Have you been craving sex lately, but no outlet is present for you that it makes you cry? Or are you in a relationship but the sex just isn’t working out for you like it used to (or ever)?
Well, reader. Hate to break it to you, but you’re experiencing MAJOR sexual frustration.
Take a more detailed route to this stressful issue through this beginner’s guide and how to get your desired relief.
What is Sexual Frustration?
Sexual frustration is defined as the “dissatisfaction with one’s sex life and can be due to quantity or quality issues”, based on the words of board-certified sexologist Jessica Cline. Here are some close ways this type of frustration can be shown:
- You’re single craving physical sex, but clearly it’s not possible because you don’t have a partner.
- You’re sexually active with a partner yet aren’t satisfied with the kind of pleasure they’re giving you.
- You’re in a long-distance relationship.
Heads up, sexual frustration isn’t a medical diagnosis. It’s more stressful when you don’t get what you want, like a child entering a candy shop but only to find that what they’re looking for isn’t available. According to sexologist Tami Rose, owner of Romantic Adventures, “Sexual frustration is a natural response to there being an imbalance between what you want (or need) sexually and what you’re currently getting or experiencing.”
Although it hurts, it’s normal! It’s our body alarming us that we need to… well, get laid.
However, we must also be cautious of it because the frustration can cross to higher lengths when left unsolved for a long period of time. A study from 2020 shows a connection between sexual frustration and mental health, wherein the more unsatisfying the sex is, the lower your mental health status becomes. This may even lead to a lack of confidence in doing the deed. Another more recent study in 2021 reports that sexual frustration can even lead to a life of crime, aggression, and violence.
So as much as possible, we can’t ignore our sexual urges. Whether single or in a relationship, performing the act that fits our needs well will only deplete the frustration and get more excited to do the deed again. As Sex and Relationships therapist Emily Jamea said: “Sex is an opportunity for self-expression, emotional connection, and physical pleasure.”
Signs of Sexual Frustration
If you’re losing focus in your day-to-day lifestyle because there’s an impending ache between your legs (maybe going all over your body), that’s your sexual frustration saying hello. While you’re too busy stressing about other things, your sexual lifestyle is halted Perhaps, for too long.
Some potential indicators we mentioned below may signify that you are experiencing sexual frustration.
- Feeling shame when thinking of sex
- Consistent fights and arguments with your partner: Some can revert back to the topic of sex
- Getting easily irritated or annoyed
- Too stuck in your head: you may even space out from the physical sex
- Losing interest or energy to have sex
- Expressing reckless behavior: This can be through the forms of having sex without protection to getting pregnant unexpectedly.
- Engaging in unhealthy coping mechanisms: This can range from excessive drinking to binge eating.
- Frequently thinking of sex: This hurts more especially when you’re single.
- Increased consumption of porn
- Only viewing the negative sides of your partner
- Excessively needy and handy for physical touch and affection
- Lack of libido for your partner: This may be shown through having mismatched libido levels, also meaning you’re not delighted with how often you do the deed.
- Constant rejection to do the deed in recent days: In some or most scenarios, either of you are unwilling to learn new things in the bedroom.
- Restlessness: This makes you lose focus on what’s important, and affects your overall daily lifestyle/flow. Sleeping problems can occur even.
- Experiencing zero to fewer orgasms that aren’t up to your liking
Causes of Sexual Frustration
Several physical and emotional factors result in the build-up of our sexual frustration. Because of that, it interrupts our inner peace and composure. Let’s get to the bottom of each one and how they affect our behavior.
1 Your communication levels aren’t the best.
Straight to the point, but many things can be fixed if you properly verbalize your problems to your partner. For a topic like sex, it may not be easy for some couples. If you think about it, we weren’t really taught how to talk about sheltered issues like this, especially if sex is a taboo idea in certain countries.
So it’s really up to us to do it, and at first, they don’t end up well. Due to that, we may fear talking about it. Unfortunately, the more secrets you hold, the harder it’ll be to return to feeling good about sex.
2 Our standards for good sex are left unfulfilled.
One possible result of a lack of communication skills in a relationship, wherein we don’t tell our partner what we really want in the deed. You don’t tell them that you’re not a fan of how they initiate or kiss you, and so on. But this cause also works for singles. We rely on putting matters into our hands (literally), but in the end, it’s not enough.
