An interpersonal perspective on sexuality: On the role of attachment and relationships

  • Auteur(s):
    Marieke Dewitte
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Although sex most often takes place in the context of a relationship, research on the interpersonal dynamics of sexuality is scarce. If we want to create more valid models of sexual functioning that can inform clinical practice, we must go beyond the study of individual factors and take into account the responses of both couple members and the relational context. In this paper, I will elaborate on the interplay between sex and
relationships and approach this from an attachment perspective. I focus mainly on how individual differences in attachment orientation are manifested in (sexual) relationships and briefly explain how this is translated
into clinical practice. Furthermore, I will describe the link between sex and relationship from an information processing perspective and provide several suggestions for dyadic research on sexuality. Linking the sexual with the nonsexual aspects of relationships and including data of both couple members is necessary to get clearer insight into the nature Aof sexual (dys)function and distress.

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