Sexual frustration in long-term relationships is more common than anyone would like. Not only does the new relationship energy tend to taper off after a few years together, but mismatched libidos are also an incredibly widespread problem. If you’re feeling sexually frustrated, you have more options than simply ending the relationship or living with your frustration. Surprisingly, sexting can help you manage your mismatched sex drives and get you through dry spells, no matter how long they are.
Why Sexual Frustration Is So Prevalent
Sexual frustration and a decrease in passion happen to nearly every couple at some point in their relationship. Psychologists have a term for this phenomenon: hedonic adaptation. That means we have a biological inclination to take positive things in our lives for granted and that we have a fundamental human need for variety. And this doesn’t just apply to men—research shows that women need novelty as much as men, and monogamy is equally as hard for them to maintain long-term. There’s nothing wrong with the need for sexual adventure, but it can be hard to incorporate our desire for sexual change with our goal of a long-term, often-monogamous relationship.
Sexual frustration occurs when we are unhappy with the amount of sex we’re having. Keep in mind that this can mean you feel you’re having too much or too little. People who have a higher sex drive may feel neglected and rejected since their partner isn’t having sex with them as much as they would prefer. On the other hand, people with a lower sex drive may feel resentful of the constant pressure to have sex. In a relationship, the amount of sex you have is a continual negotiation that includes your needs, your partner’s needs, and balancing the other responsibilities in your life. Sometimes, priority-wise this balancing act can mean that we feel our needs are at the very bottom of the list.
Dealing With Sexual Frustration
The advice on how to cure sexual frustration is varied, but it all depends on what is causing the issue in the first place. Many recommend improving your communication, as people tend to stop talking about sex, especially when the conversation usually ends in a fight. Others recommend ending the relationship if they cannot resolve this conflict. Fortunately, there are other options you can try.
It’s always a good idea to get checked out by the doctor. Countless things cause low desire, including medication side effects, undealt with mental issues such as anxiety and depression, or pain during sex. Once you have eliminated underlying medical conditions as the cause, you can find other ways to deal with the frustration.
Another suggestion is to use masturbation to fill in the gaps. It’s a natural idea to have someone pleasure themself if the other partner isn’t in the mood. But the need for sex isn’t always the same as the need for orgasm. Sometimes, the high sex drive originates from a need for physical touch, emotional closeness, and intimacy, or even creative expression. These needs aren’t always met by using masturbation. If this is the case, the couple may want to discuss opening up the relationship. An open relationship doesn’t necessarily mean sex with others is on the table—you can set up the boundaries however you both feel most comfortable. Perhaps the partner with the higher sex drive is permitted to interact with others virtually but not in person. Or maybe anything is okay, as long as it’s a one-time deal rather than an ongoing relationship. Do some soul-searching, and you may find an open relationship a great solution to sexual frustration for both of you.
How Sexting Can Help Cure Sexual Frustration
The better we understand our partners, the easier time we have to predict their future responses. This is helpful when we want to pick out a birthday present or make their favorite dinner. But the more we can anticipate, the less surprise we experience. And being surprised by someone is essential to keeping passion and desire alive. Sexting can help restore the surprise in your relationship whether or not you decide to open your relationship.
If you decide to stay monogamous, sexting can bring back desire in the partner with lower desire. In fact, studies show that long-term relationships benefit even more from the sexy jolt of energy sexting brings than casual relationships do. Before you get started, make sure you have the go-ahead from your partner. Then, find a time when you cannot be together and start sexting. Absence is integral to the experience, as it will remove the temptation to have sex.
When you get started sexting, it’s important that the lower desire partner focuses on their own pleasure. This ensures that sexting won’t feel like another obligation that they are struggling to fulfill. The lower desire partner should lead the sexting, talking about whatever they find the most arousing and setting the pace if other media (like pictures or videos) are exchanged.
Sexting can help with sexual frustration in non-monogamous relationships as well. If your partner is alright with it, find someone to sext with online. It’s different from masturbation because it meets the other sexual needs that have a social component. But it also creates a safe boundary that can make couples who are new to non-monogamy more comfortable. You never need to meet your sexting partners in real life; plus, there’s no risk of an unplanned pregnancy (in heterosexual relationships) or contracting an STI.
Another plus of sexting with a stranger is that you don’t have to be the person you always are. You can liberate a different side of you, especially one that you may not want to show in a relationship. The person you’re in a relationship with already knows the person you are in the bedroom—but who we show up as with our partners during sex doesn’t fully encompass our sexual potential. Most people have a lot of different sexual interests, not all of them socially acceptable. With someone on the internet, many people feel freer to express all facets of their sexuality.
A word of caution: if you want to find someone to sext with online, never exchange photos or videos with identifying features like your face or a tattoo. And always use a site that verifies its users’ ages and protects your privacy.
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