Getting What You Need (GWYN)


Researcher bios and how their research backgrounds relate to this study

The research team includes Erin McClung (doctoral candidate) and Dr. Serena Corsini-Munt (supervisor).

Ms. Erin McClung (primary investigator) is a doctoral candidate from the University of Ottawa working under the supervision of Dr. Corsini-Munt. This study is part of her doctoral research.

Dr. Serena Corsini-Munt (supervisor) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa and director of the Relationship and Couple Health Laboratory. She is a researcher and clinician with expertise in the field of women’s sexual dysfunction and an emerging scholar in studying relationship and motivation factors associated with sexual wellbeing. She sits on the editorial boards for The Journal of Sex Research, Archives of Sexual Behavior and The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality. She is also consulting to the Executives for both the Canadian Sex Research Forum (CSRF) and the Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR), two long-standing academic societies, on the development of codes of conduct and listserv guidelines to reduce discrimination and promote equity and engagement in scientific discourse.

Purpose of this research project

Basic psychological needs are central to self-determination theory, as innate and universal concepts that need to be satisfied in order to in order for individuals to develop and function in a healthy and optimal manner (Deci & Ryan, 2000). Basic psychological need satisfaction and frustration are linked to various outcomes, such as desire, satisfaction, positive/negative affect, psychological wellbeing/distress, vitality, and future engagement (Ryan & Deci, 2017).

This study aims to ask participants about how satisfied or frustrated they feel about their psychological needs during sexual experiences. We will ask participants about their sense of choice, competence, and connection with their partners during these encounters. We will be examining associations with sexual outcomes, such as desire, satisfaction or dissatisfaction, motivation for sex, sexual function, and overall sexual well-being.

How this research will help LGBT2SQ people and communities

Measure development based on self-determination theory and basic psychological needs in relationships has primarily focused on cisgender, heterosexual couples while neglecting the LGBT2SQ community. Participation in this study will a) aid in the development of a new, inclusive, psychosexual tool from which we can confirm the links between need satisfaction/frustration and sexual outcomes (sexual desire, sexual satisfaction, sexual motivation, sex quality, sexual function, sexual distress, sexual affect, and sexual frequency), and b) identify the unique contributions of self-determined motivation to sexual wellbeing. Together, this research provides valuable information that contributes to our understanding of motivation and sexual desire.


Eligible participants must be a minimum of 18 years of age, sexually active, reside in Canada, and must be able to understand, read, and communicate in English. Participants do not need to be in a long-term relationship. However, in order to assess sexual outcomes, participants need to be currently sexually active (within the last month) with one or more sexual partners (not only solitary sexual activity).


All participants will individually complete the online survey (45 minutes). As compensation for completing the survey participants will be entered to win a draw for 1 of 10 $50 CAD Visa/Mastercard gift cards. With every 50 participants enrolled and completed, we will conduct a draw.

Mitigation measures

Given that we are asking questions throughout the study that pertain to sexuality and relationships, some participants may find them personal in nature. For this reason, as participants reflect on their relationship and sex life, it is possible that participants may experience some distress during or after completing the study in the same way they would feel if reflecting on other personal topics.

In order to avoid any discomfort, participants will be informed that they may skip any questions that they do not wish to answer or choose to withdraw from the study, via a button at the bottom of the survey screen. Furthermore, if any participant experiences distress that they would like to discuss with a member of the research team, the contact information for Dr. Serena Corsini-Munt, ( a licensed clinical psychologist, will be provided. Dr. Corsini-Munt will refer the participant to appropriate resources based on the participant’s geographical location. In addition, at the end of the survey participants will be provided with a list of online resources that participants can access if they do experience distress.

Additionally, participants will be asked to complete a standardized measure of depression. Should a participant report clinical levels of depression in their survey responses, Qualtrics will redirect them to a page that provides them with resources to local mental health services or national hotlines/websites where the participant can access this information. The page will encourage the participant to see their family doctor for a more thorough assessment of their depressive symptoms.

Promoting the Study

Participants will be drawn from the University of Ottawa’s Integrated System of Participation in Research (ISPR) website and via online advertisements (e.g., social media platforms and websites). Interested participants will sign up to complete the survey, through the online survey platform Qualtrics.