What Is The Link Between Erectile Dysfunction And Performance Anxiety
Erections and sexual arousal are complex processes that involve an interplay between emotional and physical factors in men. Changes on the emotional side can lead to the physical issues of ED, and vice versa.
Sexual anxiety can contribute to ED in several ways. Say someone worries they may not be able to satisfy their partner during sex. They may start feeling unworthy and incapable, and these feelings of inadequacy can result in ED.
Previous experience plays a huge role in SPA as well. Men who had even minor issues with erections or intercourse in the past may ruminate about these past negative experiences, causing them to have negative feelings about intercourse in general. In turn, their excitement about sex decrease as they continue to worry about their abilities.
Why Performance Anxiety Makes You Sexually Lose Control In Bed
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Four Ways To Help Relieve Erectile Dysfunction
1. Take better care of yourself.
Lifestyle factors like smoking, excessive drinking, and poor diet can contribute to ED. Cutting back on alcohol and tobacco, getting in better shapeespecially by building cardiovascular fitnessand making sure that you get plenty of rest are all, therefore, ways of potentially improving erectile functioning.
In fact, research has shown that lifestyle modifications can actually reverse ED.
As a bonus, improving the way you look can go a long way toward making you feel better about yourself in general. This can lead to a better self-image and can help reduce or eliminate performance anxiety.
2. Relax, and things may get better.
Stress can be a major boner killer. Unfortunately, however, in today’s world, it can be almost impossible to avoid stress, so you will need to learn how to manage it.
For example, many guys find that getting involved in meditation, yoga, or even circular breathing is calmingthe same goes for practicing mindfulness techniques, which involve learning to be in the moment. Others find working out to be a great stress reliever.
It can also be helpful to establish more work-life balance. Bringing your work home with you can really interfere with an active and satisfying sex life. And when work is constantly on your mind, it can make it more difficult to perform.
3. Dont let depression go unaddressed.
4. Talk to your doctor about sexual performance medications, such as Viagra.
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The Bedroom Is Not A Stage
Here is something to consider if you deal with performance anxiety: Sex is not a performance at all. There is no audience critiquing your form or your endurance or strength. If youâre worried about your partnerâs perception of you, try to remember, they are also being vulnerable and having a sexual experience too. Try to think about the things they might be nervous about, and then notice how little you care about these nuanced worries.
Causes Of Sexual Performance Anxiety For Men
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
- 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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Eliminate Or Manage Stress
Chronic stress can lead to prolonged blood cortisol levels, which inhibits both your testosterone production and sexual libido. Stress and anxiety can make it difficult for you to maintain an erection and are common causes of erectile dysfunction in men.
Want to know how to boost libido? Take a moment to evaluate the causes of stress in your life, and then work toward eliminating those stressors or finding better ways to manage your stress. Natural ways to combat stress include exercising regularly, getting more sleep, meditating, and spending more time with the people you love.
Become A Master Of Foreplay
Focus on your partner and think about how you can give them as much pleasure as possible. That means getting good with your hands and mouth. It can really take the pressure off.
If you get them screaming your name before you get down to sex, theyll be a lot more relaxed about what happens after. If your partner is female, the reality is that a lot of women dont orgasm from penetrative sex anyway, and if you make her climax before youve even entered her, shell likely be happy whatever else happens.
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What Happens When You Have Sexual Performance Anxiety
If you enter into sexual encounters with anxiety, it can affect you in a couple of major ways.
First of all, youll probably not be feeling relaxed before having sex. If its with a new partner, thats very normal. But the tension created by anxiety isnt the same as excitement.
The combination of the two might make you climax too quickly, or have other difficulties such as not getting an erection.
Secondly, you can get stuck in your mind and thoughts, worrying that it will happen again. This means youre not doing 4 important things:
Use Mindfulness Meditation Training
Right up there with breath work is meditation.
Mindfulness meditations are extremely effective at decreasing anxiety. There are many ways to go about this you may wish to check out our article on meditating for anxiety.
Basically, mindfulness meditations involve the act of consciously acknowledging your thoughts and letting them pass without judgement.
With regard to sexual performance anxiety, meditation can be an awesome tool to have. However, it is a skill that takes some practice and getting used to.
Body scanning techniques can also be useful here. This involves directing your attention toward the physical sensations occurring to one part of the body. For reasons that should be obvious, this can be particularly useful in the bedroom.
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Sexual Performance Anxiety: What Is It And How To Overcome It
Sex is supposed to be fun. It can be a time to explore yourself and your partner in new, intimate ways. Or it can simply be a good, connecting time. But if you feel your anxiety always gets in the way of your enjoyment, you might be experiencing sexual performance anxiety. Such anxiety can pose challenges in the bedroom and it can manifest for a number of reasons. Whatever is causing it, you arenât alone in the feeling. According to a 2010 study published in the Sex Med Review Journal, sexual performance anxiety is actually one of the most common sexual complaints. While it can be difficult to deal with, there are ways to overcome your performance anxiety. First, it can be helpful to simply understand what it is and some of the reasons that may cause it.
