Affective and Motivational Orientation Related to Erotic Arousal Questionnaire

Affective and Motivational Orientation Related to Erotic Arousal Questionnaire‌‌‌‌

CRAIG A. HILL,1 Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne

The Affective and Motivational Orientation Related to Erotic Arousal Questionnaire (AMORE) is a self-report questionnaire designed to measure individual differences in eight dispositional sexual motives proposed within a construct of intrinsic sexual motivation. A dispositional sexual motive is a relatively stable interest in obtaining gratification from a specific outcome associated with sexual behavior or sexual interaction. Intrinsic sexual motivation is the desire or interest in outcomes inherent in sexual expression, those that cannot be experienced except through sexual expression. The eight sexual motives assessed by the AMORE are the desire to (a) feel valued by one’s partner, (b) express value for one’s partner, (c) obtain relief from negative emotional states, (d) provide nurturance and comfort to one’s partner, (e) enhance one’s power, (f) experience the power of one’s partner, (g) experience sensuality and physical pleasure, and (h) procreate. The eight motives are considered to be important factors influencing individuals to engage in sexual behavior (Hill & Preston, 1996).


The AMORE comprises 62 statements dealing with the tendency to desire or find pleasure in specific aspects of sexual expression; these specific tendencies are called sexual motives. The focus of each statement is one of the eight sexual motives identified within the construct of intrinsic sexual motivation presented in the previous section. To begin the instrument development process, an initial pool of 101 statements was constructed in such a way as to con- vey the theoretical and conceptual essence of a given sexual motive, a theory-driven process.

Principal components analysis of responses to the statements by 612 college students confirmed the existence of eight motive dimensions for 62 of the items; 39 items were eliminated based on this analysis because of low fac- tor loadings, or loading highly on more than one factor. The selected 62 items were administered to two additional groups of college students (Ns = 586 and 396), and each set of responses was separately factor analyzed. Both analyses produced solutions highly similar to the one for the initial sample of respondents, confirming the presence of eight stable factors. The instrument has been employed with noncollege-student samples, as well.

Response Mode and Timing

The AMORE is a self-report questionnaire. Each of the 62 statements is evaluated by respondents on a 5-point Likert- type scale. The response scale is labeled at the low extreme with Not at all True, Moderately True at the midpoint, and Completely True at the high extreme. The alphabetic letters A through E represent each of the points on the scale. In early research, respondents marked their ratings on a Scantron sheet. More recently, the questionnaire has been presented on computers employing MediaLab software, with responses recorded electronically.


The AMORE consists of eight subscales measuring each of the theoretically derived sexual motive dimensions. Responses are converted to numeric values in the following way: A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, D = 4, and E = 5. Item 21 is coded in the reverse direction. Values for items on each subscale are added together to create a total subscale score. The items belonging to each subscale are shown in Table 1.


Internal consistency coefficients (alphas) for the subscales have ranged from .76 (for the Procreation subscale) to .94 (for the Relief From Stress and Partner Power subscales) across a number of samples. Most coefficients are typically greater than .85 (Hill, 1997b, 2002; Hill & Preston, 1996).

Items Belonging to Subscales of the AMORE
Subscale Item Numbers
Valued by Partner
1, 9, 14, 26, 35, 36, 38
Value for Partner
17, 43, 44, 49, 55, 59, 60, 61
Relief from Stress
3, 12, 20, 27, 28, 31, 37, 39, 40, 45
2, 10, 33, 52, 57, 62
Expression of Power
6, 7, 11, 16, 41, 46, 48, 53, 56, 58
Experience Partner’s Power
5, 13, 19, 23, 25, 29, 47, 50, 51, 54
Pleasure and Sensuality
18, 22, 24, 30, 34
4, 8, 15, 21, 32, 42


A number of studies have supported the validity of the eight AMORE subscales. The convergent and divergent validity of the AMORE subscales have been established through correlations with scores on measures of constructs theoretically related and unrelated, respectively, to the sexual motivation constructs (Hill & Preston, 1996). The distinctiveness of the subscales was supported in reactions to eight role-played sexual scenarios designed to be uniquely relevant to each of the eight sexual motives. Reported likelihood of engaging in sexual behavior in each situation was correlated most strongly with scores on the theoretically most relevant AMORE scale (e.g., likelihood of sexual behavior in a situation focused on expressing one’s power was most highly correlated with the AMORE Power sub- scale (Hill 1997b, 2002).

