When it comes to sexual desire, men and women manifest significant differences. Men focus on hard metrics like release and orgasm, according to a study published online ahead of print in The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

In contrast, women focus on emotional outcomes that include closeness and intimacy. The study, which surveyed 203 men and 203 women, found that couples with more compatible outcome measures experienced more improved mutual desire.

As such, establishing mutually compatible sexual goals will likely result in superior long-term sexual relationships, Kristen Mark, PhD, MPH, of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, and colleagues reported. “This research provides insights into the conceptualization of sexual desire in long-term relationships and the multifaceted nature of sexual desire that may aid in more focused ways to maintain desire over long-term relationships,” the authors concluded.

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