Performance Anxiety Kills Sex LifePerformance anxiety is a surprisingly common sexual problem which overcomes men – and sometimes women – with crippling anxiety when called upon to have sex.
And in a world when sex is considered as normal as breakfast, performance anxiety is hard to admit to because "everyone knows" men are up for sex anytime, anywhere, right? It's a view typified by a survey shown by Professor Robert Winstone in the BBC TV series The Human Body.
Only one out of a dozen male university students refused a (staged) invitation to sleep with a woman they’d never met before. (All of the women approached with a similar line refused.)
That readiness of men to engage in sex with women they don’t know makes it difficult for men with performance anxiety to talk about freezing when presented with the opportunity to have sex.
How Performance Anxiety Affects MenPerformance anxiety can strike in a number of ways by:
- Making an erection difficult
- Not being able to penetrate adequately
- Erection failure part way through intercourse
If it happens once, performance anxiety can lead to a vicious cycle of fear which:
- Blocks normal sexual response and spontaneity
- Leaves the man feeling self-conscious and insecure
- Creates anxiety it will become a permanent state of sexual dysfunction
Performance anxiety can lead to:
- Low self-confidence
- and reluctance to get involved in intimate relationships out of fear the man will not be able to perform
Why Performance Anxiety HappensThe underlying stresses a man experiences with performance anxiety may be difficult to analyse and could be the cumulative effect of a number of things which singly would not seem so serious.
A typical performance anxiety scenario could look like this:
- You have been prescribed a new medication – say for blood pressure or depression – while also under stress at work and home.
- Then you take out a woman you have lusted after for years and have the opportunity to have sex.
- It's important to you to make a good impression – and suddenly you feel a mine shaft open beneath your feet.
- You're not sure you can do it.
- Your body isn't responding like it usually does (it could be a subtle effect of the medication you haven't experienced before which usually would not bother you).
- And the doubt forms in your mind that you haven't got what it takes any longer. Once this is lodged in your mind, performance anxiety becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Before you know it you've set up a "flight or fright" response. Under conditions where the body feels threatened, the blood flow leaves the extremities and focuses on the essential organs (heart, lungs, essential muscles). Adrenalin kicks in and shuts down blood flow to the penis.
How to Cure Performance Anxiety
Step 1 - Curing Performance Anxiety - Healthy Mind
- If you've experienced episodes of performance anxiety, be kind to yourself. Don't put yourself under extra pressure by striking out on one night stands, or by tackling a "man-eating woman" with high sex needs.
- Try to ensure you are in a good relationship with a sex partner who is loving and supportive and finds you genuinely attractive. Take your time and allow yourself to fully appreciate the things you like about her.
- Give yourself permission to be human. You don't have to be James Bond. Pornography has built unrealistic expectations about what sex is about anyway. Accept you can't be all "high performance" all the time and if you've had a failure or two, it's all part of life, not a prediction of failure stretching into the future.
- Allow yourself to let go of fears and think positively. Boost your confidence with a herbal sexual performance supplement like Herbal Ignite, which contains avena sativa, a herb which helps calm nerves.
Step 2 – Curing Performance Anxiety - Healthy BodyConstructive steps you can take to overcome performance anxiety include:
- Getting plenty of sleep
- Identify sources of stress and deal with them
- Take a decent holiday, if you haven’t had one recently
- Ensure you are eating well and exercising regularly
- If you're on medication, check whether it causes erectile problems or low libido
- Heavy alcohol use could be contributing to your performance anxiety – be very honest with yourself about how much you are drinking, and adjust intake if necessary
- If none of these work, consider hypnosis or counselling