Women, Sex, and Perfectionism

Women value sex for a number of reasons. For instance, it is a means of fulfilling their human need for pleasure just as it is for men. Sex is also a way of increasing the bond they have with their partners, as it is a private and highly intimate act. More importantly, sexual activity is vital for promoting health in women. For example, a service professor at Rutgers University, Barry R. Komisaruk, asserts that vaginal stimulation through sex helps a woman’s body to block back pain and migraines among other types of pain.

Additionally, a clinical professor at Northwestern University, Lauren Streicher, states that sex helps women to improve blood flow and normalize blood pleasure. These are just some of the many benefits women derive from sex.i_need_to_be_perfect

Researchers agree that sex is an emotional, physical, and psychological experience all together. However, scientists are not clear about what psychological factors can affect a person’s sexual experience. A good example is the idea of sexual perfectionism in women. How does it affect a woman’s sexual life?

Professor Stoeber Joachim from the School of Psychology at Kent University decided to answer this question. He conducted a study on perfectionism in women who felt the need to be perfect because their partner demanded nothing less than sexual perfection from them. He referred to this type of perfection as partner-prescribed perfection.

Stoeber Joachim and his team conducted two surveys that were necessary for the study. The first survey involved 366 women and it provided cross-sectional data that was useful to the researchers. They called the same women who did the first survey after some time to do the second one. Only 164 women showed up for the second survey. The combination of data from the first and second survey provided useful information for the researchers turning the study into a longitudinal one because it was a comparison of two periods i.e. T1 and T2. The first survey i.e. T1 took place on Dec. 2013 to Feb. 2014. The second survey i.e. T2 took place on May to June 2014. Finally, the Archive of Sexual Behavior published the findings on 11 January 2016.

The results of the study showed the following. Sixty-three percent of the women interviewed had a sexual partner at the time while 37% were single. Eighty-one percent of the women described themselves as heterosexual while 13% said they were bisexual. Only 3% said they were lesbian while another 3% were still in the process of discovering their sexuality. The cross-sectional data showed that partner-prescribed perfectionism led to painful intercourse, self-blame, and sexual anxiety. It also reduced a woman’s level of arousal, orgasmic function, desire, and sexual esteem.