For Satisfying Sex, a Sexually Confident Partner May Not Be As Important As You Think

For Satisfying Sex, a Sexually Confident Partner May Not Be As Important As You Think

intimacy486 words

March 10, 2016

 

By Nicole Lewis

 

Ever fallen into bed with a self-proclaimed “master of sex” only to have a less-than-masterful experience? As it turns out, having a sexually confident lover doesn’t guarantee a good time between the sheets.

A new study conducted by psychologists at The University of Waterloo in Ontario suggests that having a positive sense of one’s sexual ability doesn’t actually ensure partner satisfaction. Instead, high sex confidence better predicts one’s own sexual fulfillment.

The study, published in the February edition of the Archives of Sexual Health, builds on decades of research about sexual self-schema. Sexual self-schema refers to the ideas people have about facets of their sexuality. In the past, many studies on sexual-schema only focused on individuals.

In her study, lead researcher Dr. Rehman wanted to know how sexual self-perceptions affect couple’s experiences in the bedroom. So, Dr. Rehman and her team recruited 117 heterosexual couples from Southwestern Ontario. Each participant was asked to respond to a series of affirmations about their sex life and rate how often the affirmations applied to them. Each participant then filled out a second questionnaire about his or her partner’s sexual gratification.

For both men and women, a positive sense of sexual ability was consistent with their own sexual fulfillment. But, when asked about their partner’s level of enjoyment, people with positive sexual schemas tended to overestimate their partner’s sense of delight. More, high carnal confidence didn’t actually translate into high levels of satisfaction for their partners.

For Dr. Rehman, the study’s findings led to more questions about the role of self-perception inside of relationships. Research on couples often suggests that positive illusions, such as the idea one’s partner is sexually fulfilled, can have favorable benefits inside the relationship, said Dr. Rehman.

“At what point does the illusion — even though it is positive — end up hurting the relationship because you think of yourself as someone who is very erotic and a good lover, but you aren’t taking in cues about your partner’s satisfaction,” asked Dr. Rehman.

For Dr. Milhausen, Associate Professor in the department of Family Relations and Human Sexuality at The University of Guelph, the study supports her belief that they key to a fulfilling sex life lies in developing a positive sexual sense-of-self.

“You have to take responsibility for your own satisfaction. As this study demonstrates, it’s how you feel about yourself that makes the difference,” said Dr. Milhausen. “We have to look at our own sexual self-concept if we want to change our sexual satisfaction.”

In the future, Dr. Rehman hopes to build on her research on self-perception to better understand how couple’s can effectively communicate their sexual needs.

“How you tend to view intimacy between you and other people is another important aspect of sexuality,” said Dr. Rehman. “Is it difficult? Are you secure? Are you anxious? We want to understand how those models of intimacy impact how you share your sexual needs with your partner.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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