Sexual Desire/Arousal

Sexual Desire/Arousal studies

The SPACE study will compare how asexual people and heterosexual women with sexual desire difficulties attend to and evaluate sexual images using a computer task and eye-tracking. This study involves a short telephone interview about your sexuality, completion of an online questionnaire package at home at any time convenient for you, and an in-lab testing session that will involve two components: a computer task and an eye-tracking task that will ask you to view a series of sexual and neutral images.  Participation in this study will require 1 hour and 45 minutes and you will be compensated for your time.
We hope that this study will add to the growing amount of evidence that asexuality and clinically low desire are distinct entities, and inform more effective interventions for women who are negatively impacted by sexual concerns.

Contact: Natalie Brown

Our lab is developing a web-based program that adapts existing psychological interventions for sexual difficulties into an online format that can be accessed from the privacy and convenience of your own home. The EXCITE II study will further examine the usability and effectiveness of eSense, an online cognitive-behavioural intervention geared towards helping women increase their sexual desire. Your feedback on the user-friendliness of the remaining modules will help us to improve the CBT arm of eSense, as well as inform the development of the mindfulness (MBT) arm. This study will require about 2-3 hours of your time per week for 8 weeks (16-20 hours total). All materials will be viewed and completed online, with a weekly phone or Skype interview (approximately 10-15 minutes) with the study coordinator. You must have internet access, be computer literate and comfortable navigating an online program, fluent in English, and in a committed relationship of at least 6 months. All participants will be pre-screened for sexual difficulties and must meet the criteria. Compensation is $25 for completion of questionnaires at each time point (pre-treatment, post-treatment, 6 months later), for a total of $75. Participants will also be granted free lifetime access to the full version of eSense once it is completed.
Recruitment is starting September 2019, testing to be conducted October/November.

Contact:  Natasha Zippan

- Closed for recruitment

In this treatment study for women's sexual interest and/or arousal difficulties, participants will be randomly assigned to take part in either group mindfulness-based therapy or support group therapy. Both types of therapy involve eight 2.25-hour weekly sessions that include discussion and education about sexual difficulties. The mindfulness group also includes learning and practicing mindfulness skills, and the support group emphasizes providing and receiving support from other women.

Participants will complete assessments (filling out questionnaires and collecting saliva samples at home, and a sexual arousal assessment in our laboratory) at four time-points: before treatment, and at 2-4 weeks, 6 months and 12 months after treatment. Treatment is provided free of charge and participants will be compensated for completing the assessments.

Entry criteria include:

  • Women between the ages of 19-65
  • Able to read, write and speak English fluently
  • Currently experiencing sexual desire and/or arousal difficulties
  • Able to attend 8 weekly group therapy sessions, complete homework between sessions, and complete 4 assessments

Contact person:  Faith Jabs

- Closed for recruitment

This study is investigating how women with and without sexual concerns respond to erotic pictures and videos. The study involves an in-depth telephone interview about health and sexuality and an in-laboratory testing session that includes the measurement of sexual response, the measurement of viewing patterns with an eye tracker, and a presentation of erotic pictures and videos. Participants will also complete questionnaires online at their own home. Participation in this study will require less than two hours of your time.

Contact person: Yvonne Erskine

- Closed for recruitment

The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of a brief online mindfulness meditation intervention on women’s sexual desire. In this study, participants will take part in a brief Skype information session to determine eligibility, and complete a questionnaire to measure sexual desire, relationship satisfaction, empathy, stress, and mindfulness. Participants will be randomly assigned to either a mindfulness meditation or psychosexual education group, and will take part in a 4-week intervention period, which will include daily mind-body exercises. At the end of the intervention, participants will complete the same questionnaire to determine your post-intervention measures. This study spans across 6 weeks, and will take up approximately 6 hours of your time cumulatively.

Contact person: Adrianna Xue

- Closed for recruitment

Researchers at VGH and UBC are investigating the relationship between stress hormones (cortisol and DHEA), mood, and history of stressors, in women with and without sexual desire complaints. Women will take part in a face-to-face interview at our clinic, complete questionnaires and provide saliva samples from home to be analyzed for cortisol & DHEA. This project is led by Dr. Rosemary Basson from the BC Centre for Sexual Medicine.

Contact: Julia O'Loughlin

For prostate cancer patients, there are many well-designed quality of life studies in the heterosexual population. However, very little research has been dedicated to sexual function post treatment in men-who-have-sex-with-men. Through this study, we will develop and validate an assessment tool for sexual quality of life following prostate cancer treatment in men-who-have-sex-with-men.  By completing an online survey, which takes about 25 minutes, participants will have one in ten chance to win $50.

Contact: Dr. Tsz Kin (Bernard) Lee

Click here to complete the COMPASS study survey