Understanding Sexual Balance: Latest Update To The STP Model

The STP illustrates a Biomedical-Psychosocial & Cultural variable control model.

Posted Jun 30, 2019

The Sexual Tipping Point® model illustrates whether a person is “turned on or turned off,” with the simultaneous capability of depicting all the complex multifaceted factors intrinsic to understanding any sexual response. 

The Sexual Tipping Point® or STP depicts the moment to moment interaction of a person’s constitutional sexual capacity with the biomedical- psychosocial and cultural factors that determine sexual their response.

A person’s STP differs from one experience to another, based on the proportional impact 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.

Previously, the STP was labeled as one of a number of “Dual Control” models. Instead, it should be thought of as a “variable control” biomedical-psychosocial and cultural model. The STP is easily used to explain etiology and highlight treatment targets for patients. It helps healthcare clinicians disabuse patients of erroneous binary beliefs. Clinicians can then instill hope through a simple explanation of how the problem’s causes can be diagnosed, parsed, and fixed.

The latest drawing of the Sexual Tipping Point® model is shown below illustrating a person who is "at rest" with their mind and body, mental and physical factors that determine their sexual response(s) balanced in a neutral position.

 Used with permission of the MAP Education and Research Foundation a 501 (c)(3) public charity.
An STP Model explanation is found at mapedfund.org. Factors slide along the axes to indicate their polarity and valence.
Source: Used with permission of the MAP Education and Research Foundation a 501 (c)(3) public charity.

The following description will familiarize you with the STP model's graphic representations and its fundamental elements.

Two “arms” on a balance scale labeled “Excitation” and “Inhibition” hold all the known and unknown exciting (+) and inhibiting (-) billions of factors that dynamically influence a sex-positive or sex-negative response.

Each factor is represented by a “slider (O)” with progressively deepening hues of red representing, increasing excitation, and blue for increasing sexual inhibition. Factors that influence a person at a specific moment in time are chosen from the matrix below the balance beam where the most common factors are listed.

The depth of hue color for each factor/slider (O) changes as it shifts along its axis based on the variable polarity strength and valence that factor contributes to the person’s sexual response. Besides color, each factor/slider (O) is lettered within the matrix with an “M” or “P” indicating whether it is a Mental or Physical factor.

The dots separating the mental from physical sides of the matrix reflect the continuous interaction of the mind and body (mental and physical) based on the bidirectional process of thoughts translating into biochemical/electrical components and vice versa.

Each slider (O) is also numbered to identify which of the most common factors it represents when placed into the arms of the balance beam.

Since culture is manifested within many of the domains of the listed factors, it is not depicted with its own unique factor axis. Some additional factors may be neutral (=) and others are not yet discovered (?). The STP is the net sum of all Mental and Physical factors, displayed on a balance scale spanning excitation to inhibition (or Hot to Not).

So, each factor's “slider” setting contributes to the STP’s dynamic representation of an individual’s manifest sexual response at any moment in time.


Perelman, MA (2009) The sexual tipping point: a mind/body model for sexual medicine. J. Of Sexual Medicine, 6 (3), 227–632.

Perelman, M. A. (2018). Sex Coaching for Non-Sexologist Physicians: How to Use the Sexual Tipping Point Model, 15(12), 1667–1672.

Perelman, M. A. (2016). Introduction: Advocating for a Transdisciplinary Approach to the Management of Sexual Disorders. In L. I. Lipshultz, A. W. Pastuszak, A. Giraldi, A. T. Goldstein, & M. A. Perelman (Eds.), Management of Sexual Dysfunction in Men and Women(pp. 1–8). New York, NY: Springer New York. 

Perelman, M. A. (2018). Why the Sexual Tipping Point® Is a “Variable Switch Model.” Current Sexual Health Reports, 6(2), 1–6. 

Perelman, M. A. (2009). The sexual tipping point: a mind/body model for sexual medicine. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 6(3), 227–632.