What Is Sexual Frustration?

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Here’s What You Should Know About Dealing With Sexual Frustration

What Is Sexual Frustration?

Here’s What You Should Know About Dealing With Sexual Frustration

For many people, great sex is one of the most satisfying things you can experience. So why is sexual frustration so common?

Perhaps because the flip side of how great sex can be is how unpleasant its absence can feel.

And even though most people don’t actually have a ton of sex, it’s easy to feel like everyone is having more than you.

Whether you know firsthand how good sex can be or not, knowing what a big deal other people make about it can give it an incredibly tantalizing aura that the delights of solo sexual pleasures simply can’t stack up against for lots of people.

In short, it’s no surprise that lots of people feel frustrated by their sex lives — or lack thereof. But what is sexual frustration, exactly, and how can one address it? In order to better understand the concept, AskMen spoke to a couple of sex experts. Here’s what they had to say:

What Is Sexual Frustration?

“Sexual frustration is the response some people experience when they are discontented or dissatisfied with the sex life they are experiencing versus the sex life they desire,” says Lisa Finn, sex educator for Babeland.

Ultimately, however, there’s no one way for sexual frustration to look.

“Sexual frustration can happen in different ways for everyone,” says sex and relationship expert Miss Mackenzee. “Even if you are reaching climax on a regular basis, you can still experience sexual frustration.”

“Sexual frustration can manifest in a number of ways — most commonly mentally and emotionally,” Finn notes. This can lead, she says, to things like “stress, agitation, and/or depression.”

Concordantly, because sexual frustration can look like a lot of different things, it can also be caused by a lot of different things.

“There are so many things that can cause sexual frustration,” says Finn. “But most commonly it is spoken about in regards to:

people having sex less frequently than they want, not having the type of sex they want, lack of arousal, inability or difficulty with orgasm, imbalanced libido with a partner, physical limitations affecting a sex life, boredom with sex, or feeling stuck in a sexual routine.”

People may experience sexual frustration because they aren’t getting “the necessary components that they need in their sexual experiences, such as having certain fantasies fulfilled, fetishes or sexual activities included, the amount of time someone needs after the experience to connect so they don’t feel used, or something else entirely,” says Mackenzee.

“For example,” she notes, “if prostate orgasms are important for someone to feel satisfied but they aren’t ever included in their time with a partner, then they may feel a level of frustration. Essentially it boils down to not feeling completely fulfilled with your sexual experiences, whether solo or with partners.”

How to Tell If You’re Sexually Frustrated

It’s easy to feel like you’d like to be having a little bit more, better or hotter sex. But at what point does that sensation become a serious one, enough to qualify as genuine sexual frustration?

“If you’re dissatisfied with the imbalance between the sex life you want and the sex life you have, and it’s something that’s on your mind and causing you negative emotions, you may be sexually frustrated,” says Finn.

“Sometimes it’s super obvious — you recognize right away that the topic of sex stresses you out, or you’re constantly thinking about sex,” she adds. “But other times it can manifest beyond a basic association to sex and intimacy, and when paired with other life stressors (work, social life, family, health, so on) can make you overall more physically and mentally tense.”

When they’re sexually frustrated, Mackenzee says, “some people can experience depression and mood changes such as irritability or anxiety, as well as a level of restlessness or an inability to focus at times.”

Under these circumstances, she adds, “some people may engage in sexual behaviors and make decisions without their safety in mind because they just want to experience sexual gratification. Throwing caution to the wind, this may look like choosing the wrong partner to have experiences with or not giving any regard to their sexual health.”

“People that experience sexual frustration may find their minds preoccupied with sexual thoughts, which may range from mild to extreme depending on their level of feeling unsatisfied,” Mackenzee notes.

That ‘mild to extreme’ spectrum is part of the nature of sexual frustration, Finn says.

“Sexual frustration can feel like (and be) a big life issue, but it can also simply feel like ‘something is getting in the way of me feeling sexually fulfilled right now’ — almost anyone can experience sexual frustration from time to time.”

How serious it is, she says, “all depends on how we deal with it.”

“If sexual frustration is making you irritable and it’s causing you to lash out at others, if your need to try and satiate your sexual desire is leading to risky or even reckless behaviors, or if you notice a concerning change in your mental health — these things can get serious,” Finn explains.

Dealing With Sexual Frustration

“First off: find the root of the issue,” says Finn. “If you’re not having the sex life you want because of a physical issue like being too exhausted, experiencing pain or injury, erectile issues, or another health-related change — talk to a doctor.”

“Same goes with mental roadblocks like stress, anxiety, depression, or any other experience where you’ll want to speak to a therapist,” she adds. “Just make sure to directly let these professionals know that these issues are affecting your sex life — research has revealed that doctors often wait for a patient to specify their sexual questions or issues rather than delving, so be proactive.”

When You’re Single

“If you’re solo,” Finn says, you should take time to “really take stock of what it is that you want in your sex life before diving in to trying to find a solution.”

“If the goal is orgasm or release, you don’t need a partner for that,” she says. “Masturbation is an incredible act of self-care and can even help us to understand our bodies better.”

While living in a sex-negative culture leaves many people, men included, feeling mixed or conflicting feelings about their self-pleasure, this could be an opportunity for you to explore new and exciting ways to masturbate.

“Take your time,” says Finn. “Masturbation is only about you and how you feel, so it’s a place where you can really explore and find what works best for you — be thorough and allow yourself to really pay attention to these sensations and discover new ways to satisfy yourself.”

“You can also experiment with different ways to make it special and meaningful for you,” says Mackenzee. “Romance isn’t just meant for women, so light that scented candle!”

However, if partnered sex is your goal, “there are several apps meant for hookups like Tinder or Grindr — but remember to be honest about what you’re looking for in your profile,” she adds.

Lots of people are down for casual sex, including straight women, but navigating these interactions with respect isn’t exclusive to romantic relationships.

When You’re in a Relationship

“If you have a partner, what is it about your sex life that’s not matching your desires?” says Finn. “See if you can put these thoughts into words, and then talk to your partner about it — openly, honestly, and with compassion.”

“Remember, there are so many reasons why something might not be matching up, and the only way to find a solution that’s going to actually work is to find a solution that works for the both of you,” she points out.

That may sound daunting, but Mackenzee believes the alternative is worse, sexual frustration or not.

“When you don’t talk about the issues you’re facing in a relationship, there can be bouts of cheating or other unhealthy ways of coping,” she points out.

“As you discuss this delicate subject with your partner, you want to do it in a way that benefits your relationship, rather than making it worse and having your partner get defensive or have other negative reactions,” Mackenzee adds.

“Take time to talk about and listen to one another’s sexual needs, wants, and desires — and know that this conversation isn’t a one-time thing,” says Finn. “It’s communication that needs to happen throughout the entire relationship.”

In order to help keep the conversation from feeling accusatory, Mackenzee suggests you “start the conversation with something positive, and be sure to use ‘I’ statements. An example might look like

‘I’m really loving your noises and the way your body reacts to my touch. I feel it would make our sex much more explosive if we included some other positions.’”

“Also, take some time to think and talk about what that ‘ideal’ sex looks like for you and your partner specifically and personally, and maybe even ask why,” Finn suggests. “We can carry beliefs that will affect how we view our sex lives, even if it’s not actually applicable to our true experience — things like comparing our sex lives to media like porn (those are professionals), rom-coms (those are fiction), social media (that’s curated), or even things like cultural or learned shame surrounding sex and sexuality.”

“There is no one definition of ‘normal,’” she adds, “and good sex should be defined by the people enjoying it — not sources that don’t take your individual experience into account.”

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Source: AskMen


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