Unsurprisingly, scientists found the number one factor that turns off women during sex is disgust.
In a study with 76 heterosexual women between the ages of 18 and 42, evolutionary psychologist Dr. Diana Fleischman investigated sexual arousal by implanting a device that measured genital blood flow in women.
In addition to blood flow, the women's reported feelings were also included in the data published by PLOS ONE.
The study included four groups of women: women who were exposed to disgusting images before they watched an erotic film; women who watched an erotic film before being exposed to disgusting images; women who were exposed to frightening images before watching an erotic film; and the final group was made up of women who watched an erotic film before being exposed to frightening images.
After analyzing the data, the results indicated women who witnessed disgusting images before watching the erotic film were three times less aroused than those people in the control group (those watching a so-called "neutral film") and those who had seen frightening images.
In fact, Dr. Fleischman noted,
It makes sense that sexual arousal and disgust would affect one another. Sexual arousal motivates us toward closeness with others and their bodies while disgust motivates us away.
The findings motivated Dr. Fleischman to make a surprising claim.
Given these competing motivations, every one of our ancestors had to overcome disgust in order to have sexual contact and reproduce.
Despite women's strong biological reactions to disgust, previous experiments consistently indicated men are much less affected when it comes to being disgusted before sex.