Because what we’re okay with now may result in boring us over time. Then, when we have new ideas to spice it up, we also never have a chance to do it. Reasons range from being busy at work or we lack the finances to do it (especially when it comes to sex toys).
3 There’s a lack of sexual partners.
Pretty explanatory, most especially when you’re not cuffed. Not everyone may be comfortable with the idea of sleeping around often for that relief because maybe that’s not the kind of relationship we’re looking for. The latter usually takes a lot of time to build that connection and extra waiting time to do the deed. Not just that, it’s a challenging hunt to search for a partner when you don’t want any strings attached. Plus, some of us may not be as sociable or confident, resulting in loneliness and heightened sexual neediness.
4 We may have perceptions towards sex that are unhealthy.
If there’s one idea about sex we should uphold, it’s that sex is meant to make you feel good and happy. But other than that, it’s time to call ourselves out if we ever thought the following:
- Sex is how I lift my self-esteem up.
- I should sleep with someone who should get all my needs right.
- They should have sex with me more often because I deserve it.
- If I don’t orgasm the first time around, I’ll break up with them.
- Only I control the pace when we have sex.
All of these perceptions (and many more) come from a place of selfishness, wherein if we don’t reciprocate it, we’ll never find joy in sex no matter how frequently we do it.
5 You lost a close, emotional connection with someone you love.
Imagine being with someone for years, someone whom you love and have long-term plans with, only for it to end drastically or gradually. It takes time for one to recover from a breakup, and one thing we miss (don’t lie to yourself) when ending things is the sex. They were the person you were intimately vulnerable and playful with for a long time.
So not having access to them in that way not only feels weird, but there’s a void in which only sex is the solution. You can always sleep around, but another aspect of sex is the intimacy. Having a rebound may not eliminate your emotional needs, no matter how often you do the deed.
6 You’re quickly experiencing life changes.
Whether moving to a new city or having a health scare, these things have most of your attention. For that, it equates to stress to figure them out and get organized. Not only that, they take so much time off for yourself, leaving little to no time to refresh and take a breather. Moreover, sex isn’t in the equation for a while when these changes have your center of attention.
7 You (or your partner) are experiencing medical hindrances.
When diagnosed with medical issues, they can halt you from doing the deed or lower your sex drive. Naturally, you get sexually frustrated because your mind has the determination and intrigue to perform all sorts of activities. But because of your/their body, you can’t indulge them fully (or ever). Not just that, there may be hesitation from the end of the second party out of fear and concern.
Some conditions or states of physical vulnerability include:
- Sexual dysfunction disorders (Erectile dysfunction and Anorgasmia)
- Heart disease
8 You have unsaid trauma.
In the unfortunate chance that you experienced sexual violence or harassment, you can’t see yourself doing the deed for pleasure because it only haunts you with bad memories. Due to that, you’d choose to ignore and never pursue it, which is a natural response to any terrible moment we’d experience in life.
Alongside this, you’ve lost your confidence to be comfortable in your skin when someone terrorized you prior. If left untreated or ignored without medical help, the more we won’t be able to heal and open ourselves up for sexual activity and intimacy.
9 You lack physical touch.
If this is your love language, you’re in trouble. Not having enough of this won’t just impact your physical senses, but your emotional senses as well. Since sex is like a workout, it comes with health benefits like better heart health and lower blood pressure. As for our emotional well-being, it’s normal for us to seek connection and intimacy through touch.
There’s no substitute for physical touch, and even if we don’t have to be the most affectionate or sexual person, we must have close companions or partners who can give us what we need.
10 You grew up with a stigmatized view of sex.
As mentioned earlier, sex may be a taboo topic in various countries. Because of that, there’s not enough sufficient discussion about it, which leaves people making risky mistakes. Even with social media, our upbringing plays a key role in how we view deep topics. So perhaps, you were raised to the idea that sex is only reserved for married couples or makes you an undesirable person if you do it for fun. Many more views can contribute, but we can have initial views on sex that are rooted in negativity.
Then as we get older, progressing into new ideas and beliefs, it may still be a struggle to relearn and branch out because you don’t want other people’s perceptions of you to change. But at the same time, your curiosity about sex is stronger (responsibly, of course). So it’s up to you if you want to conform to the thoughts of others or live a life that’s authentically you.
