Index of Sexual Satisfaction scale

Index of Sexual Satisfaction

WALTER W. HUDSON,1, 2 WALMYR Publishing Co.


The Index of Sexual Satisfaction (ISS) is short-form scale designed to measure the degree of dissatisfaction in the sexual component of a dyadic relationship.


The ISS contains 25 category-partition (Likert-type) items, some of which are worded negatively to partially offset the potential for response set bias. Each item is scored on a relative frequency scale as shown in the scoring key of the instrument. Obtained scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating greater degrees of sexual discord. The ISS has a clinical cutting score of 30 such that scores above that value indicate the presence of a clinically significant degree of sexual discord in the relationship. The ISS can be used with all English speaking populations aged 12 or older.

The readability statistics for the ISS are Flesch Reading Ease: 79; Gunning’s Fog Index: 8; and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 5.

Response Mode and Timing

The ISS is a self-report scale that is normally completed in 5–7 minutes.


Items 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, and 23 must first be reverse scored by subtracting the item response from K+1, where K is the number of response categories in the scoring key. After making all appropriate item reversals, compute the total score as S = (ΣXi – N)(100) / [(K–1)N], where X is an item response, i is item, K is the number of response categories, and N is the number of properly completed items. Total scores remain valid in the face of missing values (omitted items) provided the respondent completes at least 80% of the items. The effect of the scoring formula is to replace missing values with the mean item response value so that scores range from 0 to 100 regardless of the value of N.


Cronbach’s alpha is .92 and the SEM is 4.24. Test-retest reliability is not available.


The known groups validity coefficient is .76 as determined by the point biserial correlation between group status (troubled vs. untroubled criterion groups) and the ISS scores. Detailed information about content, factorial, and construct validity are reported in the WALMYR Assessment Scale Scoring Manual, which is available from the publisher.

Other Information

The proper use of the WALMYR assessment scales is easily mastered, and the scales can be readily understood by qualified professional practitioners. These measurement tools are not intended for use by untrained individuals. The scales are simple, powerful devices that, when used by trained professionals, are capable of revealing both minor and serious problems that individuals might have in many areas of personal and social functioning. They are not intended for use by persons who are not trained to deal with such problems and should be used only by competent professionals, researchers, scholars and those who are engaged in supervised study and training.

The ISS is a copyrighted commercial assessment scale and may not be copied, reproduced, altered, or translated into other languages. The scale may not be administered online nor placed on a website for others to use. It may be purchased in tear-off pads of 50 copies each for $22.50 at


1Walter W. Hudson, 1934–1999.

2Address correspondence to WALMYR Publishing Co., P.O. Box 12217, Tallahassee, FL 32317-2217; e-mail: [email protected]

Index of Sexual Satisfaction (ISS) (sample items)


Name: ……………………………………………….. Today’s Date:………………………………………………..

This questionnaire is designed to measure the degree of satisfaction you have in the sexual relationship with your partner. It is not a test, so there are no right or wrong answers. Answer each item as carefully and as accurately as you can by placing a number beside each one as follows.


1 = None of the time 2 = Very rarely

3 = A little of the time 4 = Some of the time

5 = A good part of the time 6 = Most of the time

7 = All of the time


  1. I feel that my partner enjoys our sex life.
  2. Our sex life is very exciting.
  3. Sex is fun for my partner and me.
  4. Sex with my partner has become a chore for me.
  5. I feel that our sex is dirty and disgusting.
  6. Our sex life is monotonous.
  7. When we have sex it is too rushed and hurriedly completed.
  8. I feel that my sex life is lacking in quality.
  9. My partner is sexually very exciting.
  10. I enjoy the sex techniques that my partner likes or uses.
  11. I feel that my partner wants too much sex from me.
  12. I think that our sex is wonderful.
  13. My partner dwells on sex too much.
  14. I try to avoid sexual contact with my partner.
  15. My partner is too rough or brutal when we have sex.
  16. My partner is wonderful sex mate.
  17. I feel that sex is a normal function of our relationship.
  18. My partner does not want sex when I do.
  19. I feel that our sex life really adds a lot to our relationship.
  20. My partner seems to avoid sexual contact with me.
  21. It is easy for me to get sexually excited by my partner.
  22. I feel that my partner is sexually pleased with me.
  23. My partner is very sensitive to my sexual needs and desires.
  24. My partner does not satisfy me sexually.
  25. I feel that my sex life is boring.


Copyright © 1993, Walter W. Hudson IIlegal to Photocopy or Otherwise Reproduce.


Note. 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 12, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22, and 23 are reverse scored.



Hudson, W. W., Harrison, D. F., & Crosscup, P. C. (1981). A short-form scale to measure sexual discord in dyadic relationships. The Journal of Sex Research, 17, 157–174.

Murphy, G. J. (1978). The family in later life: A cross-ethnic study in marital and sexual satisfaction. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Tulane University, New Orleans.

Murphy, G. J., Hudson, W. W., & Cheung, P. P. L. (1980). Marital and sexual discord among older couples. Social Work Research & Abstracts, 161, 11–16.

Nurius, P. S., & Hudson, W. W. (1993), Human services practice, evaluation & computers. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing.