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How To Avoid Sexual Anxiety

Mindful Sex Or Meditative Sex

Overcoming Erectile Dysfunction | How I Overcame my Sexual Performance Anxiety | Ven Virah | ED

Applying mindfulness to sex can help you focus on those intimate moments in the present and have great sex without being goal orientated.

It is important to seek professional medical advice if your sexual performance anxiety is causing you to suffer, but with a few tips and tricks to help get you started sparks will be flying in no time.

Changing The Goals To Reduce The Fear Of Failure

Sexual performance anxiety ultimately boils down to the fear of failure.

You may see failure as the inability to maintain a rock hard erection and bring your partner to orgasm through 10 to 20 minutes of penetrative sex.

It may be then that youve set yourself an unreasonable goal at this moment in your life.

You have the power to change that goal though, especially if you discuss it with your partner.

Perhaps the two of you can decide that youll find other ways of pleasuring one another. The goal could be that you are both satisfied through any means possible.

Theres more than just penetrative sex to be had. You can stimulate and please your partner through great foreplay, manual stimulation or with some new oral sex skills .

If you talk openly, develop an open mindset and think beyond basic sex, then you reduce the fear of failure by changing what success means.

If you pleasure your partner in bed every time through other means, it will build your self-confidence. It will help you feel that youre a man who can make her happy in bed.

And then little by little this increase in confidence and self-esteem will help you improve on the things you were previously having difficulty with.

How Do You Know If You Have Performance Anxiety

Do you regularly worry about any of the following:

  • How good your sexual performance is.
  • How long you typically last during sex.
  • If youll have a good enough erection.
  • If your partner will have an orgasm.
  • If shell think youre big enough, handsome enough or good enough in bed.

Many men will have worries like these from time to time. But if they become too overwhelming, they can cause problems for your confidence and sex life.

Its not just men that can experience this problem though. Researchers have found that performance anxiety has a key role in either the development or continuity of sexual dysfunction in both men and women.

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Sexual Performance Anxiety Statistics

While there are no statistics for sexual performance anxiety as a unique diagnosis, we can gain a sense of how prevalent sexual anxiety is by looking at statistics for related issues:

  • Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. An estimated 19.1% of U.S. adults had any anxiety disorder in the past year and an estimated 31.1% of U.S. adults experience any anxiety disorder at some time in their lives7
  • Erectile Dysfunction occurs in 18% of men over 20 in the U.S.8
  • Lifelong Delayed Ejaculation affects approximately 1% of sexually active men and acquired DE affects approximately 4% of sexually active men9
  • Female Orgasmic Disorder is present in approximately 26% of premenopausal women10
  • 10-15% of women report never having had an orgasm11

A New Relationship Or Lack Of Previous Sexual Experience

Sexual Anxiety by Eric Carlton: Fair (1981)

New and different things can potentially be scary and stressful, and not all of us deal equally well with this. That is true for life in general, but also when it comes to sex.

Guys who don’t have much experience with sex and those who are expanding their horizons by trying new and different sexual activities are likely to encounter more anxiety-provoking situations.

However, feelings of uneasiness can quickly overcome even a very skilled lover when he is getting physical with a brand new partner, especially if he starts worrying about how he looks or how hes performing.

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Anxiety And Sex Drive

Above, you learned how anxiety can physiologically interfere with arousal during sexual activity. Anxiety can diminish sex drive as well. It doesnt do this by changing hormone levels in our bodies necessarily, but by affecting the way we think and feel about sex and intimacy. For example:

  • poor body image if you think youre unattractive, the idea of physical intimacy may become less appealing and thus diminish interest in sex.
  • low self-esteem similarly if you think of yourself as undesirable or bad at sex this may well lead to anxiety about sex, which can lead to reduced interest in it.
  • difficulty relaxing which leads to less enjoyable sex leads to less interest in sex.
  • medications commonly prescribed for anxiety can lower libido. They can also cause erectile dysfunction in men or inhibit womens ability to orgasm either one of which can actually lead to more anxiety around sex.

Talk To Someone Friendly

Another very effective technique is to talk to someone you like and trust, especially on the phone. Don’t be shy about your anxiety – tell them you feel anxious and explain what you’re feeling.

Talking to nice, empathetic people keeps your mind off of your symptoms, and the supportive nature of friends and family gives you an added boost of confidence. If you’re suffering from a panic attack, it also helps you feel more confident that if something were wrong, you’d have someone that can watch over you.

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To Prevent Performance Anxiety From Interfering With A Healthy Sex Life Mindfulness Is An Answer

Ian Kerner is a licensed marriage and family therapist, writer and contributor on the topic of relationships for CNN. His most recent book is a guide for couples, “So Tell Me About the Last Time You Had Sex.”

Just as in a summer blockbuster, there are superheroes and supervillains of sex. The most powerful hero is arousal the warmth we generate when we touch, the fantasy that turns us on. It’s the mechanism by which we climb the peaks of pleasure. But like a classic movie standoff, arousal often never gets a chance to shine, thanks to its nemesis: anxiety.

Will I function the way I feel I should? Am I a good lover? Is this pleasurable for my partner? Am I meeting my partner’s expectations? How does my body look? How do I compare? Am I going to be expected to do something I’m uncomfortable with because I know my partner wants it?

Sexual Performance Anxiety And Erectile Dysfunction

How to Overcome Male Performance Anxiety – Esther Perel

Many men are troubled by sexual performance anxiety. Learn about its true causes, symptoms and what can you do to get your sex life back on track!

Have you ever felt nervous or anxious before or during sex, that you just couldnt perform? Well, Sexual performance anxiety is one of the most common sexual issues. How common is sexual performance anxiety? Well, it is estimated that between 9-25% of men suffer from performance anxiety.

Male sexual performance anxiety most commonly lead to difficulty getting or maintaining an erection, but it can also be a cause of premature ejaculation.

There still isnt a clear definition for performance anxiety, but there are tests that can help you diagnose yourself: But, generally if you experience anxiety during sex and erectile dysfunction, but you can get an erection while masturbating and/or have morning erections, the problem is probably performance anxiety ED.

Sexual performance anxiety can be frustrating and embarrassing. Left untreated, it can ruin long-term relationships and cause emotional distress.

Luckily, male performance anxiety solutions that will help you overcome this issue are available! But first, lets learn about the link between performance anxiety and ED.

Also Check: How To Know You Have Anxiety Test

Causes Of Sexual Performance Anxiety

Sex is more than just a physical response. Your emotions have something to do with it, too. When your mind is too stressed out to focus on sex, your body can’t get excited either.

Lots of different worries can lead to the problem:

  • Fear that you won’t perform well in bed and satisfy your partner sexually
  • Poor body image, including concern over your weight
  • Problems in your relationship
  • Worry that your penis won’t “measure up”
  • Concern about ejaculating too early or taking too long to reach orgasm
  • Anxiety about not being able to have an orgasm or enjoy the sexual experience

These things may lead your body to release stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine.

Can Performance Anxiety Make You Lose Your Erection

Yes. Many men find they cant get or keep erections because of anxieties around sex, known as psychological erectile dysfunction. This is actually the leading cause of erectile dysfunction in younger men and doesnt mean theres necessarily something physically wrong with you.

Even if your erectile dysfunction is psychology and not physical, you might still be able to get treatment. Erectile dysfunction medication is effective and safe when approved by a doctor and it can help even with anxiety-related erectile dysfunction.

If your erectile dysfunction is new or sudden, you should speak to a doctor to rule out physical causes for it, regardless of whether it is mainly psychological or not.

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The Link Between Anxiety And Sex

If it seems like just about everyone you know is anxious about something these days well, thats because they are. Anxiety disorders are currently the most common mental health issue in the United States, affecting about 40 million adults.

When a person senses a threat , their body instinctively switches into fight or flight mode. Should I stay and fight the snake in front of me, or book it to safety?

The chemicals that get released into the body during this process dont contribute to sexual desire. Rather, they put a damper on it, so a persons attention can be focused on the immediate threat.

In general, people who experience anxiety disorders in the rest of their lives are more likely to experience sexual dysfunction, too, says Nicole Prause, PhD, a sexual psychophysiologist and licensed psychologist in Los Angeles.

Additionally, trauma such as sexual abuse or sexual assault can trigger apprehension about sex. So can chronic pain, a change in hormones , and even a lack of quality sex education.

Abstinence-only education tends to create a stigma and shame around sex that can continue into adolescence and adulthood, says Salas. Sex education that focuses only on pregnancy ignores the importance of sexual stimulation and pleasure. This can leave people looking to porn for their sex education can increase myths of sexual performance and increase anxiety.

The feel good hormones released during sex can even help combat feelings of stress and anxiety.

Dont Compare Yourself To Others

Sexual Performance Anxiety &  Tips to Overcome It

Sex can be fantastic, but there is a difference between fantasy and reality.

