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The Sexual and Marital Satisfaction in Intercultural Western-Japanese Committed Romantic Relationships. The Implications for Sex Therapy and Couple Counselling Based on the Qualitative Study.

The Sexual and Marital Satisfaction in Intercultural Western-Japanese Committed Romantic Relationships. The Implications for Sex Therapy and Couple Counselling Based on the Qualitative Study.

Introduction & Objectives: Although there are studies on satisfaction among Western-Japanese couples (Yamamoto, 2010), there is a paucity of research on intercultural sexual attraction and satisfaction and little attention has been given to culturally appropriate sex therapy in the Western-Japanese context (Skowronski at al., 2014). The objective of the study was to investigate sexual satisfaction of Western-Japanese romantic relationships and to identify areas of therapeutic interventions.

Methods: Qualitative semi-structured interview items were developed and validated by the authors. The interview was administered face-to-face, as well as online and required approximately 60 minutes for completion. The volunteers were recruited through links established through the Psychology Program at three universities in the Tokyo Area.

Results: • Reasons for seeking a sexual partner outside of his/her culture: allows changing perspectives on their own culture and social interactions, and the curiosity towards a new culture • Overall couple satisfaction average: 4.0 out of 5 and sexual satisfaction average: 3.8 out of 5 • Overwhelmingly the primary cause of conflict was misunderstanding of different ways of interpreting intimacy and discrepancy in attitudes • Most common factors contributing to sexual satisfaction: satisfactory communication, caring, affection, ‘exotic’ physical features. • Participants having trouble with their sexual relationship define intimacy around the specifics of sex, whereas sexually satisfied participants’ definitions revolve around emotional closeness. • Couples found child raising a conflict-prone factor and often it was a risk factor for becoming a sexless couple • Diminishing sexual satisfaction is related to the length of the relationship and the cultural perception of marital roles.

Conclusions: The curiosity towards a new culture was one of the most significant factors when forming the sexual relationship. However, overwhelmingly the primary cause of conflict was miscommunication and differences in the definitions of intimacy. Results form the foundation for culturally appropriate clinical interventions in the sex therapy in Western-Japanese relationships.

Speakers: John Andrews