How satisfied are you with your sex life? Researchers want to know

SCU researchers have developed a new sexual satisfaction online questionnaire and are inviting people over 18 years of age from all walks of life to complete it anonymously. File photo

More than 50 years on from The Rolling Stones’ hit tune ‘Satisfaction’, the question remains – what is sexual satisfaction and how can it be measured?

Now researchers from Southern Cross University have taken up the challenge of creating a fair measure for the elusive and fascinating subject of satisfaction in the bedroom.

Project supervisor Dr Desirée Kozlowski and psychology Honours student Doug Williams have developed a new sexual satisfaction online questionnaire and are inviting people over 18 years of age from all walks of life to complete it anonymously.

Dr Kozlowski said the issue with the way sexual satisfaction was measured currently was that people with very low expectations and low experiences could score higher than someone with very high expectations who doesn’t quite meet them.

‘We are trying to develop a new, more nuanced instrument to measure people’s attitudes around sexual experiences as well as their levels of satisfaction, feelings of closeness and intimacy and enjoyment, and deliver a snapshot of sexual satisfaction in a general sample.’

The questionnaire focuses on the overall satisfaction of the participants’ sex lives rather than the mechanics of sex, with the purpose of producing a better understanding of sexual satisfaction in the community which could eventually be used in clinical settings.

‘With these types of studies there is a risk of only getting responses from people who are interested in sexual activity, but we want a full representative sample of the diverse population, and encouraging anyone from age 18 to the elderly and from all walks of life to take part.

Dr Kozlowski said the benefits of sexual activity shouldn’t be understated.

‘Although people can be happy and healthy without having sex, for many of us having a satisfying sexual life is an important and valuable aspect of our wellbeing and intimately related to quality of life. Sex offers has a range of benefits for health and wellbeing as it can reduce stress, blood pressure and cortisol levels and boost immunity,’ she said.

‘For people in later stages of life the positive payoffs of sexual activity include higher vitality, psychological wellbeing, reduced risk of heart attack and stroke, and looking younger.’

Dr Kozlowski said this study will inform future development of the instrument and studies around the topic and, in the tradition of the pioneering sexuality research of Masters and Johnson, the new measure could eventually be used in clinical settings to assist people to improve their quality of life.

‘There was a fascinating study recently released by the Heart Foundation which showed very few GPs regularly raise sexual life questions with survivors of heart attack, even though the patients themselves report it as a big concern. Sex is an area of life that is under-examined, under-discussed and that we are often slightly ashamed of.

‘I believe sex should be part of our conversations around health and happiness. Hopefully this research will get people thinking about it and perhaps by filling in the survey people can decide what they value and start some conversations that lead to richer relationships.’

To take part in the survey anonymously, visit

Doug Williams will present the results of the study at the Psychology Honours Research Conference at Southern Cross University Coffs Harbour campus in October.




One response to “How satisfied are you with your sex life? Researchers want to know”

  1. Niki says:

    It will be great investigation!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Become a supporter of The Echo

A note from the editorial team

Some of The Echo’s editorial team: journalists Paul Bibby and Aslan Shand, editor Hans Lovejoy, photographer Jeff Dawson and Mandy Nolan

The Echo has never underestimated the intelligence and passion of its readers. In a world of corporate banality and predictability, The Echo has worked hard for more than 30 years to help keep Byron and the north coast unique with quality local journalism and creative ideas. We think this area needs more voices, reasoned analysis and ideas than just those provided by News Corp, lifestyle mags, Facebook groups and corporate newsletters.

The Echo is one hundred per cent locally owned and one hundred per cent independent. As you have probably gathered from what is happening in the media industry, it is not cheap to produce a weekly newspaper and a daily online news service of any quality.

We have always relied entirely on advertising to fund our operations, but often loyal readers who value our local, independent journalism have asked how they could help ensure our survival.

Any support you can provide to The Echo will make an enormous difference. You can make a one-off contribution or a monthly one. With your help, we can continue to support a better informed local community and a healthier democracy for another 30 years.”

Echonetdaily is made possible by the support of all of our advertisers.