Daily diary study of adult men's and women's event-level sexual motivations and sexual behaviour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Background Understanding people's sexual motivations has long been of public health and health promotion interest. We used daily diaries to examine how adult men's and women's event-specific affective sexual motivations were linked to the types and combinations of sexual behaviours chosen in a given sexual event. Methods: Adult men (n≤156) and women (n≤192) completed thrice-daily electronic diaries assessing individual- and partner-specific attributes and non-coital or coital sexual behaviours. Sexual motivations were: Interest in sex, feeling in love with partner, wanted to have sex and partner wanted to have sex. The outcome variable was: Sexual behaviour type (no sex, one vaginal sex event, one vaginal sex event+any other sex types, multiple vaginal sex events, any other sex types). Mixed-effect multinomial logistic regression modelled the influence of each sexual motivation on sexual behaviour type (Stata; all p<0.05). 'No sex' was the referent in all models; all models controlled for gender. Results: Participants contributed 14856 total partner-associated diary entries. Most (54%; women: 56.5%, men: 51.2%) were associated with no sex; when sex occurred, the most common behaviour type was one vaginal sex event (13.1%) for women and other sex types (16.4%) for men. Wanting to have sex or perceiving a partner wanted to have sex were the strongest predictors of sexual behaviour type, and were associated with a greater number of reported sexual behaviours. Conclusions: Event-specific sexual motivations are associated with the choice to have sex, and with variation in the chosen sexual behaviours.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalSexual Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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