Date of Completion


Embargo Period



sexual communication, affection exchange theory, sexual scripts theory, sexual arousal, sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, sexual closeness, talk during sex

Major Advisor

Dr. Amanda Denes

Associate Advisor

Dr. John Christensen

Associate Advisor

Dr. Kirstie Farrar

Associate Advisor

Dr. Rory McGloin

Field of Study

Communication Sciences


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The present study aims to extend both affection exchange theory (Floyd, 2002) and sexual scripts theory (Simon & Gagnon, 1986) to the context of communication during sexual activity. With sexual communication being a more recent area of research, the current study aims to develop a new measurement of communication during sexual activity in order to test some previously established relationships as well as some new relationships. Study I analyzes the new measurement of sexual communication by conducting a factor analysis. The model also suggests that sexual assertiveness, sexual self-esteem, and trait affection as predictors of sexual communication as well as analyzing the relationships between communication during sexual activity and relational outcomes such as sexual closeness, sexual satisfaction, sexual arousal, and relationship satisfaction. Study II uses an intervention based experiment in which individuals who are sexually active and in newly developing relationships for less than three months were instructed to increase their communication during sexual activity. The results are discussed for both studies and further elaborated on in terms of future research and extension of both of the theories that were used as a framework.