What Causes Sexual Anxiety
Sexual anxiety is most often driven by feeling pressure to perform during sex. Throughout our daily lives, were bombarded with unrealistic expectations of what sex should look like .
You start to believe that everyone out there is having amazing, earth-shattering sex all the time. And since its not happening for you, you think there must be something wrong with you.
When you start focusing on performance rather than connection, you start to feel:
- Anxious about sex!
Feeling anxiety around sex can also stem from problems like shame around your sexuality, previous trauma, or an anxiety disorder.
If youre having trouble figuring out why you feel anxious when it comes to sex, talking to a sex therapist can help clarify the source of your sexual anxiety.
Therapies Are Used To Treat Stage Fright
Techniques like pre-performance rituals, deep breathing, and visualizing ones performance in a favorable perspective can all help some people overcome their nervousness. Other persons with significant performance anxiety may require verbal therapy and medicines.
CBT , psychotherapy, and counseling can all help you figure out whats causing your worry and dread. This may provide long-term relief from the symptoms of performance anxiety. Talking therapy can also assist in the development of coping skills for dealing with emotions as they emerge. To learn more about talking treatments for anxiety, go here.
In short different approaches can be used in psychotherapy to help treat stage fright:
Symptoms Of Sexual Performance Anxiety
The symptoms of sexual performance anxiety can also be the cause of the anxiety itself. For example, if you experience vaginal dryness, it might make you feel worried about your ability to get wet and then this worry can actually make it harder to get wet. The same can be said for maintaining an erection, or other sexual issues you may experience. While anxiety can certainly contribute to the issue, some of these symptoms can also be medically treated.
Other symptoms depend on the severity of your anxiety. Some people experience panic attacks, tense muscles â including the muscles surrounding the vagina which can lead to vaginal pain, or nausea â according to the Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders. Itâs also possible that people with performance anxiety will experience guilt, shame, or low self-esteem when they turn down their partner. While all these symptoms may sound daunting, it is possible to overcome them.
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Stage Fright Tips For The Day Of Performance
Mindful Focus: Being In The Moment Not In Your Head
The constructive alternative to self-monitoring is focusing our attention on the experience in the moment, and to to treat any self-evaluative and worrying thoughts as unimportant background noise. This is called mindfulness. For the actor, mindful focus means throwing herself utterly into the role, and saving evaluation until the performance is over. For the conversationalist, mindful focus means focusing with curiosity what is being said in the moment, and saying whatever comes to mind naturally, without scripting.
For the man being sexual, mindfulness means focusing our attention on any or all of the pleasurable sensations we are experiencing in the momenttouch, sight, sound, smell, tasteas well as focusing on any pleasant emotions we may be experiencingexcitement, affection, enjoyment. Mindfulness when being sexual also means distancingdefusingfrom any evaluative or worrying thoughts and feelings we may be having, treating them like unimportant background noise.
Well, this takes a lot of practice! Some of us have become so used to self-evaluating and worrying while being sexualand often before and after being sexual, toothat its unrealistic to expect us to suddenly be in the moment the next time we have sex. And if you wait until having sex to try to be mindfully focused, theres a chance that you will start evaluating how well you are being in the momentwhich will only worsen self-consciousness and self-criticism.
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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, .
Tips For Overcoming Test Anxiety
So, how can you get over test anxiety? Here are some tips to help:
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Reducing Music Performance Anxiety
Butterflies in the stomach sweaty palms negative self-talk stomach pain dry mouth excessive swallowing shortness of breath fuzzy thinking avoidance or giving up. These are some of the signs and symptoms of performance anxiety. It feels so unfair when your hard work in the practice room is thwarted by fear or discomfort. A little stress can improve your game, motivating you to practice so you are sufficiently prepared by performance time. And sometimes the rush of adrenaline can sharpen performance. If stress is manageable, then all is well.
But if anxiety limits your ability to develop your talent and music performance charisma, you may wonder whether you should pursue public performance at all. Some people who suffer from performance anxiety decide to play music in ensembles, rather than as soloists. Some become music educators. These are valid choices, but before deciding to change your career path, give yourself time to explore some other options.
Exercises To Improve Sexual Performance Anxiety
Often, sexual performance anxiety stems from worries not about being able to do it, but about how you look while youre doing it. As people get older they can get out of shape. The same applies for people who have had major surgery. However, when youre fit enough to do so you should consider starting an exercise routine. Improving your body can boost your confidence as youll be in a better physical shape. This matters because exercise pumps blood around the body, not only releasing endorphins, which improve your mood and reduce stress, but also making all your muscles perform better.