Physical Ways to Handle Sexual Frustration
Sexual frustration is a kind of stress, so relieving it as urgently as possible is crucial. That way, it doesn’t affect us further on. Maybe in some situations, you can be patient and let it pass. Yet doing something about it can you take out of your misery and alleviate your mind a lot more.
Moving around and utilizing your body to break into a sweat can wash out the sexual frustration, urging you to get out of your head and focus on your surroundings.
Here are some ideas for your sexual self-care.
1 Exercise regularly.
Doing so releases endorphins, which improve your mood and relieves your pain. For that, it’ll make you feel good with so much pleasure and even and motivates you to do more of the activity. Or even better, try other kinds of workouts! You can do yoga, cardio, running, sports, and many more.
2 Have solo sex.
3 Try virtual sex.
This idea is perfect especially for those in long-distance relationships, wherein venturing into this is just as enjoyable and experimental. You can shoot from different angles or intensify your dirty talk among numerous sexy ideas. There are also sex toys available that can be used and controlled from long distances.
4 Try and search for a partner.
Determine first what kind of relationship you’re looking for (friends with benefits, one-night stand, relationship, etc.). Once you do and stick to it strongly, filter out those who don’t fit the criteria (and whatever else you look for in a partner). Either go on dating apps or hang around social places with your friends, so you don’t feel uncomfy.
5 Venture and include more variety in the bedroom.
This can be through playing around with new or challenging sex positions, kinks, fetishes, and acts you and your partner have never done. There’s no rush to do them all once – take them one at a time, so you have something to look forward to the next time you do the deed.
6 Try a new hobby!
Whether single or in a relationship, allow yourself to be a beginner by engaging in a new activity that you can build up into a hobby. It can be learning a new instrument, rollerskating, knitting, and more. Channel your focus and frustration into something expressive and goal-driven. It can also heighten your dopamine levels, making you feel more satisfaction and motivation.
7 Watch porn responsibly.
Indulge in porn material that gets you off best during your private time. However, don’t also let your mind revolve too much around it. Porn tends to overdramatize aspects of sex, so set expectations and not fake it!
8 Spend time with your loved ones.
There’s so much more to life than your sexual frustration, and why not ease it by connecting with people you care about and cherish? From your family and friends, having time to bond and catch up for lost time can make you forget your frustration. Isolating from your discomfort should be the last thing you do.
9 Engage in activities you love.
Single or not, embarking on your hobbies can aid in regaining your self-love. Take the chance to enjoy and be happy with whatever outlets you have. It also helps to tag your partner along with you if taken so you can make special memories.
10 Address your non-sexual needs.
As we mentioned earlier, physical touch has no substitute. Plus, it’s more than just sex. It’s about listening to your body and finding what fits your situation. Ask for a hug, send kisses to your friends, and maybe hold hands with your partner (or whoever)! Then for some situations, you may take medications prescribed by your doctor to calm your nerves from the frustration.
Emotional Ways to Handle Sexual Frustration
Realigning with your emotions from the sexual frustration allows your mind to be at bay and view things more vividly. No longer will you be distracted or disarrayed when you let all the pent-up stress out of you so your emotions can fluidly run through you.
With that, browse through our ideas on how to emotionally take care of yourself when sexual frustration overtakes you and your partner.
1 Communicate accordingly with your partner.
This is a skill that should be established strongly early on in the relationship. Reassure each other you are loved and appreciated while talking about it because this topic can make you feel vulnerable. Be calm and honest about being both a talker and a listener. Find the why behind your sexual frustrations because it’s a bridge to unfolding your sexual interests and seeing how sexually compatible you are.
2 Go to couples therapy.
This is an option if you can financially afford this. Looking further, sexual frustration is more on the quality of the sex rather than how many times you guys do it. Thus, seeing a therapist helps realign your sexual needs and properly guides you two in voicing out your concerns. But it’s not an overnight process to find the suitable one, so don’t settle so quickly and observe how you feel around them. Ask them questions, like factors they think are important in a healthy relationship, and notice how they treat their patients.
This practice allows you to center yourself calmly and delve into the deepest parts of your soul. Because of that, it fills you up with positive emotions that can slowly switch your mindset to be more attuned, present, and at ease. This also helps return your focus to whatever is important in your current life outside sex, whether it’s work, family, social life, etc. You can search for content related to meditation through podcasts, videos, and phone apps.
