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Sexual Frustration Symptoms

Sexual frustration is a common problem among men and women that nobody really wants to talk about in detail. You don’t go around town telling people, even your best friends, that you’re having sexual hang-ups because your spouse or partner doesn’t really give you satisfaction.

Despite society becoming more and more liberal, sexual frustration is a conversation that remains largely unspoken, with people manifesting only its symptoms but never its underlying causes. It’s like a hidden time bomb that’s ticking away in people’s consciousness, torturing them mentally and hampering their enjoyment of life. It’s a bomb that seems ready to explode at any moment, prevented only from doing so by the shame of it all.

Even some couples who have known each other for years secretly endure the pain of sexual frustration, pretending that everything’s alright even when clearly it’s not. They get tongue-tied or suddenly have language difficulty when trying to explain to each other what’s bugging them.

Sexual frustration could be due to medical problems, like inhibited sexual desire for women and impotence for men.

Sexual mismatch

In most cases, sexual frustration afflicts men and women who are perfectly healthy. Oftentimes, it’s a case of sexual mismatch when a person has a stronger sexual desire than his or her partner. The common belief is that men desire sex more than women. But sometimes it’s the other way around.

Studies have shown that men often think about having sex, with one study even suggesting that men think sex every 7 seconds, according to WebMD. Another study made by the Ohio State University showed that sex is in the mind of young men 19 times a day. In contrast, young women think about sex only 10 times or less than that a day.

Men and women also have different ways of getting aroused. For men, just the thought of having sex with a woman they fancy is enough to cause arousal. This is not often the case with women who only feel the desire for sex when they are physically stimulated by their partner, according to study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy.

This appears to be the reason why women seem to be less interested in sex than men. They don’t think about it that much, only feeling the urge when they are physically aroused. Even when they are physically stimulated, they feel unsatisfied when they don’t reach orgasm. This is frustrating for both partners.

Frustration creeps in when one person desires sex while his or her partner does not. Oftentimes, lack of sexual desire is caused by stress at the office or at home. When one is physically and mentally drained from work, showing affection through sex becomes a chore—to the dismay of the partner who’s not in the same situation.

Symptoms of sexual frustration

Men and women telegraph their sexual frustration differently.

Women show it by indulging in any of these things:

  • Getting attracted and fantasizing about men they see
  • Exercising to the point of exhaustion
  • Getting irritable even without provocation
  • Crying uncontrollably for no reason
  • Binge-eating on chocolates or any food for that matter
  • Uncontrollably biting nails, tearing up paper and throwing up objects
  • Listening to music with implicit or explicit sexual lyrics
  • Watching movies and TV dramas with plenty of sex scenes
  • Being highly sensitive to skin contact from any man
  • Having sex dreams

Men, on the other hand, reveal their sexual frustration by showing these signs:

  • Becoming restless, nervous, angry, or timid
  • Having sense of guilt for his sexual desires—or lack of it
  • Getting anxious in anticipation of sex
  • Feeling mentally stressed out because of self-dissatisfaction
  • Wallowing in disappointment and plunging into despair
  • Losing sex desire
  • Expressing negative thoughts
  • Having sense of isolation
  • Sweating excessively even with minimal physical exertion
  • Having discomfort while having sex


It’s not the end of the world

Sexual frustration is undoubtedly a serious problem that can destroy a family and a once blooming romance. But just like any problem, it can be solved.

Marriage counselors often advise couples to find time for each other despite their busy schedules. They should schedule lovemaking as part of their regular daily or at least weekly routine to foster intimacy. Couples who have turned parents should not assume that their sex live will remain the same after they had children, says renowned sex educator Lou Paget.

“You don’t have to go so far as to pencil it [lovemaking] into your calendar, but at least make sure your partner knows when you are available”, Paget says.

A couple experiencing sexual frustration just needs to compromise if they truly want to heal the rift between them, according to marriage and family therapist Patricia Love. One can initiate the healing process by not insisting on having every sexual act done the way his or her partner wants it. For instance, if your partner wants sex right away, you can tell him or her that it’s best done after a shower.

Couples also need to be creative in relaying their sexual messages to each other, according to sex educator Violet Blue. Couples share just about everything about themselves—their likes and dislikes, their past lives and the way they see things. But when it comes to sex, most couples clam up, which should not be the case.

