Associations between sexually submissive and dominant behaviors and sexual function in men and women

Sijia Huang, Patrik Jern, Caoyuan Niu, Pekka Santtila

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Abstract

The current study investigated the associations between sexually submissive and dominant behaviors and sexual dysfunction in Finnish men and women. We analyzed three population-based data sets from 2006, 2009, and 2021–2022, including 29,821 participants in total. Participants filled out a questionnaire about their sexually submissive and dominant behaviors, Sexual Distress Scale, Checklist for Early Ejaculation Symptoms and International Index of Erectile Function Questionnaire-5 (men), and Female Sexual Function Index (women). Pearson Correlations showed that for both sexes, sexually submissive (men: r = 0.119, p < 0.001; women: r = 0.175, p < 0.001) and dominant (men: r = 0.150, p < 0.001; women: r = 0.147, p < 0.001) behaviors were both associated with more sexual distress. However, for men, sexually submissive (r = −0.126, p < 0.001) and dominant behaviors (r = −0.156, p < 0.001) were associated with less early ejaculation symptoms. Both sexually submissive (r = 0.040, p = 0.026) and dominant behaviors (r = 0.062, p < 0.001) were also associated with better erectile function while sexually dominant behavior alone was associated with better orgasmic function (r = 0.049, p = 0.007), intercourse satisfaction (r = 0.068, p < 0.001), and overall satisfaction (r = 0.042, p = 0.018). For women, both sexually submissive (r = 0.184, p < 0.001) and dominant behaviors (r = 0.173, p < 0.001) were also associated with better overall female sexual function. One possible explanation is that these individuals have a clear idea of what they prefer sexually facilitating arousal. Particularly, sexually submissive behavior may reduce high-level self-awareness and, in this way, contribute to reduced performance anxiety. However, non-normative interests seem to simultaneously result in increased sexual distress probably due to the absence of self-acceptance. Further research about the causal mechanisms between non-normative sexual interest and sexual function is needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Impotence Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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