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#5: Intense positive affect without arousal is possible: Subjective and physiological reactivity during a partnered sexual meditative experience

#5: Intense positive affect without arousal is possible: Subjective and physiological reactivity during a partnered sexual meditative experience

Siegle, Greg J.; Prause, Nicole

Though common models suggest that affect intensity can be thought of as orthogonal to arousal, examples of intensely pleasant low arousal stimuli remain rare. To support this orthogonal model, we examined whether a specific meditative sexual practice, Orgasmic Meditation (OM), induces such a state. Thus, this study measured changes in subjective affect as well as skin conductance responses (SCR), as a proxy for physiological arousal associated with sympathetic nervous system activity, during a single 15-minute partnered sexual meditative practice (Orgasmic Meditation; OM) in 93 participants. Almost all participants experienced sustained positive affect during the task. Whereas seconds after OM start approximately half the participants experienced sustained increased SCR, the other half experienced sustained decreased SCR. This observation suggests that the experience of sustained positive affect in intimate interactions may be associated with multiple mechanistic profiles including both decreased and increased arousal.

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