Performance Anxiety is the primary sexual struggle of far too many men. What does performance anxiety even mean? What causes performance anxiety? How can guys overcome performance anxiety? What can partners do to help?
In this episode we speak with Vanessa Marin, leading sex therapist and creator of an amazing online course, The Modern Man’s Guide To Conquering Performance Pressure
- What is performance anxiety?
- What causes performance anxiety?
- Why is performance anxiety getting more common?
- How can partners help or hurt the situation?
- What role does porn have in creating performance anxiety?
- How does performance anxiety relate to erectile dysfunction?
- Is Viagra a cure for performance anxiety?
- What role does sexual trauma play in men’s performance anxiety?
Next week, we’ll keep unpacking the cultural roots of performance anxiety and how we can shift our experience of sexuality from a performance to an experience. This shift is crucial in creating the conditions for fun, playful, joyous and highly orgasmic sex for both partners.
Be sure to check out Vanessa Marin’s awesome course: The Modern Man’s Guide To Conquering Performance Pressure
Join our Patreon to get bonus episodes, be part of the Pleasure Mechanics community and have a direct line to our inbox: https://www.patreon.com/pleasuremechanics
Note: We 100% recommend Vanessa’s course, and when you enroll Pleasure Mechanics earns a small referral payment to support the podcast and keep us going. Thanks!
Transcript of Interview With Vanessa Marin
Chris Rose: Hi, this is Chris from PleasureMechanics.com. Welcome to Speaking of Sex with the Pleasure Mechanics. On today’s episode, we have a special guest, Vanessa Marin, a leading sex therapist, and she and I take a deep dive into exploring performance anxiety and what underlies performance anxiety, and how to start overcoming it. You can find a complete podcast archive over at PleasureMechanics.com, where you will also find the opportunity to sign up for The Erotic Essentials. This is our free offering to you.
Chris Rose: It is a free online course that includes our foundational sex advice, so you can start building the sex life you crave on your own terms. The Erotic Essentials is completely free and you can find the signup at PleasureMechanics.com. Just go to the Start Here page. If you like our work and want to support what we do, please come over to Patreon.com/PleasureMechanics. P-A-T-R-E-O-N, Patreon.com/PleasureMechanics and sign up for a monthly pledge – $1 a month, $5 a month, and at $25 a month, and we are sending you pleasure packages.
Chris Rose: Our first shipment of custom Pleasure Mechanics stickers are arriving any day now, and so we will be getting our May pleasure packages out in the mail to you soon, so come on over to Patreon.com/PleasureMechanics and sign up for a monthly pledge to keep us going so we can create this free podcast for hungry ears all around the world. Before we dive into the interview, I want to acknowledge that we got a lot of feedback on last week’s episode about the history of masturbation, and we will explore some of that feedback and share some of your letters on next week’s episode, but I want to say we have heard you. Thank you for your feedback, both positive and the pushback. We welcome it all, and we’ll talk a little bit more about that next week when we bring you our next episode of Speaking of Sex With the Pleasure Mechanics. Here is my interview with Vanessa Marin. I found Vanessa because I was specifically looking for great information and resources about performance anxiety.
Chris Rose: I hear from guys all the time, whose primary sexual struggle is what they name performance anxiety, and this is such a common experience, but people feel really isolated with it and really ashamed of it, and so I want to start peeling back the layers on performance anxiety. This is part one of a two-part episode series. Next week, Charlotte and I will talk about performance anxiety and some of our takes on this topic, and Vanessa is the creator of a beautiful online course called The Modern Man’s Guide To Conquering Performance Pressure, and I do not recommend courses lightly. I only recommend courses that I think are great compliments to what we do here at Pleasure Mechanics and the tools that can be great resources for you, and I love her course. It is a very comprehensive look at performance anxiety and gives you a ton of techniques to start implementing right away, so I highly recommend diving into that resource.
Chris Rose: You will find a link in the show notes page, and please dive into that, and then ask us questions that we can continue to answer for you. Together, I think as a culture we can conquer performance anxiety. This does not have to be the main sexual experience of so many people with penises, so join us in the quest to culturally conquer performance anxiety. All right. Here is my interview with Vanessa Marin, and next week, we will continue the conversation here on Speaking of Sex With the Pleasure Mechanics.
Chris Rose: Cheers. Can you get us started by introducing yourself and the work that you do?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. My name is Vanessa Marin, and I am a sex therapist and author, and I work with people for a wide variety of issues and in a wide variety of formats. I offer video chat coaching, email consultation, and I have a little suite of online programs as well.
Chris Rose: What brought you to do sex therapy specifically?
