Differences in Sexual Desire: Trouble?

Do you and your partner share a similar level of sexual desire? Do you feel unsatisfied? Too satisfied?

One would assume that when partners share a similar level of sexual desire there aren’t any issues, are there? And what about when there are differences? Differences in sexual desire can lead to many issues in a relationship, frustration, disputes and stress. Is it safe also safe to assume that no matter the difference in level of sexual desire, there will always be problems? Well that is what a new study sought to find out.

A study that looked at 3 different studies of couples from Canada and the United States. The participants were on average in their 30s, mostly white, married and together for about 6.5 years on average.

Participants complete questionnaires which measured sexual satisfaction, sexual desire for their partner and their relationship satisfaction.

Probably unsurprising to most men had a higher level of sexual desire, 229 couples vs 115 couples where the woman had a higher level of sexual desire. Only 22 couples reported equal levels of sexual desire.

More importantly they found that a greater difference (say 5 vs 9 on a 10-point scale) in sexual desire was tied to relationship satisfaction and sexual satisfaction. However, those that were matched is sexual desire were not more satisfied than those who were mismatched. The most interesting finding was the overall level of sexual desire was associated with higher relationship and sexual satisfaction. For example, a 7 and 9 vs 3 and 5 on a 10-point scale. The 7 and 9 couples would have more satisfaction, generally, than the 3 and 5 couple.


Original Article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/myths-desire/202009/are-couples-more-satisfied-when-they-match-in-sexual-desire

Paper: Kim, J. J., Muise, A., Barranti, M., Mark, K. P., Rosen, N. O., H, C., & Impett, E. (2020). Are couples more satisfied when they match in sexual desire? New insights from response surface analyses. Social Psychological and Personality Science, doi: 10.1177/1948550620926770

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