What really Causes Performance Anxiety?

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October 28th, 2014

It may feel like you are the only one. But there are millions of men of all different ages, relationship statuses, and sexual orientations that struggle with performance anxiety. Usually it occurs when a man pictures a negative outcome as a result of taking part in a sexual act. He soon becomes preoccupied with his anxiety. This triggers the fight-or-flight response which then disengages the body from the sexual mode, generally deflating his erection, and making him unable to engage in intercourse. For some, it is a vague fear that can occasionally stifle a man’s performance. For many however, the trouble is deeply rooted in general feelings of insecurity or inadequacy. But for many sufferers, these feelings have never been spoken about. Fear of being rejected by a partner, of being unable to satisfy, or being humiliated in the bedroom are the forms the anxiety takes.anxiety

Erectile dysfunction drugs like Viagra, LeVitra, and Cialis are effective for some men. They make having an erection a lot easier, and focus is then turned to pleasing his lover. But for others, where these feelings are deeply rooted, anxiety can still degrade or inhibit performance. Though many men experience anxiety from time to time, one instance of performance difficulty will often reinforce negative feelings, making performance that much harder the next time, creating a vicious cycle. For those with deep seeded performance anxiety, it is important first to get checked out by a urologist to make sure no physical issues are at fault. Once physiology is ruled out, psychology becomes the concern. Seeing a psychologist or a sex therapist can help. One technique therapists employ is called sensate focus. This is positioning the couple where all focus on erection and intercourse is removed. Instead, the attention is placed on arousal, fun, pleasure, and the emotional state both partners inhabit when enjoying physical play. Couples engage in touching, long bouts of foreplay, and oral and digital stimulation without any mention or regard to insertion. The couple focuses on enjoying their time together. Generally speaking, when all pressure is removed, the man’s confidence can be built up. Once that occurs, the ability to perform returns and anxiety is eliminated.

A very Attractive Partner can Cause Performance Anxiety

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October 28th, 2014

Most guys want an attractive partner. Not only are they amazing to look at and experience, but they also give his social status a boost. Trouble is no guy ever considers the drawbacks to being with such a person.  So what’s the downside? A very attractive partner, or one that appears perfect in your eyes, can lead to performance anxiety, even cause erectile dysfunction. Men often feel pressure to perform well in bed. Seeing one’s partner as too attractive or too perfect increases that pressure. If the man feels too much anxiety, he will feel that no matter what he does, he cannot measure up. So here sex, instead of becoming a joyous prospect, is riddled with feelings of anxiety, inadequacy, and fear. Not only can this hurt the man’s sex life, it can hurt his relationship too. The partner may feel as though they are being rejected. Even very attractive people have anxieties about their looks, body image issues and what have you. This may exacerbate them, pulling you two apart.

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This phenomenon can occur for men of all ages. Of course, if there is no biological issue, than the psychological one needs to be addressed. Men experiencing erectile dysfunction should however get checked out by a physician or urologist, just to make sure that everything is indeed alright. The next step is to build confidence. Talk to your partner about how you feel. They may think you aren’t interested in them anymore, when the exact opposite is true. When the time comes, go slowly. Ask your partner to give you positive reinforcement, such as compliments or encouraging, sexy phrases to reinforce positive feelings and dispel negative ones. Do not retreat into your head. This is where the negative thoughts stem from. Instead, practice being totally focused on the present moment with your partner. Consider all of your senses. What does their skin taste like? What does their hair smell like? Giving compliments can help warm them up too. Spend lots of time on foreplay. Include digital or oral play. Most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm anyway, something that usually doesn’t occur during intercourse. It’s hard not to feel confident with a moaning or satisfied partner next to you. If none of these help, be sure to seek out a qualified, mental health professional, or a sex therapist.

Penis Transplants may soon be a Reality

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October 20th, 2014

A penis grown in a lab may sound like something out of a weird movie, created by some deranged mad scientist, but in fact it may be reality soon. Two trials to cultivate the male member in a lab are in the works, the price tag taken care of by the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine. The studies are being conducted by Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Their spokesperson Karen Richardson told the Huffington Post via email, “The goal is to conduct a clinical trial within the next four to five years.” In 2009 the institute created a “functional engineered solid organ.” This was penile erectile tissue for rabbits. But now they are ready to construct a human penis. The results, if successful, could help men who have lost their member to an injury, cancer, who have intractable erectile dysfunction, or even congenital defects. Lead researcher and director of the institute Dr. Anthony Atala said that a donated organ is pivotal to this research. It must then be broken down to its basic structure.

