Have you ever experienced sexual performance anxiety?
Males frequently have sexual performance anxiety, a widespread issue that causes men to feel uneasy, worried, or uncomfortable before and during sexual experiences.
Men of all ages and backgrounds can experience performance anxiety.
Performance anxiety is among the top causes of sexual dysfunctions in both men and women, alongside erectile difficulties and premature ejaculation.
It can influence your emotional state during sex and worsen typical sexual problems, including erectile dysfunction (ED) and premature ejaculation (PE).
The good news is that sexual performance anxiety and the issues it causes can almost always be treated by talking with your healthcare provider.
Let’s take a look at sexual performance anxiety in more detail below.
Key Takeaways About Performance Anxiety
- Performance anxiety is something everyone, experiences from time to time
- The feeling of nervousness can cause a physical response that negatively affects your sex life
- There are many common treatment options to help you overcome bedroom performance anxiety
What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?
Sexual performance anxiety occurs when people feel nervous or anxious before or during sexual activity.
If you feel stressed out when having sex, your brain releases more stress hormones like adrenaline, making it harder for you to relax and enjoy sexual intercourse.
This can cause erections to become less frequent and harder to achieve, making sexual encounters more difficult and less satisfying for both partners.
Performance anxiety can occasionally get worse over time. One bad experience can create more sexual anxiety and stress about sexual activity.
It has multiple causes, is fairly common, and affects both young and older adults from all walks of life.
Intrusive thoughts about what is desirable, attractive, or pleasurable during intercourse can lead to sexual frustration.
If you’re too focused on your sexual performance, you may be disconnected from your body.
This separation can create tension that may impede the development of healthy erectile function and orgasms.
Sexual anxiety frequently includes obsessions with having an orgasm or helping your partner in having an orgasm.
By associating orgasm with successful or joyful sex, you and your partner may feel pressured to “complete” or feel as though your experience was unsuccessful.
To reach an orgasm, you need to achieve a balanced state of relaxation and tension. Focusing too much on yourself or your partners’ orgasms may actually decrease the likelihood of reaching one.
Men are especially prone to developing an unhealthy obsession with their performance at every step of the sexual arousal cycle.
Men may be concerned with achieving an erection, having an appropriate size, maintaining a strong enough erection, eliciting pleasure from their erections, having sufficient ejaculatory pressure or volume, controlling their orgasms, and/or not reaching premature or delayed orgasms.
Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety
There are many distinct physical conditions and psychological causes of sexual performance anxiety, including:
- General anxiety over sexual activities
- Concerns with self-worth or body image issues, such as concern about your weight, height, or penis size
- Stress that’s related to erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, not experiencing orgasm, and other medical issues that may impair sexual enjoyment
- Relationship issues with your sexual partner, such as a lack of emotional connection or relationship discontent
- Concerns about performance in bed (for example, worrying that you may not fully satisfy your partner or that you may have trouble ejaculating)
- Troubles with your work, relationships, family, medical conditions, or other non-sexual parts of your life
- Other mental health disorders like generalized anxiety disorder.
If you feel stressed out when having sex, your body may release extra stress hormones like adrenaline, making it harder for you to relax and enjoy yourself.
This can cause erectile dysfunction in men, which makes sexual engagement more challenging and unsatisfying.
How To Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety
You can take action to lessen these negative emotions.
Here are three straightforward suggestions to help you overcome the negative thoughts affecting your sex life and return to bed with more self-assurance.
Prove It To Yourself That Everything Is Working
If everything fires on all cylinders when you masturbate, you know your equipment is working from a physical perspective.
If you also experience similar issues when masturbating, that could mean that there is something wrong with your sex life. You might need medical treatment for it.
Masturbation can help you understand your sexual issues and learn what works for you.
Recognize That It’s Okay If You Don’t Perform At 100% Every Time
Try to eliminate any worries that something won’t function exactly as you expect.
