EKU Faculty and Staff Scholarship
 

Title

Maintaining Sexual Desire in Long-Term Relationships: A Systematic Review and Conceptual Model

Department

Health Promotion and Administration

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-2018

Abstract

The most universally experienced sexual response is sexual desire. Though research on this topic has increased in recent years, low and high desire are still problematized in clinical settings and the broader culture. However, despite knowledge that sexual desire ebbs and flows both within and between individuals, and that problems with sexual desire are strongly linked to problems with relationships, there is a critical gap in understanding the factors that contribute to maintaining sexual desire in the context of relationships. This article offers a systematic review of the literature to provide researchers, educators, clinicians, and the broader public with an overview and a conceptual model of nonclinical sexual desire in long-term relationships. First, we systematically identified peer-reviewed, English-language articles that focused on the maintenance of sexual desire in the context of nonclinical romantic relationships. Second, we reviewed a total of 64 articles that met inclusion criteria and synthesized them into factors using a socioecological framework categorized as individual, interpersonal, and societal in nature. These findings are used to build a conceptual model of maintaining sexual desire in long-term relationships. Finally, we discuss the limitations of the existing research and suggest clear directions for future research.

Journal Title

Journal of Sex Research

Journal Volume

55

Journal Issue

4-5

Article Starting Page

563

Article Ending Page

581

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