Good sex is one of life's greatest pleasures. But if you find yourself anxious, angry, or unhappy about sex, you're not alone. It turns out that sexual frustration is a very real thing, and it's a lot more common than you might think.
While the term sexual frustration is not an "official" diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), sex and relationship therapist Emily Jamea, PhD, says many people experience it at some point in their lives.
"[Sexual frustration] is characterized by feelings of dissatisfaction, anxiety, anger and even depression due to unmet sexual needs," explains Jamea. It happens when "you have an expectation about sex and it doesn't live up to that expectation," adds Marla Renee Stewart, sexologist.
People who feel sexually frustrated often describe feeling lonely and isolated within the relationship.
While sexual frustration can happen to people of all genders, it can manifest differently for everyone.
However, people in relationships aren't the only ones who experience sexual frustration—singles feel it just as much. Mental health professionals saw an increase in sexual frustration among singles during the pandemic, when people were unable to go out or have sex as often as they could before. This isn't just a curse for couples, but don't worry, there is a cure.
Remember: Sexual frustration is not only about the act of sex, but also about the intimacy after sex. People may masturbate to take care of the physical element, but only a partner can satisfy the emotional component.
As always, the advice no. 1 of sexologists is: Communicate with your partners!