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Sexual Desire Explored

By Senior News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on June 28, 2007

A new survey tool by Spanish researchers is designed to provide a reliable and valid evaluation of sexual desire. The inventory measures both solitary sexual motivation and the interest in having sexual intercourse with another person (didactic sexual desire).

According to the authors, the distinction is important because “it gives relevant information about possible disagreements in sexual desire that may appear in a couple”.

Preliminary findings suggest 32 percent of inhibited sexual desire in men is associated with negative sexual attitudes (low on erotophilia) and the presence or absence of certain types of sexual fantasies.

However, in women, just an 18 percent of inhibited sexual desire can be explained. This 18 percent of inhibition of sexual desire in women is related to anxiety, negative sexual attitudes (erotophobia) and the absence of sexual fantasies.

The results of this research, which have recently been published in the journals Análisis y Modificación de Conducta (Analysis and Modification of Behaviour) and Psychological Reports, reveal an important relation between sexual desire and erotophilia in men.

Men respond more positively towards sexual stimuli and thoughts, and they accept them more easily. The male population has an attitude that, together with sexual fantasies, heightens sexual drive.

Nevertheless, the research stresses that people sometimes may have a negative reaction to some types of fantasies. In this sense, the researchers have studied such behaviour in male subjects, where sexually sadistic fantasies inhibit sexual desire.

In turn, women also share the imagination at play. The more sexual fantasies they have, the more sexual desire they experience. However, “women normally present more anxiety disorders than men” regarding transitory emotional stages such as anxiety, because anxiety strongly affects women’s sexual function.

Sexual desire leads to other stages of sexual intercourse: excitation and orgasm. Therefore, having intercourse without desire may negatively affect the stages of sexual response.

“This first stage is the most complex because it is influenced by many factors”, declared the researchers. Sexual desire is explained by a three-dimensional model, which includes social, psychological, and neurophysiologic aspects.

For that reason, proper neurohormonal activity with a right sexual stimulation is necessary in order to experience sexual desire. “Besides this complexity, there is no comparison model, as occurs in the men’s excitation stage, where it is possible to determine the degree of excitation depending on the erection”.

Lead investigator Juan Carlos Sierra, points out that education on sexual stimulation and response as well as healthy attitudes towards sexuality is extremely important. In this way, sexual intercourse for those people will be more pleasurable and with less probability of having sexual dysfunctions. Furthermore, this study highlights the importance of sexual fantasies in sexuality.

In fact, sexual fantasies are used in sex therapy to diminish levels of anxiety of execution or of sexual activity, provided that there are no organic anomalies (lack of hormones, endocrinal disorders, etc.). Researchers at the University of Granada are currently working in this field of study.

Source: University of Granada

 

APA Reference
Nauert, R. (2007). Sexual Desire Explored. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 19, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/news/2007/06/28/sexual-desire-explored/935.html