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.
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.