An investigation of romantic and sexual satisfaction within gay, straight, and lesbian couples

Gregory James Simons, Marquette University


One hundred thirty-seven non-married couples (46 male-male, 46 female-female, and 45 male-female) involved in relationships six months or less participated in a longitudinal study of behavior within romantic relationships. Qualitative methods were primarily used to collect participants' narratives about special, frustrating, beneficial, and concerning aspects of their relationships as well as two specific components of satisfaction, relationship and sexual. Grounded theory was used to develop coding categories from participants' narratives. The coding categories were used to quantify data to allow analysis by T-tests, ANOVAs, correlations, and regressions. Differences and similarities between men and women, and among couple types, were examined, however, similarities outweighed differences. Relationship satisfaction was related to the total reported relationship benefits, having more positive relationship aspects than negative aspects, and a partner's use of substances. Sexual satisfaction was related to differences between themselves and their partner being complementary, thinking of their significant others as a potential long-term partner, communication problems, and partner substance use. Relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, partner long-term potential, total positive relationship traits, similarities, and complementary differences were all higher in couples together at the six-month follow-up than in those who had broken up.

Recommended Citation

Simons, Gregory James, "An investigation of romantic and sexual satisfaction within gay, straight, and lesbian couples" (2007). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI3277088.