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Strategies for mitigating sexual desire discrepancy in relationships

Strategies for mitigating sexual desire discrepancy in relationships
Strategies for mitigating sexual desire discrepancy in relationships
Sexual desire discrepancy, when one member of a couple experiences more or less sexual desire relative to their partner, is among the main reasons for couples to seek therapy. A great deal of prior research has examined the complexity of sexual desire and the role of sexual desire discrepancy in long-term relationships, but little research has specifically examined strategies used to mitigate sexual desire discrepancy when it arises. Thus, the purpose of the present mixed methods study was to identify the strategies that individuals in long-term relationships use during times of desire discrepancy and to address whether the use of specific strategies influenced sexual and relationship satisfaction and sexual desire. We collected data from 229 participants and our thematic content analysis produced 17 strategies, divided into five main groups (disengagement, communication, engagement in activity alone, engagement in other activity with partner, and have sex anyway). Specific strategies were associated with sexual and relationship satisfaction but not with sexual desire. Specifically, partnered strategies were associated with higher levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to individual strategies. Additionally, participants who reported that their strategies were very helpful had higher levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to participants who found them somewhat helpful followed by not at all helpful. These results have implications for clinicians, educators, and researchers and highlight the importance of using effective strategies to deal with desire discrepancy and communicating about them in relationships. The use of effective strategies can have implications for overall couple well-being.
0004-0002
1017-1028
Vowels, Laura M.
c30dc6eb-4a98-4534-b784-499c2d291c5f
Mark, Kristen P.
5b9f6c3d-0ddf-43ac-97fb-5ce9db8c2b88
Vowels, Laura M.
c30dc6eb-4a98-4534-b784-499c2d291c5f
Mark, Kristen P.
5b9f6c3d-0ddf-43ac-97fb-5ce9db8c2b88

Vowels, Laura M. and Mark, Kristen P. (2020) Strategies for mitigating sexual desire discrepancy in relationships. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49 (3), 1017-1028. (doi:10.1007/s10508-020-01640-y).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Sexual desire discrepancy, when one member of a couple experiences more or less sexual desire relative to their partner, is among the main reasons for couples to seek therapy. A great deal of prior research has examined the complexity of sexual desire and the role of sexual desire discrepancy in long-term relationships, but little research has specifically examined strategies used to mitigate sexual desire discrepancy when it arises. Thus, the purpose of the present mixed methods study was to identify the strategies that individuals in long-term relationships use during times of desire discrepancy and to address whether the use of specific strategies influenced sexual and relationship satisfaction and sexual desire. We collected data from 229 participants and our thematic content analysis produced 17 strategies, divided into five main groups (disengagement, communication, engagement in activity alone, engagement in other activity with partner, and have sex anyway). Specific strategies were associated with sexual and relationship satisfaction but not with sexual desire. Specifically, partnered strategies were associated with higher levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to individual strategies. Additionally, participants who reported that their strategies were very helpful had higher levels of sexual and relationship satisfaction compared to participants who found them somewhat helpful followed by not at all helpful. These results have implications for clinicians, educators, and researchers and highlight the importance of using effective strategies to deal with desire discrepancy and communicating about them in relationships. The use of effective strategies can have implications for overall couple well-being.

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Vowels-Mark 2020 Article Strategies For Mitigating Sexual Desire - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 11 January 2020
e-pub ahead of print date: 7 February 2020
Published date: 1 April 2020

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 440893
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/440893
ISSN: 0004-0002
PURE UUID: 147a6af9-0233-4ead-89b1-6e6fbe5fe913
ORCID for Laura M. Vowels: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-5594-2095

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Date deposited: 21 May 2020 16:33
Last modified: 23 May 2020 00:44

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