Sex is meant to be one of, if not that most enjoyable acts that a human being can engage in. It was designed that way, most likely to entice us into procreating as often as possible. But most us, if not all of us have experienced some form of sexual performance anxiety.
Sexual Performance anxiety is something that comes up time and again as Dating and Intimacy coach and podcaster for the Authentic Dating Series.
Sometimes it will be a worry that you don’t know how to please the women you are with, that your penis isn’t big enough or the feeling that when all the clothes end up on the floor that she won’t be attracted to you anymore.
For many men and me, the fear is that we will ejaculate too quick and that what we had hoped would be a night filled with lovemaking and exploration ends prematurely.
And I am here to tell you that these thoughts and feelings are prevalent, so if this is often how you feel, you are not alone. Most of the men that I work with have one, two or all of these performance worries and fears.
The worst thing about dealing with these thoughts and emotions is the mental stress that they place us under, and as men, we often prefer (wrongly) to suffer in silence. And as I am sure you know, once you are in the grip of performance anxiety, it can be hard to think of anything else.
What isn’t always commonly know is that when you feel anxious, your body activates its sympathetic nervous system resulting in, among other things, constriction of blood vessels and increases in production of stress hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine and cortisol. These can lead to a rise in blood pressure levels and a subsequent reduction in blood flow to parts of your body, such as your penis, which can lead to you struggling to get or keep an erection.
The irony of worrying about something causes it to happen is not lost on you, I’m sure.
It’s also worth noting that sexual performance anxiety also affects women. It can affect arousal in women, too. Stress can prevent women from getting lubricated enough to be completely ready to have sex, and it can take away the physical desire to make love.
You can see how a cocktail of a man and woman looking forward to having their first sexual encounter together but both in the throws of sexual performance anxiety can cause quite a letdown and disappointment for both of them. But the worse thing isn’t that limp penis or dry vulva, but the internalisation of blame that both parties often take on.
The man will feel humiliated that he couldn’t get it up and also feel guilty that he didn’t arouse her enough to get wet. The woman will feel inadequate that he didn’t find her attractive enough to get it up and ashamed that she wasn’t able to get wet.
But those stories the man and women tell themselves are not accurate and are damaging to both of them. Either of them should blame themselves.
There is plenty that we can do to prevent this fear, worry and anxiety that doesn’t involve drink, drugs or little blue pills.
Here is a list of tips to help you manage and/ eliminate your sexual performance anxiety:
Talking – Talking about a problem gets it out of your head. Talking to your partner about your worries or concerns opens up space for them to share theirs and in turn, deepens your connection and levels of trust. And talking to your friends can help you see that you are not the only one with these fears
Slow down – There is no need to rush to get to penetration. Rushing or feeling you need to rush creates more stress. Also, during intercourse, slow down, it’s not a race, it’s not porn you don’t have to fuck like a jackhammer, you will last much longer by just slowing down.
Exploring your bodies – This goes well with slowing down. Before entering her vagina with your penis, spend the time to kiss, feel and stroke each other’s bodies. So much enjoyment can be had in the conscious feeling of her body. Tactile stimulation, Aka touch, can trigger oxytocin, the love hormone. It also lowers cortisol levels, reducing anxiety and stress, meaning, touch helps you relax.
Adjust your expectations – Can you be OK with not having sex? It’s our expectations that create pressure, not what is happening in reality. If she doesn’t orgasm, it doesn’t mean she didn’t enjoy the experience. Also, taking advice and directions from her can help lift the pressure of you, assuming you should know what will turn her on.
Sex is more than just orgasm – Sex is not only penetration. It’s the kissing, the stroking, sucking, massage, eye gazing and anything else that turns you and her on.
Focus on what you can control – Often part of the worry is of what she is going to think of you or your body. But that isn’t something you can control. Let go on the need to control other people’s reactions, and you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself so much more.
Be in the moment – This isn’t just going to help you in sex, this will improve your whole life. Life doesn’t happen in your head; it happens around you. Get out of your head and be present with the person (or people) you are with. A tip to help you with this is to focus on your senses: touch, temperature, texture, smell and sounds. Focus on the sensation, not on the outcome.
Meditation – This has been life-changing for me. Spending 10-15 each morning meditating has given me to power to have far more control over what I focus my attention on. And that includes during sex.
Learning to control your ejaculation – Did you know that you can learn to have complete conscious control over your ejaculation?
With some simple exercises, you can learn to last as long as you want and stay hard. Wouldn’t that remove most of your performance anxiety? It sounds like it would be a superhuman task, but it’s not, every and any man can do it with some practice. And lucky for you, it’s just what I will be teaching in my workshop on the 16th of September at 8 pm
At Authentic Dating Series, our purpose is to stop men from experiencing the stress, fear and pain of unhappy relationships. We have a growing community of men who are authentically expressed and create meaningful connections with the people that matter in their lives. We are passionate about building a world where every man feels comfortable in their own skin and is confident in expressing themselves honestly. We support our community through our coaching programmes, events and podcast.
Hello, I’m Kitten E, Education & Content Manager here at KK. I’m passionate about educating people about sex in order to remove stigmas and judgment.