Pharmacological and physiological aspects of sexual exhaustion

Departamento de Farmacobiología, Cinvestav, Mexico.
Scandinavian Journal of Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.29). 08/2003; 44(3):257-63. DOI: 10.1111/1467-9450.00343
Source: PubMed


The present article reviews the current findings on the interesting phenomenon of sexual satiety. Knut Larsson in 1956 reported on the development of sexual exhaustion in the male rat after repeated copulation. We have studied the process and found the following results. (1) One day after 4 hours of ad libitum copulation, two-thirds of the population showed complete inhibition of sexual behavior, while the other third displayed a single ejaculatory series from which they did not recover. (2) Several pharmacological treatments, including 8-OH-DPAT, yohimbine, naloxone and naltrexone, reverse this sexual satiety, indicating that the noradrenergic, serotonergic and opiate systems are involved in this process. Indeed, direct neurochemical determinations showed changes in various neurotransmitters during sexual exhaustion. (3) Given enough stimulation, by changing the stimulus female, sexual satiety was prevented, suggesting that there are motivational components of the sexual inhibition that characterizes sexual exhaustion. (4) The GABA antagonist bicuculline, or the electrical stimulation of the medial preoptic area, did not reverse sexual exhaustion. These data suggest, on the one hand, that sexual exhaustion and the postejaculatory interval (which is shortened by bicuculline administration) are not mediated by similar mechanisms and, on the other, that the medial preoptic area does not regulate sexual satiety. (5) The androgen receptor density in brain areas closely related to the expression of masculine sexual behavior, such as the medial preoptic nucleus, was drastically reduced in sexually exhausted animals. Such reduction was specific to certain brain areas and was not related to changes in the levels of androgens. These results suggest that changes in brain androgen receptors account for the inhibition of sexual behavior present during sexual exhaustion. (6) The recovery process of sexual satiety after 4 hours of ad libitum copulation reveals that, after 4 days, only 63% of the males are able to show sexual behavior while after 7 days all animals display copulatory activity.

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Available from: Alonso Fernández-Guasti, Oct 13, 2015
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    • "This phenomenon named the Coolidge effect, is generalized to males of various species ranging from bugs to mammals, and denotes the importance of a motivational component underlying sexual satiety [2]. This conclusion receives further support from the observation that as males approach sexual satiety the motivational aspects of the mating pattern, as the length of the postejaculatory interval, drastically increase [3] [6] [7]. In the female, there is a short period of reduced responsivity after the male has intromitted or ejaculated into the female [8] [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The mating inhibition after repeated copulation (sexual satiety) and its re-commencement after changing the sexually active partner (Coolidge effect) are well recognized phenomena in males, but their occurrence in females is little explored. These two phenomena were compared in conditions when the female regulates copulation timing (pacing) and under non-paced mating. Female rats selected in proestrus copulated incessantly for 3h with two different partners (for 90min each), both of them sexually active and unknown for the female. During the entire test we recorded the hop/dart and ear wiggling frequencies and the lordosis quotient. In the pacing test we also registered the percentage of exits and the return latencies after mounts, intromissions and ejaculation within each copulatory series, the mean time the female spent in the neutral chamber and the number of crossings. In the non-paced mating situation there was a reduction in ear wiggling and hop/darting frequencies after 3h of constant copulation. In the paced mating condition, also by the end of the test, the female spent more time in the neutral compartment and showed fewer crossings to the male's zone. Only when the female regulated mating, the change of the male provoked an increased hop/darting frequency accompanied by a reduced percentage of exits from the male's chamber after an intromission and in the time in the neutral compartment. These changes were not associated with alterations in receptivity, which was maximal along the test. Data are discussed by comparing the mating conditions and the sex differences in the effect of repeated copulation and partner replacement.
    Physiology & Behavior 07/2013; 120. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.07.006 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    • "In rats, for example, males ejaculate 8–12 times with the same sexually receptive female [14]; during this ~2.5 h of constant copulation [15] the postejaculatory intervals increase until the male ceases mating and can be categorized as sexually satiated [16] [17]. As aforementioned, the introduction of a new sexually receptive female shortly after sexual satiety induces the Coolidge effect: a renewed bout of mating for another ~2.5 h [14] [18] [19]. Therefore, we asked if this renewed behavioral motor pattern of ejaculation after sexual satiety — during the Coolidge effect — is accompanied by an absence of ejaculate in the female reproductive tract due to a reduction in sperm count in the epididymis cauda (experiment 1). "
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    ABSTRACT: Sexually satiated males cease copulating after several ejaculations with the same female; and the presence of an unknown receptive female renews copulation including ejaculation, a process named the Coolidge effect. It is believed that the Coolidge effect has the aim to impregnate another female, although it is known that the sperm count gradually decreases after consecutive ejaculations. The main goal was to investigate if sexually satiated males during the Coolidge effect can reestablish seminal expulsion associated to the ejaculation behavior and/or penile erection associated to the intromission behavior. The results show that during the Coolidge effect, most of the sexually satiated males showed the motor ejaculatory behavior, however, no sperm in the uterine horns or seminal plug in the vagina were detected. Such lack of sperm was not related with the number of ejaculations required to achieve sexual satiety nor with the number of intromissions needed for ejaculating (experiment 1: 2.4.1.). After the behavioral ejaculation, during the Coolidge effect, there was a 44% decrease in sperm count in the epididymal caudae (experiment 1: 2.4.2.). Males that mated for 8 behavioral ejaculations (close to sexual satiety) deposited tiny seminal plugs but no sperm in the female reproductive tract (experiment 1: 2.4.3.). Interestingly, sexually satiated and non-satiated-animals displayed similar number of intromissions and spent a similar time in dislodging the seminal plug from the vagina deposited by other males (experiment 2). These results suggest that sexually satiated males during the Coolidge effect have the capacity for penile erection and vaginal insertion, because they are able to dislodge seminal plugs; but are unable to expel seminal fluid, because neither form seminal plugs nor deposit sperm in the female genital tract.
    Physiology & Behavior 04/2012; 106(5):626-30. DOI:10.1016/j.physbeh.2012.04.020 · 2.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This chapter discusses the neurobiology of male sexual behavior. Sexual behavior in animals, including the courtship that precedes it, is characterized by enormous diversity. This diversity assures that mating will occur with the optimal partner at the most appropriate time and place, in order to pass parental genotypes onto the next generation. Male animals use species-specific displays to advertise their fitness and suitability as a partner. As they approach the female, they also gain information about her desirability and willingness to mate. In rodents, both partners may emit ultrasonic vocalizations, which are mutually arousing. A receptive female typically remains immobile while the male approaches from her rear, clasps her flanks with his forepaws, and initiates a series of shallow thrusts with his pelvis. Intromission is the defining event of copulation. If the male detects the female's vagina, he will perform a deeper, intravaginal thrust, followed by a rapid, springing dismount. This behavior pattern is reliably associated with penile insertion and is used as the measure of intromission in rats and many other rodents. Most male mammals ejaculate only after receiving stimulation from multiple intromissions. Ejaculation is characterized behaviorally by a deeper, longer thrust, and a slow, relaxed dismount. Rhythmic contractions of skeletal and striated perineal muscles, including the bulbospongiosus, ischiocavernosus, and anal sphincter, usually accompany ejaculation. In human males and females, such muscle contractions are associated with orgasm, the subjective correlate of the culmination of sexual excitement.
    Knobil and Neill's Physiology of Reproduction, 01/2006: pages 1729-1824; , ISBN: 978-0-12-515400-0
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