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Emotional intimacy is the best predictor of sexual satisfaction of men and women with sexual arousal problems


This study investigates the association between variables related to individual body appearance and relationship variables with sexual satisfaction (SS) in a sample of men and women with sexual arousal problems (SAP). An anonymous cross-sectional survey was conducted in a clinical setting with a non-representative sample of people diagnosed (DSP) with SAP and with a sample of people who identified themselves (SISP) as having a SAP. A total of 193 participants was recruited. SS and variables related to body appearance and relationship were measured. Hierarchical regression was used to study the contribution of different sets of variables on SS of men and women. No differences were found in terms of demographic variables, except for gender. Women in the SISP group presented significantly higher levels of SS than women in the DSP group. The predictive models proved to be statistically significant and explained many of the variance of SS in both men (R2=0.44) and women (R2=0.40). In both genders, emotional intimacy was revealed to be the main predictor of SS. Our results support the need to address relationship variables in patients diagnosed with SAP, specifically intimacy. This latter component must be considered for assessment, intervention and referral.

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We thank Marta Crawford, MSc for her precious support throughout this study. This study was supported by a grant with the reference SFRH/BD/39934/2007 from the National Foundation of Science and Technology.

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Correspondence to P M Pascoal.

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Pascoal, P., Narciso, I. & Pereira, N. Emotional intimacy is the best predictor of sexual satisfaction of men and women with sexual arousal problems. Int J Impot Res 25, 51–55 (2013).

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  • body dissatisfaction
  • clinical sample
  • intimacy
  • sexual arousal
  • sexual satisfaction predictors

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