Vanessa Marin: My story of getting started with sex therapy starts with my parents trying to have the talk with me, and I very, very vividly remember that conversation sitting in the back of my parents’ minivan, and my mom telling me, “If you have any questions about sex, you can always ask us”, and I remember it being really obvious in that moment that I was not supposed to ask any questions. It was very, very clear to me. I remember even at, I think I was about 11 or 12 years old, even at that young age thinking, “Why are my parents so embarrassed by this?” I did have questions. I was really curious, just kind of naturally curious like children are, and I really wanted to have that conversation, and I remember feeling, it was so strange that my parents who I was very close with and we’re very open and communicative and pretty much every other way, really didn’t want to have this conversation with me, so that memory really, really stuck with me.
Vanessa Marin: I of course had no idea that sex therapy was a career at age 11, but once I got a little bit older, realized that it was something that I really wanted to continue devoting my life towards.
Chris Rose: Did you become like me? Were you in the self-help section of bookstores and doing your own research?
Vanessa Marin: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I definitely loved just trying to find books, squirrel things away. Actually, my very first sex education, this is pretty bad, but when I was about 15, we lived next to a group of college girls, and one of them got rid of all of their Cosmo Magazines, and so I came home from school and I see this huge stack of Cosmos sitting right next to the recycling bins waiting to get taken out, and that just looked like a treasure trove to me as a teenager, so I squirreled them all back into my room and remember just kind of combing through every page, trying to soak up as much information as I could.
Chris Rose: I found you … Primarily, I was doing research because we just hear from so many men whose primary sexual struggle is what they name performance anxiety, and I found your work and I really love your course, so it’s called The Modern Man’s Guide To Conquering Performance Pressure. Let’s start with what is performance anxiety and why did you choose to use the word performance pressure rather than anxiety?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I actually hate the term performance anxiety and performance pressure, because I think that they reinforce this idea that sex is about performance.
Chris Rose: Yeah. Yeah.
Vanessa Marin: I’m kind of constantly going back and forth on the name of that course. I might try to change it in the future, but there’s really not a great way to describe what these issues are without creating that idea that sex is about performance, that we need to perform like robots absolutely perfectly every second of the time. I go back and forth on that a lot, but the main concerns that the course addresses are erectile and orgasmic challenges, so having difficulty getting hard or staying hard, orgasming faster than you want, feeling like you’re not in control of your orgasm, or the other end of the spectrum, which is taking a really long time to orgasm or not being able to have an orgasm with a partner at all.
Chris Rose: Why do you think this is so common, because for a lot of guys, it’s not … The first thing we do is rule out medical concerns around circulation. Why is this so common when the sexual functioning is there, but then in the act of sex, it seems to go haywire? What are some of the things that trigger this, and how does it show up?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I think that it’s actually over, maybe the last 10 years or so. I think that performance anxiety is something that’s really been greatly on the rise for, not just men, for all people. I think there’s a really increasing sense of anxiety that most of us feel about making sure that we’re doing this right and having our bodies perform exactly the way that we want them to do, do exactly the things that we want them to do in the moments that we want them to do them, and so that’s what I’ve really noticed has been contributing to this issue. I think the reality is that all men are going to experience occasional performance issues.
Vanessa Marin: I say this over and over and over again in the course, but our bodies aren’t robots. We’re not machines. We’re not perfectly calibrated to do the exact things that we want to do, and so I think a lot of men understand rationally, “Okay, this is something that happens.” It’s common, but I think that level of perfectionism and the pressure on this idea of performance has really increased that anxiety that a lot of men feel, and so something that maybe in a different world, they might have been able to recognize, “Hey, I was really tired that time, or I just wasn’t feeling at that time. It’s okay. We’ll try again next time.”
Vanessa Marin: I think it’s instead, causing that anxiety to snowball, getting worse and worse and worse and more and more intense, and then creating much more serious issues than it really needed to have been in the first place.
Chris Rose: Yeah. Do you see this as a cultural issue and kind of how we construct the idea of what the sexual experience is supposed to look like and what the male’s role in that experience is supposed to be? Like how much of this is a cultural myth versus a personal issue?
Vanessa Marin: I think a huge, huge portion of it is just a cultural myth that we’ve all internalized, so sex has always been something that’s been difficult for people to talk about. As a society, we really, really struggled with it, and we’ve paid the consequences for the ways that we talk about it, that we approach it on a personal level, and so there are a lot of different factors that get involved. There’s porn, there’s general perfectionism that we’re dealing with the ways that we live our lives and more public ways, so there are a lot of different factors that all buy into it, but I think the vast majority of it is really a cultural issue.
