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A Brief Guide on Managing Sexual Performance Anxiety

Julian Carter


sexual performance anxiety

It’s common to have Anxiety before having sex.

However, if you are so apprehensive that you are unable to have or enjoy sex, you may be suffering from Sexual Performance Anxiety (SPA).

Anxiety over sexual performance is a widespread problem that affects many people globally. 

It’s a disorder that may cause stress, embarrassment, and even relationship issues. 

But the good news is that it is treatable.

This article offers a thorough overview of how to handle Sexual Performance Anxiety properly.

What is Sexual Performance Anxiety

Sexual Performance Anxiety (SPA) is a psychological disorder characterized by Anxiety, fear, or worry over sexual performance skills.

This stress and Anxiety can cause issues like Premature Ejaculation or Erectile Dysfunction (ED) in males and arousal or orgasmic disorders in women.  

It often happens in intimate environments, including sexual activities with a partner. 

Sexual Performance Anxiety may impact both men and women.

However, men are more likely to experience it than women.

According to a review published in Science Direct, SPA affects around 9-25 % of men and 6-16 % of women worldwide.

Signs he has performance anxiety

banana leaking to simulate premature ejaculationSource: Pixel_Shot
Premature Ejaculation is a sign is that he has sexual performance anxiety

Sexual Performance Anxiety symptoms, like other forms of performance anxiety, involve physical and mental consequences. 

These symptoms might vary in intensity and may occur frequently or rarely.

Both men and women can suffer from Sexual Performance Anxiety, but the symptoms may differ.

  • Negative sensations or thoughts related to sex
  • Fear or worry before or during sex
  • Premature Ejaculation (in men)
  • Delayed Ejaculation (in men)
  • Erectile Dysfunction (in men)
  • Inhibited arousal or difficulties attaining orgasm (in women) 
  • Vaginal dryness & low libido (in women)
  • Pain during sex (in women)
  • Physical signs include a fast pulse, sweat, shaking, or stiff muscles.
  • Avoidance of sexual contact

Recommended read: Treating Performance Anxiety ED: Breaking the Cycle

If any symptoms of SPA persist, immediately contact a certified healthcare professional.

Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety

Psychological, emotional, and physical variables might contribute to Sexual Performance Anxiety. 

Among the most prevalent reasons are the following:

  • Psychological issues like depression, Anxiety, or stress
  • Unrealistic expectations of oneself or others
  • Sexual performance stereotypes or societal pressure
  • Chronic health conditions like Diabetes, heart disease, hormone imbalances, and medications that impair sexual function
  • Previous sexual dysfunction, rejection, or traumatic events
  • Relationship problems
  • Body image issues
  • Abuse of alcohol and drugs
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  • How to get over performance anxiety

    Since there are several causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety, treatment often focuses on figuring out and addressing the source or causes of the Anxiety in the first place.

    It takes effort and time to overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety, but it is achievable with self-help methods, expert advice, and open conversation with your partner.

    Therapy: Counseling, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or sex therapy, to improve intimacy and sexual performance is one of the frequent therapies for performance anxiety. 

    You can learn how to make lifestyle adjustments, like practicing mindfulness, to lower your overall stress level and negative thoughts through therapy.

    Educate yourself: Learn about sexual well-being, sexual arousal, and typical sex-related myths. 

    Anxiety can be reduced by realizing that occasional performance problems are common.

    Communication: Openly express your feelings and worries to your partner through communicating with them. 

    Expressing your worries may create a compassionate and understanding atmosphere that eases stress.

    Sexual Performance Anxiety can affect your initimate moments and hence your relationship. Consult a certified healthcare expert immediately.

    Practice relaxation techniques: To lessen Anxiety during intimate moments, use techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation.

    Avoid using drugs or alcohol excessively: Substance abuse and excessive alcohol intake can worsen performance anxiety and impair sexual performance. 

    Limiting alcohol intake and staying away from the recreational use of drug substances will help elevate your sexual performance.

    Focus on foreplay and intimacy: Prioritise emotional connection and closeness with your partner by concentrating on foreplay. 

    Long-lasting foreplay might lessen the strain on performers.

    Performance anxiety medication: If Sexual Performance Anxiety leads to Sexual Dysfunction, like Erectile
    Dysfunction or Premature Ejaculation, your doctor may suggest pills such as Sildenafil or Tadalafil to improve your sexual health.

    Doctors may prescribe Propranolol to treat performance anxiety since it might lessen physical manifestations of Anxiety.

    However, further study is required before employing these medications as a stand-alone therapy.


    Man consulting a sex therapistSource: Getty-images-pro
    Sex Therapy can help in treating ED

    Sexual Performance Anxiety (SPA) is a psychological condition that involves fear or worry related to sexual activity. 

    It can occur during sex or even before sex. 

    SPA affects a majority of men and women across the globe.

    In some cases, it can cause Erectile Dysfunction and Premature Ejaculation in men and difficulty getting aroused in women.

    Several psychological, physical, and emotional factors can lead to Sexual Performance Anxiety.

    Understanding the underlying cause, communicating with your partner, getting professional treatment if required, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are all crucial components of overcoming Sexual Performance Anxiety. 

    However, it is essential to remember that everyone goes through periods of worry or stress related to their sexual performance, and it’s completely normal. 

    The goal is to avoid letting it govern your relationships or your life.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    How to break the cycle of performance anxiety?

    A combination of self-awareness, thought changes, behavioral modifications, and, if necessary, consulting a professional are required to break the cycle of performance anxiety.

    How do I stop Sexual Performance Anxiety?

    Communicating with a partner, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, counseling, and treating underlying health issues will all help treat Sexual Performance Anxiety.

    Can you get over Sexual Performance Anxiety?

    A new sexual partner or a relationship difficulty with your partner may be the source of your worry during sexual performance. In some cases, this Anxiety fades away with time.

    Is Viagra effective for Sexual Performance Anxiety?

    Viagra can assist with Erectile Dysfunction, but it doesn’t deal with the psychological causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety. However, some people may discover that using Viagra or other ED medications might temporarily relieve erection problems brought on by Anxiety.

    Why do I have sexual anxiety?

    Many people experience sexual anxiety because of their body image and sense of self-consciousness. All of these can undermine their confidence and self-esteem while trying to be intimate with a partner. Additionally, problems in the bedroom that result in Sexual Performance Anxiety can be brought on by relationship issues, health conditions, certain medications, stress, and Anxiety.

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