Strictly sexual pleasure

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Try out PMC Labs and tell us what you think. Learn More. We know surprisingly little about how contraception affects sexual enjoyment and functioning and vice versaparticularly for women. What do people seek from sex, and how do sexual experiences shape contraceptive use? We draw on qualitative data to make 3 points. First, pleasure varies. Both women and Strictly sexual pleasure reported multiple aspects of enjoyment, of which physical pleasure was only one. Second, pleasure matters. Clear links exist between the forms of pleasure respondents seek and their contraceptive practices.

Third, pleasure intersects with power and social inequality. Both gender and social class shape sexual preferences and contraceptive use patterns. These findings call for a reframing of behavioral models that explain why people use or do not use contraception. Research with both heterosexual and homosexual men has taken into how the goal of physical pleasure shapes risk taking, 3 — 8 and a parallel body of work for heterosexual women has explored the relative importance of economic need and the desire for intimacy to risk taking.

Unintended pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections STIsand HIV are among the most pressing issues in public health both in the United States and abroad. It is more important than ever to understand the array of factors contributing to sexual risk taking and risk reduction, including sexual goals and sexual pleasure.

Sexual health research within public health has largely failed to explore how pleasure and positive sexual functioning affect sexual risk and risk-reduction practices, 1213 particularly for women. There is a critical need for research that examines how a desire for sexual pleasure—or more broadly, the full range of reasons women have sex—shapes women's willingness to encourage condom use.

Many studies of hormonal contraceptives also fail to systematically assess how these methods affect sexual functioning or pleasure or how women's sexual goals shape their patterns of use. US women and men ranked pleasure as equally important in evaluating a contraceptive's acceptability in one study.

These studies suggest that the initiation and continuation of contraceptive methods including male and female condoms is influenced by how they make sex feel and Strictly sexual pleasure sexual experience and contraceptive experience may shape each other reciprocally. However, few of these studies have explored multiple forms of contraception simultaneously, and none has gone beyond individual experience to situate pleasure more broadly within social processes. We used an ethnographic, inductive approach to explore the range of sexual motivations and goals—that is, what sex is for or what needs it fulfills—expressed by a sample of individuals in urban Atlanta, Georgia, and we analyzed the relationship between these sexual goals and contraceptive practices.

We had 3 research questions: 1 What do people seek from and experience within their sexual encounters and relationships? We used theoretical sampling to recruit 36 respondents 24 women, 12 men from metropolitan Atlanta. Like purposive or quota-driven sampling, theoretical sampling 2240 and systematic ethnographic sampling 41 select participants based on the variables most likely to affect the outcomes of interest, based on the literature and experience with the population.

In this case, gender and social class served as the primary sample stratifiers. Similarly, given the strong and persistent social class differentials in reproductive health outcomes in the United States, 4243 we sought a mixed-class sample to explore whether there were class-based differences in women's experiences of Strictly sexual pleasure pleasure and, if so, whether these differences might help explain disparities in unintended pregnancy and STIs. Our approach to social class differed from most public health research, which depends on education level 4445 or percentage of the poverty level 46 to capture social class.

These cultural dimensions of class may be as important as, if not more important than, income and education in shaping sexual behavior. Our final social class variable was thus defined using the following 4 : 1 level of education; 2 occupation or, in some cases, homemaker or unemployment status; 3 current financial situation or needs if any for housing, food, clothing, or other basics; and 4 social class of origin, including early home environment and upbringing and current financial and cultural resources.

During the screening call, we asked participants about their education level any college or no collegeoccupational status white collar, blue collar, unemployed, and homelessand neighborhood.

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We ased the most prevalent class of the 3 markers at least 2 out of 3 using labels of either socially advantaged middle class or less socially advantaged working class and poor. During the interviews, we collected information on the remaining social class criteria. If the first interview revealed information that contradicted our original asment, particularly on the fourth factor family upbringing or social class of originwe reased the class label accordingly. Reasment occurred in only 2 cases. These were women whose current circumstances corresponded to the working-class category e.

Ultimately, we sought 24 women and 12 men who were strategically divided into these 2 class. Table 1 provides a demographic overview of the respondents. Participants were recruited through several mechanisms: notices sent through Internet listservs, referrals from other participants, and flyers dispensed Strictly sexual pleasure numerous Atlanta neighborhoods that captured the social class distributions of interest i. Interested participants called a telephone associated with the study and were informed by J.

