Performance anxiety may affect how your body responds to stimulation during sex. We discuss its connection with erectile dysfunction below, so keep reading to learn more.
In this article:
- Sexual Performance Anxiety and Mental Health
- Causes and Symptoms of Sexual Performance Anxiety
- The Vicious Cycle of Sexual Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction
- How to Get Over Sexual Anxiety
- Get Treatment for Your Erectile Dysfunction
How Stress and Anxiety Are Affecting Your Sex Life
Sexual Performance Anxiety and Mental Health
While it’s perceived normal for a man to struggle to get an erection at least once in his lifetime, more and more men under the age of 35 are having problems with erectile dysfunction (ED).
However, this complex sexual dysfunction is not all steeped in the physiological realm. There are most certainly psychological components to it.
Consider this. Sexual performance is an integrative function.
Not only does it involve the body, but it also leverages the central nervous system along with mental and emotional state-of-minds. Even men who are physically healthy and in top condition struggle with ED.
Why? Because there is a massive mental component to it.
Think about this.
Your subconscious mind controls all the autonomous functions of your body. You don’t need to think about breathing.
It just happens.
You don’t need to tell your heart to pump blood. It just happens.
Nor do you need to ask your livers or kidneys or pancreas to do their jobs. It all just happens by itself.
Autonomously. Like clockwork.
Every moment of every single day that you live and breathe on this earth.
However, the mind controls more than that.
Your thoughts are some of the most powerful purveyors of your emotional and physical state. Yes, you can actually think your way into health (i.e. the placebo effect) just as you can think your way into sickness.
Similarly, to that end, you can invoke performance anxiety and experience trouble with sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.
Causes and Symptoms of Sexual Performance Anxiety
Sexual performance anxiety occurs when you feel stressed about your ability to perform sexually or your body image. This can quickly lead to a psychological effect where you find it difficult to get or maintain an erection.
Performance anxiety is largely caused by negative thoughts related to your sex life or issues in your daily life. They can occur due to stress in relationships, finances, careers, friendships and so on.
There are a number of factors that could be weighing on your subconscious mind.
For instance, you may feel pressured about satisfying your partner or anxious about the size of your penis. This anxiety may also be caused by stress about paying your bills, the tension between your parents or siblings, and more.
It can stem from a number of places.
However, ED is not the only outcome of performance anxiety. Even men that can perform could experience problems with things like premature ejaculation.
Apart from ED, other common symptoms of performance anxiety in men include premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, blocked ejaculation, and loss of sexual interest.
Keep in mind that there are other factors besides performance anxiety that can lead to erectile dysfunction. These include chronic illnesses, alcohol or drug abuse, physical injury, low testosterone levels, some medications, and more.
It’s important to first consult your doctor about your ED before taking any other step.
The Vicious Cycle of Sexual Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction
The failure to perform in bed will not only affect you but also your partner. They may feel that they’re no longer attractive or start worrying about infidelity issues.
As a result, frustrations at the lack of tenderness may arise and lead to behavioral modifications and communication problems. If not carefully handled, the vicious cycle of performance anxiety and ED may push your relationship to its limits.
Remember, occasional symptoms of sexual performance anxiety are normal. Nearly all men experience occasional bouts of ED.
However, where it becomes a problem is when it becomes prolonged sexual dysfunction. When the problem doesn’t go away for many weeks or even months, that’s when it becomes something more serious and needs to be immediately addressed.
How to Get Over Sexual Anxiety
The following tips will help you beat sexual performance anxiety. By overcoming sexual anxiety, you may be able to cure your erectile dysfunction.
1. Focus on Your Senses
One of the main problems men have with anxiety performance is reliving their perceived sexual failures every time they get intimate with their partners. The best way to cope with this problem is by focusing on the sensory experience of sex instead of analyzing your performance.
Focusing on what your eyes see and what your hands are feeling can help you lock out the anxious thoughts and enjoy the moment. You may also want to consider using romantic music and scented candles to boost your sensory experience in the bedroom.
2. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise
Little or no exercise is linked to ED symptoms. What’s more, a daily exercise routine can also go a long way in reducing stress levels.
With less stress and a healthier lifestyle, you’ll be at a better position to wade off performance anxiety.
Additionally, specific exercises, such as pelvic floor workouts, may help your body strengthen the muscles that pump blood to the penis for an erection. Remember, 6 times the regular blood flow is required to get and maintain an erection.
3. Explore Other Aspects of Physical Affection
When going through the performance anxiety phase, don’t dodge being intimate with your partner. This will only lead to greater anxiety. Instead, try to be as close as possible to your partner.
Apart from sex, you can enjoy other aspects of physical affection like cuddling, holding, and caressing.
Try focusing on these aspects and let sex be the by-product of them. Sometimes, this affection, flirtation, and elongated foreplay can lead to arousal and sexual stimulation for a man.
It’s important not to allow the anxiety of the situation to get to you. Prolonged periods of intimacy or affection certainly help in this aspect.
4. Open Up to Your Partner
Talk to your partner about your performance anxiety and its probable causes. This will help you reach a solution as a couple, drawing you closer together and improving your sexual relationship.
It will also take some of the weight off your shoulders. When you have an understanding partner, it could mean the difference between having ED or curing it.
However, this often becomes a problem when the performance anxiety is hidden from the partner or when it’s an entirely new partner to begin with—where the lines of communication are not as transparent or open. But being upfront and honest can never hurt in a situation like this.
5. Talk to Your Therapist
If you’re constantly having performance anxiety in bed, it’s advisable to make an appointment with a therapist. Look for one who has experience in sexual health issues.
Therapy will help you understand the root cause of your anxiety issues and how to overcome them.
Therapists are licensed and trained professionals for such issues. Thus, you can be guaranteed confidentiality and a practical approach to your problem.
6. Control Premature Ejaculation
Premature ejaculation can hit at any age. It’s mostly caused by anxiety—something that you can reduce with the tips above.
You can also control your premature ejaculation by masturbating prior to sex, using lidocaine sprays, as well as doing some Kegel exercises. With controlled ejaculation, you’ll be able to unlock your prowess in the bedroom.
You can also use the “start and stop” method to last longer in bed.
7. Decide on Whether Foreplay Is Good or Bad for You
For some people longer foreplays may increase anxiety as they wait for the “main event”. For others, foreplay gives them a grace period to relax and feel more intimate with their partner.
Find out what suits you and talk to your partner about it to see whether she’s comfortable. Good foreplay (whether short or long) should give you enough confidence to perform better in bed.
Get Treatment for Your Erectile Dysfunction
Whether your sexual performance anxiety is caused by work-related stress or exhaustion, an inability to get an erection can kill your self-esteem. Fortunately, you can get prescribed ED medicine delivered straight to your doorstep.
Simply create your profile on our online interface and input your symptoms and medical history. You’ll then be connected to one of our board-certified physicians and get a free sample of ED medicine shipped to your home.
Get in touch with us for more information about sexual performance anxiety and ED.
Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
Overcoming performance anxiety and negative thoughts on sex will be a lot less challenging if you open your lines of communication.
Talk to your partner. Talk to your doctor or therapist.
Maintaining an erection and having a happy sex life aren’t too far ahead when you reach out for help.
Need more visuals? Check out the animated video below on how to overcome the fear of sex:
Have you tried AlphaNow pill treatments for ED? Leave us some feedback in the comments below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on February 1, 2019, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.