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J Pers Soc Psychol. 2016 Oct;111(4):530-46. doi: 10.1037/pspi0000069. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Intimately connected: The importance of partner responsiveness for experiencing sexual desire.

Author information

1
Baruch Ivcher School of Psychology, Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya.
2
Department of Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology, University of Rochester.
3
Jacobs Institute, Cornell Tech.
4
Department of Psychology, Bar-Ilan University.

Abstract

Sexual desire tends to subside gradually over time, with many couples failing to maintain desire in their long-term relationships. Three studies employed complementary methodologies to examine whether partner responsiveness, an intimacy-building behavior, could instill desire for one's partner. In Study 1, participants were led to believe that they would interact online with their partner. In reality, they interacted with either a responsive or an unresponsive confederate. In Study 2, participants interacted face-to-face with their partner, and judges coded their displays of responsiveness and sexual desire. Study 3 used a daily experiences methodology to examine the mechanisms underlying the responsiveness-desire linkage. Overall, responsiveness was associated with increased desire, but more strongly in women. Feeling special and perceived partner mate value explained the responsiveness-desire link, suggesting that responsive partners were seen as making one feel valued as well as better potential mates for anyone and thus as more sexually desirable. (PsycINFO Database Record.

PMID:
27399250
DOI:
10.1037/pspi0000069
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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