If women believe their partners want perfection, they are more likely to suffer from sexual dysfunction.
A new study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior examines how sexual perfectionism affects women.
According to the study, there are four aspects of sexual perfectionism: Self-oriented, partner-oriented, partner-prescribed, and socially-prescribed. The study, led by University of Kent professor Joachim Stoeber and University of Surrey lecturer Laura Harvey, conducted the first ever longitudinal study on partner-prescribed perfectionism, which pertains to beliefs imposed on people by their partners.
Examining 366 women between the ages of 17 and 69, researchers asked about numerous aspects of their sexuality, including "sexual perfectionism, sexual esteem, sexual anxiety, sexual problem self-blame, and sexual function."
Between three to six months later, researchers asked 169 participants to return and answer questions pertaining to sexual function and dysfunction. Of the four types of sexual perfectionism, they found partner-prescribed perfectionism to be the worst—even compared to how participants perceived their own sexual perfection (self-oriented perfectionism). In other words, the way you think your partner feels about your perfection can be even worse than how you view it.
Partner-prescribed perfectionism affected participants in numerous ways. When they thought their partner wanted sexual perfection, participants were more likely to experience sexual dysfunction, anxiety, and lower self-esteem.
It also created greater issues with "sexual self-esteem, desire, arousal, lubrication, and orgasmic function."
Stoeber did not immediately respond to NTRSCTN's request for comment.