We know it’s easier said than done.
Do you worry that you won’t be able to handle the situation, that you might orgasm too soon, or not at all?
Do your best to block those thoughts and accept that whatever occurs, whether good or bad, is fine.
It’s common for penises to function differently than we’d want occasionally.
When this occurs, resist letting it affect you.
Stop putting so much pressure on yourself to reach sexual perfection; it doesn’t exist.
And even if it did, not being perfect every time wouldn’t indicate there’s something wrong with you or your relationship.
Aiming for perfection in sex is unrealistic and counterproductive.
Live In The Moment, Not In Your Head
One of the secrets to amazing sex is to stop worrying about how you’re doing and focus on how much fun you’re having.
Instead of focusing solely on one goal—orgasm—live in the moment and consider the experience as a whole.
Try to stay in the moment during the entire process, from foreplay to the climax be present with your partner.
It’s okay if you or your partner become stuck along the route, even if your erection disappears.
This does not mean it won’t make a comeback!
Try to clear your mind by switching to other activities, such as kissing or something else that you and your partner enjoy.
If you pay attention to your physical feelings and ignore your distracting thoughts, you’ll likely be able to rise to the occasion.
Even if your erection doesn’t return, you don’t orgasm, or you finish too quickly, it can still be enjoyable for you and your partner.
And things might be different the next time.
Treating Sexual Anxiety
If the above suggestions alone aren’t helping, you still have options.
Anxiety about sexual performance is a mental health issue.
Other mental health illnesses, such as depression, can coexist with it and be linked to it.
Furthermore, the symptoms of both disorders can worsen each other, with depressive symptoms increasing the severity of sexual dysfunction and vice versa.
Fortunately, there are ways to deal with sexual performance anxiety.
Medication, talk sex therapy, or a combination of the two are frequently used as treatment methods.
Talk therapy is usually the first line of action against anxiety associated with sexual performance.
One of the most known forms of talk therapy used to treat performance anxiety is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
This approach has been proven successful in addressing sexual performance anxiety stemming from various psychological factors.
It may also be possible to utilize systematic desensitization and exposure therapy to lessen sex-related phobias.
Exposure therapies enable those who suffer from sexual dysfunction due to anxiety to face their fears in a safe and controlled setting to overcome them.
The process of systematic desensitization deals with relaxation techniques and gradual exposure.
If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction, your doctor might recommend medication to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with it.
Oral pills called PDE5 inhibitors (phosphodiesterase type-5 inhibitor), penile injections, and intraurethral medications are included among these drugs.
TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) can be administered using gels or injections if low testosterone levels are found, and there is a problem with poor libido.
Your doctor may also be able to give you other medical advice or a treatment plan that lessens the role of performance anxiety in your sex life.
When Should I Get Help for Sexual Performance Anxiety
It’s natural to experience some type of performance anxiety, especially when dating.
However, if your performance anxiety is getting worse or has been going on for more than three months, it might be time to consult a doctor or a sex therapist.
This is especially true if your performance anxiety affects other aspects of your life.
Performance anxiety can be reduced, and a sexless marriage can be prevented if underlying causes are identified and dealt with.
If you don’t treat your symptoms immediately, they could worsen and lead to sexual aversion.
A sex therapy professional can help you analyze the sexual anxiety you are feeling and provide effective treatments for reducing your performance anxiety.
Contact Choice Men’s Health Today
Erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety have been linked in several studies.
A more recent study conducted in 2015 identified a correlation between depression and performance anxiety and noted that there may be a link between performance anxiety and ED.
At Choice Men’s Health, erectile dysfunction is our area of expertise.
We know how frustrating having ED may be and how it can cause sexual anxiousness.
We have years of experience creating the most effective erectile dysfunction treatment choices for our clients.
To help men have a healthy sex life, our erectile dysfunction specialist can use therapies like acoustic wave therapy, prescription drugs, and lifestyle changes.