Feeling the urge to have sex is a normal part of human nature. However, these feelings can sometimes interfere with daily life and relationships, sometimes in a very detrimental way. Finding ways to control your sexual urges may help you improve your quality of life, your relationships, and your productivity. You can learn to avoid situations that make you have sexual urges. You can talk to others about your concerns, even seeking professional help if you feel your sexual urges are negatively impacting your life.
Seeking Immediate Solutions
Get out of your current environment: Try to step away from any environment where you feel it’s difficult to control your urges. If you are at home and feeling a compulsion to masturbate, for example, try taking a quick walk to the store. If you can’t leave your current environment (if you’re at work, for example), try talking to another coworker or taking a break.
It might also be helpful to have someone to help keep you accountable, such as a trusted friend or even a therapist.
Keep a to-do list in your pocket: Write down all the tasks, errands, or things around the house you need to do today. If you are feeling the need to engage in a compulsive behavior, look at your list and distract yourself with another activity.
If you think it is unlikely that you will be able to do something productive when you experience a strong sexual urge, then try to keep an easy distraction on hand, such as a good book or a puzzle you can work on.
Avoiding Triggering Situations
Identify the triggers for your sexual urges: Spend some time thinking about your behavior and what leads you to have sexual impulses. Think about triggering stimuli, the time of day, as well as the environment in which you tend to have these urgings. See if there are any patterns that emerge in your behavior. If you have discovered a pattern, figure out how you can break the cycle with new behaviors or lifestyle changes. For example, you may notice that you feel most overwhelmed with sexual urges in the evenings and on weekends — when you are not working and don’t have anything to do. You may decide to take up a new hobby in order to keep your mind off sex.
Perhaps you are triggered by stimuli in your environment. If you find yourself aroused by steamy love scenes in movies, for example, it may be best to watch other kinds of non-romantic films until you can get a better grip on your urges.
Consider keeping a journal of your actions and behavior leading up to sexual urges. A journal can help you identify triggers and patterns.
Avoid pornography: Pornography has turned into a billion-dollar industry, and viewing it is more acceptable than ever. This makes pornography difficult to ignore, but as it rewards sexual urges, it is best to avoid viewing it if you are prone to troublesome sexual urges.
You may wish to put browser extensions or parental controls on your computer to make it difficult to access pornography on your computer. You could even have a friend or your partner install it and not inform you of the password. Throw away any pornographic magazines, books, or movies you may have.
Consider avoiding masturbation: You may wish to avoid masturbating for a set amount of time to help you get your sexual urges under control. For some people, abstaining from masturbation may be more important than for others. You may wish to get suggestions about what would be appropriate for you from a therapist.
For example, if you feel you masturbate compulsively, it may be a good idea to commit to abstaining from masturbation for a set amount of time. This may also be appropriate if you have a porn addiction. For other people, masturbation may help you improve intimacy and improve your sexual health.
Abstain from drugs or alcohol: Drugs and alcohol can cause you to lose your inhibitions, including your sexual control. Stay away from parties and scenarios you think might be problematic. Being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol makes it more likely that you will engage in risky sexual activity.
Minimize stress: Sometimes obsessive thoughts tend to creep up on you when you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed. If you find this to be true for you with your sexual urges, figure out ways you can live a less stressful life.
For example, you may find yourself obsessively thinking about sex on days when you are running late for work. Experiment with earlier wake-up times or allowing extra commute time to see if your thought patterns change. Make a list of various responsibilities you have and see what you can eliminate or delegate. Try to work smarter, not harder.
Keep yourself busy: Staying busy helps keep your mind preoccupied and focused on things other than sex. Take up a new hobby or fill your social calendar with activities with friends. Channel your sexual energy into a creative project. Working through difficult emotions through one’s imagination is a form of sublimation, or taking a “negative” or unwanted emotion and turning it into something more positive or useful.
Exercise: Physical activity is one of the healthiest ways to control and manage a range of feelings and emotions, including the urge to have sex. Exercise regularly to combat sexual energy, or head to the nearest park or gym as soon as you start experiencing these feelings.
Consider setting a fitness goal on which to focus. For example, you may decide to lose weight, lift a certain amount at the gym, or train for a race or long-distance bike ride. When you are not working out, you can spend time researching how to achieve your particular fitness goal, rather than be distracted by sexual urges.