Does wetness always equal arousal?

Does having a lubricated vagina automatically mean that one is aroused sexually? Is it possible to be fully wet without having an arousal?

Most women are turned on by their sexual partners whenever they have intercourse. However, this is not always the case. Sometimes, one could have a lubricated vagina without actually being aroused.

The term for this reaction is called ‘arousal non concordance,’and it is particularly common amongst women. There are several reasons why this can occur, but first it is imperative to know the ways in which arousal occurs.

Two types of arousal

According to the American Psychological Association, arousal is a state of excitement or energy expenditure linked to an emotion. There are two types of arousal; physiological arousal and subjective sexual arousal.

Physiological arousal occurs due to physiological responses, like increased blood flow around the genitalia or increased heart rate. The International Society for Sexual Medicine defines subjective sexual arousal as the active mental engagement in sex. Whenever there is a disconnect between these two, arousal non concordance occurs.

Why wetness then?

Wetness can be caused by varying factors. Genital lubrication is a natural physiological reaction. Lubrication is a self-cleansing mechanism that keeps your vulva clean, moist and infection-free.

Sex expert, Emily Nagoski, in her book Come as you are, explains that some people get wet even if stimuli is ‘disgusting, appalling or horrifying.’ It just means that your brain is receiving sexual signals, even involuntarily. A genital response is not desire or pleasure, it’s just sexually relevant.

Consent is always key. Whenever you are having sex with your partner, pay attention to their words and how they feel rather than just a response from their genitals.

It is important to note that this concept applies to rape victims as well. According to a rape crisis centre in England, survivors of sexual assault are often told that they are not 'true victims' because in cases where they produced a sexual physiological response, such as becoming wet during the assault. Knowing that vaginal lubrication does not equate to arousal completely destroys this argument and should be noted in the future when issues of sexual assault are discussed.

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