Encyclopedia of Sexuality and Gender

Living Edition
| Editors: Amy D. Lykins

Expectations and Beliefs Regarding Sex in Relationships

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-59531-3_51-1


Individuals’ sex lives can play a large role in their overall relationship happiness. Couples who have more fulfilling sex lives tend to have more fulfilling romantic relationships and vice versa. But there are wide individual differences in the value individuals place on the sexual component of their romantic relationships, and their expectations for what a satisfying sex life will look like long term. Some such individual differences that affect beliefs and expectations about sex in romantic relationships are detailed below.

Beliefs About Casual Sex

Firstly, individuals differ in their beliefs as to whether sex should occur in the context of a committed relationship. Those with a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation feel more comfortable with sex outside of romantic relationships (such as in casual encounters), whereas those with a more restricted sociosexual orientationbelieve that sexual acts should be restricted to romantic relationship contexts. Those with...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University Of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand