In human beings, sexuality is multifactorial, with several factors that interact (genes, hormones, conditioning, sexual preferences, emotions, cognitive processes, cultural context). The relative importance of each of these factors is dependent both on individual physiological characteristics, personal experience and aspects of the sociocultural environment.[48]

Desire is part biology, part psychology, often as subtle as it is predictable, and takes shape differently in men and women. For men, arousal typically precedes desire. But for women, desire precedes arousal, in response to physical intimacy, emotional connection, and an atmosphere free of distractions and everyday concerns. Scientists are continuously exploring the interplay of biological influences, such as neurohormones that suppress or enhance desire, and psychological influences, such as emotions and relationships. Smell plays an often subtle role in attraction; research shows that women are attracted to mates whose natural body odor (sometimes referred to as pheromones) signals a genetic profile distinct from their own. Low sexual desire is a common occurrence, among both sexes, and often it can be resolved by regularly exchanging affection and conversation outside the bedroom as well as in it, making sufficient time for each other and for sex, and addressing conflicts within a relationship.

×