Pursuing Pleasure Despite Pain: A Mixed-Methods Investigation of Black Women’s Responses to Sexual Pain and Coping

Natalie Malone, Shemeka Thorpe, Jasmine K. Jester, Jardin N. Dogan, Danelle Stevens-Watkins, Candice N. Hargons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The current mixed-methods study is the first to explore Black women’s (N = 153) cognitive (e.g., worry about being perceived as sexually unresponsive) and emotional (e.g., sadness) responses to sexual pain based on age and relationship status, and coping strategies. Findings indicated significant differences in younger and single Black women’s cognitive and emotional responses to sexual pain compared to older and coupled Black women. Qualitative responses revealed Black women engage in several proactive coping strategies to mitigate their sexual pain, including non-penetrative activities, foreplay, tools for increasing arousal, making physical adjustments, and intimacy and sexual communication. Implications for sexual health providers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)552-566
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Sex and Marital Therapy
Volume48
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
was provided, in part, by the Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellowship (Dr. Shemeka Thorpe: PI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology

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