Advice: Lonely with a high sex drive

Dear Love InshAllah,

I am a single virgin woman in my late twenties who has always had a high sex drive. I have been in healthy relationships in the past. I am generally happy and confident with myself and have developed an understanding of my sexual preferences. 

But unless I’m busy and content with life (which is not often!) I am often preoccupied with sex. I masturbate regularly and have learned to respect and love my sexuality, but I feel very unfulfilled. I am not open to having sex before marriage, and I don’t think I’m getting married anytime soon. So for the time being, I feel like I am sexually stunted. I think my physical craving keeps me from focusing on my job or enjoying the good the things I have in life. 

If you have any advice for how to cope with this situation, I would greatly appreciate it. 

Lonely with a high sex drive

Ms. Sunshine responds:

Masturbation can be a safe way to both satisfy your desires and learn your own body well enough to direct a lover when the time comes. Good on ya’, girl.

The desire for the warmth of another’s flesh against your own and the hormone-high inducing magic of sex can powerful. When it starts to feel overpowering, though, it’s time to reconsider your options.  You could simply keep doing what you’re doing, perhaps include new toys in your solo sex life. While I’ve often found these things to exacerbate the problem,  some find distractions like fasting, exercise and throwing yourself into other activities to be helpful. If contracting a marriage is really not something that interests you at the moment, then maybe you need to consider another type of contract.

Maybe it’s time to consider introducing a new practice in your life–mut’a.  Much like masturbation, the practice of contracting a sexual relationship with someone for a pre-agreed upon amount of time is the subject of great controversy. It’s generally only accepted as permissible by Shi’a, but the argument for its permissibility is solidly based in Qur’an and hadith. If what’s holding you back from enjoying sex is observation of prohibitions against sex outside of a contracted relationship, then this is an option you should seriously consider.

Shy Desi Boy responds:

Thank you for your refreshingly honest letter and for admitting your pre-occupation with sex. Many Muslims, even when they write anonymously, often try to project an austere image of themselves and I appreciate you saying—for example—that you “masturbate regularly.”

The best intimacy I have experienced with a woman is when she is, like you, “generally happy and confident with [herself] and [has] developed an understanding of sexual preferences.” This might be the best thing we can give to our partners: to understand and to love ourselves.

I respect your desire not to have sex before marriage. But if sex is something that you wish for, then my advice is to examine why you cannot imagine getting married soon. Of course marriage is not just about sex–but it is one of the beautiful parts of marriage.

As for sexual frustration, my experience is that masturbating more has only helped me marginally. I am not against masturbation—despite what Islam may say about it—but I have learned the limits of masturbation (and also the psychological damage of masturbating too much).

What has helped me most is to exercise, especially cardio intensive workouts like running, swimming, and squash. I find that when I am in good shape, I feel better about myself and my body and I am often so tired at the end of the day that I fall asleep much easier, without lying in bed for hours thinking about, well, sex. I also find that during periods of intense sexual frustration, it helps if I am keeping up my prayers (which I have to admit—I often stumble with).

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