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On the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality

Marieke Dewitte (UGent)
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Abstract
To date, theory and research on the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality is scarce. This is remarkable because people most often have sex in a relationship. To create more valid models of sexual functioning, it is important to go beyond the study of individual factors and take into account relational and contextual variables, which may act as risk and protective factors for developing, maintaining, and exacerbating sexual problems. This article describes theoretical ideas on how sexuality and relationships can be linked through motivation and emotion regulation. First, the sexual system is conceptualized as an emotion regulation device that involves a dynamic interplay between cognitive, affective, and motivational responses. Then, it is illustrated how partner variables, relationship processes, and sociorelational context may interact with these different responses and eventually shape how sexual emotions are generated and regulated. The author continues with explaining the implications of such emotion-motivational perspective for studying determinants of sexual responding, the role of coregulation in tuning sexual responses in the couple, and the interrelation between the sexual and relational goals of both partners. Linking sexual and nonsexual aspects of relationships and including data of both couple members is necessary for a clearer insight into the nature of sexual dysfunctions.
Keywords
DATING COUPLES, WOMEN, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, SATISFACTION, ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION, EMOTION REGULATION, PARTNER RESPONSES, ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS, ATTACHMENT ORIENTATIONS, PAIN

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Dewitte, Marieke. “On the Interpersonal Dynamics of Sexuality.” JOURNAL OF SEX & MARITAL THERAPY 40.3 (2014): 209–232. Print.
APA
Dewitte, M. (2014). On the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality. JOURNAL OF SEX & MARITAL THERAPY, 40(3), 209–232.
Chicago author-date
Dewitte, Marieke. 2014. “On the Interpersonal Dynamics of Sexuality.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 40 (3): 209–232.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Dewitte, Marieke. 2014. “On the Interpersonal Dynamics of Sexuality.” Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy 40 (3): 209–232.
Vancouver
1.
Dewitte M. On the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality. JOURNAL OF SEX & MARITAL THERAPY. 2014;40(3):209–32.
IEEE
[1]
M. Dewitte, “On the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality,” JOURNAL OF SEX & MARITAL THERAPY, vol. 40, no. 3, pp. 209–232, 2014.
@article{4429368,
  abstract     = {To date, theory and research on the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality is scarce. This is remarkable because people most often have sex in a relationship. To create more valid models of sexual functioning, it is important to go beyond the study of individual factors and take into account relational and contextual variables, which may act as risk and protective factors for developing, maintaining, and exacerbating sexual problems. This article describes theoretical ideas on how sexuality and relationships can be linked through motivation and emotion regulation. First, the sexual system is conceptualized as an emotion regulation device that involves a dynamic interplay between cognitive, affective, and motivational responses. Then, it is illustrated how partner variables, relationship processes, and sociorelational context may interact with these different responses and eventually shape how sexual emotions are generated and regulated. The author continues with explaining the implications of such emotion-motivational perspective for studying determinants of sexual responding, the role of coregulation in tuning sexual responses in the couple, and the interrelation between the sexual and relational goals of both partners. Linking sexual and nonsexual aspects of relationships and including data of both couple members is necessary for a clearer insight into the nature of sexual dysfunctions.},
  author       = {Dewitte, Marieke},
  issn         = {0092-623X},
  journal      = {JOURNAL OF SEX & MARITAL THERAPY},
  keywords     = {DATING COUPLES,WOMEN,INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES,SATISFACTION,ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION,EMOTION REGULATION,PARTNER RESPONSES,ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS,ATTACHMENT ORIENTATIONS,PAIN},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {209--232},
  title        = {On the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0092623X.2012.710181},
  volume       = {40},
  year         = {2014},
}

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