Sexual arousal (also sexual excitement) is the arousal of sexual desire, during or in anticipation of sexual activity. A number of physiological responses occur in the body and mind as preparation for sex and continue during it. Genital responses are not the only changes, but noticeable and necessary for consensual and comfortable intercourse. Male arousal will lead to an erection and in female arousal, the body's response is engorged sexual tissues such as nipples, vulva, clitoris, vaginal walls and vaginal lubrication. Mental stimuli and physical stimuli such as touch, and the internal fluctuation of hormones, can influence sexual arousal.
Sexual arousal has several stages and may not lead to any actual sexual activity, beyond a mental arousal and the physiological changes that accompany it. Given sufficient sexual stimulation, sexual arousal in humans reaches its climax during an orgasm. It may also be pursued for its own sake, even in the absence of an orgasm.