Click to download an early 2016 iteration of the STP diagram : Understanding Sexual Balance: A Key to the Sexual Tipping Point Model
This “Key To The Sexual Tipping Point® ” will familiarize you with the model's various graphic representations. The Sexual Tipping Point® or STP, is the interaction of constitutional sexual capacity with various bio-psychosocial-behavioral and cultural factors. A person’s STP differs from one experience to another, based on the proportional effect of one factor dominating, as others recede in importance. The STP model can illustrate both the intra and inter-individual variability characterizing sexual response and its disorders for both men and women.
Quadrant (A) depicts two pans placed on opposite sides of a Sexual Balance Scale. Each pan holds two interrelated weights containing all Mental (M) and Physical (P) factors, which respectively may “turn on” or “turn off” sexual response.
Quadrant (B) shows circles (O) labeled with a “+”, “−”, or “?” representing the valences of the known M and P factors that impact sexual response, as well as those not yet discovered. All factors are found within the M & P weights/containers.
Quadrant (C) depicts factors as endogenous, exogenous, micro, macro, and runs the gamut from physical to behavioral, cognitive, relational, and/or cultural. The Sexual Balance Scale depicted shows sexual response “at rest” in a neutral range. The balance shifts based on an array of predisposing, precipitating, maintaining and contextual factors, which trigger, reinforce or worsen the probability a sexual disorder will occur.
Quadrant (D) illustrates how sexual response (in reality continuous and not categorical) could be described as Hot, Not, or Neutral.
The STP is easily used to explain etiology and highlight treatment targets for patients. It helps healthcare clinicians disabuse patient’s erroneous binary beliefs. Clinicians can then instill hope through a simple explanation of how the problem’s causes can be diagnosed, parsed, and "fixed.” Teaching the STP model to the patient and partner helps reduce despair and anger. A patient’s complaint might then evoke this response from their clinician: “It is not all in your head, nor is it all a physical problem.” Reciprocally, their partner can be taught the reasons the problem, “It is not all your fault at all!”
1. Perelman, M. A. (2009). The sexual tipping point: a mind/body model for sexual medicine. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6(3), 227–632.
2. Perelman, M. A. (2016). Why the Sexual Tipping Point® Model? Current Sexual Health Reports, 8(1), 39–46.