It appears to be reasonable to assume that, in general, people are not completely altruistic, but to a greater or lesser extent also exhibit self-interest and care about their own sexual enjoyment. Family economics assumes that dissonant preferences of self-interested household members lead to an intra-household bargaining situation (Agarwal 1997; Komura 2013; Lundberg and Pollak 1996; Yakita 2018). This approach can also be applied to sexual preferences. Partners may solve the problem of dissonant sexual preferences by bargaining over their sexual activities. Personality has an influence on a person’s bargaining strength and, hence, on whether he or she can achieve a favorable bargaining outcome. Assertiveness is likely to be associated with a more favorable bargaining outcome for the person while a high willingness to compromise may rather result in a less favorable outcome. In particular, personality may have an influence on the person’s threat point. A more sociable person with better communication skills may have better opportunities to find a new partner in case of a disagreement.
This gives us insights into the role of information sharing in sexual relationships
If partners reach a common understanding and agreement on their sexual relationship, commitment problems arise. The common understanding and agreement on the sexual relationship are based on promises partners make to each other. A person may promise to be faithful to the partner or to practice or relinquish specific sexual activities, but later may be tempted to break the promise. The promises made to the partner cannot be made binding through legal enforcement. Thus, the question is if there are other mechanisms ensuring that promises made to the partner are kept. An agreement e setting (Lundberg and Pollak 1994). In a repeated game setting, partners reward each other’s cooperative behavior and threaten to punish opportunistic behavior by refusing cooperation in the future. However, repeated games do not always work. A person is only deterred from opportunistic behavior if he or she does not discount the future loss of cooperation too much. Moreover, repeated games involve multiple equilibria, i.e., not only mutual cooperative behavior is an equilibrium, but also mutual opportunism. We suggest that personality is a parameter playing an important role in whether or not an agreement on sexual activities is self-enforcing. On the one hand, a person’s fair-mindedness, inclination to comply with norms, and willingness to reciprocate the partner’s cooperative behavior increase his or her commitment to the agreement. On the other hand, sociability and communication skills may lead to alternative outside options increasing the temptation to engage in opportunistic behavior.
Better outside options increase the person’s bargaining position in the current relationship and help get through his or her preferred sexual activities
In our empirical analysis, we examine the link between the Big Five personality traits and sexual satisfaction. Considering the dual role of personality, the Big Five may not only have an impact on sexual satisfaction by shaping a person’s utility function, i.e., by influencing the pleasure the person enjoys from sexual activities. The Big Five may also have an impact through the person’s behavior in a sexual relationship and, hence, through the sexual activities the couple does together. In order to gain insights into the transmission channels through which the Big Five have an influence on sexual satisfaction, we also examine a series of behavioral outcome variables. We analyze the determinants of sexual communication. Furthermore, we examine the degree in which a person meets the partner’s needs. This provides indications of whether a person can realize a win�win situation within the sexual relationship. Moreover, we consider the actual and the desired frequency of intercourse. Finally, we examine if a person has sex with someone other than the partner. This provides insights into how the Big Five influence commitment problems and the outside options of the person.