Current Sexual Health Reports

, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 90–97 | Cite as

The Dual Control Model of Sexual Response: Relevance of Sexual Excitation and Sexual Inhibition for Sexual Function

  • Julia VeltenEmail author
Integrating the Psychosocial (B McCarthy, RT Segraves and AH Clayton, Section Editors)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Integrating the Psychosocial


Purpose of Review

The dual control model of sexual response aims to explain sexual behavior and response through two factors, labeled sexual excitation and sexual inhibition. Sexual dysfunctions are common among women and men and pose a threat to the sexual health of both genders. The main objective of this paper was to review the latest findings concerning the predictive value of sexual excitation and sexual inhibition for sexual function and dysfunction in men and women.

Recent Findings

Most relevant studies have been conducted in North America and Europe using non-clinical samples. Women and men with high sexual inhibition related to performance concerns and distractibility during sex report lower sexual function. In addition, high sexual excitation is associated with higher sexual function in both genders.


Sexual excitation and sexual inhibition are predictors of sexual function in women and men. More prospective and clinical studies are needed to evaluate the usefulness of both propensities as predictors or moderators of treatment success.


Dual control model of sexual response Sexual excitation Sexual inhibition Sexual dysfunction Sexual function 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Julia Velten declares no potential conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by the author.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology, Department of Clinical Psychology and PsychotherapyRuhr-Universität BochumBochumGermany

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