Whether you’re a modern-day Casanova or a one-woman man, at some point in your sex-life you may start to suffer from sexual performance anxiety. It could be due to stress, growing older, an illness, or your body image, but once you start to worry about your sexual performance it can become a vicious circle – the original problems causes stress, which makes the problem worse and can subsequently cause you even more anxiety.
What causes sexual performance anxiety?
For men, sexual performance anxiety can come from a number of avenues. It could be something as small as reading an article about modern day sexual practices and thinking you’re not doing it right, to changes in your body as you grow older.
Society’s view of what constitutes a good body changes from year to year, and as you get older you might start to worry that your body isn’t as great as it once was. People can worry about everything from their beer belly to whether their penis is big enough.
Other areas that can cause anxiety include recovering from an illness or surgery, where you become uncertain of your body’s abilities.You may also find that you start to suffer from erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation as you get older. These problems can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, which can cause a negative spiral and end up making the conditions worse.
There are also issues that can arise from problems in your relationship. Whether you’ve been with the same partner for years and are worried things are getting a bit stale, to someone starting out in a new relationship becoming stressed over whether they can please their new partner – relationships can be the cause, as well as the solution, to performance anxiety.
How can I overcome performance anxieties?
There are a number of ways you could go about tackling sexual performance anxiety. We’ll take a look at a few here:
Like therapy, talking your problems through with your partner often means that you take a big weight off your mind. A lot of your anxieties could well be unfounded and when you start to talk them through you may find that your partner is very understanding. It may be that you’re worrying about nothing at all and you’ll look back in a month or so and wonder what the problem was in the first place.
You might be able to come up with solutions together. If you’re out of shape and worried about that, you could come up with a sexual routine that is less physically intensive, like side-by-side or extended foreplay. Or, if you’re worried you’re not pleasing her, you could find out ways to do exactly that.
2. Try something new
If you’re worried that your sex life has become stale, trying something new in the bedroom is a great place to start. You don’t even need to have penetrative sex. Try extended foreplay, massages or a bit of role play. Take a risk. If you’re experiencing premature ejaculation, maybe take things slow and avoid contact with your penis – focus on her for longer.
If you’re having problems getting an erection, medication for erectile dysfunction can be extremely effective from a physical perspective, but it can also help reduce the mental stress of performance anxiety. Some men find that simply having the option of “the little blue pill” in a drawer nearby is enough to help reduce their anxiety and enjoy a healthy sex life. If you think medication might be right for you, our partners at LloydsPharmacy have an “Online Doctor” service from which you can safely order treatments such as Viagra, Cialis, Spedra, Levitra and Sildenafil.
The same applies to premature ejaculation, where medication (in the form of prescription tablets or an anaesthetic cream), can help you delay your climax, overcome sexual performance anxiety, and gain more control over your sex life.
Often, sexual performance anxiety stems from worries not about being able to do it, but about how you look while you’re doing it. As people get older they can get out of shape. The same applies for people who have had major surgery. However, when you’re fit enough to do so you should consider starting an exercise routine. Improving your body can boost your confidence as you’ll be in a better physical shape. This matters because exercise pumps blood around the body, not only releasing endorphins, which improve your mood and reduce stress, but also making all your muscles perform better.
If you haven’t done much exercise in a while, you should take it slowly at first, and speak to your doctor before embarking on an exercise regime.
Whether it’s by yourself or as a couple, therapy can help you overcome your concerns and anxiety about your performance. Not only will a therapist help you relieve some of the burden by talking it through, but they can also teach you techniques that can help with your performance.
6. Realistic expectations
With sexual advertising, sex scenes in mainstream TV and internet porn at your fingertips, you might start to develop an unrealistic view of what sex is, or should be. In reality, it’s nothing like any of these. While it’s difficult to avoid the in-your-face advertising, as it might unexpectedly appear in a TV show, you can avoid porn. Even if you only use it occasionally, you’re still filling your mind not only with positions and scenarios that are unrealistic but with bodies of both men and women that are not normal.