How to Handle Sexual Frustration
Updated: Jun 3
Are you dreaming of your best sex life and dissatisfied with your actual sex life? Whether it’s a lack of arousal; not having quality orgasms, multiple orgasms, or any orgasms; shame around your sex life; or not having the types of sex you want to have, anyone can experience sexual frustration.
Sometimes, sexual frustration isn’t even about your sex life at all. It may instead be caused from something else going on that’s simply manifesting as an issue in your sex life. The authors of a 1976 study found that respondents who had low purpose-in-life scores had high sexual frustration, and that “sexual frustration may be a manifestation of a more general existential frustration.” This means that if you don’t feel like your life has purpose or meaning, you might feel sexually frustrated.
What does sexual frustration feel like, and how do you know if you’re sexually frustrated? For one thing, it’s not just being horny.
At Healthline, Gabrielle Kassel recommends looking at your mood and, if you’ve been especially anxious, agitated, grumpy, or irritable, first eliminating other factors that might be bringing you down. Is work particularly stressful lately? Are you getting enough water and sleep? Are you living in an unprecedented global pandemic on the brink of an unfathomable climate emergency? Once you’ve considered other factors, turn to your sex life. Are you having less sex than you normally do, whether with a partner or with yourself? Do you want to explore sexually but, for whatever reason, find yourself unable to do so? Has something changed with your mental or physical health?
And if the answers are “yes,” “yes,” and “I am definitely sexually frustrated, what now?”, here’s what to do about it.
Quick Fixes for Sexual Frustration
In the moment, there are a few ways to reduce the impact of sexual frustration. Listen to music that downregulates you. “Music is a powerful mood manipulator,” Dr. Britney Blair, Lover co-founder and clinical psychologist, says. Pop on something calming that isn't from your regular sex playlist.
Exercise can be a powerful mood-booster. Depending on what movements are available and enjoyable to you, try yoga, boxing, rowing, running, or anything else you’re curious about. Dr. Blair says that once you find the right activity for you, the energy release and rush of endorphins can help with sexual frustration.
Volunteering can both distract you from the challenges in your sex life and be a way to engage more deeply with your community and sense of meaning. “Shifting the focus off of the self and onto another can help,” Dr. Blair says in Healthline.
Deeper Solutions to Sexual Frustration
To start, remember that all emotion is temporary. “No one feels frustrated, or any other emotion, indefinitely,” Dr. Blair says in Healthline. “Be compassionate with yourself, and know that this too shall pass.”
Then, reconnect with your body and explore your sexual response and fantasies in your solo sex life. It can feel easy to blame a partner, or your lack of a partner, for your sexual frustration, but remember: you are your own best sex partner. Give yourself intentional space for masturbation, and mix up your stimulation and sensations. Trying a different sex toy, new erotica, or even a different room in your home can help you branch out.
Looking for more ways to connect sexually? Download the Lover app today.