4 Listen to your favorite songs.
Preferably, play those songs that can instantly calm you down so it can get your mind to think and process the things around you properly. Bonus if you can make a playlist curated to this mood whenever the sexual frustration returns!
5 Journal your thoughts.
If you’re not so comfortable talking about your frustration verbally, you can write it out in a journal. And oh, don’t hold yourself back. Just keep it in a safe place where no one can find it.
6 Be open and teachable.
Accept that you don’t know everything, and don’t be quick to turn down any new suggestions related to sex. Especially if you’ve been in a long relationship, and the sex feels like a routine, pick up fresh ideas and tricks to spice up your bedroom antics.
It’s a given that you and your partner will have sexual desires that may not tickle your intrigue as much. But since both partners should enjoy sex (because that’s literally the point of the deed), give it a try at least once so they’ll be happy. Being in a relationship is about “give and take”, so take in their kink and give in to the pleasure (and vice versa).
Because if they’re happy, you should be too. Yet stay aware of when to step your ground in compromises. For example, if they cross a boundary, address it so they don’t repeat it. So as much as you should adjust for each other, don’t abuse or step on their kindness. Know your limits.
8 Disconnect from social media.
Social media plays a role in sharing vital information that shapes how we think about certain things. But it can also make us feel bad about ourselves if we indulge in content that gives us feelings of “FOMO” or the feeling of missing out. Remember that people only show the sides they want to show and that there’s much more to the 15-second clips or pictures.
So feel free to disengage and unfollow those who don’t serve your well-being. Or better yet, have hours or days offline and experience life outside your phone. It’s much more freeing and satisfying to appreciate your surroundings than to stay chained to your phone.
9 Switch your mindset on sex.
Your mind is a powerful tool. In fact, it’s the longest place we stay in as we don’t often open our mouths unless spoken to. Now on to sex, switch your focus away from the orgasms. Like yes, it’s unraveling to come undone numerous times. But over time, focusing on the built-up leading up to that moment is more exhilarating.
So pushing aside orgasms, focus more on the intimacy and pleasure that’s being given to you by your partner (and vice versa) when you do the deed. Because again, there’s a lot more to sex than reaching your highs.
10 Be patient with yourself.
No emotion remains with you forever, and sexual frustration is no exception. Don’t punch yourself for the lack of sexual activity in life or feeling unsatisfied with the sex you have with your partner. Don’t invalidate your feelings either, and take it day by day.
Frequently Asked Questions
Feeling on edge to know more about sexual frustration? Luckily for you, we answered some inquiries surrounding this hefty topic.
1 What’s the difference between horniness and sexual frustration?
To be horny means a positive wanting or craving for sex triggered by something or someone. However, in most scenarios, it’s not really serious and only meant to tell others that we’re aroused. Most of the time, we won’t do much unless we have a partner. In other words, you can be horny but not sexually frustrated. But mixing both would ignite so much stress on you.
2 Does sexual frustration lead us to detrimental health issues?
No. Don’t worry about having harmed genitalia whatsoever either. However, physical interaction impacts our mood and health, so make sure to responsibly and respectfully envelop yourselves in physical affection responsibly and respectfully!
3 Does sexual frustration happen to everyone?
Yes. Regardless of race, gender, age, etc., everyone gets sexually frustrated at some point in life. We are all human, and raving sex is a natural physical response.
4 How does media affect the way we look at sex?
In media, everything is over-dramatized. In terms of sex, they showcase it as something effortlessly mind-blowing and intimate with two destined partners. But in real life, getting to a place where you are fully sexually satisfied takes a while. In other ways, media further pushes one’s sexual frustration with higher and often unattainable standards in sex.
5 I’m trying to communicate with my partner about this topic, but they don’t want to. Are there any negative communication styles I need to look out for?
Look up the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse pointed out by psychological researcher Dr. John Gottman. There are 4 types: Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling. Read on these types and observe which one resonates with your partner the most so you can approach them (respectfully) about it.
Even if you’re happily single or cuffed with the love of your life, sexual frustration can affect anyone and make a mess out of us. But again, it’s normal! Plus, there are various solutions to combat it, so you don’t have to prolong your misery. So take this guide as you please as you steer through your vast sex life, and never settle for less than what you deserve.