Attachment Style Can Affect Sexual Satisfaction

Two women talking

What’s your relationship style? Are you a person with more secure attachments, or do you tend to avoid interpersonal closeness? Do you think that might affect your sex life?

Researchers Kristen Mark, Laura Vowels, and Sarah Murray also wanted to know how “sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and sexual desire in a sexually diverse sample.” Reporting in Psychology Today, Dr. Sarah Hunter Murray notes that prior research “on attachment style and romantic relationships has almost exclusively focused on heterosexual participants, making it unclear whether folks in the LGBTQ+ community would have similar or different experiences.”

Our sample included 955 participants consisting of 63 percent cisgender women, 31 percent cisgender men, and 6 percent genderqueer individuals. With regards to sexual orientation, 55 percent the sample were heterosexual, 20 percent bisexual, 11 percent gay, and 7 percent lesbian. All participants were given questionnaires that focused on their attachment style, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and sexual desire.

You can read about the study in more detail at the links below, but the short version is that a secure relationship style appears to correspond to better sexual satisfaction, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Does that mean people with other relationship styles can’t have satisfaction in their sexual relationships? Not at all, but as Murray says, “The findings from this study suggest it is worth being curious about to the degree to which our attachment style could also play a role in our interest in sex.”


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