Rose Colored Glasses: An Exploration of the Relationship between Sexual Nostalgia and Sexual Satisfaction

Ashley E. Thompson, Julia M. Record, Rachel Miller, Harrison Bjorback

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sexual satisfaction contributes significantly to one’s quality of life and offers a variety of mental and physical health benefits. Consequently, numerous studies have examined ways to improve sexual satisfaction. However, no research has investigated how sexual nostalgia (i.e., “the sentimental longing for or wistful reflection on past sexual memories,” p. 1539) with one’s current partner impacts sexual satisfaction. Thus, this program of research was designed to develop the Sexual Nostalgia Inventory, assess the relationship between sexual nostalgia and sexual satisfaction, and to examine the moderating role of romantic attachment. The results of Study One (N = 227) indicated that the content of sexual memories can be conceptualized into one factor. The results from Study Two (N = 619) revealed that sexual nostalgia was positively related to sexual satisfaction and that romantic attachment moderated these relationships. In particular, the positive association between sexual nostalgia and satisfaction was greatest for those insecurely attached (i.e., those high in anxious and avoidant attachment). These findings have important implications for researchers looking to establish the causal link between nostalgia and satisfaction and clinicians working with couples experiencing low sexual desire and/or unmet sexual needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)274-284
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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