We filled in the sampling frame's cells as recruitment progressed. All those screened for eligibility and selected for the final sample consented to participate, although 1 person failed to appear for her first interview and could not be reached to reschedule. Another respondent with a similar demographic profile was quickly identified to replace this individual. Respondents read and ed a consent form at the first meeting. The study protocol and interview instruments were reviewed and approved by the institutional review board at Emory University, our home institution at the time of data collection.

This allowed not only greater rapport but also observation in Strictly sexual pleasure homes and neighborhoods, which provided contextual information on class differences in housing, neighborhoods, and community geographies. Each interview took approximately 3 hours to complete. A total of hours of interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed.

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The semistructured interview guide contained sections on health care history, reproductive and contraceptive histories including likes and dislikes about various contraceptive methods and their effect on sexual functioning and pleasurecurrent and romantic and sexual relationships, sexuality education i.

The guide was deed so that topics moved from less to more sensitive as a way to enhance rapport and data validity. However, part of our research framework was not to impose models of disease versus pregnancy prevention onto participants.

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Instead, we wanted to elicit their contraceptive motivations in their own words and frameworks. Finally, we also administered close-ended questionnaires to collect information on income level, public assistance, and highest level of education completed. In the use of a single coder, we diverged from public health researchers within a positivist tradition. Within a positivist framework, bias is addressed by using multiple coders, who presumably offer a check on the possible bias of any 1 coder.

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Interpretivist researchers instead achieve Strictly sexual pleasure rigor through attention to the issues of positionality and representation. For example, we remained attuned to how J. We then came up with a list of codes based on the research questions of interest, the literature, and J. An Strictly sexual pleasure, grounded theory approach was used in analyzing the data. The analysis was informed by both preexisting themes from the literature and the research questions and by themes that arose from the data.

We then used the codes to compare and contrast phenomena and individuals. Coding types involved the collection of coded blocks of text and the creation of new thematic data files capturing various dimensions of the key themes, for example, frequency, duration, size, specific vocabulary, and differences in intensity and emphasis.

Our present the physical and emotional attributes women most often seek in sex and comparison data from men when relevant. We describe the 5 prominent themes related to these attributes. Of course, these are not mutually exclusive. Nor do we wish to suggest that these 5 themes represent an exhaustive list of types of sexual activity people seek. Rather, they represent the topics that arose from our interviews that seemed the most salient in terms of contraceptive use.

Table 2 presents an overview of theincluding summaries of the most prominent sexual goals and how those goals shaped contraceptive practices. As expected, respondents sought sex that felt good in terms of sensation. At times for women and almost always for men, physical enjoyment entailed orgasm.

More frequently for women, physical enjoyment involved sufficient arousal, the desired amount of lubrication, and in many cases, appealing smell, taste, and touch. Maximizing sexual enjoyment and comfort also meant minimizing discomfort. Vaginal dryness or contraceptive side effects such as heavy bleeding or nausea can all quell sexual pleasure. Respondents commonly highlighted how one of the pleasures of sex was its opportunity for spontaneity.

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They suggested that ideal sex should be a spontaneous and smooth flow of erotic events, uninterrupted by contraception. Sex could represent a union of 2 bodies and sometimes 2 hearts. To facilitate the closeness of intercourse and the intensity of this union, many people preferred sex that involved skin-on-skin contact, including genital contact.

Close sex was particularly important for those in long-term relationships. For many, part of the appeal of sex was to give pleasure to one's partner. Particularly for women, sexual enjoyment encompassed her partner's fulfillment at least as much as her own. They also desired mutual sexual attraction and enjoyed sharing physical pleasure as well as emotional intensity. For example, many women said their preferred sexual activity was vaginal intercourse even though their partners were much more likely than they were to reach orgasm through this activity.

These respondents experienced a certain type of pleasure in taking responsibility or, alternately phrased, a displeasure in not being protected. For risk-averse respondents for whom avoiding pregnancy or disease was imperative, effective prophylaxis was a precondition for enjoying sex to its fullest. This eroticization of safety was not a factor in why, but rather Strictly sexual pleasure, people had sex.

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