How does one overcome sexual anxiety?
Sexual anxiety can be the 1,000-pound pink elephant in the room. It is something most men don’t want to talk about, nearly all men will deny ever having experienced, and yet will affect virtually everyone at some point in their lifetime. Anybody who claims they have never been nervous about having sex is either lying or lives with a healthy dose of narcissism. While sexual anxiety can range from having a few butterflies in the stomach to a crippling emotional condition warranting assistance by a professional sex therapist, there are ways to ease the anxiety and make sex more enjoyable. Taking charge of one’s sexual life in terms of emotional health, penis health and physical health can help lead to a more satisfying love life all around.
What is sexual anxiety?
Also known as performance anxiety, the crux of the problem begins with overanalyzing and putting too much pressure on one performance, which can ultimately lead to a poor performance come show time. Many men seem to equate bringing about female orgasm with masculinity and worry that if they do not measure up to a woman’s standards, they will be seen as less of a man. Society’s ideals of male sexuality are constantly bombarding the typical man, often creating unrealistic expectations of what a man should look like and how he should perform in bed. Magazines are splashed with 6-pack abs and mind-blowing sex tips every man should know. Often, turning on the TV will find a steamy between-the-sheets session between two impossibly good-looking people — who seem to have endless stamina and passion for one another — as their sweaty bodies cascade in orgasm after orgasm. And that is happening in the PG world, never mind the way that the adult film industry portrays male sexuality.
For some men, all this media input skews their perception of their own bodies, leading them to believe that they cannot live up to their partner’s expectations. Thus, when it comes time to knock boots, some men become self-conscious and hyper-focused on what they are doing rather than what they are feeling, which is a recipe for an unsatisfying experience. In some cases, this performance anxiety can even lead to prolonged dysfunction.
How to overcome sexual anxiety
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Part of solving the problem is getting to the root of the problem, so often self-exploration is needed to determine the underlying cause. Men can ask themselves, “What am I afraid of?” or “What is making me feel nervous?” to help determine what may be the cause of the anxiety leading up to a sexual encounter. Below are a few quick tips to help curb sexual anxiety; however, men suffering from long-term, severe cases should consider professional help.
- Relax: It is pretty hard to enjoy oneself during sex when simultaneously analyzing one’s body fat content and trying to recall the last 20 moves in the Kama Sutra. Remember, nobody’s perfect, so try to put insecurities aside and have fun.
- De-stress: Anxiety begets anxiety. Work, family and money stressors can be carried over into the bedroom without even trying. Make a conscious effort to leave anxiety at the door and mentally “check-out” during intimate moments.
- Exercise: It may sound simplistic, but exercise releases feel-good endorphins into the brain, which help to combat anxiety. Additionally, working out may provide a jolt of self-confidence in the bedroom, making it easier to be naked and vulnerable with a partner.
- Breathe: Obviously people are always breathing, but purposeful deep breaths slows down the nervous system and fights anxiety. Breathing in for the count of 4, holding it for the count of 4, and breathing out for the count of 4 can actually help boost relaxation. Really, try it.
- Talk about it: Sexual anxieties may be the last thing a man wants to talk to his partner about, but chances are she has already noticed something is going on. It is best to get it out in the open, as she may just have a response to help solve the whole problem. It is also important to communicate, because ones’ partner may misread anxiety cues — such as avoidance of intercourse — as a sign of infidelity or rejection of her body, leading to additional issues down the road.
- Penis care: Keeping a healthy penis can increase body confidence and may even help with stimulation and sensitivity, making sex more enjoyable. Using a daily penis vitamin formula (most professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil) can keep the penis skin smooth and attractive while fighting odor and increasing circulation to the area. A healthy penis can go a long way towards feeling good about one’s prowess, and that may just translate into decreased anxiety in the bedroom.