Chris Rose: Yeah. It’s so interesting because it’s so much of this is around the idea of getting erect to have intercourse on demand, and yet, we know that vaginal intercourse is not the way most women reach orgasm, nor find the most pleasurable, so both people are kind of lost in this myth and struggle. One of the things I love in your course is you have a section for the partners, and I love you to talk about what role the partners play in creating the anxiety or in creating the pressure, and how we can change our reactions to something like a soft penis, because so many of the partners I talk to internalize that as they are not desirable enough, and therefore the pain of rejection sets in. What is the partner’s role in starting to work through this?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. These are great questions. I am really upfront in the course itself. I kind of talk about the fact that I don’t have a penis, so I don’t know the firsthand experience of having performance issues, but as a woman who has slept with men, I have had the experience of having plenty of partners that had performance issues, and I have done absolutely every single horrible thing that a partner can do in those kinds of circumstances. I’ve taken it incredibly personally.
Vanessa Marin: I have cried, I have pouted, I have questioned whether my partner was attracted to me or whether they desired me, I was cold or kind of shut someone out, so I have done all of those things and I really get it from the perspective of the partner. I’ve learned my lesson and I behave a lot better now, but I like to share that perspective with the guys who are going through the course and also in that section of the course, that’s meant to be shown to the partner, just sort of acknowledging, “Look, this is stuff that we all mess up.” I messed it up really, really, really badly and I caused a lot of hurt to a lot of my partners that I deeply regret now, and I think it really comes down to recognizing that we all feel pressure around our sex lives. We all want to know that we’re doing a good job. We all want to know that we’re desired by our partners, that we’re desirable, and that anxiety that we all feel often leads us to doing hurtful things or acting in ways that just don’t serve us or our partners.
Vanessa Marin: That leads to one of those, the exact kind of situation that you’re mentioning with a soft penis, that a lot of men are so focused on being able to get hard to power into intercourse, when the reality is that that’s not the most pleasurable activity for a woman, and so it just we set ourselves up for these situations or we’re sabotaging ourselves, or we’re pressuring ourselves to do these things that actually aren’t going to bring us the most pleasure, or where there are other options that we could pursue, other avenues that we could go down, when I think it, yeah, just kind of comes back to recognizing we’re all kind of in this together. We’re all struggling with this in our own unique and individual ways, but it’s something that we can have healthier conversations about and try to get out of those patterns.
Chris Rose: As you mentioned, this is, you call it a near universal human experience, so we only talk about it really in terms of people who have penises. What is the equivalent term used in sex therapy for the female experience of this? Is there one?
Vanessa Marin: I don’t think there is one. I do use performance anxiety or performance pressure or sometimes perfectionism with my female clients. The ways that I see my female clients experience this is around orgasm, where a lot of women just feel an immense amount of pressure to be able to orgasm and to be able to kind of control their orgasm in the same sorts of ways that men want to, where it’s happening in the exact same moment and the exact right way. A lot of women feel pressured to have orgasms from intercourse, which like we just talked about is not the most pleasurable activity for a woman, so women feel that anxiety too. It’s just in different contexts in different ways, but it’s the same basic anxiety there.
Chris Rose: In the course, you talk about cognitive distortions. Can you talk about what some of the common cognitive distortions are and why they’re important to identify?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I think it’s really important for us to pay attention to the specific thoughts that are going through our heads.
Chris Rose: Yeah.
Vanessa Marin: One of the concerns that a lot of my clients tell me is that they get really lost in their own thoughts, especially in the moment where they’ll start just getting very anxious about what is happening or what they think might happen, and there’s this feeling that their thoughts kind of take control, take over them, their thoughts become powerful, and so I work with cognitive distortions as a way to recognize these are just thought patterns that you’re having, but we can take a look at those specific thoughts, sort of dismantle them and try to help you think in more reasonable, more practical and more helpful ways that aren’t going to sabotage your abilities in the moment. A big one that comes up for a lot of men is catastrophizing, where they think that the absolute worst case scenario is going to happen that he’s not going to be able to get hard. He’s going to be completely soft, his partner’s going to laugh in his face, she’s going to go tell all of her friends about it, and he’s going to be the social outcast for the rest of his life. That’s an example of one where again, we can get in with that thought and dismantle. Okay.
Vanessa Marin: Yes. Going soft is not a desirable outcome, but it certainly doesn’t mean that all of these other chain of events that are going to unfold from that.
Chris Rose: Or that sex is over, right?
Vanessa Marin: Absolutely.
