Model Of Sexual Response Showing Various Incentives And Motivations To Be Sexual And Arousal Triggering And Accompanying Desire

For one or more of the earlier mentioned reasons, a woman choosing to be receptive to sexual stimuli (or to provide them) can subsequently become sexually aroused. The degree of emotional intimacy with her partner that may have even been the major motivating force, is also a very important influence on her arousability to the sexual stimuli. Various other psychological and biological factors will influence this arousability such that the processing of the sexual information in her mind may or may not lead to subjective arousal (27-31). On those occasions she becomes subjectively aroused, providing the arousal remains enjoyable, and the stimulation continues sufficiently long, and she remains focused, then the arousal can become more intense and an urge or "sexual desire" for more of the sexual sensations and emotions is triggered. This accessed or "triggered" sexual desire and the subjective arousal continue together, each reinforcing the other (32,33). A positive outcome, emotionally and physically, increases the woman's motivation to be sexual again in the future (32). (Fig. 3.1).

Sexual desire that appears to be innate or spontaneous and reflected by sexual thoughts/fantasies, awareness of wanting sexual sensations per se before any activity actually begins, may or may not augment or sometimes override the previously described cycle (Fig. 3.2). Typically, women are more aware of this type of initial desire early on in their relationships (6). For some women, it continues for decades even with the same partner. But for the majority, it is infrequent (1,3-5).

Some would argue that there is no such thing as apparent innate or spontaneous desire (26). This presupposes that desire is always part of arousal, triggered by a stimulus with a sexual meaning. It is facilitated or inhibited by situational and partner variables, such that sexual motivation will occur only when appropriate sexual stimuli are present and the woman has a sufficiently

Non sexual rewards -emotional intimacy well being, lack of negative effects from sexual avoidance

Awareness of positive rewards/"spinoffs" from satisfying sex

Willingness to find/be receptive

Arousal & responsive desire

Arousal & responsive desire

Figure 3.1 Sex response cycle showing many motivations to be sexual, and responsive/ triggered desire. A positive outcome emotionally and physically allows sexual satisfaction (goal set enroute) plus other rewards that motivated initially. Reprinted from Obstet Gynecol 2001; 98:350-353. Basson, with permission from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Figure 3.1 Sex response cycle showing many motivations to be sexual, and responsive/ triggered desire. A positive outcome emotionally and physically allows sexual satisfaction (goal set enroute) plus other rewards that motivated initially. Reprinted from Obstet Gynecol 2001; 98:350-353. Basson, with permission from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

sensitive sexual response system. The assumption is that the occurrence of sexual motivation, including fantasies, must be the result of sexual information processing of some kind even though in some, or even most cases, the initiating sexual stimulus may not be known. For most people, their sexual response system reacts

Figure 3.2 Blended sex response cycle: "spontaneous" desire augments or overshadows other motivations and increases arousability. Reprinted from Obstet Gynecol 2001; 98:350353. Basson, with permission from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

with the stimuli in an automatic effortless manner. Thus, sexual desire is sometimes experienced "as if" it were spontaneous (27).

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