Sexual Performance Anxiety – Causes, Symptoms and How to Overcome It
If you have ever laid in bed, wondering how it was over even before it began, you are not alone! Ladies and gentlemen, sexual performance anxiety is real. You may not be alone in this if you can understand what performance anxiety is and how you can remedy it. Making love is an integral part of a healthy relationship. It improves the bonding, trust, and intimacy between two people. However, one or both partners may sometimes feel pressured to satisfy the other, and this leads to growing anxiety. This anxiety if unchecked, can lead to low performance in the bedroom and create resistance in the inclusiveness of a relationship.
What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?
Sexual performance anxiety is a psychological state where a person feels nervous and apprehensive about everything that can go wrong. It affects both genders and brings in a paralysing fear that you will not be able to accomplish anything sexually or you don’t enjoy the sex. It can seriously affect the status of your relationship if you suffer from such unchecked anxiety.
What Causes Sexual Performance Anxiety?
There can be several reasons that cause sexual performance anxiety. Certain causes affect performance in both genders while some reasons are restricted to the performance of the male gender.
Stress is the primary cause of performance anxiety in both men and women. The stress could originate anywhere from financial issues, family related problems to work-related issues. Even though the origin is an external occurrence, it causes people to be distracted and reduces the ability to focus during sex. Other causes could be as follows:
- Low self-esteem or no confidence in oneself
- Fear that one is going to underperform during sex
- Fear that we will be rejected based on sexual performance
- Fear that we cannot satisfy our partners
- Body image problems
- Previous sexual experiences that were bad
Sexual Performance Anxiety Symptoms
The top symptoms of sexual performance anxiety manifest in the following ways:
- Erectile dysfunction in men
- Premature Ejaculation in men
- Inability to have an orgasm in both men and women
- Incapability to get lubricated in women
Anxiety can disrupt your mindset for sex. This, in turn, causes a cyclic problem of sexual non-performance, leading to more stress, and further non-performance. Being with a person who is appealing sexually or arouses you is still no guarantee of performance if you are anxious. If you are too stressed over pleasing your partner in bed, your worry might make it impossible to achieve precisely that.
How does Sexual Performance Anxiety Affect Your Sex Life?
Issues of the mind can manifest into physical problems as a result of performance anxiety. Worrying about sex can affect your capability to be aroused, enjoy or climax satisfactorily. In men, the blood vessels of the penis constrict due to stress hormones. This cuts off blood flow to the penis and causes trouble with erections. Sex also becomes a task if the woman is not well-lubricated. It makes the activity physically uncomfortable. Premature ejaculation leads to embarrassment for men and disappointment for women, causing further strain on an already strained love-making attempt.
Tips to Deal with Sexual Performance Anxiety
There is some solace to know that sexual performance anxiety can be treated through several different options. You can pick your course of treatment as you see fit.
1. Psychological Therapy
Getting over sexual performance anxiety may not be easy for everyone. Thankfully, psychological therapy is one of the best treatments for anxiety. The therapy allows individuals to speak freely about any worries that are bogging them down. Therapy addresses the underlying issues and helps in resolving concerns and lightening stress.
2. Speaking to your Partner
Be open with your partner about the issues you are having. Also, speak up about how they may be affecting your sexual prowess. This may result in your partner supporting you and reassuring you when needed. You should also discuss what you find comfortable during sex and what works for you.
If you are facing problems with erectile dysfunction, medical treatment may be a viable route for you. Sexual performance anxiety medication can be taken orally after you discuss your symptoms with your doctor and are prescribed the right course of medication. Medication like anaesthetic creams and prescription tables also helps with premature ejaculation issues.
One of the best natural remedies for sexual performance anxiety is exercise. Strength training, cardio, and pelvic floor exercises release endorphin which is a hormone that increases positivity and happiness. Pelvic floor muscle strengthening, in particular, helps to reduce erectile dysfunction in men and improves orgasms in women. Exercise also improves overall health and reduces stress levels automatically.
Know yourself well and show yourself some respect. If you are not in a mood, give yourself that break. Set realistic expectations for your partner and yourself and go with the flow sometimes.
6. Follow a well-balanced diet
Eating healthy food reduces lethargy. Good food also improves mood, so remember to add aphrodisiac food like chocolate, hazelnut, or asparagus into your regular diet.
7. Experiment under the Sheets
Get creative with your sexual routine. Over extended periods, couples tend to get bored of the same formulaic sex. Mix it up a little by using toys, scented oils, change the lighting, or even try new positions.
8. Give it Time to Work
Couples often underestimate the role of foreplay. Hurrying sex often ends up in nobody attaining orgasms. Indulge in cuddling, kissing, and caressing before you get to the real game. Touch and play to have a fun and erotic night.
9. Look for Erogenous Zones that Work for Each Other
Take a detour from tedious and tested methods and find other erogenous zones on your partner’s body. There are a mind-boggling 15 or so erogenous zones on both genders put together. Have fun finding them and experimenting a little with your bodies.
10. Keep at It and Lose the Stress
Do not make the mistake of withdrawing from sex because of non-performance. Like any other activity, try till you succeed. Unless you stay at it, you will find that you feel anxious every time you approach your partner. Do not assume that you are not worth the effort.
When to Consult with a Doctor?
Sometimes, it may not suffice to take personal steps to reduce performance anxiety. This is when you should consult a medical expert for treatment. Individuals who experience dysfunction or disruption to their love-making routinely should go in for a consultation to overcome the anxiety. Men whose erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation seems to be getting worse should definitely consult a doctor. The doctor would help identify the fundamental issue and prescribe medication accordingly. Therapy may be suggested along with medication in some cases.
Making love is natural, beautiful, and essential to healthy living. Be kind to yourself when you face issues in the bedroom and address these issues systematically. Do not add to your anxiety and depression through non-performance under the sheets. Take a holiday to an exotic destination and create the mood if you need to, but be persistent and enjoy what nature intended us to enjoy.