How to Optimize Your Sex Life (Part 2 of 4)
In the last blog, I explained the difference between sexual dysfunction, sexual function, and sexual satisfaction. As we move up the spectrum of sexual satisfaction, I want to go into a bit more detail about what constitutes a satisfying sexual experience versus a highly satisfying experience.
Did you know that people with certain personality traits may report higher levels of sexual satisfaction? Most personality researchers use “The Big Five” personality assessment. This measure assesses individuals’ degree of neuroticism (how sensitive a person is to stress and emotional triggers), conscientiousness (how goal-directed, persistent, and organized a person is), agreeableness (how much a person puts others' interests and needs ahead of their own), openness (how open a person is to new ideas and experiences), and extraversion (how much a person is energized by the outside world).
The most consistent finding in the research seems to be around neuroticism. Not surprisingly, individuals who are highly neurotic tend to report lower levels of sexual satisfaction. High openness, high extraversion, high conscientiousness, and high agreeableness tend to be positively correlated with sexual satisfaction, particularly when these qualities are high in female partners. In other words, personality traits do not seem to be as important for high male sexual satisfaction. Interestingly, what does seem to be a predictor of male sexual satisfaction is how satisfied their partners are.
Our personality tends to crystalize in early adulthood and remain more or less stable throughout our life. That doesn’t mean, however, that with a concerted effort, we can’t make some changes. I work really hard with my clients on helping them manage stress effectively (read: become less neurotic). I also work with them on maintaining an open mind. In my research, for example, I discovered that the more curious we are about the world around us, the more satisfying we report our sex life to be.
Want to see how your personality measures? Click HERE to take the Big Five Personality Assessment.
I’ve been focusing my discussion about these qualities on my Instagram page. If you’d like to learn more on a daily basis, be sure to follow along @dremilyjamea.
More coming soon!