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J Sex Res. 2009 Jul-Aug;46(4):330-43. doi: 10.1080/00224490902754103.

Conscious regulation of sexual arousal in men.

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Department of Psychology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


The goals of this study were to examine the effectiveness of emotional reappraisal in regulating male sexual arousal and to investigate a set of variables theoretically linked to sexual arousal regulation success. Participants first completed a series of online sexuality questionnaires. Subsequently, they were assessed for their success in regulating sexual arousal in the laboratory. Results showed that the ability to regulate emotion may cross emotional domains; those men best able to regulate sexual arousal were also the most skilled at regulating their level of amusement to humorous stimuli. Participants, on average, were somewhat able to regulate their physiological and cognitive sexual arousal, although there was a wide range of regulation success. Whereas some men were very adept at regulating their sexual arousal, others became more sexually aroused while trying to regulate. Age, sexual experience, and sexual compulsivity were unrelated to sexual arousal regulation. Conversely, sexual excitation, inhibition, and desire correlated with sexual arousal regulation success. Increased sexual excitation and desire were associated with poorer regulatory performance, whereas a propensity for sexual inhibition due to fear of performance consequences was related to regulatory success.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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