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J Sex Marital Ther. 2018;44(5):475-484. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2017.1408046. Epub 2018 Feb 12.

Women's Attributions Regarding Why They Have Difficulty Reaching Orgasm.

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a Department of Psychology , Valparaiso University , Valparaiso , Indiana , USA.


Difficulty reaching orgasm during partnered sex is relatively common among women. Yet the reasons, likely multivariate, are not fully understood. This study identified perceived causes for orgasmic difficulty in 452 women during partnered sex. The most commonly endorsed reasons were stress/anxiety, insufficient arousal, and lack of time during sex; body image, pain, inadequate lubrication, and medical/medication issues were endorsed less frequently. Distressed and nondistressed women differed on several attributions, including sexual interest, partner perceptions, stress, and adequate time during sex. These findings implicate greater internalization of attributions among distressed women compared with nondistressed women and suggest possible avenues for remediation.

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