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Psychobiological Correlates of Women's Sexual Interest as Perceived by Patients with Erectile Dysfunction


Mario Maggi, MD, Clinical Physiopathology, Andrology Unit, University of Florence, Viale Pieraccini, 6 Florence 50139, Italy. Tel: +39-0554271415; Fax: +39-0554271413; E-mail: m.maggi@DFC.UNIFI.IT


Introduction.  We have recently reported that the perceived loss of a partner's sexual desire is independently associated with an increased incidence of major cardiovascular events in patients with erectile dysfunction (ED). No study has ever evaluated the specific impact of men's perception of women's sexual desire on male sexual function and lifestyle attitudes in ED subjects.

Aim.  To evaluate the clinical correlates of the perception of a partner's sexual desire [hypoactive sexual desire (HSD)] in a consecutive series of subjects seeking medical care for ED.

Methods.  A consecutive series of 2,303 heterosexual male patients (mean age 58.1 ± 10.5) was studied.

Main Outcome Measures.  Patients were interviewed with the Structured Interview on Erectile Dysfunction (SIEDY) structured interview. They also completed the Middlesex Hospital Questionnaire, a brief questionnaire for the screening of the symptoms of mental disorders.

Results.  Among the patients studied, 458 (19.9%) reported a mild loss of their partner's desire, 302 (13.1%) a moderate reduction of libido, while 118 (5.1%) complained of a complete absence of sexual interest on the part of their partner. After adjustment for confounding factors, the perceived women's HSD was associated with different sexual, lifestyle, and relational factors. In particular, more extra-marital affairs, a longer and more hostile couple relationship, as well as a stressful job and both alcohol and smoking abuse were all significantly associated with perceived women's HSD. In addition, the perceived women's moderate to severe HSD was significantly associated with severe ED and less frequent sexual intercourse. Finally, partner HSD was significantly associated with a stepwise increase of free-floating anxiety and depressive symptoms (adj. r = 0.081, P < 0.05 and 0.158, P < 0.0001, respectively).

Conclusions.  Perceived sexual interest (éros) on the part of the woman can be seen for men not only as a fun and enjoyable behavior, but also a safe strategy for improving a man's overall health and life expectancy. Corona G, Bandini E, Fisher A, Elisa M, Boddi V, Balercia G, Sforza A, Forti G, Mannucci E, and Maggi M. Psychobiological correlates of women's sexual interest as perceived by patients with erectile dysfunction. J Sex Medical 2010;7:2174–2183.