Understanding Performance Anxiety in Men
In a previous post, I discussed 6 reasons why women experience performance anxiety during sex. Unfortunately, it is also a common issue many men face regarding sexual performance.
Men often feel pressure to perform well during sex and satisfy their partners. Not only this pressure takes the fun out of sex, but it causes anxiety in men. This can easily lead to anxiety-related sexual dysfunctions such as erectile unpredictability, difficulty in achieving orgasm or early ejaculation.
In this article, I will discuss common causes of men’s performance anxiety, the symptoms they may experience, and some strategies to help overcome this.
Some of the most common causes include:
1. Previous Sexual Experiences: Men who have experienced negative sexual interactions in the past may struggle to feel sexually confident or have faith in their bodies to do their job properly. They might have lost their erection or ejaculated too early with previous partners or in previous sexual encounters. This will make it difficult for them to feel relaxed during sex or believe they can perform how they want to. For many men, unfortunately, this is the beginning vicious cycle of performance anxiety because this leads to;
2. Negative Self-Talk: Unfortunately, as a result of previous negative experiences, many men start to engage in negative self-talk, such as “I’m not good enough in bed”, “I’m not gonna last long enough, ” or “I am going to lose my erection”. This anxiety will minimise their body’s ability to register sexual stimulation. Therefore, they might experience a softer erection, which, unfortunately, reinforces the negative self-talk that they are not a good enough sexual partner
If this sexual difficulty does not get addressed, it might lead to relationship challenges between couples.
3. Relationship Issues: Relationship problems can also exacerbate performance anxiety. A man experiencing anxiety-related erectile dysfunctions or early ejaculation might avoid sex or affection with his partner. This might cause further arguments, which will damage the relationship. Many men might start fearing their partner leaving them, which creates further insecurity and uncertainty in the relationship, compounding their anxiety.
Symptoms of Men’s Performance Anxiety
Performance anxiety in men can have various symptoms that affect their sexual function. Some of the most common symptoms are difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection. It can also cause early ejaculation or difficulty achieving orgasm. However, it’s essential to understand that medical and psychological factors can also contribute to those issues in men. But, performance anxiety can be the cause of these in many cases.
Some strategies that can be used to overcome performance anxiety include:
1. Communication: Communication with a partner can be helpful in reducing performance anxiety. Talking about your concerns and feelings can help to alleviate the anxiety and build trust in your relationship.
2. Relaxation Techniques: You can learn ways of relaxing your body through meditation exercises or yoga. These techniques will help to reduce anxiety and promote relaxation.
3. Therapy: If you are experiencing persistent performance anxiety that is interfering with your sex life, seeking help from a sex therapist could be a beneficial step. As a sex therapist, I have observed that therapy can be helpful in addressing the underlying issues contributing to anxiety and developing effective strategies to overcome them. With this approach, you can work towards enjoying a more fulfilling and satisfying sex life.
Remember, taking the step to seek help is a brave and positive action towards improving your well-being.
I wish you all the best.