Negative Thoughts Around Sex
One of the drivers of sexual anxiety is negative sexual experiences in the past. If one time you struggled to get it up or you came sooner than you would have liked, the feelings you felt in these moments can affect you long into the future.
Pornography, by the way, doesnt help in this regard. Real sex isnt necessarily like sex in porn and you shouldnt get caught up in thinking that it should be. If you cannot last as long as pornstars before you ejaculate, or if you compare your penis size to theirs, it is understandable that you may feel self-conscious.
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Receive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Talking to a therapist can always be helpful with regard to issues of intimacy or anxiety.
Dont be afraid to reach out to a mental health professional about overcoming sexual performance anxiety. An expert in the field should definitely be able to help talk you through the problem and offer solutions.
If youre a bit shy to go in and talk to someone in person, online therapy is a great way to go.
Concentrate On Being In The Moment
If you are not fully present in the here-and-now, it takes away from the sexual experience for both you and your partner. Trying to be present and fully participate without being distracted often helps couples have an enjoyable time together. Meditation and other relaxation techniques have also been shown to help in this case.
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Feelings Are Not Fact
The emotional reasoning of âI feel it so it must be trueâ is inherently flawed. Feelings are not factual. However, this can be hard to logically reason with when anxious. Something to remind yourself of the next time your mind is swirling with sexual performance worries: just because you feel it doesnât make it true. This might lessen the power these thoughts have over your emotional response, .
Do Not Focus On The Past
It is essential to understand that occasional difficulty with erection does not mean that you are unable to have sex. It may mean that at that particular time you were more stressed, and that affected intercourse. When stress is lessened, however, the issue may not exist at all.
It is important to shift the focus to why the erectile dysfunction happened rather than focusing on the negative outcome. Talking to your partner and reducing the pressure on yourself may help prevent future performance anxiety.
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Can Anxiety Make You Orgasm Too Quickly
Yes. While some men find the pressure to perform in the bedroom stops them from orgasming, others find the increased anxiety causes them to orgasm faster than they want. If this is the case for you, as well as getting treatment for your anxiety, you could try premature ejaculation treatment.
Get Your Own Expectations Straight
You want to give your partner the best sex you can, we get it. But if youve had sex before and theyre back for more, remember, it means they like you and they want to do it again, so try not to worry.
If its going to be the first time with someone new, then remember that sex is like a conversation. Its not just down to you, it takes two to have a good conversation, and the better you get to know the person, the better it usually goes. Its the same with sex. The first time might be a little awkward, but thats natural. Itll get better with time.
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Causes Of Erectile Dysfunction
SPA is a common issue and may be the main reason some men experience erectile dysfunction. However, ED involves a complex interplay among a mans brain, emotions, vascular system, nerves, muscles, and hormones. Dysfunction in any of those components can lead to ED.
Some of the more common causes of ED include:
- Smoking or any other tobacco use
- Alcoholism or other substance abuse
- History of prostate cancer and treatment for prostate cancer
- Low testosterone
- Previous surgeries or injuries to the pelvis
- Previous back injury or surgery
- Peyronies disease
- Reduced interest and sexual desire
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Penile Injections And Suppositories
Not everyone responds to oral ED medications. For these individuals, penile injections or intraurethral suppositories may help.
Penile injections contain compounds that allow better blood flow to the penis. Generally, a man will self-inject a small amount of medication into a side of the penis 10-15 minutes before the intercourse.
Intraurethral suppositories are small pellets inserted into mans urethra to aid an erection. They contain alprostadil, which improves blood flow to the penis. The alprostadil is absorbed through the urethra and starts working within 10-15 minutes. Side effects include pain with insertion, burning inside the penis, and possibly minor bleeding.
Recognize How Common Sexual Performance Anxiety Is
Sometimes it helps to know were not alone.
Sex is one of those taboo topics people tend to shy away from. Were often too ashamed to discuss personal issues like sexual performance anxiety with our friends. When we dont talk about it, we dont hear about it. This makes us think were the only person in the world going through it.
As a shamelessly open person, I dont consider any topic too taboo for conversation with my friends. Being this way, Ive found that when you open up to people about such embarrassing topics, they open up about them as well. If you open up to some friends about this temporary issue, I guarantee youll be surprised to learn just how common it is.
Dont believe me? Check out the statistics:
An estimated 9-25% of men, and 6-16% of women, experience some degree of sexual performance anxiety. Thats nearly a quarter of the population!
In men, sexual performance anxiety may lead to premature ejaculation or psychogenic erectile dysfunction . Women with sexual performance anxiety may experience severe sexual inhibition.
As you can see, while not the most popular dinner party topic, sexual performance anxiety is very common.
You are not alone.
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