Last Updated 10.05.2022
13 min read

Sexually Frustrated? Here's Some Help

Alan Schin (he/him/his) is the Chief Editor at Taimi. He wears several hats daily as a writer, editor, blogger, and content contributor. He began his university studies as a Psychology student but found his passion in Advanced Communication Studies. Alan loves having the opportunity to write and help our content team shine. According to Alan, his education helps him to understand the dynamics behind dating and socialization better. When he isn’t busy with Taimi, Alan works on his first novel, a sci-fi thriller, and creates works of art in his ceramics studio.

Frustration. It's a part of everyday life in these times. How frustrated have we all been over the past two years of Covid?

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    The isolation from friends and family, the lack of supply of items in grocery stores (still going on), inflation, gas prices, and more. There are lots of other frustrations too - poor customer service, increased workload due to lack of enough staff, shipping delays on ordered items, road construction, etc. All of these frustrations come as a result of the gap between what you want and what you are actually experiencing.

    Sexual frustration is just like this. Except for full asexuals, sexual desire is a big part of the lives of young adults. And when those sexual desires are not satisfied, the term used is sexual frustration.

    How Sexual Frustration Shows Itself

    If you are not getting the sex you want, you may experience sexual frustration in a number of different ways that impact your mental health and well-being, as well as your physical health:

    • You will feel restless, edgy, and irritable

    • You will have a lot of pent-up energy that you will need to burn off somehow

    • You may lose an otherwise healthy sex drive, feel less interested in sex, or be less confident about your ability to perform

    • You may substitute other unhealthy behaviors - drinking or eating to excess

    • You will engage in risky behaviors to satisfy your own sexual needs

    • You may be less productive on the job because of fantasizing or daydreaming

    • You start arguments with your partner over small things that end up going to the topic of sex

    • You are watching porn much more often

    • You try to force your partner into sex when they are not interested

    • You have angry responses to others who only commit minor "offenses"

    • You become more aggressive or violent

    • You have feelings of resentment or even bitterness toward your partner (if you have one)

    Now, there are a lot of other frustrations that have these same symptoms, but you should take some time to analyze why you are experiencing these symptoms and how they may be related to your sexual activity or life.

    Causes of Sexual Frustration

    The causes are as varied as the ways sexually frustrated people manifest it. Remember, sexual frustration is, above all, a disconnect from your sexual expectations and what your sexual experiences actually are. Whatever the cause, your sexual health is at stake. So, let's see which cause or causes may fit your situation and then see how they might be fixed.

    Wanting Sex but Not Getting It Enough

    This is the most common cause of sexual frustration - and many people believe it is the only cause. Basically, someone is unhappy with their sex life because they are not getting as much sex as they want. This may be because their partner does not have as much sex drive as they have, or if they don't have a partner, not finding enough hookups to satisfy that need. The common belief is that only men experience this sexual frustration but in fact, women do as well. A study conducted by Terri fisher, Ph.D., and professor of psychology at Ohio State University found that, while men have more thoughts of sex and frustrations than women, they are not all that far apart. This study was peer-reviewed by Janet Hyde, a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin, who stated, "This is the best study to date looking at the frequency of sexual thought." Peer-reviewed studies always make them more valid.

    Complexes About Body Image or Size

    Men worry that they may be too small; women worry about body image (some men do too actually). This causes them not to seek out sex and then they become sexually frustrated from a lack of sex life. Masturbation becomes their only release, and they must find other ways to expend the pent-up energy that sexual frustration causes. Otherwise, they become irritable, anxious, stressed, unproductive, or worse.

    Guilt Over Having Sex

    Lots of young adults have been brought up in homes of tight and fundamental Christian values. They have been taught that sex before or without marriage is a sin; they have been taught that having sex with more than one person at a time is a sin; they have been taught that any LGBTQ+ sex is a sin. And they are going to hell if they commit any of these sins. How horrible to grow up indoctrinated with this kind of BS. And, even if they are not consciously aware of these indoctrinations, they are at a subconscious level, and this will affect physical intimacy and sexual performance. It's time for sessions with a sex therapist.

    Watching Porn

    How could this be, you ask? How can porn affect your sex life in a negative way? Well, here's how. Porn is nothing more than a quick fix for a sexually frustrated person - straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, or anything else on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. But here is what it does. It sucks any drive you have to meet potential partners in the real world. Any chance you have for real sexual satisfaction and an emotional connection with another human is out the window. You won't have the experience of meeting someone and having the boost in your confidence of wooing that person and getting all of the other great aspects of a real relationship - the love, the respect, the snuggling, the other physical affection, etc.

    Suppressing Your Desires

    What are your wildest fantasies? Do you think they are too "off the wall?" Do you think that others will be appalled if you reveal them because they are too kinky or that you are a pervert? Do you think they will just go away on their own? They won't. If you have sexual desires that are unfulfilled (e.g., a bit of mild BDSM, a threesome, etc.), then your better plan is to find those who are like-minded and live out those desires for real. Remember, nothing is wrong if all involved agree to it.

    Unrealistic Expectations

    We all watch movies, and we all see photos of amazingly beautiful women and/or buff men. The reality is their flaws are all covered up, and their photos are enhanced. In reality, they all wake up in the morning looking like very average people. So, if you are looking for these kinds of people to fulfill your sexual need, you will continue to be disappointed. And if you think that actual sex will be just like you are seeing in those porn films, you will also be disappointed. These actors are prepared and rehearsed - something that is not going to happen in your bedroom. You and your partner will have false starts and will not sense what the other needs in the beginning, and a natural response is to move forward and make and experience normal pleasure from the sex. And as you become more used to one another then feelings will deepen, and every orgasm will become better. Don't ever use porn sex as an example of what you should have between the sheets.

    Mismatched Libidos

    Some people just want more sex than others. if you are not getting enough sex, and you are in a monogamous situation, then you will be sexually frustrated, and your overall quality of life will suffer. If you want to remain with your partner, then a sex therapist may be called for. Or the one who is not getting enough sex may have to find more ways to get that libido satisfied. Sometimes, the partner with the lower libido agrees to the other partner having sex with a third person; sometimes the partner with the higher libido can turn to self-care by masturbating. The point is this, though: it is never okay to cheat on a partner.

    Previous Bad Experiences

    Who hasn't had bad sexual experiences in the past? The problem comes if we let those bad past experiences control our sex life now. Maybe you have been a victim of sex that was too rough; maybe a hookup ended up laughing at your size, or your body, or your inability to get it up or to orgasm and you are now so self-conscious, that you can't bring yourself to seek out sex with other people. Of course, you have your hands and toys, but it just isn't the same. And yes, you will become sexually frustrated

    Performance Dysfunction

    Sexual dysfunction disorders are suffered by lots of people, and they can lead to both sexual frustration and to any or all of the manifestations listed above. There are both physical and psychological causes of this condition.

    Physical Causes

    Medical issues themselves or medications that are prescribed for a medical diagnosis can cause sexual dysfunction in both women and men. For men it means not being able to achieve and maintain an erection. For women, it can mean failure to self-lubricate or achieve orgasm, or a lowered libido. Illnesses and conditions include the following:

    • diabetes

    • high blood pressure and cholesterol and medications to treat them

    • cancer

    • Urological infections

    • alcoholism and drug abuse

    • hormone imbalances

    • nerve damage

    In short, poor health can impact sexual urges and lead to sexual frustration for either sexual partner. Medical conditions cannot always be addressed, so sexual satisfaction may never be achieved. The relationship status can certainly be at risk in these situations.

