Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

This article describes the development of the Sexual Ecstasy Scale, an instrument designed to measure the specific features that emerge when sexual arousal is the trigger for an ecstatic experience. Drawing from descriptions of features of sexual ecstasy in the phenomenological literature, the authors generated an initial survey of 31 items. In Study 1, the survey was completed by a wide demographic sample (N = 331). Exploratory factor analysis revealed a 4-factor solution that was replicated in Study 2 using confirmatory factor analysis with an independent sample (N = 331) that showed strong fit indices. Internal consistency for the overall scale and subscales was high with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.873. Positive correlations with measures of emotional, sexual, and spiritual intimacy, and a measure of self-transcendence were used to establish convergent validity. The absence of correlations with measures of personal esteem and life satisfaction was used to distinguish the continuum of sexual ecstasy from other personality factors. The results show that ecstatic sexual experience is consistent with other measures of peak experience and heightened emotion while demonstrating the ability to measure the specific features of the construct. Conclusions are drawn regarding the importance of the ecstatic features of sexuality to transpersonal psychology.

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