Sex & Relationships  
comments_image Comments

12 Things That Impact Your Sexual Satisfaction

Scientists have devoted numerous studies to gauge the factors that play a role in how gratified we are in the bedroom.
 
 
Share
 
 
 
 

Most people consider a satisfying sex life to be one of life’s key pleasures and often an indicator of a good relationship. Yet defining sexual satisfaction is no easy task. To better understand this elusive concept, scientists have devoted numerous studies to gauge the factors that play a role in how gratified we are in the bedroom. 

The scientific study of such a multifaceted and clearly subjective psychological concept is not easy. Nonetheless, here are 12 factors that scientists have determined impact reported levels of sexual satisfaction. 

1. Pornography. It may be time to click the exit button on those X-rated sites, as pornography can curtail sexual satisfaction. Studies have shown a direct correlation between the amount of porn one watches and one's level of overall sexual satisfaction. People who watch a lot of porn are  less likely to be pleased with their partner’s physical appearance and sexual performance and more likely to compare their partners with porn models. Relationships can suffer, as porn can lead to a drop-off in the primary sexual relationship. This can often leave one partner feeling inadequate or unable to compete with what's onscreen.

2. Communication and intimacy. While it’s common to feel shy or intimidated when expressing sexual wants and needs, studies have shown that  sexually assertive people experience much greater levels of sexual satisfaction than those who hold back. Unsurprisingly, intimate, loving relationships coupled with good communication equate with high sexual satisfaction. The ability to express preferences in the bedroom, negotiate exchanges and ask about sexual history play a major role in how a woman feels about sex, according to the  Essential Handbook of Women’s Sexuality.

3. Single versus relationship. Casual sexual encounters tend not to be as satisfying as sex within a relationship, with some studies suggesting the more sexual partners a person has, the less sexually satisfied they feel. One explanation for this is that casual sex partners are less focused on pleasing one another and voicing their sexual needs, with women more likely to orgasm from sex within a relationship than during a hookup. While many women feel fine about engaging in casual sex, according to one study, many felt disrespected or cheated by the behavior of their partner the morning after, which impacted upon satisfaction levels, even when there was no desire for the one-night stand to lead to a relationship. 

4. Rewards-to-costs ratio. Under the rewards-to-cost  theory, when the level of "rewards" in a relationship exceeds the level of "costs" or there is equality between both rewards and costs, sexual satisfaction is high. Rewards refer to the positive aspects of a relationship that bring joy and satisfaction, versus costs which are things that are likely to cause pain, anxiety or require effort. Therefore, if your sex life brings you more fun than pain, the fun level exceeds expectations, or the pain level is lower than expected, you are likely to be sexually satisfied, according to Psychology Today. As a general rule of thumb, women are more likely to consider the psychological aspects as rewards, such as security and love, and the physical and behavioral aspects as costs, such as having sex when not in the mood.

5. Age. The issue of age and sexual satisfaction has been fraught with conflicted data. On one hand, research shows sexual satisfaction and libido decline with age, as do  thoughts and frequency of sex. This is a result of both biological and health factors that arise later on in life as well as a natural decline in desire over longer periods of co-habitation with the same partner. On the other hand, there are equally as many studies showing that older people are satisfied, if not more so, than their younger counterparts with  liberal men having sex into their 80s. A Durex study revealed that those over 65 are still having sex more than once a week. After all, age brings confidence and experience.

 
See more stories tagged with: