Sexual frustration can happen if you’re single or in a relationship. But to reverse it, you need to start with yourself.
Sexual frustration can happen to anyone, regardless of gender, age, relationship status; if you’re having regular sex or going through a dry spell.
Those who feel sexually frustrated usually know what causes it. What they might struggle with is knowing how to end the cycle.
Sex should be a priority; it’s a very important part of your life, it’s related to a better life quality (source). So, if you’re going through a phase of sexual frustration, you shouldn’t leave it unchecked. Instead, find the source of the problem, and try to reverse it.
What is sexual frustration?
Being sexually frustrated means you’re not happy with your sexual life, either because you’re not having sex or because the sex you’re having is not satisfying enough.
Sexual frustration means that your sexual needs and wants aren’t being satisfied.
These sexual needs are related to quantity or/and quality.
It can be that you want to have more or less sex, or you wish to have a different kind of sex. It doesn’t have to be you desiring something new. You can wish, for example, to rekindle the fire your sex life once had.
It’s normal to feel sexually frustrated
I believe that all of us felt (or will feel) sexually frustrated. I had, on two different occasions.
One when I was in a relationship where the sex wasn’t satisfying, and the other during a dry spell. Even the latter was by choice, I missed sex a lot, which caused me frustration.
Regardless of the reasons for your sexual frustration, if you’re feeling it, try not to beat yourself up. Yes, you are part of the problem (you are), but you’re also part of the solution.
Identify the causes for your sexual frustration
Digging into the causes of your sexual frustration will be your starting point to reverse it.
It can happen because you and your partner fell apart, or your sexual attraction became lukewarm, amongst so many other reasons a couple’s sex life can fall into the rabbit hole.
If you’re single, this per se can be the cause for your frustration.
Only by identifying the cause(s) for your sexual frustration will you be able to act on it.
But before you look for external or relational causes, you might be better at looking at yourself first.
How to deal with sexual frustration?
Start by being gentle with yourself. And if you’re in a relationship, don’t blame your partner.
Despite your partner is a very important part of it, it’s your responsibility to manage your sexuality in a way you’re happy with.
If you’re single, your plan of action to reverse the sexual frustration will be focused merely on yourself. But if you’re in a relationship, you need to bring your partner on board.
After you have clearly defined the causes for your frustration, you’ll need to address them.
If you think your sexual frustration can be related to medical issues (side effects of medication, for example), include a visit to a health professional in your plan.
Independently of your relationship status, there are a few things you should consider in the context of your sexual frustration — things about yourself.
How we see ourselves and deal with our vulnerabilities has a deep impact on things around us.
Before acting on external causes for your sexual frustration, it’s important to analyse if there are internal ones you need to focus on first.
1. Accept yourself
Body image has a major role in sexual satisfaction, and people with body issues often carry that dissatisfaction into the bedroom.
If you’re unhappy with how you look, it will be harder for you to accept sexual pleasure.
This will happen because instead of being focused on receiving the pleasure that’s being given to you, you’ll be busy hiding under the covers or worrying about what your partner will think about your body.
Your mind will overtake your pleasure.
The only way you can reverse this issue is by learning to love yourself, as you are. This doesn’t mean you can’t work on your image — you can and you should. But always realistically.
Work out, plan a healthy diet, have a new haircut. Do whatever it takes to make you feel happier about your image, but don’t try to be who you can’t be.
Accepting and loving yourself as you are is a crucial part of the process of relieving sexual frustration.
2. Don’t compare yourself to anyone
Often, the cause behind sexual frustration is related to people comparing themselves to their friends, celebrities or whatnots.
The only guidance you should have is the one you created for yourself. I know it’s easier said than done, the social pressure is real.
Happiness is a very subjective term. What makes me happy can be insignificant to you and vice-versa. So, with that in mind, create your own path of happiness and shield yourself against external noises.
There’s no such thing as “normal” in sex. One can be very satisfied in having sex twice a month, while others need to have at least twice a week. There’s no set rule.
For example, for a long time, I felt like I could be “less good in bed” because I never orgasmed in the missionary position. This idea came from the movies, where the couples make passionate love in that position and a few minutes later, the woman would orgasm.
It took me a long time (and lots of reading on the sexuality topic), to understand that the big screen has the power to infect us with unrealistic standards.
