subjective sexual arousal for men. Whilst the highest levels of physiological and subjective arousal were found for visual stimuli, spoken-text was found to elicit sexual arousal in men implicating sounds a means for sexual stimulation.
Bondage can be a sexual fantasy and often gets practised by those participating in BDSM. Fantasy[ edit ] Sexual fantasy is a form of mental sexual stimulation which many people engage in. Fantasy has less social or safety limits than in real life situations. It gives people more freedom to experiment or think of things they could not necessarily try in real life and can be anything from imagining your spouse naked, to imagining a sexual experience with a mythical creature.
Common sexual fantasies include imagining activities with a loved partner, reliving past experiences and experiences with multiple partners of the opposite gender. Many sexual fantasies are shared between men and women, possibly because of cultural influence. Men are more likely than women to imagine being in a dominant or active role, whereas women are more likely to imagine themselves as passive participants.
However, whether people are willing to open up to their partner generally depends on the content of such fantasies. These occur during REM rapid eye movement phases of sleep,  which is the main stage when humans dream. This can include fantasies discussed above and fetishes , such as BDSM bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism or age-play.
It has been described by some as an adult form of L. P live action role-play. Many adolescents find online role-play pleasurable and arousing. Slash fiction is a type of fan fiction where the characters of the same sex originally male-male engage in romantic or sexual activities.
Slash fiction allows people the freedom to share stimulating things that can be counter-cultural. However, there may still be copyright or obscenity laws if posted onto a public forum or published.