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Costs of pleasure and the benefits of pain : self-perceived genital sensation, anatomy and sexual dysfunction

Nina Callens UGent, Guy Bronselaer, Petra De Sutter UGent, GRETA DE CUYPERE, Guy T'Sjoen UGent, Piet Hoebeke UGent and Martine Cools UGent (2016) SEXUAL HEALTH. 13(1). p.63-72
abstract
Background: Research has highlighted the complex association between female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and distress regarding sexual activity, with decreased physical pleasure being an important mediator. The current study aims to elucidate the association between pleasurable and painful genital sensitivity and FSD, and to further investigate whether FSD may be distressing because it prevents the experience of sexual pleasure, induces pain or both. Methods: Sexually active women (n = 256; median, 22 years; range, 18-49 years) completed web-based questionnaires, including the Self-Assessment of Genital Anatomy and Sexual Function, the Female Sexual Function Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale. Results: Women reported their clitoris to be more sensitive than their vagina in terms of having more pleasurable responses (P < 0.001), but not more painful responses (P = 0.49). In women with FSD (n = 36), impaired self-perceived genital sensation was found: they reported significantly less sexual pleasure and orgasm intensity, and more orgasm effort and discomfort within the clitoral and vaginal area than women without FSD (n = 220) (P-value < 0.05). The odds of having FSD were significantly greater in women with perceived increased discomfort in the vaginal area during stimulation (odds ratio = 5.59, P = 0.009, 95% confidence interval: 1.53-20.39), but not in the clitoral area. Conclusions: The data provide evidence of the relevance of self-perceived genital sensitivity to sexual pleasure and overall sexual experience. Enhancing the pleasurableness of genital sensations, especially during partnered sex, could decrease the likelihood of experiencing pain and concomitant FSD.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
journalArticle (original)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
clitoris, dyspareunia, female genitalia, genital sensitivity, self-assessment, vagina, FUNCTION INDEX FSFI, VULVAR VESTIBULITIS, UNITED-STATES, YOUNG-WOMEN, FEMALE, IMAGE, SENSITIVITY, DYSPAREUNIA, VALIDATION, AROUSAL
journal title
SEXUAL HEALTH
Sex Health
volume
13
issue
1
pages
63 - 72
Web of Science type
Article
Web of Science id
000370295000009
JCR category
PUBLIC, ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
JCR impact factor
1.238 (2016)
JCR rank
106/157 (2016)
JCR quartile
3 (2016)
ISSN
1448-5028
DOI
10.1071/SH15160
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
A1
copyright statement
I have transferred the copyright for this publication to the publisher
id
7051243
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-7051243
date created
2016-01-25 16:22:07
date last changed
2017-07-06 10:39:53
@article{7051243,
  abstract     = {Background: Research has highlighted the complex association between female sexual dysfunction (FSD) and distress regarding sexual activity, with decreased physical pleasure being an important mediator. The current study aims to elucidate the association between pleasurable and painful genital sensitivity and FSD, and to further investigate whether FSD may be distressing because it prevents the experience of sexual pleasure, induces pain or both.
Methods: Sexually active women (n = 256; median, 22 years; range, 18-49 years) completed web-based questionnaires, including the Self-Assessment of Genital Anatomy and Sexual Function, the Female Sexual Function Index and the Female Sexual Distress Scale.
Results: Women reported their clitoris to be more sensitive than their vagina in terms of having more pleasurable responses (P {\textlangle} 0.001), but not more painful responses (P = 0.49). In women with FSD (n = 36), impaired self-perceived genital sensation was found: they reported significantly less sexual pleasure and orgasm intensity, and more orgasm effort and discomfort within the clitoral and vaginal area than women without FSD (n = 220) (P-value {\textlangle} 0.05). The odds of having FSD were significantly greater in women with perceived increased discomfort in the vaginal area during stimulation (odds ratio = 5.59, P = 0.009, 95\% confidence interval: 1.53-20.39), but not in the clitoral area.
Conclusions: The data provide evidence of the relevance of self-perceived genital sensitivity to sexual pleasure and overall sexual experience. Enhancing the pleasurableness of genital sensations, especially during partnered sex, could decrease the likelihood of experiencing pain and concomitant FSD.},
  author       = {Callens, Nina and Bronselaer, Guy and De Sutter, Petra and DE CUYPERE, GRETA and T'Sjoen, Guy and Hoebeke, Piet and Cools, Martine},
  issn         = {1448-5028},
  journal      = {SEXUAL HEALTH},
  keyword      = {clitoris,dyspareunia,female genitalia,genital sensitivity,self-assessment,vagina,FUNCTION INDEX FSFI,VULVAR VESTIBULITIS,UNITED-STATES,YOUNG-WOMEN,FEMALE,IMAGE,SENSITIVITY,DYSPAREUNIA,VALIDATION,AROUSAL},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {63--72},
  title        = {Costs of pleasure and the benefits of pain : self-perceived genital sensation, anatomy and sexual dysfunction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/SH15160},
  volume       = {13},
  year         = {2016},
}

Chicago
Callens, Nina, Guy Bronselaer, Petra De Sutter, GRETA DE CUYPERE, Guy T’Sjoen, Piet Hoebeke, and Martine Cools. 2016. “Costs of Pleasure and the Benefits of Pain : Self-perceived Genital Sensation, Anatomy and Sexual Dysfunction.” Sexual Health 13 (1): 63–72.
APA
Callens, N., Bronselaer, G., De Sutter, P., DE CUYPERE, G., T’Sjoen, G., Hoebeke, P., & Cools, M. (2016). Costs of pleasure and the benefits of pain : self-perceived genital sensation, anatomy and sexual dysfunction. SEXUAL HEALTH, 13(1), 63–72.
Vancouver
1.
Callens N, Bronselaer G, De Sutter P, DE CUYPERE G, T’Sjoen G, Hoebeke P, et al. Costs of pleasure and the benefits of pain : self-perceived genital sensation, anatomy and sexual dysfunction. SEXUAL HEALTH. 2016;13(1):63–72.
MLA
Callens, Nina, Guy Bronselaer, Petra De Sutter, et al. “Costs of Pleasure and the Benefits of Pain : Self-perceived Genital Sensation, Anatomy and Sexual Dysfunction.” SEXUAL HEALTH 13.1 (2016): 63–72. Print.