The Dissatisfaction of Being Sexually Rejected by a Partner Lasts Longer Than the Pleasure of Having an Advance Accepted

Posted on June 6, 2019

While couples may engage in sexual activity regularly, research has shown that many of the sexual advances made between partners have not been unsuccessful. Sexual frustration may hence arise due to unfulfilled desires. A study done by Kiersten Dobson and colleagues from the University of Western Ontario gathered 115 couples to take part in the research. Participants were told to keep sex diaries and document the sexual advances which they or their partners made each day. They also indicated their sexual relationship satisfaction and general relationship satisfaction.

The study went on for 3 weeks, and results showed that being accepted when making sexual advances or accepting sexual advances lead to greater relationship satisfaction. Conversely, rejection leads to reduced sexual satisfaction. When a sexual advance was accepted, the increase in sexual satisfaction lasted for 24 hours. Conversely, the increase dissatisfaction from rejection lasts for about 48 hours.

What is interesting is that the rejector has been found to experience greater sexual satisfaction despite not engaging in any sexual activity. The elevated satisfaction for being a rejector was similar to that of an acceptor, with the increase lasting for about 72 hours. Overall, rejection did not affect general relationship satisfaction. This suggests that being on the receiving end of sexual advances boosts one’s feelings of being desired, hence heightening sexual satisfaction without the need for any sexual activities to occur.

The results show that making sexual advances could pose as a risky move for individuals as it leads to uncertainty in anticipating their partners’ responses. This will in turn cause them to be less willing to take risks, hence making fewer advances towards their romantic partners, which may affect the intimacy of the relationship in the long run.

No gender differences were identified in this study, but previous research indicated that men tend to underestimate the frequency of sexual advances made by their partners, while women overestimate this frequency. This research does not point us to any paths to deal with rejection or to predict how various individuals may react to sexual advances. However, it has shed some light on the effects of acceptance and rejection between romantic partners.

Category(s):Relationships & Marriage

Source material from The British Psychological Society Research Digest

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