Non-concordance, also known as sexual or arousal non-concordance, refers to a situation where a person’s subjective experience of sexual arousal does not align with their physiological responses. In other words, their physical responses, such as genital arousal, may not correspond to their subjective feelings of sexual desire or interest. This phenomenon can occur in both men and women.

Non-concordance can have various effects on sexual situations, and the specific impact may vary from person to person. Here are a few ways non-concordance can affect sexual experiences:

  • Mismatched arousal: non-concordance can lead to a mismatch between a person’s subjective desire for sexual activity and their physiological responses. For example, an individual may feel mentally or emotionally engaged in a sexual encounter but may not experience genital arousal. This can create a disconnect between their desire for sexual activity and their body’s response, which may cause confusion or frustration.
  • Communication challenges: non-concordance can make it challenging for individuals to accurately communicate their desires or level of interest during sexual situations. They may feel pressured to match their physical response to their partner’s expectations, even if their subjective experience differs. This can lead to difficulties in expressing boundaries, preferences, or consent.
  • Psychological impact: non-concordance can potentially lead to psychological distress or negative self-perception. Individuals may feel confused, abnormal, or anxious about their body’s responses not aligning with their desires. They may question their own sexual orientation or have concerns about their sexual functioning.
  • Relationship dynamics: non-concordance can affect sexual dynamics within relationships. If one partner experiences non-concordance, it may be challenging for their partner to interpret their level of interest or attraction accurately. This can lead to misunderstandings or feelings of rejection if the non-concordant partner’s subjective desire does not match their physiological response.

Non-concordance, also known as sexual or arousal non-concordance, refers to a situation where a person's subjective experience of sexual arousal does not align with their physiological responses.

It’s important to note that non-concordance is a normal variation in sexual response and does not indicate a problem or dysfunction. It is a natural aspect of the human sexual experience. However, if non-concordance or its effects significantly impact someone’s well-being, relationships, or sexual satisfaction, it may be helpful to seek support from a healthcare professional or a qualified therapist specializing in sexual health.