The AMORE subscales have been shown to correlate with differences in various aspects of sexual behavior and contraception use (Hill & Preston, 1996), as well as to sexual fantasies that are theoretically most relevant to specific sexual motives (Hill, 2007a). The subscales also correlate with attraction to a potential partner in a situation in which participants believed they were involved in a dating ser- vice opportunity (Hill, 2005). Interest in engaging in sexual behavior with someone one has just met or knows only slightly is likewise associated with theoretically relevant AMORE subscales (Hill, 2007b). The Valued by Partner and Value for Partner subscales are related to greater sexual satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and relationship commitment among couples involved in romantic relationships (Hill, 1997a), as well as to changes in satisfaction and commitment over time (Hill, 1998). Many of the AMORE sub- scales correlate as predicted with attachment anxiety (Davis, Shaver, & Vernon, 2004; Schachner & Shaver, 2004).

Other Information

I am grateful to Leslie K. Preston for earlier assistance in the development of this scale.

Address correspondence to Craig Hill, Department of Psychology, IPFW, Fort Wayne, IN 46805; e-mail: [email protected]

Affective and Motivational Orientation Related to Erotic Arousal

Please be extremely honest and think about yourself very carefully when responding to each statement!

There are no right or wrong answers.

This questionnaire asks you about reasons that you typically experience sexual feelings or that you become interested in sexual issues or behaviors. When you experience these feelings or interests, you may or may not always act on those feelings. “Sex,” “having sex,” or “sexual activity” can include sexual behavior with another person (e.g., your spouse or lover), as well as sexual behavior by yourself (e.g., masturbation, viewing or reading erotic materials). “Partner” can refer to either your spouse or regular romantic partner or any individual with whom you have sex. If you have never had sex or are not currently involved sexually with anyone, respond to the statements below like you think you would feel if you were involved in a sexual relationship or were sexually active.

Not all reasons for being interested in sexual issues or sexual behavior may be listed below. Many of the reasons included may not describe you well at all. If this is the case, please indicate that they are not true for you when rating them.

If a particular statement describes your typical reaction or feelings well, indicate that it is “Completely True” by filling in the letter “E” on the computer sheet. If a particular statement does not describe you well or is opposite of the way you feel, indicate that it is “Not at all True” by filling in the letter “A” on the computer sheet. Of course, you may choose any letter in between A and E to indicate the degree to which the statement describes you or not.

Please use the rating scale below to indicate how true or descriptive each of following statements is for you:






Not at all






  1. Often when I need to feel loved, I have the desire to relate to my partner sexually because sexual intimacy really makes me feel warm and cared for.

  2. I enjoy having sex most intensely when I know that it will lift my partner’s spirits and improve his or her outlook on life.

  3. When bad or frustrating things happen to me, many times I feel like engaging in sexual fantasy or doing something sexual to try to get to feeling better.

  4. Sex is important to me largely for reproductive reasons.

  5. Sexual activities and fantasies are most stimulating when my partner seems extremely self-assured and demanding during sex.

  6. I find that I often feel a sense of superiority and power when I am expressing myself sexually.

  7. One of the most exciting aspects of sex is the sense of power I feel in controlling the sexual pleasure and stimulation my partner experiences.

  8. Often while I am engaging in sex or fantasy, the idea that children might result from sexual behavior is extremely arousing.

  9. Frequently, when I want to feel that I am cared for and that someone is concerned about me, relating to my partner sexually is one of the most satisfying ways to do so.

  10. Often the most pleasurable sex I have is when it helps my partner forget about his or her problems and enjoy life a little more.

  11. I find sexual behavior and sexual fantasy most exciting when I can feel forceful and dominant with my partner.

  12. Thinking about sex or engaging in sex sometimes seems to help me keep on going when things get rough.

  13. It is frequently very arousing when my partner gets very forceful and aggressive during sex.

  14. I frequently want to have sex with my partner when I need him or her to notice me and appreciate me.

  15. I especially enjoy sex when my partner and I are trying to have a baby.

  16. Often engaging in sex with my partner makes me feel like I have established myself as a force to be reckoned with.

  17. A major reason I enjoy having sex with my partner is because I can communicate how much I care for and value him or her.

  18. The sensations of physical pleasure and release are major reasons that sexual activity and fantasy are so important to me.

  19. Sex and sexual fantasies are most exciting when I feel like my partner has totally overpowered me and has taken complete control.

  20. When I am going through difficult times, I can start feeling better simply by engaging in some type of sexual fantasy or behavior.

  21. The idea of having children is not very significant in my feelings about why sexual activity is important to me.

  22. In many ways, I think engaging in sex and sexual fantasy are some of the most exciting and satisfying activities I can experience.

  23. Many times it is extremely thrilling when my partner takes complete charge and begins to tell me what to do during sex.

  24. I really value sexual activity as a way of enjoying myself and adding an element of adventure to my life.

  25. Often I have a real need to feel dominated and possessed by my partner while we are engaged in sex or sexual fantasy.

  26. One of the best ways of feeling like an important part of my partner’s life is by relating to him or her sexually.

  27. I find that thinking about or engaging in sexual activity can frequently help me get through unpleasant times in my life.

