Contributors to Optimal Sexual Experiences

Title: Contributors to Optimal Sexual Experiences
Authors: Ménard, Amy D.
Date: 2013
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to identify the contributors to optimal sexual experiences. At present, there is a lack of clinical knowledge, research knowledge and in-depth public discourse concerning the nature of healthy sexuality. The theoretical and research literature in this area has focused almost exclusively on defining and conceptualizing sexual dysfunctions with little attention paid to either normal or satisfactory experiences. Very little theory exists on the nature and components of optimal sexuality. To date, no empirical investigations have been done to determine the contributors to optimal sexual experiences. In order to identify the contributors to optimal sexual experiences, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 individuals who reported having experienced “great sex”. A phenomenologically-oriented content analysis was performed on interview transcripts to determine the contributors to optimal sexual experiences. Analysis led to the identification of seven major contributors, two pathways towards optimal sexual experiences and two minor contributors. The major contributors included developmental contributors, individual qualities overall, individual qualities in-the moment, skills, relationship qualities overall, relationship qualities in-the-moment and environmental, situational and preparatory contributors. Each of these larger themes was also characterized by a variety of more specific themes. The two pathways that led to optimal sexual experiences included individual qualities that facilitated relationship qualities and relationship qualities that facilitated individual qualities. Finally, the minor contributors consisted of personal proclivities and miscellaneous contributors. Noteworthy findings of this investigation are discussed and then compared and contrasted with existing research and theory. The implications of this work for the general public, sex therapy, sex education, theory and research are considered as well as the strengths and limitations of this study.
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -