A series of studies have found that 'harmonious sexual passion' is absent among couples who spend all of their time obsessing over sex.
According to a report in Scientific American, the concept of 'harmonious sexual passion' is considered to be a 'passion for sex that is well integrated and in harmony with other aspects of the self, creating minimal conflict with other areas of life'.
A study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology by Frédérick Philippe and Robert Vallerand used a series of experiments to find the couples with a passionate sex life, and find their commonalities.
They found that those who have 'harmonious sexual passion' do not let their desire for sex interfere with the rest of their lives.
By contrast, those with 'obsessive sexual passion' have desires which are detached from the rest of their lives.
It leads to a smaller set of goals regarding sex (such as orgasm) and immediate gratification.
Sex in this instance is performed, rather than controlled or fully enjoyed.
Sex constantly on the brain is a sign of disharmony
Moreover, outside of sexual activity, obsessives find sex an intrusive part of their thoughts, and in conflict with their other goals in life.
One study of biassed processing in the study's participants found that obsessives were more likely to see sex everywhere, such as perceiving a sexual undertone to ambiguous situations.
Words that are not sexual in isolation, were perceived as dirty by those with obsessive sexual passion.
These includes words like 'nurse', 'heels', and 'uniform'.
The study noted that obsessiveness is not the same as sexual compulsion or sex addiction.
Harmonious sexual passion
People with more harmonious sexual passion better integrated sex with loving aspects of the self, rather than as distinct goal.
Asked to list as many sexual words as they could in one minute, the participants with a more passionate sex life suggest an equal number of words related to intimacy and relationships as they did to sexual representations.
Words such as 'breasts', 'penis' and 'vibrator' showed up alongside words like 'caress', 'intimate', and 'intercourse'.
Those with more harmonious sexual passion also showed more control over sexual thoughts, and were less distracted by stimulus from whatever task they were undertaking.