  28. I often feel like fantasizing about sex or expressing myself sexually when life isn’t going very well and I want to feel better about myself.

  29. Engaging in sexual activity is a very important way for me to experience and appreciate the personal strength and forcefulness that my partner is capable of.

  30. I find it extremely exciting to be playful and to have fun when I am expressing myself sexually.

  31. Thinking about sex or engaging in sexual behavior can frequently be a source of relief from stress and pressure for me.

  32. I would prefer to have sex primarily when I am interested in having a child.

  33. Often when my partner is feeling down on life or is unhappy about something, I like to try to make him or her feel better by sharing intimacy together sexually.

  34. The experience of sexual tension and energy are in many ways the most thrilling and important aspects of sexual activity and fantasy.

  35. I often feel like having sex with my partner when I need to feel understood and when I want to relate to him or her on a one-to-one level.

  36. When I need to feel a sense of belongingness and connectedness, having sex with my partner is really an important way of relating to him or her.

  37. Doing something sexual often seems to greatly improve my outlook on life when nothing seems to be going right.

  38. I frequently feel like expressing my need for emotional closeness and intimacy by engaging in sexual behavior or fantasy with my sexual partner.

  39. Many times when I am feeling unhappy or depressed, thinking about sex or engaging in sexual activity will make me feel better.

  40. When things are not going well, thinking about sex or doing something sexual is often very uplifting for me and helps me to forget about my problems for a while.

  41. Engaging in sexual activity is very important to me as a means of feeling powerful and charismatic.

  42. One of the main reasons I am interested in sex is for the purpose of having children.

  43. The sense of emotional bonding with my partner during sexual intercourse is an important way of feeling close to him or her.

  44. One of the most satisfying aspects of engaging in sex is expressing the intensity of my feelings for my partner while we are having sex.

  45. I often have a strong need to fantasize about sex or to do something sexual when I feel upset or unhappy.

  46. I really enjoy having sex as a way of exerting dominance and control over my partner.

  47. I often find it a real turn-on when my partner takes charge and becomes authoritative during sexual activity or fantasy.

  48. I am often very excited by the sense of power that I feel I have over my partner when I am sexually attractive to him or her.

  49. Being able to experience my partner’s physical excitement and sexual release is incredibly thrilling and stimulating for me.

  50. I find it very exciting when my partner becomes very demanding and urgent during sex and sexual fantasy, as if he or she needs to possess me completely.

  51. I frequently become very aroused when I sense that my partner is excited by controlling and directing our sexual activity or fantasy.

  52. I frequently want to have sex with my partner because I know how much he or she enjoys it and how good it makes my partner feel as a person.

  53. Expressing myself sexually generally makes me feel personally strong and in control of things.

  54. I am especially excited by the feeling of domination and being controlled by my partner during sex and sexual fantasy.

  55. One of the most satisfying features of sex is when my partner really seems to need the love and tenderness it conveys.

  56. Often the sense of power that I have over my sexual partner can be extremely exhilarating.

  57. I find it very rewarding when I can help my partner get through rough times by showing how much I care and being sexually intimate with him or her.

  58. I frequently find it quite arousing to be very directive and controlling while having sex with my partner.

  59. Sexual intercourse is important in creating a great deal of emotional closeness in my relationship with my partner.

  60. Sharing affection and love during sexual intercourse is one of the most intense and rewarding ways of expressing my concern for my partner.

  61. The sense of emotional closeness I experience from having sex with my partner is one of the most satisfying ways I know of feeling valued.

  62. To me, an extremely rewarding aspect of having sex is that it can make my partner feel good about himself or herself.


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Hill, C. A. (1997b). The distinctiveness of sexual motives in relation to sexual desire and desirable partner attributes. The Journal of Sex Research, 34, 139–153.

Hill, C. A. (1998, May). Sexual motivation, romantic attraction, and intimate relationships. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.

Hill, C. A. (2002). Gender, relationships stage, and sexual behavior: The importance of partner emotional investment within specific situations. The Journal of Sex Research, 39, 228–240.

Hill, C. A. (2005, August). Romantic and sexual interest as a function of dispositional sexual motives. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.

Hill, C. A. (2007a, May). Sexual fantasies relate to the theoretically most relevant dispositional sexual motives. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the Association for Psychological Science, Washington, DC.

Hill, C. A. (2007b, November). Sexual interest in casual and newly acquainted partners relative to sexual motivation and relationship status. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, Indianapolis, IN.

Hill, C. A., & Preston, L. K. (1996). Individual differences in the experience of sexual motivation: Theory and measurement of dispositional sexual motives. The Journal of Sex Research, 33, 27–45.

Schachner, D. A., & Shaver, P. R. (2004). Attachment dimensions and sexual motives. Personal Relationships, 11, 179–195.