Pleasurable Insights: Conceptualizing the role of Sexual Pleasure within Intimate Relationships
Type of Degreedissertation
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Sexual pleasure is commonly thought of as the central construct motivating sexual behavior. However, there is very little empirically-based work on the conceptualization and measurement of sexual pleasure. The current study evaluated the dimensionality of sexual pleasure by conducting an exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis on items derived from the current theoretical accounts of the construct. These items yielded six pleasure and two pain/displeasure factors. All except one factor uniquely associated with sexual satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Additionally, two of the derived factors added significantly to models differentiating between sexually functional and dysfunctional individuals. These findings suggest that pleasure factors are distinct and uniquely associate with theoretically and clinically relevant variables.