What is it and How to Overcome It?
When it comes to sex, it’s not always as streamline as people make it sound. In reality, sexual performance anxiety is one of the most common issues men struggle within the bedroom. Whether it’s penis size or stamina, there’s an expectation for men to perform well in the bedroom. And under that pressure, it’s understandable why men are struggling to stay ahead of the game.
Whether it’s worrying about how long they’ll be able to maintain an erection or if they’re able to make their partner orgasm. Every man, at some point in their lives, will experience a level of performance anxiety. Most of the time, it’s a phase that passes by; however, sometimes it feels impossible to shrug off. But, the good thing is that performance anxiety is all in your head; meaning, it’s completely treatable. If you feel you’re suffering from performance anxiety, it’s time you looked at ways to overcome it.
What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?
Like we said earlier, there’s a lot of pressure when it comes to sex. Whether it’s genital size, the need to make your partner orgasm, or stamina; combine these fears with a bad experience or a lack of sexual knowledge, and you have the makings of sexual performance anxiety. Now, if you’re not sure you have performance anxiety, it’s important to know it can manifest in different ways.
Inability to orgasm
Anxiety can affect the entire sexual experience, from beginning to end. Performance anxiety has the ability to completely prevent a person from orgasming. This is because the body isn’t in a relaxed state, and if you want to orgasm, you need to be in the present.
Men can experience premature ejaculation due to anxiety. Though in many cases, premature ejaculation is satisfying, for some men, it can cause emotional distress. This distress can further manifest in future experiences.
By knowing what sexual performance anxiety looks like, you’ll be able to identify it. But after you figure out you have performance anxiety, how do you overcome it?
6 Ways to Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety
Remember, anxiety is a psychological condition; so, it’s all in your head. That being said, you can overcome it. Here are six ways to do it.
Talk to your partner
It may feel uncomfortable to talk about this with someone you’re sleeping with. But, if you’re about to be intimate with them, there’s no point hiding it. If you’re experiencing anxiety and you’re struggling to have an erection, tell your sexual partner what’s going on. By talking to them about it, you immediately address the problem, reducing your anxiety.
Plus, by having your partner aware, they’ll be able to support you and help you. If your partner doesn’t know, they could misinterpret it as something caused by them, which will cause unnecessary conflict. Your partner isn’t going to judge you; they’ll want to help you.
Get into Foreplay
Foreplay is usually overlooked in sex, to begin with. So, by focusing more on foreplay, it’ll benefit both of you. If you’re anxious about intercourse, spend more time in foreplay. You’ll be able to spend intimate time with your partner without the added pressure. And that’s really what you need. Intimacy without pressure. If that means refraining from intercourse and focusing on acts like foreplay, then you should do that.
Think outside the box
There’s no textbook method for having sex. Many men and women believe there’s a specific way to have sex. For example, you make out with each other, perform oral sex, and then have intercourse. Now, there’s nothing wrong with this order, but this isn’t the only way to have sex. It doesn’t have to have a linear direction. Drop the A-B-C-D approach to sex, and switch things up. Not only will you bring more variety to the table, but you’ll also get rid of this cookie cutter notion of sexual activity.
Understand the human body isn’t perfect
Maybe in the movies, all the men are perfectly toned, tanned, and hung, but in reality, that’s not the case. There’s no such thing as a perfect body, and perfectionism usually plays a role in performance anxiety. You’re not going to necessarily make your partner orgasm every time you have sex. Your erection isn’t always going to be like a rock. Many things affect the human body, whether it’s stress, food, exercise, and mental health. You’re human, and you need to drop the unrealistic expectations you place on yourself.
Try the stop/start method
If you’re finding you prematurely ejaculate, there are methods you can use to control it. By training your body not to ejaculate, you’ll be able to last longer during sex. The stop/start method lets you get close to ejaculating, but then stopping until you calm down. You then build up to climax again and stop before ejaculation and repeat until you’re ready to finish. You can do this on your own when masturbating or with your partner. It’ll help retrain your body, and give you more control in bed.
Talk to a sex therapist
If you’ve tried the above tips, and nothing seems to be working, then why not speak to a sex therapist? They’re specially trained in dealing with sex-related issues, such as sexual dysfunction, and will be able to help you find the root cause of your problem. You should be able to enjoy sex, and not see it as something to fear. A sex therapist will be able to get you on the right track and remove all negative thoughts.
Though performance anxiety is prevalent with men, it’s something you can overcome. It’ll take time and plenty of practice, but eventually, you’ll be able to enjoy having a healthy sex life and be present in the moment.
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and author of her short stories on TheLonelySerb. She completed her first degree in Criminology and continued and finished her Masters in Investigative Psychology, but then decided to follow her true passion of writing.