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Sexual Desire

Definition

Sexual desire is typically viewed as an interest in sexual objects or activities. More precisely, it is the subjective feeling of wanting to engage in sex. Sexual desire is sometimes, but not always, accompanied by genital arousal (such as penile erection in men and vaginal lubrication in women). Sexual desire can be triggered by a large variety of cues and situations, including private thoughts, feelings, and fantasies; erotic materials (such as books, movies, photographs); and a variety of erotic environments, situations, or social interactions.

Background and History

Sexual desire is often confused with sex drive, but these are fundamentally different constructs. Sex drive represents a basic, biologically mediated motivation to seek sexual activity or sexual gratification. In contrast, sexual desire represents a more complex psychological experience that ...

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