The ebb and flow of marital lust: A relational approach

Carl A. Ridley, Rodney M. Cate, Dawn M. Collins, Amy L. Reesing, Ana A. Lucero, Michael S. Gilson, David M. Almeida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


This diary study examined daily fluctuation in marital lust over a 56-day period. The purposes of the study were to describe typical patterns of lust over time and to examine intrapersonal and interpersonal associations between relationship affect, relationship states, and marital lust. We also tested various daily moderational predictions. Four patterns of daily fluctuation in lust were identified. Typical patterns varied from almost no fluctuation to wide fluctuation over time. Our findings showed that daily affect was generally related to lust both within partners and between partners. Also, spouses' relational states (closeness and equality of power) moderated several of these intrapersonal and interpersonal associations. In general, the affect-lust link was strengthened by closeness and equality of power, while the lust-lust link between spouses was often conditioned by both relationship affect and relational states. However, the role of negative affect toward spouses in interactions with other constructs was not as expected. We discuss possible explanations for the findings and implications for further research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-153
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The ebb and flow of marital lust: A relational approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this