Comparisons will do you no good. Focus on what you like to do, try new things and reject what doesn’t give you pleasure, guilt-free.
As long as you and your partner are happy, there’s no reason for comparisons.
3. Don’t let your sexual preferences affect you
You should own your sexuality, in any form or shape it presents itself.
Many people might feel conflicted about their sexual desires or preferences, for example, for desiring rough sex or having sex with a same-sex person.
Not following your sexual desires will create a huge sexual frustration. And I can say it from experience.
I had a lovely marriage, but my sex life wasn’t satisfying. My ex and I had “good sex”, but I always felt a bit frustrated, because I wanted more, I desired different.
Only last year I discovered that I’m a kinkster. Only after learning about my true sexual self and embracing it, I became sexually happy.
Another frequent situation is men who want to engage in anal play but don’t do it, fearing their partner’s reaction or, even worse, believing that if they like it, they will be considered gay.
Myths and beliefs about sex can be very damaging to your sexual health.
I suggest you do an internal assessment and try to pinpoint any guilts or social/familiar values that might affect your sexual happiness. From there, do some in-work to overcome them.
Your sexuality should be explored according to your preferences and desires. Myths, criticisms and external pressures don’t belong in the bedroom.
4. Don’t feed unrealistic expectations
Having unrealistic expectations towards sex it’s also a significant contribution to sexual frustration.
The example I gave earlier — of me expecting to have an orgasm every time I had sex in the missionary position — was a (massive) unrealistic expectation.
Women orgasming from penetrative sex are a minority, less than 20% of women climax without needing clitoral stimulation (source.)
Another common unrealistic is about the amount of sex one should be having. Some couples do it often, others do it less. There’s no thumb rule here; it’s a personal choice.
If you’re going to have sex to match other people’s expectations, most likely you will not feel fully satisfied with your sex life.
But it’s important to consider your partner’s preferences. If your libidos don’t match (which happens a lot in couples), you need to sit down and talk about it.
My point of unrealistic expectations concerns external influences, not the ones one of you has.
Try not to create expectations about sex. Live it as it is, focus on pleasure and not on outcomes.
5. Don’t focus on the orgasm
Sexual frustration is often related to the inability to orgasm.
There are many reasons one can’t orgasm. If it’s the case, you should investigate why. It can be emotional reasons, but also physical, so having a health check might be advisable.
If there’s nothing to worry about your health and you can’t orgasm, my suggestion is for you to do some readings on the topic. I recommend the book Come as you are, by Emily Nagosky. It can be a life-changer. A sex therapist can also be an excellent alternative.
Besides educating yourself about sexuality, it’s important you know your body — what exactly gives you pleasure. And the best way to learn it’s through masturbation.
While you’re learning about yourself and your pleasures, when you have sex, don’t focus on the orgasm. Live in the present moment, let your body absorb all the stimulations that are being offered.
Mindful sex is an effective way to build a very pleasurable and orgastic sexuality.
6. Accept that you’re sexually frustrated
This might be the first thing you should do. But I left it for last because it’s something you should have in your mind during the process.
Accepting how you feel will make it easier to manage what’s really going on with you. When we’re in denial, we change nothing; we keep fighting against it.
Yes, feeling sexually frustrated sucks, and it undermines our sense and value of self, but denying it’s happening won’t change a thing.
Sexual frustration will have a negative impact on your relationship and with yourself. If you ignore it, it won’t go away, it will be a shadow you carry everywhere.
You have nothing to be ashamed of for being sexually frustrated. It’s not uncommon to happen.
Embrace all the emotions that come with the frustration and use them to empower you.
Being sexually frustrated is a heavyweight to carry, but many people feel it, regardless if they’re single or in a relationship.
You shouldn’t guilt yourself or your partner.
The important thing to do is to address the causes of your sexual frustration and to solve them constructively.
There are many ways to reverse the process of sexual frustration, but it all starts with you.
You’re the one living your sexuality, you’re the one who knows your needs, desires and preferences. So, you’re the one who needs to make it happen.
If you’re sexually dissatisfied, only you can reverse the situation.
You might need help — you definitely will if you’re in a relationship — but the first step will be yours and yours only.
© 2021 Emma London. All Rights Reserved