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.
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”.