DOI: 10.1093/jsxmed/qdae001.030 ISSN: 1743-6095

(033) Differences in Sexual Satisfaction by Gender and Sexual Orientation

J Stelmar, M Zaliznyak, D Isaacson, E Duralde, T Gaither, K Topp, M Garcia
  • Urology
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Psychiatry and Mental health



Sexual satisfaction is an important contributor to quality of life. While it has been documented that cisgender men tend to experience greater sexual satisfaction than cisgender women, there is limited research into the nuanced factors that contribute to sexual satisfaction, such as self- versus partner-centered focuses, and differences that exist between sexual orientation groups.


The aim of this study is to assess for differences in sexual satisfaction that exist between cisgender men (CM) versus cisgender women (CW) and between sexual orientation subgroups using a validated sexual satisfaction survey.


An anonymous, online questionnaire was administered via Qualtrics as part of a larger study on sexual function and pleasure sensation. In addition to providing demographic information, respondents completed the New Sexual Satisfaction Scale (NSSS)- a validated 20-item psychometric scale that assesses sexual satisfaction in the past 6-months across two 10-item subscales: the ego-centered subscale and the partner/sexual activity-centered subscale. Each respondent’s 5-point Likert scale for their NSSS was summated across all 20-items (range: 20-100), with higher sum totals indicating greater reported sexual satisfaction. Statistical analyses were completed via Qualtrics Stats iQ software utilizing ANOVA and chi-square tests, with p<0.05 indicating statistical significance.


A total of 305 CM and 288 CW were recruited through Qualtrics and completed the NSSS. (Table 1) CM were significantly more likely to report greater total sexual satisfaction than CW, with mean ± SD NSSS scores (out of 100) of 74.5 ± 16.7 and 68.5 ± 19.7, respectively (p<0.0001). With respect to individual measures of the NSSS, CM were significantly more likely to report satisfaction across 14/20 measures (all p<0.05): “My focus/concentration during sexual activity;” “My emotional opening up during sex;” “The frequency of my orgasms;” “The quality of my orgasms;” “My ability to let go and focus on my own pleasure during sex;” “The balance between what I give and receive in sex;” “ “My mood after sexual activity;” “The intensity of my sexual arousal;” “My body’s ability to perform sexually in a satisfactory way;” “The variety of my sexual activities;” “The way I sexually react to my partner;” “My partner’s emotional availability during sex;” “The pleasure I provide my partner;” and “My partner’s ability to satisfy my sexual needs”. There was no statistically significant difference in total NSSS score between sexual orientation groups of CM and CW (p>0.05). (Figure 1).


CM reported significantly greater sexual satisfaction than CW. Notably, CM reported greater satisfaction in 10/10 ego-centered subscale measures relating to their personal pleasure and 4/10 partner/activity-centered subscale measures relating to their perception of their partner during sex. On the otherhand, there was no significant difference in sexual satisfaction between sexual orientation groups. These findings highlight the nuanced differences that exist within the spheres of personal sexual pleasure, with CM experiencing greater ego-centered pleasure. These findings highlight how a variety of self- and partner-centered nuances ultimately contribute to differences in overall sexual pleasure between CM and CW.



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