Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Sex Med. 2010 Feb;7(2 Pt 1):775-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01559.x. Epub 2009 Nov 3.

Immature defense mechanisms are associated with lesser vaginal orgasm consistency and greater alcohol consumption before sex.

Author information

  • 1School of Social Sciences, University of the West of Scotland, Paisley, UK.



Disturbances of emotional and physical awareness can impair female sexual function. Previous research revealed that immature psychological defense mechanisms (impairing emotional awareness) are associated specifically with impaired vaginal orgasm (orgasm triggered solely by penile-vaginal stimulation). Alcohol consumed before sex (ACBS) might impair vaginal orgasm or lead to avoiding the opportunity for it, but research examining immature defenses, ACBS, and specific sexual behaviors has been lacking.


To test the hypothesis that greater use of immature defenses and greater ACBS are inversely associated with vaginal orgasm consistency, but unrelated or positively correlated with greater frequency of other sexual behaviors.


Three hundred twenty-three coitally experienced women (predominantly Scottish) responded to an online survey reporting their frequency of various sexual activities (and corresponding orgasms) and their ACBS, and completed the Defense Style Questionnaire DSQ-40.


Univariate and multivariate correlations of immature defenses, ACBS, and various sexual behaviors.


Both immature defenses and ACBS were associated with less vaginal orgasm consistency, but unrelated or positively correlated with frequency of other sexual behaviors (including clitoral masturbation during penile-vaginal intercourse). Immature defenses were associated with more ACBS. Immature defenses explained the association between ACBS and both lack of vaginal orgasm and greater frequency of other sexual behaviors.


The results provide further evidence that difficulty in having a vaginal orgasm is associated with immature defenses (and associated disturbances of sensibility), among other indicators of poorer health and relatedness. ACBS might impair vaginal orgasm or increase the likelihood of choosing other sexual activities, but this effect might be somewhat contingent on immature defenses. Based on various empirical studies, we call for examination of the possibility that lack of vaginal orgasm (given an adequate man) should qualify as a female sexual dysfunction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk