Sexual Performance Anxiety
Understanding and Overcoming Sexual Performance Anxiety
Are you anxious about sex and your performance in bed?
This wonderful thing called sex is an expression of love, passion, and affection for the person you’re with in the bedroom. It’s meant to bring spark and color to the relationship and make your relationship stronger, deeper, and more intimate.
But this thing called anxiety is ruining it. Instead of being a pleasurable activity (and a free expression of love), it has become a measure of how good you are, how big (or small) your equipment is, who gets aroused first, and who experiences orgasm (or who doesn’t) that many are becoming anxious of their sexual experience. There are just too many expectations and myths around sex.
Claudia Six, Ph.D., a sex therapist and author explained that there are different expressions of this anxiety, “In women, sexual performance anxiety can show up as difficulty getting interested in sex, difficulty getting aroused, or difficulty with orgasm. In men, we know what it looks like — difficulty getting an erection, keeping an erection, or coming too soon. I put all that under the umbrella term of 'sexual performance anxiety.”
Happiness in couples is firmly linked to sex. Being comfortable with one’s own preferences and having a partner who understands and values those are essential in the making of sexual satisfaction. So where do you begin?
Break the cycle of worry
When a sexual disappointment or problem happens more than once, part of you begins to expect it occur again –causing a conditioning effect. Even thinking about sex could cause an anxiety response –which in turn suppresses your natural sex response. When you’re in bed with your partner, this anxiety comes full force which is the last thing you want when you’re starting to engage in sex. The anxious thoughts keep you so much in your head that you’re not in your body.
Understand the Cause
Sex is not only a physical response. Emotions are very much involved in it, too. When your mind is too stressed out and you listen to its endless noise, you can’t be in the moment, you can’t focus on sex, and you can’t get excited.
Other than those already mentioned earlier, worries include:
Fear of not satisfying your partner sexually (including insecurities about penis size and hardness)
Poor body image (insecurity over weight and body shape)
Problems in finances and relationship
Perceptions about manliness or a male’s role (and this can include misconception about femaleness and a woman’s role in sex)
In other cases, sexual performance anxiety is rooted in past traumatic experience, such as those related to sexual violence or abuse. If such is your case, you need to seek out the advice of a specialist or therapy provider. In most cases, this anxious response is in large part conditioned by how we were brought up to think about our own bodies and sex and by social expectations that affect our relationship with our sexuality.
There are a number of ways to ease and ward off anxiety before and during sex. One effective approach is hypnotherapy to help with your anxiety’s conditioning effect. Hypnosis will aid in retraining your sexual response: you begin to relax more, you learn to associate sex with enjoyment and positive experience, and you feel more calm and comfortable during sex.
Sexual performance can become a major problem (and hindrance from total enjoyment) for both men and women. In the grander scheme of things, anxiety is a major enemy of happiness. So it is in bed.
If you need to overcome performance anxiety, our mental health professional at Jarvis Hypnotherapy can help you. You owe yourself the complete pleasure of an enjoyable sexual experience with your partner.