Characteristics of Female Sexual Satisfaction

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The importance of sexual satisfaction in a healthy romantic relationship is clear. It tends to be associated with higher levels of love, commitment, and stability in the relationship and a lower divorce rate. Unfortunately, sexual problems, also called sexual dysfunctions, are fairly common. Research shows that in the United States, anywhere from about 10%-50% of men, and 25%-60% of women suffer from some form of sexual dysfunction, usually in the form of low interest in sex or difficulty achieving orgasm.

Age, physical, and emotional health are significant factors in sexual satisfaction versus dysfunction. Men tend to have more erectile dysfunction as they get older, while women tend to enjoy improved sexual functioning with age as long as lubrication is not an issue. However, given the role of estrogen in lubrication and its decreasing levels in women after menopause, lubrication can very well be a problem if not addressed. Another example of the likely role of hormones in female sexual satisfaction is the common decrease in arousal that occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy, with recovery usually during the latter two trimesters.

Adults who are married or in an otherwise committed relationship tend to function better sexually compared to their unattached counterparts, and those with higher educational attainment tend to have a better sex life compared to adults who achieve less educationally. While race and ethnicity tend to have little association with the overall rate of sexual dysfunction, there seems to be some variability in the kind of dysfunction based on this demographic. For example, African-American women tend to have less sexual desire compared to Hispanic and Caucasian women, while Caucasian women seem to experience more physical pain during sex.