If youre concerned about your sexual performance, its a good idea to take a hard look at what you imagine sex should be like versus what its really like for most people. For starters, banish notions of gorgeous porn stars or celebrities with picture-perfect bodies.

Licensed psychotherapist Vanessa Marin told Mens Health its important to manage your expectations when it comes to sex. Ask yourself: What, exactly, do you think performance means? What do you expect of yourself in the bedroom?

Then, Marin says, make sure your expectations are reasonable. Would you tell your best friend that he needed to live up to those same expectations? Would you expect the same things out of your partners?

Fantasies, such as steamy romance novels or hot porn movies, can be a great way to get in the mood, but they arent representative of reality. Porn actors are just that: actors. They use any number of tactics to stay hard, including numbing creams and medication. They also work under professional lighting and may perform for hours while they shoot a single scene.

Your love life and your sexual performance can be amazing without attempting to make everything perfect.

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The Performance Anxiety Cycle

In many cases, men start to become preoccupied by negative thoughts. This leads to more failures and increased anxiety. Once this occurs, a sexual performance anxiety cycle, or a negative feedback loop can be created.

Thats why its important the treat sexual performance anxiety soon than later!

The Secrets To Great Sex If You Have Anxiety

Living with anxiety often means its present wherever you go including between the sheets.

Anxiety and sex are not happy bedfellows, said Jassy Casella Timberlake, a Massachusetts-based licensed marriage and family therapist and board-certified sex therapist, aptly summing up a complex issue.

Whether its anxiety/stress itself or the medication you use to treat it, the issue can have wide-ranging effects on a persons sex life. While no two people will experience mental health conditions in exactly the same way, you should be aware of some general truths about anxiety and sex.

Below, experts share what you might expect, plus some strategies to cope:

Read Also: How To Combat Anxiety Attacks

Sexual Anxiety & Common Co

There are several common co-occurring disorders that may appear alongside sexual performance anxiety:3

  • Female Orgasmic Disorder /Anorgasmia: An inability to achieve orgasm, or a significant reduction in the frequency or intensity of orgasms.
  • Erectile Dysfunction : An inability to achieve and maintain an erection sufficient for satisfying penetrative sex.
  • Delayed Ejaculation : An inability to achieve orgasm and/or ejaculation despite adequate sexual stimulation.
  • Orgasm Anxiety: A hyper-focus on achieving orgasm and a fear that orgasm will not occur, typically experienced during partnered sexual activity.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder : Excessive anxiety and worry causing restlessness, irritability and/or fatigue.

Causes Of Sexual Performance Anxiety For Men

Anxiety Can Cause Erectile Dysfunction and How To Overcome It

For men, sexual performance anxiety can come from a number of avenues. It could be something as small as reading an article about modern day sexual practices and thinking youre not doing it right, to changes in your body as you grow older.

Other causes of sexual performance anxiety for men include:

  • Alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs and some prescription medicines
  • Recovery from illness or surgery
  • Ageing
  • Stress and anxiety

So its worth bearing in mind if you know any of these might be an issue. In some circumstances, erectile problems can be the first symptom of other medical conditions, so its best to get checked out by your GP to establish whether there is an underlying cause.

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Sexual Performance Anxiety What Is It

While most people tend to focus on the physical aspects of sex, whats going on inside your brain is just as important. As WebMD puts it, Sex is more than just a physical response. When your brain is too busy worrying about what you look like or whether you can stay hard, it can affect your ability to perform physically.

Because its harder for men to reach sexual fulfillment when they cant get erect or stay erect, sexual performance anxiety is often thought of as a mens health problem. However, women are also affected by sexual anxiety too.

For example, stress or anxiety can prevent a woman from experiencing sexual arousal, which can stop her body from producing enough natural lubrication to have pleasurable sex.

The anxiety associated with sexual performance can stem from many different concerns. For example, you might worry:

In some men, sexual performance anxiety can lead to erectile dysfunction , ), which is the inability to achieve and sustain an erection long enough for intercourse. According to the Cleveland Clinic, ED affects about one in 10 adult men. Other types of sexual dysfunction include orgasm disorders, such as premature ejaculation.

Its easy to see how sexual performance anxiety can become a vicious cycle.

If you experience sexual anxiety once, you might worry about it happening again, which can lead to negative thoughts that hamper your performance in the future.

Which is a shame, because sex is such a great stress reducer.

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