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The associations of sexual desire, daily stress, and intimacy in gay men in long-term relationships

Abstract

We investigated the associations between daily stress, sexual desire and intimacy in gay men in long-term relationships. A daily diary method of data collection was used. Twenty-two adult participants completed brief questionnaires ten times per day during seven consecutive days. Multilevel regression analyses revealed significant negative associations of daily stress with sexual desire (p = 0.003); higher stress came with lower levels of sexual desire, and vice versa. The hypothesized moderation effect of the associations of stress with sexual desire by intimacy was found significant (p = 0.003). However, the effect was not as predicted: at higher levels of intimacy the negative effect of stress on sexual desire was shown to be stronger than at lower levels. Most temporal associations of stress and intimacy with sexual desire were not significant. Nevertheless, the present findings implicate that daily stress and intimacy are important factors in sexual functioning of gay men in long-term relationships.

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Fig. 1: Moderation of the effect of stress on sexual desire by intimacy.
Fig. 2: Moderation of the effect of lagged sexual desire on stress by lagged intimacy.

Data availability

The data and SPSS syntax to analyze it are available at: https://osf.io/3yfbx/.

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Conceptualization: JH, JvL. Data Collection: JH. Formal analysis: PvT. Methodology: JH, JvL. Funding acquisition: N/A. Writing–original draft: JH, JvL. Writing–review & editing: JH, PvT, JvL.

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Correspondence to Jacques van Lankveld.

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Hiemstra, J., van Tuijl, P. & van Lankveld, J. The associations of sexual desire, daily stress, and intimacy in gay men in long-term relationships. Int J Impot Res (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41443-023-00664-x

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