Sexual desire may be “responsive,” emerging from sexual arousal to sexually competent cues. Cues that elicit sexual arousal and desire differ, however, by gender and direction of sexual attractions. Further, relationship context cues are thought to be important for responsive desire, but this has not been tested directly. The current study examined gynephilic men’s (n = 27) and exclusively (n = 23) and predominantly (n = 17) androphilic women’s dyadic and solitary responsive sexual desire, as well as genital and self-reported arousal, to audio narratives varying by gender (male, female) of the sexual partner and relationship context (stranger, friend, long-term relationship). Consistent with previous literature, gynephilic men’s solitary and dyadic desire were gender-specific (greater to female than to male sexual partners). Exclusively androphilic women’s dyadic desire differentiated less to cues of gender than gynephilic men’s, and their solitary desire did not differentiate by gender cues at all, replicating previous research. Androphilic women with some gynephilia reported a gender-nonspecific pattern of dyadic and solitary desire (i.e., responsive desire to both male and female narratives). No effect of relationship context was found for any groups. Results suggest that responsive sexual desire may be more closely associated with self-reported than genital arousal patterns.
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