Our big issue with sexual satisfaction
WHEN was the last time you really thought about how satisfied you are with your sex life?
From being emotionally connected to pleasing your partner and how many times you achieve you know what, a new study gets down and dirty with all aspects of bedroom behaviour.
The study has come about because we've been getting it wrong - the research anyway.
Researchers said the issue with the way sexual satisfaction was measured currently was that people with very low expectations and low experiences could score higher than someone with very high expectations who doesn't quite meet them.
The new system has been developed to get a better measure of people's attitudes around sexual experiences as well as their levels of satisfaction, feelings of closeness, intimacy and enjoyment.
Respondents are asked to indicate the extent to which they agree with statements such as, "I think that seeing a partner experience physical satisfaction is very important to my own satisfaction" or "I think that having an orgasm is important in deciding whether sexual activity is physically satisfying or not".
Southern Cross University psychologist Dr Desirée Kozlowski specialises in pleasure research and is supervising honours student Doug Williams who wanted to dive deeper into the area when he realised sexual satisfaction could be measured better.
"People with different lived experience and expectations can come out with a score that doesn't reflect those differences," Dr Kozlowski said.
"Females can experience pain, discomfort or loss of control but because they have pretty low expectations, their score can be very similar to someone who is having very varied sexual experiences without any threat but has very high expectations.
"It's not a good representation of reality.
"We're hoping we'll be able to give a more nuanced picture of people's experience. Your expectations and how important things are to you can be separate to how happy you are."
Dr Kozlowski said ultimately it was hoped the tool could be used in a clinical setting down the track.
"Because it's such an important areas of people lives and often under discussed, there's value in better measuring it, at least as a tool on where we might do some work," she said.
"I'm hoping everyone can be more sexually satisfied if they're better informed.
"There is a richness in talking about it sensitively and feeling we have a right to enjoy this part of our lives and share that enjoyment.
"Sex offers has a range of benefits for health and wellbeing as it can reduce stress, blood pressure and cortisol levels and boost immunity.
"For people in later stages of life the positive pay-offs of sexual activity include higher vitality, psychological wellbeing, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, and looking younger."