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“We Have to Get over It”: Navigating Sex Talk Through the Lens of Sexual Communication Comfort and Sexual Self-disclosure in LGBTQ Intimate Partnerships


This study examined the identity-laden processes of sexual communication for LGBTQ individuals in relationships. Specifically, this study analyzed open-ended descriptions of sexual communication comfort as well as the relationship between sexual self-disclosure, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and sexual communication satisfaction. Findings suggest that there was a moderate, positive relationship between sexual self-disclosure and sexual satisfaction, sexual self-disclosure and relationship satisfaction, and sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction. There was a strong, positive relationship between sexual self-disclosure and sexual communication satisfaction, and sexual communication satisfaction and sexual satisfaction. Sexual communication comfort themes included comfort as relational, friends first, sex drive, social networks, gender identities, and vulnerability. These findings support and extend previous research on sexual self-disclosure and relational outcomes and introduce descriptions of sexual communication comfort to highlight the risky and necessary nature of sexual communication.

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    All participants in this study were anonymous. Many participants have gender identities that do not align with their assigned sex or gender presentation, so we choose not to assign them a gendered descriptor—a pseudonym, without knowing those preferences.


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Correspondence to Valerie Rubinsky.

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The authors declare they have no conflicts of interest.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee (Emerson College IRB Committee – Reference # 14-005-E-S-10/14) and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of its authors.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individuals included in this study.

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Rubinsky, V., Hosek, A. “We Have to Get over It”: Navigating Sex Talk Through the Lens of Sexual Communication Comfort and Sexual Self-disclosure in LGBTQ Intimate Partnerships. Sexuality & Culture 24, 613–629 (2020).

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  • Sex talk
  • Sexuality
  • Gender