Satisfying sexual desire can and should be a priority, since experts associate this with quality of life in general. Therefore, if you feel any imbalance at this level, you should start by identifying the problem (and how to resolve it).
But first of all, it's important to define what sexual frustration is. As the name implies, it refers to any feelings of dissatisfaction with the current state of intimate life, explains sexologist Shamyra Howard to O magazine, The Oprah Magazine. "It happens when the sexual experiences you want are not aligned with the ones you have," he adds. "Most people -- regardless of gender, sexuality, or marital status -- will experience sexual frustration at some point in their lives."
What are the symptoms?
People feel and exhibit symptoms of sexual frustration in different ways. For example, some lose interest in sex and systematically refuse it, Howard says, while others may look for it more (potentially with someone who is not a partner) or decide to masturbate when they actually preferred to have sex. Symptoms of depression may even arise, and mood swings are also common.
To help identify how you feel, sexologist Jessica O'Reilly suggests an exercise in the same publication: ask yourself why you have sex. "What benefits do you take away, and how do you feel before, during, and after?" he asks. "Are these feelings overwhelmingly positive, neutral, or negative?" If the answers are more between neutral and negative territories, you may feel a little (or very) frustrated.
How to deal?
This is something that should be done with great care and consideration, both for you and your partner. The first step should be to identify the cause of frustration, starting with excluding health problems and side effects of drugs/supplements.
Then talk to your partner. "A lot of people have sex, but they rarely talk about it. Create an open line of communication to discuss what works and what you'd like to change," advises sexologist Shamyra Howard.
From then on, you might have to change the way you see sex. "Frustration often results from scenarios that don't meet expectations, but it's important to stress that when you have a specific denouement in mind, you may be sabotaging yourself," O'Reilly says. "One specific way to avoid sexual frustration is to explore pleasure for pleasure, not by focusing on a specific goal."
With or without a partner, you don't have to be abstinent. If your sexual frustration is due to lack of intimate contact, the solution is (literally) self-love.
"Masturbate, go out on romantic dates with yourself and value all the things in you that you want a partner to value," howard says. Jessica O'Reilly agrees: "We often complain that we are sexually frustrated, as if dealing with our feelings was someone else's responsibility," she adds. "Each of us is responsible for our own sexual achievement... It's up to us to decide what works."