    Psychological Causes

    These can include depression, PTSD from prior sexual abuse, guilt about sexual desire or sexuality, shame about size or body image issues, looks, etc. And couples who have problems in their marriages or partnerships may not be able to feel desire for each other anymore. Mental health is critical to preventing sexual frustration. A sex therapist may be in order so that deep-seated issues can be addressed. There can be many factors involved in mental well-being, and all of them can impact relationship satisfaction.

    A Long-Distance Relationship

    This is one of the biggest causes of sexual frustration. Two people are separated by miles and are trying to keep their relationship alive and well. Certainly, given the new visual communication now available, such couples can find ways to be sexual with one another, and that certainly can reduce sexual frustration to a point. But it cannot substitute for the real thing. If these partners cannot get together for real at regular intervals, it is likely that the relationship will not survive over the long haul. Successful sexual relationships require physical contact and all of the feelings that go with it. When that doesn't happen, relationships are at risk.

    Monogamous Relationships

    In the beginning, couples find love and that translates into lots of amazing sex. Over time the amount of sex decreases, but deeper love remains. Couples get involved in their careers, have children, and the relationship evolves into a comfortable one. Sex is still on the menu, but it ceases to be the highest priority.

    For other couples, though, time does not wear well on their sex lives at all. They no longer find sexual satisfaction in the bedroom, don't even like one another's physical touch, don't talk about their growing dissatisfaction, and lead lives that author Henry David Thoreau described as "quiet desperation." Part of that desperation will lead to sexual frustration, for sure.

    When couples live like this, they are wrong for each other and need to split. No one should go without sexual pleasure if they want and need it and aren't getting it. Fortunately, splitting up is so common today, that there is no stigma attached to it at all. And it is probably much healthier than just choosing to cheat. On the other hand, some couples may choose to add others into a partnership, and so long as both agree, this can rekindle sexual satisfaction.

    Treating Sexual Frustration

    Obviously, the simple solution for sexual frustration is to find the right partner and get more sex. This may be easier said than done if the cure for that frustration is not that simple. For many, it isn't. Here are some suggestions that can help ease or solve sexual frustration.

    Get Healthier

    This includes both physical and mental health. Start with diet, fitness, and getting enough sleep. This can increase your quality of life in general and stimulate your interest in finding either a short- or long-term relationship with a partner who wants to hop in bed too.


    If a person is experiencing sexual frustration from lack, then masturbation can provide short-term relief from sexual tension. Over the long term, though, sex with a partner is the more satisfying option.

    Initiate Sex

    Sometimes, those couples in long-term relationships just get caught up in their separate lives. Sex is put on the "back burner," and it can lead to sexual frustration on the part of one or both. If this is your situation, then you need to talk about what you need, be the one to get physically affectionate, and just generally get things started. Your partner may discover that they are just as hungry for sex as you are.

    Communicate Better

    Poor communication about sex wants and needs, for whatever reason, will usually result in less sex. This can all lead to new types of sex, new positions, new environments, sex toys, and even some kinky stuff that will rekindle an exciting and much healthier sex life. As you explore these options, make your exact preferences known.

    Displace Your Energy

    If your sexual frustration is causing some of those negative behaviors listed above, you need to find other outlets for relief. Starting a new enjoyable project, getting out for more social activities, exercising, etc. can help you get your mind off of your sexual needs. And who knows? The more you get out there, the more the chances are you will meet a person, develop feelings, and find that partner who satisfied your sexual and other relationship needs. more than one person has met a mate at the gym, while volunteering, or taking a wine and paint class.

    Seek Out Hookups

    If you are into a long-term relationship but are still feeling sexually frustrated, then get out to bars or go online and find one-night stands. Just be aware of the risks involved and take the right precautions with any temporary partner.

    That's a Wrap

    Sexual frustration stems from so many issues - some are resolved easily; some are much more complicated. The important thing is this: if you get a sense that your sexual frustration is building (from the list of symptoms above), then you need to seek out the causes and put a plan in action to get relief.

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