Researchers use it like scaffolding. Cells are grown on top of the structure. Once the organ is fully grown, it can be attached to the man who requires it.  Dr. James Yoo is also working on this project. He told The Guardian, “Think of it like a building. If you remove all the furniture and the people, you’re still left with the main structure of the building. Then you replace the tenants with new ones. That’s the whole idea. It’s just that the building is a penis and the tenants are cells.” Researchers note that this won’t work for transgender men who generally select confirmation surgery as “this method requires the use of the patient’s own penile cells.” Though it could feel like something out of a science fiction movie, in another series of experiments, scientists have attached four lab-created vaginas to women. One wonders whether in the far off future, if these penile researchers are successful, if men will be able to have larger organs surgically attached to replace their original equipment, and what impact this may have on society.

Childhood mental health disabilities on the rise

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October 16th, 2014

Over the past half century, the prevalence of childhood disabilities in the United States has been on the rise, possibly due to an increased awareness about these issues. Now a study published in this week’s online issue of Pediatrics suggests the nature of those newly diagnosed disabilities is changing.

The report, “Changing Trends of Childhood Disability, 2001-2011” found the number of American children with disabilities rose 16% over a 10-year period. While there was a noted decline in physical problems, there was a large increase in disabilities classified as neurodevelopmental conditions or mental health issues, such as ADHD and autism.

“We found that that physical disability health conditions in children were down 12%, but the disabilities related to mental and neurodevelopmental health went up 21%,” said lead study author Dr. Amy Houtrow, chief of the Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Researchers looked at data collected from the well-known National Health Interview Survey between 2001-2002 and 2010-2011. In the survey, parents were asked to fill out a questionnaire indicating if their children had any health disadvantages such as speech and language disabilities, ADHD, intellectual disabilities, and/or emotional and behavior problems.

They found, not surprisingly, that children from poorer families still had the highest rates of disabilities overall. But they also found that children living in more affluent homes reported the largest increase in disabilities: 28.4% over the study period.

“The disparities were interesting and not really expected,” said Houtrow. “But the steepness in the rise (of disabilities in affluent children) makes me think there has to be different stresses, environmental experiences and or other risk factors in these families. All this needs to be studied.”

Houtrow said the changes could be due to a number of things. For instance, people in higher economic groups are often more comfortable dealing with children’s disabilities, both mental and physical, she said, so they’re more likely to seek help from their doctor. This could lead to more accurate reporting from that income bracket.

“Poorer families have other things to worry about first, including putting food on the table,” Houtrow said. “Their children’s learning disabilities are of concern, but they need to deal with other things, like hunger, lack of good health care and other factors.”

This is certainly not the first study to see an upward trend in mental health disabilities in children in recent years. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study in 2008 that saw a significant jump in ADHD and learning disabilities. And earlier this year, the CDC released another report saying 1 in 68 children in the United States has an autism spectrum disorder, a 30% increase from 1 in 88 two years ago.

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Houtrow hopes the study’s findings will open up further investigation into why these trends are happening. The authors concluded that documenting these changes in childhood disabilities is a positive step in developing better prevention methods, and treatments and services for these children.

“I think it’s a call to action,” said Houtrow. “It’s a call to action to the health care system and a call for additional research. And it’s a call to action to parents to be concerned about their child’s development. … Healthy children grow up to be healthy adults. Knowing how to better treat our younger generation is important to this country’s future.”

Discuss STDs With A New Partner Before Sex

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October 13th, 2014

Most men usually know when it is coming. You have been out a few times and really like each other. It is only a matter of time before you sleep together. But before you two get between the sheets, you need to find out more about your partner, to safeguard your health and theirs. It’s important to discuss STDs with any new sex partner before you engage in intercourse. It can be really uncomfortable doing so. But if the conversation is approached in the right manner, they will know that you have both of your best interests at heart and they may even grow fonder of you. First, let them know if you have ever been tested for an STD. Everyone should be tested at least once in their life for HIV, for instance. Those who take part in risky sexual behavior should be tested more often. If you haven’t had such a test, get one. But you should talk to your partner-to-be about getting tested too, if they haven’t already done so. Some women believe they are tested as part of their annual exam. But this is not true. Most physicians don’t screen for STDs unless specifically asked to do so, or if their patient comes in complaining of particular symptoms.
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A good place to start the conversation is to let them know how you feel about them, and that you think they feel the same way. Since your relationship is progressing into a new area, it’s important that the two of you know certain details about one another. Let them know when your last HIV test was, if you are seeing anyone else and if you have ever had an STD. After divulging such information and telling them you are letting them know because you care about them, they will naturally feel obligated to follow suit. Instead of asking them to divulge first and being thought of as rude or too forward, you’ve disarmed them because you’ve told them your side first. Since you have shown openness and vulnerability, they will feel comfortable enough, obliged even to do the same. Let them know how you feel about them, that you want your relationship to be open and honest. You want to take all measures to make sure both of you will be healthy, safe and happy. This doesn’t mean you are moving into a committed relationship per se. But it does mean, if you are planning to sleep together, that your relationship is moving to a different level and this is the way to make sure that the transition is done in the best possible way for the two of you.