Sexual Responsivity and the Effects of Negative Mood on Sexual Arousal in Hypersexual Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)
Romine, Rebecca Swinburne
MacDonald, Angus, III
Miner, Michael H.
Oxford University Press
Scholarly/refereed, author accepted manuscript
Copyright 2020, International Society for Sexual Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Background A number of studies have found that hypersexuality is associated with a high propensity for sexual excitation. In comparison, less is known about the relationship between hypersexuality and sexual arousal at the state level. Also, previous research has revealed a relationship between hypersexuality and negative mood. However, the possibility that sexual response might not be as negatively impacted by negative mood in hypersexual individuals has, as yet, not been tested.Aim The purpose of this study was to investigate sexual responsivity and the effects of negative mood on sexual arousal in hypersexual men who have sex with men (MSM).Methods A total of 211 MSM were assigned to a hypersexuality (N = 81) or a control (N = 130) group using an interview patterned with a semi-structured Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders format. Participants filled out questionnaires and were shown neutral, sexual, and anxiety- and sadness-inducing films.Outcomes Changes in penile circumference and self-reported sexual arousal were the primary outcomes analyzed in this study.Results Controlling for age and HIV status, no differences were found in genital response between hypersexual and non-hypersexual men. Also, the 2 groups did not differ in subjective sexual arousal. Moreover, no effects of negative mood were found. Time series clustering analyses revealed 3 groups—low responders and slow and fast high responders. Sexual excitation, but not sexual compulsivity or pornography use, predicted cluster membership.Clinical Translation Hypersexual MSM may benefit more from an exploration of motivational and behavioral, as compared to psychophysiological, mechanisms underlying possible links between (negative) mood and sexual behavior.Strengths & Limitations Strengths of the study include its sample size, making it one of the larger psychophysiological sex studies; the use of clinical interviews for group assignment; the inclusion of genital response measures; and the application of time series clustering to examine differences among participants. Limitations include possible sample heterogeneity and the reliance on researcher-selected stimuli.Conclusion Given the lack of any effects of negative mood on sexual response in hypersexual MSM, future studies could explore in more depth possible motivational and behavioral effects, including, for example, the impact of negative mood on the tendency to seek out sex as a form of distraction or for validation or emotional support.
This article has been accepted for publication in The Journal of Sexual Medicine Published by Oxford University Press.
Erick Janssen, PhD, Nicole Prause, PhD, Rebecca Swinburne Romine, PhD, Nancy Raymond, MD, Angus MacDonald, III, PhD, Eli Coleman, PhD, Michael H. Miner, PhD, Sexual Responsivity and the Effects of Negative Mood on Sexual Arousal in Hypersexual Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM), The Journal of Sexual Medicine, Volume 17, Issue 9, September 2020, Pages 1751–1760, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.05.005
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