It’s Friday night, and your weekend just started after winding down a stressful week. You return home to your love and are surrounded by their seductive aura. This can turn you on, or you may simply want to release your energy in a hot sex session. But wait, did someone just say hot? Wooooo, instead of making us hot down there–it suddenly makes us hot in the head and heart with all the anxiety.
But what is this anxiety? Where did it even come from? Weren’t you thinking of a sexy time and suddenly it has turned into something else while turning your confidence down. Honestly speaking, it can be many things. However, in some situations, this anxiety may also be what we call “performance anxiety.”
I understand this can be a horrible and stressful moment for you. Performance anxiety is a common battle that consumes our thoughts, and some people have difficulty recognizing it as well. The first step in overcoming any challenge is to acknowledge and understand it.
Take a deep breath and continue reading as I offer some realistic strategies that you can use to ease performance anxiety.
What Is Sexual Performance Anxiety?
While sex is meant to be enjoyable and easy-going, this is not the case for everyone. The pressure of performance anxiety may start to riddle your thoughts and collide with your self-confidence. In some cases, people even start questioning themselves based on what they might be doing wrong. This may interrupt your sexy evenings and leave behind a sense of frustration with yourself.
With that being said, there are solutions and ways to improve your sex life and be comfortable with it.
This pressure is usually present in individuals who experience nervousness or uneasiness that they might be unable to engage in or enjoy sex.
When I listen to my clients who experience performance anxiety, I usually hear them tell me that they become overwhelmed with unpleasant emotions before and during sex and are unable to perform well or please their partner(s). They begin to doubt their own ability to please their lover in bed, believing what they are doing is less or not complete in some way. This fear sometimes leads to anxiety about losing your partner to someone else who’s maybe better or more “normal” than you in bed.
This anxiety may come from a range of things. For example, some may face the pressure of lasting longer than expected, maintaining an erection like shown in porn, giving amazing orgasms to your lover, or just the feeling of not being “good enough” in their eyes. For instance, sometimes people may also feel like they need to last longer in order to satisfy their partner(s) or may not be “doing it right” or they wonder if their partner is enjoying themselves.
All these thoughts, in the end, may affect our sexual life, and we might not be able to fully enjoy the moment or the experience. At times, it can get to your head so much that people find it difficult to maintain an erection or ejaculation happens sooner than they wish.
Having said all that, there are various underlying causes for sexual performance anxiety, but you must keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list. There may be other reasons too, and you may want to talk to a sex coach if you need to explore your challenges in a more friendly and one-on-one manner.
Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety
A lot of reasons may lead to performance anxiety; therefore, it’s important to remember that what may be the reason for one person might not be the same for another. No two people are the same, which is why you need to see a sex coach and practice the reasons and solutions with them.
Having said that, in my personal experience, one of the main contributing factors is that people tend to have a narrative. They usually think that others are having sex that is far more satisfying than them. It can be challenging to break this pattern on your own if you have a history of performance anxiety but with the help of a sex coach, nothing is impossible!
Other common factors also include concern over how a person’s touch feels, whether they are doing it “right,” or whether their touch will linger long enough to satisfy their partner. Age, anxiety history, or alcohol use are occasionally contributing factors as well.
These are not all the reasons for performance anxiety. The best thing to do is to talk to your sex coach, so they can uncover what’s really going in.
How to Break the Cycle of Performance Anxiety?
Talk to a sex coach
Schedule a session with a relationship and sex coach or counselor who has knowledge of dealing with sexual challenges. You can learn about the problems concerning your sexual performance in therapy, which can then help you to lessen or eliminate such worries. A sex coach can help you learn some useful tactics in a safe and open environment that will give you greater control over your situation.
For example, suppose you face the challenge of premature ejaculation, which is also triggering performance anxiety in your mind. In such a situation, your sex coach will first explore the causes and actively practice solutions with you so you can begin to trust your body and love the beauty of sex. If the underlying cause is simply your diet, they can offer you a better diet plan to ease the situation.
Sometimes, the solutions are so simple that they even shock us! But only your sex coach can uncover what’s going on with you (so better book an appointment now).
Being mindful involves paying attention to any or all of the pleasant stimuli we are experiencing, including touch, sight, sound of pleasure, smell, and taste, as well as any pleasurable feelings, such as enthusiasm, affection, or satisfaction. When engaging in sexual activity, mindfulness also entails separating from and diffusing any critical or anxious thoughts and feelings we may be experiencing and dismissing them as inconsequential background noise.
When I conduct face-to-face sessions with my clients who face performance anxiety, I usually ask them to practice the “pivot phrase.” This concept revolves around being mindful in general. For instance, when anxiety starts to cripple you, focus on your breath and how the air moves back and forth in your body as you enjoy sex. Sync your breath with your partner(s) and feel their body as you speak the words of love slowly in their ear.
Another therapeutic approach that could aid in easing performance anxiety is guided imagery. When using guided imagery, you relax into a trance-like condition and listen to a script that describes an exciting situation. By utilizing your unconscious mind, the approach aims to assist your body in overcoming any mental or physical issues you may be experiencing.
Write and record a script that will help you picture a satisfying sex session with the person you’re dating or in a relationship with. Concentrate on working, keeping it hard, and having a pleasurable sexual experience as you listen to the script. Your conscious mind will be able to handle any performance concerns more easily as you repeat the process.
Talk to your partner
Talking through your issues with your partner can generally help you feel much lighter. When you begin to discuss your worries, many of them may turn out to be unwarranted. You might discover that your lover is incredibly empathetic. It’s possible that after a month or two, you’ll wonder what the problem was in the first place.
Together, you might be able to find solutions. If this concerns you because you are out of shape, you may devise a sexual practice that is less physically demanding, such as side-by-side or prolonged foreplay.
When you talk to your partner, you may also learn some new and exciting pleasure points. This will not only help make sex more fun but also reduce the element of performance anxiety as you explore new ways of satisfying each other.
Who knows? You might be using chocolate in ways that won’t put up more numbers on the scale but still help release serotonin.
With sexual advertising, sexy TV shows, and online porn available to you at any time, you can start to form an idealistic conception of what sex is or ought to be. It’s not at all like any of these in reality. These shows are scripted and well-practiced before they go live, while the sex we have in real life is mostly natural. Even if you watch such content sometimes, you need to have realistic images of both male and female bodies, expectations, and positions in your head.
Play a hot movie, some lovable music, use sex toys, or try out different positions while you make love. Consider anything that makes you feel good. The worries that prevent you from becoming excited can be eliminated by diverting your attention from your sexual performance. Be kind to yourself. Don’t criticize yourself for how you look or how you behave in bed.
Summing it up
Everyone deserves to experience a fulfilling and healthy sexual life at every age. A perfectly common and treatable kind of sexual challenge is performance anxiety. If you experience sexual anxiety, it’s crucial to visit a good sex coach (or even take an online consultation if you cannot visit them) so they can help you alleviate performance anxiety, be more confident, and understand what’s happening in your body so you can take control of your sexual experiences.
And with that thought, I hope you have the most wonderful sex ever!!
Megan Paige is a sex and relationship coach based in San Francisco. She works with clients online and in person who want to improve their dating and sex lives. Megan uses real-time experiential exercises and somatic learning to help individuals and couples gain a deeper understanding of themselves while exploring new pleasure pathways within the body.