Rui Costa

Rui Costa

Post-doctoral fellow 



Phone: + 351 21 8811700 (ext. 311)

Fax: + 351 21 8860954



:: Research interests


·  Physiological and psychological determinants of sexual desire 

·  Relationships of sexual behaviors with physical and mental health 

·  Personality differences in sexual behaviors 

·  Sexual behaviors and relationship quality 

·  Enhancement of sexual function



:: Current research project


Low sexual desire is highly prevalent in the general population and affects adults of all ages. For long that it is recognized that testosterone is an important determinant of sexual desire, but various studies fail to find significant associations of desire with both endogenous and exogenous testosterone, which is congruent with the view that low desire has a multifactorial etiology, and psychological factors likely play a relevant role. Hence, it is important to gain a better understanding of how hormonal and psychological factors interact to generate desire and how this process can go awry.



:: Selected publications


Costa, R. M., & Brody, S. (2012). Greater resting heart rate variability is associated with orgasms through penile-vaginal intercourse, but not with orgasms from other sources. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9, 188-197.


Costa, R. M., & Brody, S. (2011). Anxious and avoidant attachment, vibrator use, anal sex, and impaired vaginal orgasm. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 8, 2493-2500.


Costa, R. M., & Brody, S. (2010). Immature defense mechanisms are associated with lesser vaginal orgasm consistency and greater alcohol consumption before sex.Journal of Sexual Medicine, 7, 775-786.


Costa, R. M., & Esteves, F. (2008). Skin conductance responses to visual sexual stimuli. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 67, 64-69.


Costa, R. M., & Brody, S. (2007). Women’s relationship quality is associated with specifically penile-vaginal intercourse orgasm and frequency. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 33, 319-327.

Horários e Contactos

Dias da semana

das 09:00h às 13:00h

tel +351 218 811 740