Desire for Perfection Kills Your Wife’s Sex Drive


A man, who expects sexual perfection from his wife, can make her life a misery in the bedroom, according to a recent study. The University of Kent psychologists found that women, who perceive that their sexual partner is imposing perfectionist standards on them, may suffer sexual dysfunction as a result. 

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In the first in-depth study of how different types of sexual perfectionism affect women over a period of time, researchers also found that 'partner-prescribed' sexual perfectionism contributed to negative self-image. 

Perfectionism is defined as a "striving for flawlessness and the setting of exceedingly high standards for performance, accompanied by tendencies for overly critical self-evaluations and concerns about negative evaluations by others." It is a common personality characteristic that may affect all domains of life. 

However, the longer term consequences of how it affects people's sex life had previously not been explored. The research, led by Professor Joachim Stoeber at the University's School of Psychology, considered the response of 366 women who completed two surveys in the period December 2013 to February 2014. 

They found that partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism contributed to woman's negative sexual self-concept and female sexual dysfunction. In particular, partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism predicted decreases in female sexual function regarding arousal. 

They further found that partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism predicted decreases in sexual esteem and increases in sexual anxiety, suggesting that it is a psychological factor that may contribute to sexual self-concept problems in woman.

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