Want a hotter sex life? Don’t be critical of your partner, study says

A partner's demands for perfection can have consequences in the bedroom, new research shows. iStock/Getty Images

If you want a hot and healthy sex life, don’t demand perfection from your partner.

When women feel a sexual partner is imposing impossible standards and expectations of perfection on them, it can lead to anxiety and sexual dysfunction, new research out of the U.K. shows.

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The study’s findings are based on data from two groups of women: the first survey was conducted on 230 university students with an average age of 19.7, and the second of 136 internet users with a mean age of 30.

Months later, 164 of the women took part in the same survey again.

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The survey explored perfectionist standards people apply to themselves as well as to their partners, the pressure felt from their partner and social pressures.

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To measure the women’s sexual satisfaction, researchers used the Female Sexual Function Index, covering desire, arousal, lubrication, orgasm, satisfaction and pain.

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The results showed that increased pressure from partners can very much affect not just the women’s emotional well-being, but also their physical reaction in sexual situations.

“Partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism showed positive relationships with sexual anxiety, sexual problem self-blame, and intercourse pain, and negative relationships with sexual esteem, desire, arousal, lubrication, and orgasmic function,” the study states.

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The findings could help clinicians, counsellors and therapists working with women dealing with sexual function issues, the study’s authors note.

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The study, Multidimensional Sexual Perfectionism and Female Sexual Function: A Longitudinal Investigation, was recently published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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