“The act of having sex begins with someone saying, I want to”, Blue says. “You have to say, I want to, and this is what I want to do”.

Updated: October 2, 2017 — 2:20 am


Add a Comment
  1. Thank you for addressing this issue. I’m female, in my 20’s, and a bit shy. I do date but won’t have sex until I am married. My main symptoms are fantasizing about men and having sexual dreams. Although this article deals with married couples, sexual frustration is very real in those who are single also. Maybe it’s not talked about that much, but singles probably masturbate to deal with their sexual frustrations. For myself (I still live with my family), I masturbate in the privacy of the bathroom, usually sitting on the toilet after I urinate (or sometimes defecate). Or, in the shower. Just as long as I have privacy. I find that I think about masturbating several times a day, but I only actually do it maybe twice a week. I don’t see anything wrong with masturbating, at least when you are single. Hormones tend to build up and lead to sexual frustration, and I would go crazy if I weren’t able to take care of those urges. I hope this helps in understanding, especially for those who are single.

  2. Wow I can’t believe I found this website… I’ve had this problem for a long time I’m a female and in my 30s but my age really doesn’t matter because my sex drive hasn’t changed since I’ve started puberty. I didn’t lose my virginity until I turned 16. I’ve been in 4 long-term relationships and in every one of those relationships I’ve been turned down every time I’d ask for sex.

    The 1st real relationship started at age 18 lasted for 3 years. I wanted sex a lot he always turned me down by saying that I wanted it way too much. I also know for a fact that he cheated on me.

    The 2nd relationship I was 21 he was 35. This relationship lasted 3 years, and he was a great guy who had financial problems. During the relationship, he allowed himself to get into a lot of debt. He became extremely depressed even was diagnosed with manic depression. Sex with him was nonexistent within the last year together. I know he never had cheated.

    The 3rd relationship lasted 2 years, and he told me when I would ask for sex that I wanted it too much and he also cheated.

    The 4th relationship and the one I’m in now, is going on for 6 years. I’m 33 he is 48… Sex was good the first 3 years but now it’s gotten worse… Since the last 3 rejected sex relationships I’ve been very scared to ask for it, but the last 2 years I’ve started asking, and he turns me down, but recently I’ve stopped asking and just been dealing with the sexual frustration silently. Well, I do mention it to my two best girlfriends. I have mentioned a few times that his testosterone levels are extremely low and he thinks so too. He claims he stressed from work which he does have a stressful job, but when he wasn’t working, that was also his excuse. I bought him some testosterone boosters, but I’m not sure if he has started taking them yet. But he may have been taking them because we have had sex 3 or 4 times within the last 3 months which is very good since it used to be once every 2 months. I just hope it gets better for me. Being sexually rejected for so long has made me extremely scared of marriage because I don’t believe in divorce and I’m scared the person is gonna do this to me, and I’ll have to deal with it forever. This feeling is so depressing I know I could go to masturbating but it makes me just so mad, and I feel extremely guilty when I’m done. I know this article is about sexual frustration and not sexual rejection, but I had to tell someone other than my two best buds, I’m sure they are tired of hearing about it.

    1. Two amazing responses there … what intrigued me tho was Kel… I do get you… and I think you’re just at the wrong place… perhaps try speaking bluntly about it to him. And if the response doesn’t set or give any clarification or make any substance then it could be fair to say your an amazing girl who’s just caught up in the wrong romance. He’s just not that type I guess.

    2. Kel, your story is quite extraordinary. One thing I’m curious to know is, what sort of sociocultural milieu did you grow up in that you regard losing your virginity at 16 as having been late? What do you believe the average was among your friends, or in your neighborhood, or in your high school class, or wherever?

  3. This article only helps married couples. How about single guys? I am 34 and EXTREMELY shy. I do give away all the signs of sexual frustration. When I read all the signs, I cried because those signs are what I’m suffering right now. People have tried to help me to be better, but I can’t help it. Talking to women is EXTREMELY difficult for me. I don’t think that’s ever going to change.

  4. Hi –

    I have been in correspondence via texts with teasing mostly with a guy for about 1 and a half months. We had planned to meet many times, but we were busy or last minute or late so could not. He seems to really be interested asking me on dates or to his place tho he seems to want to choose the place since he is asking also wants to be a little dominating so I try to bring few places up, but he got upset with me.

    So finally, I met him at his place a week ago. We had a great connection & chemistry with mostly talking (sometimes about intimate topics) tho I think he was very sexually frustrated waiting for me to finally meet up with him.

    He tells me, twice, that he is a very nice guy 😉 I said, We will see about that …

    I left his place & tried to text & call him, but he does not respond. Since meeting him, I really have a strong interest in him, since he was so charming, playful nature, flirty, caring, genuinely nice, gentlemanly, intelligent, made me feel comfortable, and we could discuss anything …

    Please help !!!
    What should I do or say to him to try to get him to talk to me again …..

    1. Hi Elizabeth

      Nothing, do or say nothing. I would give this guy a miss and pursue others. Nice guys do not need to tell you they’re nice, they just are. It sounds very much like this guy was only interested in sex with you and when you didn’t provide it, he lost interest and is most probably onto the next girl.

      Sorry I know that’s harsh to hear but take away all the conversations and look at the facts. He has control issues, he got annoyed by you making suggestions, he only really wants to meet at his place, and you said he was sexually frustrated!

      If you’re only interested in a sexual relationship and not an emotional one, then that’s fine, but this guy is not interested in a relationship.

      Test out a text that you really liked him and want a second date but want to take things slow; he’ll ignore you.

      Then text him that you’re feeling hot and horny and that you want to see him, he’ll definitely talk to you, probably straight away.

      If this happens, then I would block him and/or delete his number then get on with your own life and onto someone who can give you a relationship and sex.

      Wishing you luck love and happiness.

  5. I am in a 6.5-year relationship, love him dearly.
    I get rejection towards sex, progressed from the start, numerous excuses (could now write a book there have been so many!?!).
    Now there is nothing physical between us…
    Finding rejection in all walks of life, which is very tough at the moment…
    Any ideas!?????

    1. Hi Emma,

      Don’t worry everyone goes through this. There’s something about partners being with each other for a long time that bridges the gap between wild lust and more comfortable, slow-burning passion. Honestly the second is a much better constant. I would just bring it up with him super casually. Ask him what he wants in terms of intimacy.
      Good luck beautiful!

  6. Honestly, I have had a slew of men, but I am too busy with my business to hold a constant relationship. I have bought a number of sex toys from an awesome online sex shop. I am way too squeamish to go into a sexshop in person, and I wasn’t sure these toys would deliver the type of feeling I needed to help me out of my personal frustration with my sex life, but honest to god – I’m orgasming more than ever before. There’s something super cool about being able to pleasure yourself, exactly as you want at any time.

  7. I’m 53 years old and very very sexually frustrated. I have a partner but am not being satisfied, and I’m not sure how to tell him. I have been single for a very long time but have been friends with my mate for more than 10 years. We never had a serious relationship over the 10 years. We’ve been together a total of 5 times twice in the past 3 months.

    Recently within the past 6 months, we decided to enter into a serious monogamous relationship. Now before our decision, I was just fine sexually. I had actually made the decision not to indulge and didn’t for 4 years. But now since making this decision and being more sexually active, I find myself being aroused sexually but never reaching that orgasm (but faking it very well for his ego).

    I’m getting so frustrated that I’m doing things I would never do and find myself looking for sexual pleasure from someone else. I haven’t gone outside the relationship and have never cheated in any relationship I’ve ever had – but find myself really getting to that point.

    Please help me – what do I do? I’m literally getting sick with this, unexplained stomach pains for one. Help what do I do?

  8. I’m 20, and my girlfriend is 24. My sexual desire is way higher than hers, and I’m having all the signs of being sexually frustrated, but can’t tell her because she’s already stressed and I don’t want to put any more on her. Now I’m starting to lose interest in everything that I do.

  9. I’m 30 and in a long distance relationship at the moment. I have a sexual frustration, and the signs are there… I’m a single mom, and my boyfriend knows about my past. It’s just that I want to talk to him about intimate topics, but I’m too shy to start a conversation. How can I approach him about this matter? I don’t want to end our relationship just because of this matter.

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