If you havent done much exercise in a while, you should take it slowly at first, and speak to your doctor before embarking on an exercise regime.
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How To Get Rid Of Stage Fright Using Science
Is it possible to defeat stage fright considering recent scientific discoveries? We believe so, and in this article we look at several ways individuals who need to perform, whether on stage or in a job interview, can overcome stage fright so that they can perform at their best despite all the pressure. We also look at several stage fright remedies available to you right now, from cognitive behavioral therapy to GABA & L-theanine supplements.
Erectile Dysfunction And Sexual Performance Anxiety
Erectile dysfunction is a health issue that affects a lot of guys. ED is especially common in older men due to a variety of medical conditions.
In fact, about 50 percent of men in their 50s and 60s have moderate symptoms of ED however, younger men are not immune, and many experience situational or episodic cases of erectile difficulties.
Most of the time, men below 30 who have problems getting it up have no underlying physical issues. Many of these guys are probably just feeling the effects of sexual performance anxiety instead.
No one wants to deal with erectile problems, there are numerous ways to treat them. In addition to reducing or eliminating the causes of sexual anxiety, there are a number of medical and non-medical approaches you can consider in order to tackle the symptoms.
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Strategies To Reduce Sexual Performance Anxiety
Sexual performance anxiety tends to be a bit more complex because thinking about your sexual performance too much takes away from its enjoyment. Also, the body gets used to specific reactions. Men with premature ejaculation, for example, will not necessarily overcome the dysfunction immediately even if they overcome their performance anxiety because the body is trained to finish faster. It is a process, just as overcoming performance anxiety, in general, is a process.
Sex therapists can be a big help. But no matter what, consider the following:
These are just a few of the important steps for reducing performance anxiety.
Wait Until The Morning
Sex tends to occur more in the evening, especially with flings and one-night stands. However, its important to remember that, if all else fails, you can always try again in the morning.
Interestingly, mens testosterone levels actually peak in the morning and steadily decline throughout the day. This means that youll likely be more aroused and eager to perform in the morning than at night.
If youre anything like me, youll also feel more relaxed when you first wake up. Your body has time to repair itself and relieve any of the stress youve built up throughout the day. And any alcohol affecting your performance from the night before will likely have worn off by now.
Never put pressure on yourself by believing you only have one opportunity to perform sexually.
Sleep it off and try again in the morning under better conditions.
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What Causes Stage Fright
Many people experience anxiety before public performances. Even career performers have reported pre-show stress. Before becoming a civil rights leader, Mahatma Gandhi struggled with public speaking for years. Singer Barbra Streisand experienced severe stage fright at the height of her career. Performance anxiety does not indicate a lack of talent.
Performing before others can make people feel vulnerable. They may fear that a mistake will damage their reputation and make them seem less than perfect. In group performances, someone may worry how their actions will affect the group. People who already have social anxiety may grow especially self-conscious.
Extreme anxiety can activate the bodys fight or flight response. A person may develop sweaty hands, a racing pulse, nausea, and a trembling voice. They may feel an overwhelming desire to leave the situation.
Performance anxiety is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. The bodys fight-of-flight response can distract a person and affect their performance. A singers voice might shake, or a public speaker might forget their outline.
The person may believe these mistakes are evidence their anxiety was warranted. They may avoid future performances. This action prevents the person from finding successes and proving their self-doubt wrong. When the person must perform again, their past failures may cause even more anxiety.
Why Do People Experience Sexual Performance Anxiety
People experience sexual performance anxiety for a number of reasons. Perhaps you fear finishing too quickly or not being able to orgasm at all. You might feel so insecure about the size of your penis, how your vagina or boobs look, or some other body part, that it causes you to feel too distracted or anxious to enjoy yourself with a partner. Maybe youâre not sure if your sex drive is normal or you are comparing yourself with your partnerâs previous partners and worry you wonât match up. Another reason you may experience performance anxiety is because you have some form of sexual dysfunction or issue. For example, you might experience erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, vaginal dryness, or pain during sex.
âOftentimes, we have false expectations of what sex should be like based on what we see in porn or the movies. This can result in unwanted pressure to perform and create anxietyâ Dr. Shemeka Thorpe, a sexuality researcher and educator, tells O.school. âPerformance anxiety can also be triggered by the fear of disappointing our partners during sex, experiences of sexual trauma, religious shame, and the anticipation of sexual pain due to chronic pain disorders.”
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