The effects of attentional focus and partner responsiveness on sexual responding: Replication and extension


The effects of manipulating attentional focus (self- versus partner-focus) and level of partner responsiveness (high, low, and ambiguous) on sexual responding were examined with sexually functional (N =8) men. These manipulations were embedded in six standardized 3-minute erotic audiotapes. When the partner was displaying high sexual responsiveness, partner-focus resulted in significantly higher levels of penile responding than did self-focus. Poststimuli questionnaires indicated that, although not statistically significant, self-reported attentiveness was consistently higher under partner-focus conditions. These findings are discussed in regard to their relevance to the concept of spectatoring as discussed by Masters and Johnson (1970). A comparison to previous research that examined the same variables using videotapes is included. © 1985 Plenum Publishing Corporation.

Publication Title

Archives of Sexual Behavior