Sexual performance anxiety – the cruel little worm that exists in people's heads and doesn't let us feel as free sexual beings as we want to be. While it is having its best life full of worries in our brain, we feel scared, tremble and want to hide from the pleasure that we, by the way, absolutely deserve. So, the question is – how can we move past sexual performance anxiety? The following information can help people of both genders because every person can be afraid to disappoint a partner.
When we feel anxiety, our body releases epinephrine and norepinephrine. These two stress hormones narrow the blood vessels. When less blood flows to the genitals, it's more difficult to have an erection and prevents females from getting enough vaginal lubrication. Do we need to say that these misfortunes make all of us feel less sexual, and we get stuck in the stress cycle? It can even take away the physical desire to make love. Gee!
The pill for performance anxiety doesn't exist. Bummer! But what can you do?
Is sex really a performance?
Challenge this idea in your head. You should try to reframe sex as a solo or partnered opportunity for seeking pleasure over orgasm. Find this mean thought in your head that pushes you to underestimate yourself and ask these questions (you can even write down the answers to take the overall view on the problem):
- What is the evidence for and against this thought?
- Is this thought helpful?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of this way of thinking?
- Am I thinking in extreme terms? All or nothing?
- Is my idea based on my well-being or the facts that have really happened?
- Do I make more demands on myself than I do on others?
- If something happens that I'm so afraid of, what would be terrible about it?
Focus on what you can control, we mean – nonsexual self-care
Get plenty of sleep, exercise, eat healthy – this will reinforce a positive relationship with your body. Also, working out at least 30 minutes per day improves your stamina in bed.
Practice mindfulness and meditation
If you have answers to the questions above, you can replace negative thoughts with positive ones and meditate on them. Of course, you can also try guided meditations. God bless the Headspace app!
If your performance anxiety causes an early ejaculation, edge play will help you to spot the peak of arousal, stop and start again. We have a helpful article with practical tips on this theme. Check it out for a deeper understanding of edge play.
Have a talk with your partner
The desire not to disappoint another person can launch the process of anxiety. Talk to them and build a plan of multiple ways to be sexual. You can also learn how to be intimate in your relationships without sexual intercourse. The beauty of communication is that it draws you closer as a couple when you try to find solutions together.
To move past sexual performance anxiety requires awareness and courage. We sincerely wish you to believe in yourself and your power of thinking. If you're reading this article, you're already letting go of your worries because understanding a problem is half the way to solving it.