The inability to achieve an erection, keep it firm and sustain it during sexual intercourse – all of this is possible to be treated.
Sex is supposed to be enjoyable, but it’s tough to have fun if you’re constantly worrying about how well you’re doing. If you want to put the sparkle back in your love life, learn why sexual performance anxiety might be happening to you, and get some tips to put yourself at ease.
Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety
Sex is more than just a physical response. Your emotions have something to do with it, too. When your mind is too stressed out to focus on sex, your body can’t get excited either.
Lots of different worries can lead to the problem:
- fear that you won’t perform well in bed and satisfy your partner sexually;
- poor body image, including concern over your weight;
- problems in your relationship;
- worry that your penis won’t “measure up”;
- concern about ejaculating too early or taking too long to reach orgasm;
- anxiety about not being able to have an orgasm or enjoy the sexual experience.
These things may lead your body to release stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine.
Your state of mind can have a big impact on your ability to get aroused. Even if you’re with someone who you find sexually appealing, worrying about whether you’ll be able to please your partner can make it impossible for you to do just that.
One of the effects of the stress hormones is to narrow blood vessels. When less blood flows into your penis, it’s more difficult to have an erection. Even guys who normally don’t have any trouble getting excited might not be able to get an erection when they’re overcome by sexual performance anxiety.
Anxiety can take you out of the right mind-set for sex. When you’re focused on whether you’ll perform well, you can’t concentrate on what you’re doing in bed. Even if you are able to get aroused, you may be too distracted to reach orgasm.
Overcoming Sexual Performance Anxiety
If you’ve got sexual performance anxiety, see a doctor — someone you’re comfortable enough with to discuss your sex life. The doctor will examine you and do some tests to make sure a health condition or medication isn’t the cause of your problems.
During the exam, your doctor will ask about your sexual history to find out how long you’ve had sexual performance anxiety and what kinds of thoughts are interfering with your sex life.
Medications and other therapies can help treat erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems that have physical causes. If a medical issue isn’t to blame, your doctor might suggest you try other approaches.