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 and Romantic Love

Sexual desire and romantic love

As we have noted in several places in this book, anecdotal clinical evidence as well as a growing number of empirical investigations suggest that the waxing and waning of sexual desire in a relationship reflects how well a couple is functioning in other, nonsexual relational areas. Some clinicians, in fact, argue that sexual desire is caused by feelings of romantic love. For example, Kaplan (1979) proposes that “love is the best aphrodisiac discovered so far” (p. 61), a belief echoed by Levine (1982). Ironically, social psychologists are now exploring the possibility that sexual desire actually causes romantic love (or that it is a necessary although not sufficient condition for the experience of romantic love). In this ...

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