Sexual performance anxiety is a common problem that affects both men and women. It creates a fear surrounding sex, leading people to believe that they won’t be able to perform or enjoy the experience. This anxiety, in turn, can cause performance issues.

When consented to and in a comfortable environment, sex should be something that relieves tension and builds a connection. However, sexual performance anxiety results in many people avoiding the encounter altogether. This guide will take you through the basics of sexual performance anxiety, including how to cope with the anxiety and enjoy your sex life.

What Is Sexual Performance Anxiety?

Anxiety is a psychological condition where someone feels intense nervousness or panic that something will go wrong – sexual performance anxiety is related to this, and it can affect both men and women. It’s a fear that the person won’t be able to perform as well sexually or be able to enjoy sex, which can make them unable to enjoy sex at all.

What Causes Sexual Performance Anxiety?

This type of anxiety can be caused by a number of issues. One of the most common causes of anxiety during sex is the fear of not being able to orgasm, or for men, maintain an erection.

Erectile Dysfunction: For men, erectile dysfunction (difficulty getting or maintaining an erection hard enough for sexual performance), can be a trigger of anxiety. If this is something that causes a problem for you during sex, you can speak to your GP about erectile dysfunction treatment.

Premature Ejaculation: Similarly, premature ejaculation can be a cause of anxiety for men – it occurs when you ejaculate quickly, with little to no stimulation. There are different options for premature ejaculation treatment that can help with this.

Stress: Stress is an important consideration that can lead to sexual performance problems, whether it’s work-related, family problems or financial issues. They can affect your ability to focus on and enjoy sex, which can cause anxiety in future occasions.

Low Confidence: Confidence is also a trigger for some people, whether it’s body image issues, low self-esteem, fear of rejection or past negative experiences.

How Can Sexual Performance Anxiety Be Treated?

If you’re struggling with anxiety, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. And, good news, it can be treated in several ways!

Talk About Your Concerns

When it comes to anxiety, communication is key. Talking about your troubles with someone you trust may help to find the root of the problem. You may find that confiding in your partner can help them reassure you of your worries and help you feel more supported rather than alone.

Therapy

Therapy can also be a highly effective treatment for general anxiety and sexual performance issues. Therapy gives patients the chance to talk about their problems with a trained professional who can help them find solutions and resolve underlying issues. Often, having an unbiased perspective on your issues or worries may shed new light on them.

Medication

If the cause of your anxiety is due to another issue, such as erectile dysfunction, then medication can help you. Speak to your doctor about options available to you. Pelvic floor exercises can also help reduce erectile dysfunction problems in men and can help women experience stronger orgasms.

Improving Your Wellbeing

If body image or low confidence is at the root of your anxiety, finding ways to improve your wellbeing might help. Whether exercising regularly or practising meditation, there are many things that you can do to improve your body and mind.

You’re Not Alone

Sexual performance anxiety can make something that should be fun and exciting feel difficult and upsetting. But there are ways to overcome anxiety when it comes to sex and, with time, you will find that it’s possible to enjoy sex again.

Above all, be kind to yourself and set realistic expectations – it can take time to deal with anxiety so take things slow and remember that not everyone experiences sex in the same way that you do, but that’s not something to be ashamed of. Talking about your worries and stressors, as well as trying different treatments, can help you to find the underlying problems and find solutions that work well for you and your circumstances.