Predicting Sexual Desire in Daily Life from an Attachment Perspective: An Experience Sampling study

Jacques van Lankveld*, Marieke Dewitte, Viviane Thewissen, Nele Jacobs, Peter Verboon

*Corresponding author for this work

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In the present study we investigated the temporal associations between emotional intimacy, daily hassles, and sexual desire of individuals in long-term relationships, and examined the direct and moderating effects of attachment orientation. We investigated these variables by reanalyzing an existing data set. Experience sampling methodology was used to collect data 10 times per day, across seven days. Attachment orientation was assessed with the Experiences in Close Relationships questionnaire. Age, gender, and relationship duration were added as predictors. Data of 134 participants (Nfemale = 87) were analyzed. Only one of the partners of a couple participated. Men overall reported higher sexual desire than women. Longer relationship duration was associated with lower sexual desire, but age was not associated with sexual desire. Increased level of intimacy predicted sexual desire across measurements with an average time interval of 90 min, but this effect was no longer significant when assessment points were 180 min apart. Daily hassles did not predict sexual desire at subsequent assessments. Avoidant and anxious attachment were not associated with sexual desire level. No interaction effects of gender, stress, intimacy and attachment orientation on sexual desire were found. Speculative explanations are offered for the absence of stress effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-324
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Sex & Marital Therapy
Issue number4
Early online date10 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2021

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