Erectile Dysfunction and Performance Anxiety: How to Cope

Sex is meant to be enjoyable, but lots of men around the world struggle to enjoy the experience as they’re constantly worrying about how well they’re performing or how they look. If you want to start enjoying your sex life again and you want to know a little bit more about sexual performance anxiety and why you’re suffering from it, then keep reading below:

Erectile Problems Are Common

Erectile problems are more common than you’d think. Approximately one in every ten men in the UK have issues relating to sexual intercourse. This can include problems with premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. This pressure can quickly have a psychological effect on men and can lead to them suffering with performance anxiety. While performance anxiety can leave you feeling self-conscious, it’s worth remembering that almost all men will suffer with an erection problem during their lifetime, so you’re not alone.  

The Link Between Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction

Performance anxiety and ED are linked in a number of ways. Anxiety and stress about pleasing a partner or performing sexually can cause sexual dysfunction in both women and men. When personal expectations aren’t met, it can lead to a downward spiral of feeling incapable or unworthy. In men these feelings can lead to physical symptoms such as erectile dysfunction. Research has shown that there is a clear link between a man’s ability to perform sexually and his state of mind. 

The Main Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety

For men, sexual performance anxiety can occur for a number of reasons. It might come from something as simple as reading an article about current day sexual practices and thinking you’re not doing it right or it may be because you’re worried about how your body has changed over the years. Other causes include:

  • Illness or recovery from surgery
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Aging
  • Alcohol
  • Smoking
  • Illegal drugs
  • Some prescription medications

We need to remember that the act of having sex is more than just a physical response. Our emotions play a huge part too. If you’re feeling stressed or if you’ve got a lot on your mind and you’re struggling to focus then there’s a good chance your body won’t be able to get excited either. Lots of worries can lead to you suffering with sexual performance anxiety including:

  • Worrying about your body image, e.g. you may have concerns about your weight
  • Worrying that your penis is too small
  • Worrying that you won’t be able to satisfy your partner
  • Stress or problems in your relationship with your partner
  • Worrying about ejaculating prematurely or taking too long
  • Worrying that you won’t be able to have an orgasm or enjoy the experience

All of these worries can lead to your body releasing stress hormones like norepinephrine and epinephrine. One of the main effects of these stress hormones is that they narrow the blood vessels around your body. This means that less blood is able to flow into your penis so you’re less likely to get an erection. 

Even men who don’t normally have a problem getting an erection can suffer from sexual performance anxiety. If you’re suffering from ED and you’re looking for ED treatment options, there are lots of choices available to you. Try Manual to buy cialis online with licensed medication if you want to avoid awkward face-to-face discussions, as your selected treatment will be delivered in discreet packaging straight to your front door. They will also include some useful information about how you can get the best out of the medication you’ve chosen. 

While sexual performance anxiety isn’t as common in women as it is in men, women can still suffer from it. Sexual performance anxiety can not only affect arousal in women, but it can also prevent them from becoming lubricated enough to have sexual intercourse. All of these things can reduce the desire to have sex. 

How to Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety

Thankfully, there are some simple things you can do to reduce your chances of suffering with performance anxiety. These include:

  • Reduce stress in your life – research has shown that having a bath or shower before engaging in sexual intercourse can help. You could also find other ways to reduce your stress levels, e.g. going for a walk, exercising, reading a book, talking about your worries, yoga and Pilates etc.
  • Don’t rush – lots of us rush the act of making love. Instead, you should take your time and spend longer on foreplay. Think about how you can pleasure your partner rather than worrying about whether you’ll be able to maintain an erection or not. 
  • Talk about sex – tell your partner about your worries and about how you’re feeling. Being open with your feelings will help you to have a healthier sex life. Not only that, but they may also be able to reassure you about some of your worries.
  • Have realistic expectations – with sex scenes on tv, sexual advertising and internet porn all available at the click of a button, you might start to have an unrealistic view of what sex should be like. In the real world, sex is nothing like any of these examples. While it may be hard to avoid the in-the-face advertising, you can choose to avoid porn. Watching porn will fill your head with scenarios and positions that aren’t realistic in real life and with bodies of women and men that aren’t normal. 
  • Get some help – if you’re still struggling, then it’s a good idea to ask a doctor or clinician for some advice. What’s causing your performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction will depend on the type of treatment you’re offered. For example, if you’re worried about your body image, you may be referred to image therapy, but if you’re struggling to get or maintain an erection, then you may need medication to help. 

Your emotions and your state of mind can have a massive impact on your ability to get an erection or become aroused. Even if you find your partner sexually appealing, worrying about how you look and whether you can satisfy your partner can make it impossible for you to do just that. Remember, erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety are fairly common so don’t be embarrassed to get help if you need it. 

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