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The specific affective experiences related to changes in various aspects of female sexual function have received little attention as most prior studies have focused instead on the role of clinical mood and anxiety disorders and their influence on sexual dysfunction. We sought to understand the transaction between daily affect and female sexual function in effort to provide a more nuanced understanding of the interplay between affective and sexual experiences. The present study used a 2-week daily diary approach to examine same-day and temporal relations between positive and negative affect states and sexual function in young women. We examined the unique relations between positive (i.e., joviality, serenity, self-assurance) and negative (i.e., fear, sadness, hostility) affects and female sexual response (i.e., desire, subjective arousal, vaginal lubrication, orgasmic function, and sexual pain) while controlling for higher order sexual distress, depression, and anxiety, as well as age effects and daily menstruation. Analyses revealed different aspects of both positive and negative affects to be independently related to sexual response indices. Specifically, results indicated that joviality was related to same-day sexual desire and predicted increased desire the following day. This latter relation was partially mediated by sexual activity. Further, greater sexual desire predicted next-day calmness, which was partially mediated by sexual activity. Notably, fear was related to same-day subjective arousal, lubrication, orgasmic function, and vaginal pain, whereas poorer orgasmic function predicted greater next-day sadness. These findings describe the manner in which changes in affect correspond to variations in female sexual function, thus highlighting the inextricability of mental and sexual health. Further, these findings may offer insight into the progression of normative levels of affect and sexual function as they develop into comorbid depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction. © 2014 International Society for Sexual Medicine.


David A Kalmbach, Vivek Pillai. Daily affect and female sexual function. The journal of sexual medicine. 2014 Dec;11(12):2938-54

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PMID: 25266510

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