One of the best examined models in personality psychology in the field of character traits, tells us there are five traits (Big 5). Scientists now researched how these five traits are of influence on your sex life. And it seems that there is one in particular that seems to be of importance on how well you are in between the sheets.
The Big 5 personality traits
In fact there are 30 different traits that are grouped in five categories. Each trait consists of six sub factors. The main traits are:
- Neuroticism: the psychological stability of someone. Think of fear (are you scared or brave), aggravation (can you contain yourself), sadness (are you a positive person, or more depressed), shame (do you worry what others will say), impulsiveness (can you control yourself) and stress-proof (resilient).
- Extraversion: Extravert people feel comfortable in contact with others, while introvert persons feel better alone or in small groups. This breaks down to cordiality (how reserved are you), sociability (desire for contact), dominance (come to the fore), energy (outgoing), adventurous (need for tension and sensation) and happiness (your mood).
- Openness: Are you open to try new things, or do you prefer to stick with what you know. This consists of the facets fantasy (are you a dreamer or a realist), aesthetics (open for art and culture), feelings (do you bury your feelings), change (desire to vary) and intellectuality (are you open for new thoughts and ideas).
- Altruism: the connection you have with others. Are you inclined to put the interest of others above that of your own. This breaks down to trust (distrust or of good will), sincerity (honest), caring (choosing for others or yourself), complacency (how do you behave in conflicts), modesty (do you brag) and compassion (do you empathize).
- Concientiousness: This difficult word means organized or ordered; the degree to which someone is focused and structured in his behavior. Consciëntiousness also exists of six facets: effectiveness (being convinced you have influence on your life), structured (organized), reliable (committed), ambitious (wanting to achieve something), self discipline (continue even with setback), considerate (do you have a plan).
How personality traits are of influence on your sex life
In a recent study each of these personality traits are being linked to the sex life. Interestingly, especially conciëntiousness seems to be of importance to a healthy and satisfying sex life.
Neuroticism has to do with stability of people. Those with a lower score to this trait, are likely to have stress and are more easily irritated. You may imagine that a neurotic person will have more trouble to get sexually satisfaction. The research confirms this. When you can’t relax, it is more difficult to create the right mood for intimacy. Surprisingly, neurotic people report to have an STD more often. It is unclear why. Perhaps neurotics are more likely to get tested?
Extravert persons are social and make contact easily. It is not surprising that this research shows that extravert people are more sexually active. Not alone do they have a higher need for sex, but they do it more frequently as well. They also report to have more casual sex and have less sexual problems. There is also a minor connection between being extravert and infidelity. Because extravert people make contact more easily, they are more likely to create opportunities for sex.
People who are more open, are also more curious and want to try new things. They also have a more vivid imagination. They may even be daydreamers. Persons that have this trait have sexual fantasies more often on many different subjects. And because they are open to new things, they are more open minded about sex. These persons are more likely to identify as bisexual or gay. Further more, they are more satisfied with their sex life.
Unselfish people often think about others first. They are kind and considerate. You can imagine that altruistic persons are less likely to be sexual aggressive or cheat. On the other hand, they are less interested in sex. They have a lower need for sex and do it less frequently. Despite of the lower frequency, these persons are still very satisfied with their sex lives.
Concientious persons have a great discipline and eye for detail. They prefer to do things planned in tead of spontaneous and in general are more conventional and traditional. People with this trait often have conservative ideas about sex. Combined with the trait of discipline it might explain that they are less likely to cheat. What is interesting, is that concientious persons report to be very happy wit their sex life. This could point back to their eye for detail. It might be that they have more attention for smaller things, like putting on some music, lighting a candle, and a good overall preparation. It might also be that they have more attention for their partner and those things that drive their partner completely wild, so they know what to repeat the next time.
Everybody is unique
This research shows that our traits say something about the way we behave with sex. But, be aware that everyone has a unique mixture of these five traits. That’s why you should never just watch at one of those traits in isolation, but always to the mix of traits that someone has.
Also, you should be ware of the so called ‘Forer-effect‘. This effect is a common psychological phenomenon whereby individuals give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically to them, that are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people.