sexual desire, attachment, sexual abuse, triadic model of sexual passion


Harmonious, obsessive, and inhibited sexual passion comprise the Triadic Model of Sexual Passion. Research has shown that together they play an important role in sexual and relationship satisfaction. Little is known, however, about the factors that predict the likelihood of having these types of passion expression. Using a Mechanical Turk sample of 1414 individuals, we estimated structural equation models to evaluate how relationship factors (i.e., relationship length, sexual desire, sexual drive) and individual factors (i.e., attachment style, childhood abuse, personality) predict the three constructs from the Triadic Model of Sexual Passion. In general, those with higher sexual desire, secure attachment, no childhood abuse, and low impulsivity and shyness were most likely to report optimal sexual passion (higher harmonious, lower inhibited, and lower obsessive sexual passion). By better understanding how these factors predict sexual passion expression, couples may have an increased likelihood of experiencing harmonious sexual passion in their sexual relationships.

Original Publication Citation

Leonhardt, N. D., Busby, D. M., Valdez, C. (2020). Pursuit of Harmony: Relational and individual predictors of sexual passion expression. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Archives of Sexual Behavior




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor