Sexual Frustration in a Relationship

Sexual Frustration in a Relationship

You may find yourself being sexually frustrated while being in a relationship. So what does it mean to be sexually frustrated and what can you do about it?

Sexual frustration is a frustration that come from unfulfilled sexual needs. This frustration can originate from sexual dissatisfaction with your current partner or from wanting to explore relationships with other people. It’ best to address sexual frustrated as soon as you become aware of it. When left unaddressed it can turn into resentment and negatively impact your whole relationship.

In this article, you will learn the common causes of sexual frustration and different ways you can deal with it.

What Is Sexual Frustration?

Before we start talking about sexual frustration in a relationship. Let’s understand to what being frustrated means:

According to the Merriam-webster dictionary being frustrated means:

1: feeling, showing, or characterised by frustration: such as:

a: feeling discouragement, anger, and annoyance because of unresolved problems or unfulfilled goals, desires, or needs.

b: having an ambition that has not been realised.

What sexual frustration feels like?

Sexual frustration can manifest as feeling frustrated and horny at the same time. Keep in mind that these two may not be connected. In which case, the frustration may come from a different area of your relationship or your personal life.

We’ll talk about this in more detail shortly. First, let’s have a look at some causes of sexual frustration.

What Causes Sexual Frustration in a Relationship?

Lack of physical intimacy in a relationship leads to sexual frustration. Some couples go for weeks or even months without having sex. Lack of physical intimacy can be a big problem in a romantic relationship.

When you start a romantic relationship, you expect to be physically close to your partner. If you are in a romantic relationship, you want hugs, kisses, touch and sex.

To maintain the connection with your romantic partner, you need emotional intimacy and physical intimacy as part of your relationship.

Working on your communication can help you maintain emotional intimacy with your partner. You can connect with more love and understanding.

Common Causes of Sexual Frustration

  • Changes in your work-life balance e.g. working longer hours, shifts, starting a new job, working away, etc.
  • Pregnancy and having a baby
  • Health related e.g. surgery, illness, anxiety, depression, etc.
  • Having a higher/lower sexual drive
  • Stress

Sexual Frustration in a Long Distance Relationship

For couples living together, physical intimacy shouldn’t be much of an issue, unless they’re going through different kinds of problems.

Without physical intimacy, a romantic relationship cannot last a long time.

It’s not difficult to maintain a healthy long-distance relationship without physical intimacy for only a few months. For example, if you have to travel for work and need to be away for a short period. Or if you are going through a phase of adjustment in your relationship like having a baby.

But, if you don’t bring back the physical connection to your relationship. You will soon find yourself struggling and being sexually frustrated more often than not.

How Sexual Frustration Affects a Relationship?

Sexual frustration in a relationship doesn’t only affect the sexual aspect of your life. This frustration affects other areas of your life, like work and friendships.

Sexual frustration will affect:

  • You and your well-being
  • Your partner
  • Your relationship
  • Your partner and their well-being

Sexual frustration affects your relationship in many ways. The obvious one is a desire to fulfil your sexual needs. If you’re in a romantic relationship your need for sex, it’s probably somewhere at the top of your list. If you don’t have physical intimacy and particularly sex for a long time, it will become unhealthy from a sexual point of view.

When you don’t have sex with your romantic partner for a long time, you will naturally want to fulfil your sexual desires with someone else. Telling your partner about it can be awkward and uncomfortable. Some people tend to get involved with other people outside of their relationship.

Having sex with someone else without telling your partner is cheating. Not only do you sleep with another person, but you will also be lying to your partner about it.

While finding a way to fulfil your sexual needs isn’t nearly as harmful as compromising the trust of your partner. It is unhealthy and destructive for your relationship.

Can You Get a Headache from Being Sexually Frustrated?

You are likely to get a headache when you experience high levels of stress. So, if not having sex is causing you to be stressed, it is very likely you may experience some other effects such as:

  • Irritability
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Worriness
  • Edginess
  • Physical tension

Signs of Sexual Frustration in a Relationship

  • Getting attracted and fantasising about other men/women
  • Exercising to the point of exhaustion
  • Getting edgy and irritable
  • Becoming restless, nervous, angry, or timid
  • Binge-eating
  • Watching movies with plenty of sex scenes or watching porn
  • Being highly sensitive to skin contact
  • Having sex dreams
  • Being anxious in anticipation of sex
  • Having a higher desire for sex than usual

Sometimes frustrations in one area can spill into other areas of your relationship. So how could you tell when the frustration you are feeling is related to the sexual aspect of your relationship or to something else?

To understand the origin of your frustration, you need to explore the sexual part of your relationship. As well as, other areas like intimacy, communication, finance, etc

For example, the frustration you are feeling may come from being dissatisfied with your life in general.

How to Deal with Sexual Frustration in a Relationship

  1. Recognise that you are feeling frustrated
  2. Identify if this frustration is related to the sexual aspect of your relationship
  3. Talk about your sex life with your partner
  4. Express what is working for you sexually and what doesn’t
  5. Hear out your partner’s perspective on your sex life
  6. Find a solution that works for both of you.

To manage sexual frustration in a relationship, you need to take it for what it is. Sexual frustration is a sign that your sexual needs and desires are not fulfilled. Trying to ignore that fact or to suppress your feelings isn’t going to work.

You may think that you are compromising for the sake of your relationship, but in reality, you are making yourself unhappy. When you are dissatisfied in the relationship, it won’t be long before your whole relationship becomes unhappy as well.

So, you need to have a sex talk with your partner. You need to agree on how often you would want to have sex for it to be enough to fulfil your sexual needs.

If you can’t fulfil each other’s sexual needs, you may consider an open relationship. An open relationship allows you to maintain the trust and connection with your romantic partner while fulfilling your sexual desires with someone else.

While it’s not for everyone, it is certainly something to consider. Suppose you don’t think that you are comfortable with an open relationship, nor can you see have enough physical intimacy. In that case, the only other option is to end your relationship.

The one crucial thing in all of this is that you maintain trust and understanding with each other, no matter what. Without trust and understanding, you cannot have a healthy relationship of any kind.

On the other hand, if you do have trust and understanding, your circumstances may change in the future. You can rebuild your the emotional connection and little by little work on your physical intimacy.

How to Overcome Sexual Frustration in a Relationship?

  • Revamp your wardrobe with some sexy outfits
  • Pamper yourself
  • Give more love to yourself
  • Go on dates with your partner as when you first met
  • Try some sexting
  • Plan a day or two a week for sex and make it special
  • Make each other feel wanted
  • Maintain your emotional intimacy strong
  • Masturbate together

How to overcome sexual frustration when single?

  • Consider having casual relationships or friends with benefits
  • Engage in other hobbies or interests either physical or intellectual
  • Do some creative activities
  • Enjoy self-pleasure through masturbation

Ending a Relationship Because of Sexual Frustration

Once you tried to address your frustration on a personal level as well as the sexual relationship with your partner. And still have this issue unresolved, you may consider ending your relationship.

It is best to end a relationship amicably without unnecessary fighting and negativity. Frustration can put you on edge emotionally, so take care when talking to your partner. Try to approach your conversations as objectively as you can with the goal to find the best the best possible solution that works for both of you.


Sexual frustration is just as much of an issue as any other problem you face in a relationship. And, like with any other problem you need to find the reason behind it.

In this article, we’ve looked at common causes of sexual frustration as well as signs that you can pick up on with some self-awareness.

It’s worth to be mindful that the frustration you are experiencing may come from other areas of your relationship.

To deal with it effectively, you need to have an open and honest discussion with your partner about every aspect of your relationship. In doing so, you can identify the areas of your relationship that need your attention.

Without knowing the origin of the frustration is hard to find the right way to address it. If it’s money related and you feel frustrated there’s no point trying to fix the sexual part of your relationship. Likewise, if your frustration comes from the lack of understanding, you will need to look into your communication before anything else.

Don’t ignore your feeling of frustration. If you notice that you are feeling edgy, irritable, impatient, and find yourself being sexually attracted to others in a more desperate way. Recognise that it is happening to you and talk about it with your partner.

Help and Advice Dealing with Sexual Frustration

Tips to Deal with Sexual Frustration in Your Relationship

  • Recognise you are feeling frustrated
  • Identify if your frustration is related to your relationship
  • Talk to your partner open and honestly
  • Address this sexual frustration as soon as possible

If you don’t know how to deal with sexual frustration and you need professional help and advice, get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it normal to be sexually frustrated?

While it can happen, take it as a sign that something isn’t quite right with your relationship. Then, you can talk to your partner and try to find a solution together.

Why am I feeling sexually frustrated?

Sexual frustration can come as a result of not having enough sex and/or being dissatisfied with the sex that you have. It could be boring, you may want to be with other people, you may have lost emotional connection with your partner, or you fancy a change.

How can you tell if someone is sexually frustrated?

Some of the signs of sexual frustration include:
• Getting attracted and fantasising about other men/women
• Getting edgy and irritable
• Becoming restless, nervous, angry, or timid
• Having sex dreams
• Being anxious in anticipation of sex
• Having a higher desire for sex than usual

Is sexual frustration unhealthy in a relationship?

Sexual frustration becomes increasingly unhealthy the longer it lasts. If it lasts for a long time, it can negatively impact different aspects of your relationship.

Can sexual frustration cause lack of sleep?

Sexual frustration can cause you higher levels of stress and irritability that can lead to restlessness.

What to do if I’m sexually frustrated?

If you are sexually frustrated you may consider having a casual relationship, having a friend with benefits or engage in other fun and interesting activities that may not necessarily need to be sex related.

Can sexual frustration ruin a relationship?

Sexual frustration can ruin a relationship if it is left undressed for a long time. Any frustration, for whatever the reason, can influence your behaviour and lead to a more intense behaviour that prompts unnecessary conflicts and arguments.

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