Partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism can lead to decrease in female sexual function regarding arousal, showed the findings published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behaviour. The study led by professor Joachim Stoeber from the University of Kent in Britain also found that partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism contributed to negative self-image.
Perfectionism is defined as a “striving for flawlessness and the setting of exceedingly high standards for performance, accompanied by tendencies for overly critical self-evaluations and concerns about negative evaluations by others”. It is a common personality characteristic that may affect all domains of life. However, the longer term consequences of how it affects people’s sex life had previously not been explored.
The research considered the response of 366 young women who completed two surveys in the period December 2013 to February 2014. Those recruited to the study were told that the online survey was investigating whether “personal and interpersonal expectations and beliefs affect one’s sexuality and sexual function”. Researchers differentiated between four forms of sexual perfectionism — self-oriented, partner-oriented, partner-prescribed and socially prescribed.
They found that partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism contributed to woman’s negative sexual self-concept and female sexual dysfunction. They further found that partner-prescribed sexual perfectionism predicted decreases in sexual esteem and increases in sexual anxiety, suggesting that it is a psychological factor that may contribute to sexual problems in woman.