This Is What Keeps Men And Women Sexually Satisfied


Researchers surveyed 1000 couples in 5 countries looking at sexual satisfaction in relationships 1-51 years in length.

Some interesting points:

  • Men were more sexually satisfied with with their relationship when they had frequent recent sex and fewer lifetime sexual partners: “Lifetime number of sexual partners was a significant predictor of sexual but not relationship satisfaction, and this only for men. Men reported more lifetime sexual partners than women (M = 11.9 vs. 4.9). More sexual partners predicted less sexual satisfaction. Searching for a better partner or sexual experience may emerge from or be connected to a lack of sexual satisfaction rather than just a desire for sexual recreation and variety. Alternatively, more partners might indicate different standards based on greater experience.
  • “For women, however, the impact of duration on sexual satisfaction is both significant and substantial. During the first 15 years of the relationship, women had significantly lower probabilities of reporting satisfaction than men. From year 30 on in the relationship, however, women had a significantly higher probability of reporting satisfaction.”
  • “Men who valued their partner’s orgasm were more likely to report relationship happiness, with each additional point of valuation increasing the odds of happiness by a factor of 1.17. Reporting frequent kissing and cuddling and frequent sexual caressing by partner both increased the odds of reporting relationship happiness by a factor of approximately 3.”
  • Country-level patterns indicated that Japanese and Brazilian women were significantly more likely than U.S. women to report sexual satisfaction, net of all other characteristics.”

The abstract:

Sexuality research focuses almost exclusively on individuals rather than couples, though ongoing relationships are very important for most people and cultures. The present study was the first to examine sexual and relationship parame- ters of middle-aged and older couples in committed relationships of 1–51 years duration. Survey research was conducted in Brazil, Germany, Japan, Spain, and the U.S. targeting 200 men aged 40–70 and their female partners in each country, with 1,009 couples in the final sample. Key demographic, health, physical intimacy, sexual behavior, sexual function, and sexual history variables were used to model relationship happiness and sexual satisfaction. The median ages were 55 for men and 52 for women; median relationship duration was 25 years. Relationship satisfaction in men depended on health, physical intimacy, and sexual functioning, while in women only sexual functioning predicted relationship satisfaction. Models predicting sexual satisfaction included significant physical intimacy and sexual functioning for both genders and, for men, more frequent recent sexual activity and fewer lifetime partners. Longer relationship duration predicted greater relationship happiness and sexual satisfaction for men. However, women in relationships of 20 to 40 years were significantly less likely than men to report relationship happiness. Compared to men, women showed lower sexual satisfaction early in the relationship and greater sexual satisfaction later. Within the long-term committed relationship context, there were significant gender differences in correlates of sexual and relationship satisfaction, with sexual functioning a common predictor of both types of satisfaction and physical intimacy a more consistent and salient predictor for men.

Source: “Sexual Satisfaction and Relationship Happiness in Midlife and Older Couples in Five Countries” from Arch Sex Behav (2011) 40:741–753

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