The concept of sexual satisfaction, also known as satisfaction with sexual life, has become the subject of scientific considerations among many researchers. The research on the concept of sexual satisfaction conducted so far has shown a number of implications resulting from the construct and having significant importance for the functioning of the individual.
How to define sexual satisfaction?
From the research on sexual satisfaction conducted so far, it can be concluded that sexual satisfaction, although it is an intuitively known term, is a complex concept, variously defined in the literature. And although commonly equated with the pleasure of orgasm, sexual satisfaction is a much more complex construct, as evidenced by the lack of definition consistency. According to Hanna Malewska, sexual satisfaction is understood as “the degree of general satisfaction with sexual life”. Similarly, Pinney, Gerrard and Denney define the concept of sexual satisfaction as “a subjective assessment of the degree to which a person is satisfied with his sex life.” More broadly, sexual satisfaction is defined by Ziherl and Masten, who define it as “an emotional state that occurs when individual desires are satisfied in the area of sexual life”.
Laphimon’s most comprehensive definition of sexuality which was published in 2005: “Sexuality is a fundamental element of being human throughout life, including sex, gender identification and roles, sexual orientation, eroticism, desire, intimacy and reproduction. Sexuality is experienced and expressed in thoughts, fantasies, experiences, beliefs, values, behaviors, roles and relationships. Sexuality arises as a result of the integration of biological, psychological, social, economic, political, cultural, ethical, legal, historical, religious and spiritual factors” (Laphimon, 2005, after: Starowicz, 2010, p. 25).
Read more: Sexuality
Sexual satisfaction as an important element of human life
A satisfying sex life is “[…] more and more often treated as an element of a high quality of life, a factor determining good health and well-being” (Ostrowska, Izdebski, 2003, p. 134). Thus, sexual satisfaction is one of the indicators of sexual health, an element of human quality of life, a factor influencing the well-being and well-being of an individual. It is therefore a construct that manifests itself on many levels, related to the sexual and non-sexual areas of human functioning ..
The importance of sexual satisfaction is emphasized in the materials of the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994), where sexuality is equated with sexual health (Starowicz, 2010, p. 25). When looking for indicators of a high sense of quality of life, one cannot ignore sexual health and the level of satisfaction related to this dimension. Research conducted by the Copenhagen Quality-of-Life Research Center (Copenhagen), aged 18-88, found that people with sexual dysfunctions had a quality of life level up to 20 percent lower than that of healthy people ( Nomejko et al., 2012).
From the research of Ostrowska et al. (2001) shows that 50% of respondents consider sex as an important component of their lives, which influences the effects achieved in other areas. In 56% of respondents, the reduced ability to have sex adversely affected their relationship and bonds with a partner. Additionally, in 55% of respondents, the low level of satisfaction with sexual life was associated with a reduced level of self-esteem, performance at work (21%) and family relationships.
On the other hand, studies by Starowicz and Długołęcka (2002) show that many respondents consider a high level of sexual satisfaction as the basis of a relationship. As many as 88% of respondents say that “sex is an intimate meeting of a man and a woman, always something unique”.
Satisfaction with sex life can also be considered as an important indicator of the global assessment of the quality of life, which is confirmed by a study conducted on a group of people
(aged 23-35), in informal and childless relationships. In this study, sexual satisfaction is defined as “[…] a positive attitude, that is, thoughts and emotions
and behavior towards one’s own sexual attractiveness, relationships between sexual partners and sex itself ”(Nomejko, 2012, p. 57) turned out to be a significant predictor of the sense of quality of life. Satisfaction with sexual life was significantly associated with such dimensions of the quality of life as: psychophysical (body, drive) and subjective (sense of individuality) (Nomejko et al., 2012).
A satisfying sex life also seems to be of significant importance for dyadic functioning, which is confirmed by numerous studies (Guo, Huang, 2005; Litzinger, Coop, & Gordon, 2005). Many studies have shown that people declaring a high level of satisfaction with sex are significantly more satisfied with their relationship. These conclusions seem to be confirmed by the results of a study conducted on a group of 80 students, which showed that the level of sexual satisfaction is related to the quality and durability of the relationship. People satisfied with their sex life highly rate the quality of their relationship and declare their willingness to stay with their current partner. Moreover, in this study significant positive relationships were also noted between the level of sexual satisfaction and the sense of coherence and its three components (the sense of comprehensibility, the sense of manageability and the sense of meaningfulness) (Gulczyńska, Jankowiak, 2006).
Similar results were obtained in the study conducted by Rehman, Rellini and Fallis (2011), which searched for relationships between the importance of sexual openness (sexual self-awareness) and the level of sexual satisfaction in partnerships. This study showed that the level of one’s sexual self-awareness or the degree to which a person is open to their partner’s sexual preferences positively correlates with their own sexual satisfaction. This relationship seems to be present both in the group of women and men.
Author: Piotr Stasialovich