Treatment of secondary orgasmic dysfunction: An outcome study

Peter R. Kilmann, Katherine H. Mills, Charlene Caid, Edward Davidson, Bonnie Bella, Richard Milan, Gerald Drose, Joseph Boland, Diane Follingstad, Bonnie Montgomery, Richard Wanlass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


This study investigated the differential effectiveness of various treatment formats for 55 couples in which the woman reported secondary orgasmic dysfunction (defined as the inability of the woman to reach orgasm during intercourse, with or without clitoral stimulation, more than 50% of the time for the last 5 months). Couples received two 2-hr sessions of sexual reeducation and were then assigned into one of four treatment conditions (a communication skills format, a sexual skills format, one of two combination formats) or into one of two control conditions (an attention-comparison control condition which consisted of didactic presentations, or a waiting-list control condition). Treatment was conducted by one of two female clinical psychologists in groups of between four to six couples. No significant differences were found between the different treatment conditions at the posttest or at the 6-month follow-up. Statistical comparisons conducted between the combined treatment and combined control conditions showed that the couples who received treatment reported significantly less overall sexual dissatisfaction and significantly greater sexual harmony at the posttest; however, these differences became nonsignificant at the follow-up. In comparison with the women in the control conditions, a significantly greater number of women who received treatment reached or exceeded the project's 50% criterion for coital orgasmic functioning at the posttest; however, these differences became nonsignificant at the follow-up. Couples who reported less relationship adjustment prior to treatment showed greater overall gains in coital orgasmic frequency than couples who reported better relationship adjustment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)211-229
Number of pages19
JournalArchives of Sexual Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1986


  • female sexuality
  • follow-up
  • secondary orgasmic dysfunction
  • sexual dysfunction
  • treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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