Sexual anxiety can be an extremely sensitive subject, but it’s something that so many of us experience. While doctors often look to physical matters first when it comes to intercourse issues, often our problems are rooted in the mind. Pre-worrying about sexual performance can actually prevent us from being able to enjoy the act itself.
This anxiety only distracts from sexually interacting with our partners, which, in turn, can produce full-on performance anxiety. When we have sex in a worried mindset, we’re not able to give the necessary attention to more erotic thoughts and responses that go hand-in-hand with successful sexual relations. Instead, we begin thinking about how terrifying it would be if we’re unable to perform, or how fearful we are of our partner’s internal thoughts. This anxiety has power over our ability to perform and climax, and affects our confidence and ability to move forward with sexual acts.
Like many things in life, overthinking can produce an overarching feeling of performance anxiety. This future-oriented emotion can become catastrophic to our sex lives if we allow it to have power over us. With sexual anxiety, we’re usually playing around with the consequences of our own failure to perform, a loss of self-respect, and the fear of how our partners might view us.
We’re taught that penises must always have an erection and everyone must always have an orgasm, but our bodies don’t always act accordingly. Our own irrational thoughts often lead to malfunctions in our erogenous zones, which can cause a lack of erection or orgasm. But just because we’re not always experiencing these set biological conditions each time we have sex, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with us.
While we can’t control these circumstances, we do have power over our own sexual experiences. We can teach ourselves to think erotic thoughts, to touch, feel and have sexual sensations. If sometimes there’s foreplay and no climax, we need to enjoy the intimate act for what it is. The satisfaction of kissing, cuddling and foreplay should never be downplayed by failure to orgasm. The journey toward sexual satisfaction should never be a source of grief. We have to teach ourselves not to dilute our pleasure with worthless anxiety—and this simply comes down to willpower.
Here are a few things you (and your partner) can try:
- Learn to appreciate whatever pleasure you receive from a sexual act.
- Stop worrying about what other people think—you can’t control their thoughts and actions.
- Focus on yourself and your own source of power. Your thoughts, fantasies, sensations, and feelings are all under your control.
- Respect your body, your mind and yourself.
- Change your thoughts about erections and orgasms. Accept that it’s ok if they don’t always happen.
- Explore new ways to find pleasure.
- Try to eliminate worry through meditation and honest, open talks with your partner.