Sexual Performance Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms, And Treatments
Sexual performance anxiety is real and can affect anybody, anytime. In this article, we discuss its symptoms, causes, and possible treatments.
It’s your date night, and you have been looking forward to it for days or months now, and you are all excited and nervous about it. Suddenly, you have this very uneasy feeling which makes you move your legs rapidly. You can’t think of anything else but how you might not be able to meet ends with your date’s need. This feeling is nothing but your anxiety screaming inside your head that you might not be able to perform as you thought you would.
Remember the pressure you used to have in middle school or high school to perform well in your exams? Remember how at times it caused you anxiety and made you perform not up to the mark? Just like that, it is the same in bed at times. Sexual performance anxiety can put a lot of pressure on you and make you feel like you’re not up to mark.
Sex is supposed to be enjoyable, but it isn’t possible if one keeps worrying about performing during the act. Let us dive in-depth into what it is, its causes, symptoms, and the possible treatments you can seek to prevent it from affecting your sexual performance.
What Is Sexual Performance Anxiety?
Sexual performance anxiety is a feeling of nervousness and sexual anxiety before and during sex. Often due to the pressure, an individual or a couple cannot do well during any sexual activity, including physical pleasure, arousal, or orgasm.
When you have these emotions, your body can release more powerful stress hormones like adrenaline, making it more difficult for you to relax and enjoy sexual activity.
At times, this can lead to erectile dysfunction in several men. Due to this, sex at times becomes less pleasing. It is widespread and affects everyone differently, and it involves men of all ages and backgrounds.
Causes Of Sexual Performance Anxiety
Sex isn’t just a physical act. It is much more than that. Emotions get involved in the act, as well. Therefore, there isn’t just a specific reason or cause behind it. There are numerous reasons and causes behind the same. It consists of several physical and psychological factors.
Some possible reasons or causes are listed below:
- Fear of not performing well: At times, it so happens that we plan sex so well in our minds that we tend to fear that it might not go as planned. Moreover, we think we won’t be able to meet our partner’s expectations and will ruin the whole act.
- Body image issues: Our body image is at times our biggest rival, and we feel way too insecure about showing it to our partner. It mostly occurs to many people because of their weight or body structure.
- Problems in the relationship: Sometimes, to mend the relationship, one decides to have sex with their partner and to feel the connection again, but due to issues, things get even worse during it.
- The size will affect the act: Often, we tend to think that size (that of breasts’ or penis’) won’t be of the ideal desire, and it might become a turn-off.
- Premature ejaculation: Premature ejaculation is the concern about the emission of semen occurring just before or shortly after beginning sexual intercourse.
- Anxiety: One of the common causes is anxiety, as it makes us wonder if we will perform well during the act.
- Stress: At times, there is stress involved from work or family issues that can cause the sexual act not to be so pleasurable. Erectile dysfunction and the strain of not being able to reach orgasm at times trigger stress, as well.
Symptoms Of Sexual Performance Anxiety
Sexual performance anxiety affects both, women and men, in different ways. Study shows that it is diagnosed more in men than it is in women. Men often stress so much about performing well that it causes them stress, and it in return makes the sex quite unpleasant.
Stress hormones have the effect of narrowing blood vessels as one of their side effects. It is more challenging to get an erection while your penis receives less blood. When men are overwhelmed by sexual performance anxiety, they don’t perform well. Even those who usually have no problem getting aroused may have difficulty getting an erection.
If there are issues between couples, women might not be able to enjoy sex, resulting in them not performing well during it. Due to thinking much about these factors, it gets hard for them to get satisfied.
Even if there is high sexual tension between you and someone else, then the anxiety of not performing well and worrying whether you’ll be able to please your partner can ruin the chances of sex being a memorable one.
At times, being focused to perform well might result in a lack of concentration on what you are doing in bed. Repetition of bad sexual experiences can also cause a lack of confidence and stress, just enough for the upcoming sexual interactions.
Treatments For Prevent Sexual Anxiety Performance
While performance anxiety might get resolved on its own once you become comfortable with your partner and start opening up to them more and more, there are chances that it might just not get resolved at all.
If it does not get resolved, you can visit a doctor and talk to them about it. If not that, then the following are some treatments that you can try for yourself:
- Visiting a therapist: Getting sex therapy and talking it out to a therapist will help you understand yourself and your needs better. It will also help you follow a particular routine to make your lifestyle better. The therapist can suggest ways to deal with stress and anxiety. They can also recommend some changes in everyday practice to let go of your stress. Ask your sex therapist in detail, to help you with your issues. For example, if you have premature ejaculation, ask them to suggest you some techniques to overcome it.
- Talk with your partner: Talking with your partner about the difficulties you face during sex can make them understand you better. It can so happen that you both find a way out together. It will also result in bringing you both closer to each other.
- ED Medicines: Erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), and Stendra (avanafil) can be used during sexual intercourse to help men achieve erections. They may also be used to help men with sexual performance anxiety. Suppose your anxiety disorder is getting triggered by feelings of self-consciousness about your ED. In that case, ED medications are particularly helpful in treating sexual performance anxiety.
It’s About Time to Normalize Sexual Performance Anxiety. We no longer need to keep our mouths shut or feel embarrassed about discussing performance anxiety in the year 2021, as we did in 1980 or 1970. It is super common, and according to studies, it happens once to every human in their lifetime.
It can be frustrating for men since none want to perform poorly during sex because of anxiety and stress. Luckily, an open chat with your partner can solve this issue and help you create a better understanding between you both. Also, visiting a doctor or treatments can help with it. It will help you perform well during sex and will give you better and healthy sex life.
March 12, 2021 Sam Bell