Accessibly written, this interdisciplinary book reviews theory and research on the characteristics of sexual desire, the individual physical and mental factors that influence the experience of sexual desire (hormones, age, gender, beliefs, mood), the various partner characteristics that incite sexual desire (attractiveness) and the association between sexual desire and interpersonal, relational events and experiences (romantic love). The book concludes with an examination of the personal, interpersonal and societal implications of sexual desire. Throughout, the authors draw on findings from their own body of research on sexual and romantic attraction, as well as on an extensive review of the relevant social, behavioural and medical science

Sexual Desire: The Phenomenon

Sexual desire: The phenomenon

Sexual desire is the wanting or the wishing or the urge to have sex or intercourse with a partner or partners. It does not imply that it is the act of sex but it is just the thoughts and emotions going on in one's head when thinking about sex with a person of the opposite sex. It is natural and happens often when around others at a social gathering or wherever. I call it being “horny.” [male, age 26]

The young man who provided this statement, a participant in one of our studies (Regan & Berscheid, 1996), clearly views sexual desire as a psychological, subjective state of wanting or wishing for sex. It is equally clear from his response ...

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