How Is Sexual Communication Different from Nonsexual Communication? A Moment-by-Moment Analysis of Discussions Between Romantic Partners

How Is Sexual Communication Different from Nonsexual Communication? A Moment-by-Moment Analysis... Our goal was to investigate whether systematic differences exist in how couples discuss sexual versus nonsexual conflicts in their relationships and to explore the nature of these differences. We compared sexual and nonsexual conflict discussions on two key dimensions of interpersonal behavior: warmth and dominance. Past theoretical work suggests that there are unique barriers to sexual communication that lead partners to perceive such communication as being more threatening to the relationship and to the self (Metts & Cupach, 1989). Empirical findings have supported this perspective by demonstrating that sexual communication tends to be avoided by couples (e.g., Byers, 2011). Extending this notion further, we reasoned that relationship partners should behave in ways to mitigate the increased perceived threat associated with sexual communication, leading to observable differences in how couples navigate sexual versus nonsexual relationship conflicts. We recruited a sample of 115 couples in established relationships and asked each couple to engage in two recorded interactions: one sexual and one nonsexual conflict discussion. Subsequently, each partner was coded continuously on the two dimensions of warmth and dominance. We found a number of differences in how couples discussed sexual versus nonsexual conflicts. Further, couples reported higher levels of anxiety in advance of sexual, as compared to nonsexual, conflict discussions. However, anxiety did not mediate the observed differences in communication. The theoretical and clinical implications of these findings are discussed. Archives of Sexual Behavior Springer Journals

How Is Sexual Communication Different from Nonsexual Communication? A Moment-by-Moment Analysis of Discussions Between Romantic Partners

Loading next page...
Springer US
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Psychology; Sexual Behavior; Public Health; Social Sciences, general
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site


You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.

DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 12 million articles from more than
10,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Unlimited reading

Read as many articles as you need. Full articles with original layout, charts and figures. Read online, from anywhere.

Stay up to date

Keep up with your field with Personalized Recommendations and Follow Journals to get automatic updates.

Organize your research

It’s easy to organize your research with our built-in tools.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

Monthly Plan

  • Read unlimited articles
  • Personalized recommendations
  • No expiration
  • Print 20 pages per month
  • 20% off on PDF purchases
  • Organize your research
  • Get updates on your journals and topic searches


Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial

Best Deal — 39% off

Annual Plan

  • All the features of the Professional Plan, but for 39% off!
  • Billed annually
  • No expiration
  • For the normal price of 10 articles elsewhere, you get one full year of unlimited access to articles.



billed annually
Start Free Trial

14-day Free Trial