Chris Rose: One of your strategies you talk about is stay with her. In the moment of sexual connection, when it’s not going the way you want to, you urge people to stay connected and stay present with one another. What does that do? What does that change for the relationship?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. That technique … A lot of the techniques that I share, they’re really inspired by actual sessions that I’ve had with clients, and so I had a session that I very vividly remember with a couple where the man was talking about losing his erection in the moment and was going on and on about what a horrible thing this was and how he was so ashamed of it, and so upset, and he knew this isn’t what his partner wanted, and she must think he’s not a man, and really, just all these thoughts kind of spiraling and snowballing in the session. I remember his partner just having this look on her face, and I was very curious about what that look meant, and finally, she just sort of blurted out, “That’s what you think I want? That’s what you think I care about?” She told him, “I don’t care about you having this perfectly timed erection or this perfectly hard erection. That’s not what bothers me about the performance issues that we’ve been experiencing. What bothers me is that it feels like you completely check out mentally and emotionally in that moment, and I feel like I’m left alone. I feel like you’re in your own head, lost in your own thoughts, doing your own thing, and I’m just there alone when sex is supposed to be about connection, about two people coming together and being able to share a moment with each other.” That’s what I was getting at with that technique is this idea that I think a lot of men have these ideas of what their partners expect, and again, the idea is perfectionism, and the reality is that it’s not what most partners care about. Most partners want to feel like there’s some sort of connection between the two of you in the moment, so sex is about connection, not about perfection. That’s what that technique is all about, is trying to help you realize that even if things aren’t going exactly how you want them to go, even if your body isn’t cooperating exactly with what your brain wants to do, that you can still be connected to your partner and feel intimacy, feel pleasure, have fun, and just be there together.
Chris Rose: And change it up, change up sexual activities, and I think relieving that pressure on intercourse, we talk about this so often of creating a wider repertoire. This can include things like men receiving prostate play, going to hand jobs and oral sex rather than intercourse, having a wider playbook and taking the pressure off of intercourse can be game-changing for people. What role do you see porn having in this? I know this is a sticky conversation and there’s a lot of debate about porn addiction. Do you feel like there’s a link between either the psychological implications of seeing constantly erect penises on demand like bringing that entertainment into an expectation, or is there something going on physiologically with how men are masturbating to porn? Where do you weigh in on that?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. There’s definitely a lot of stuff that gets wrapped up in that. I mean, overall, I do think that porn can be a perfectly healthy, normal part of any individual or any couple’s sex life, but I think it’s just important like with anything else, for us to be thoughtful about the specific ways that we let it into our lives, so I think that a lot of performance anxiety can come from the ways we see sex depicted in porn. I try to be really clear when I’m talking to my clients that porn is meant to be entertainment. Porn is not meant to be a realistic depiction of what sex actually looks like.
Vanessa Marin: It’s the same way as the way we see love and romance in the movies. It’s meant to be entertainment. It’s not really how it actually works in real life. I think that if you’re watching a lot of porn, it can be easy to forget that, and you kind of start to think, “This is what sex is supposed to look like. This is what I’m supposed to do.”
Vanessa Marin: I do think that porn, we’re lucky that we have much more varied porn these days, so you are seeing more activities, a wider range of things happening. There’s a really exciting sub-genre of like indie porn, filmmakers who are trying to make much more realistic porn, which I really love, but I do think most of your mainstream porn is pretty focused on a rock-hard penis and moving straight along into intercourse as quickly as possible, so I do think there’s risk of a feeling like that’s what’s expected of you, that’s how you need to perform, is like this porn star who has the benefit of camera angles and multiple takes, and all sorts of other tricks and techniques for making the film look good. Then, yeah, in terms of the way that you masturbate, I do think that that can be a big issue for a lot of men, is that porn is fun to watch. It’s fun to watch two beautiful people doing really sexy things with each other, and I think one of the risks of that though is it can be very easy to get so focused on what we’re watching on the screen that we lose touch with our own bodies, what’s going on in our own bodies, and so a lot of men will tell me, “Yeah, when I’m watching porn, I’m kind of lost in that scene. I’m not really even paying attention that much to what I’m doing”, so that can lead to a lot of issues that develop when you’re trying to be with a partner, anywhere from not feeling turned on because you don’t have that really intense, explicit visual stimulation to just not understanding what happens in your body as you start to build up arousal and near orgasm, so it can cost a lot of different issues.
Chris Rose: A lot of the guys we talk to, some of them are experiencing lack of erection when they wanted. Others are experiencing the loss of erection when they get to certain levels of arousal. They almost find that there’s like a ceiling on how much arousal they can feel, and then the anxiety kicks in. What is the nuance there in the difference between being able to get erect in the first place versus losing it midstream?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I mean, they both really just come down to anxiety, just anxiety surfacing in different ways. A lot of times, I’ll have men tell me that they will lose their erection, sometimes trying to switch sexual positions. Just having some sort of change can retrigger that anxiety of, “Oh, great. I got here, but what happens if I try to switch positions or try to do something a little bit different?”
Vanessa Marin: Sometimes it can happen when the man notices his arousal really starting to increase, that he just starts getting that anxiety kicking in of, “Oh, am I going to be able to maintain this throughout the entire time?”, or he might be feeling anxiety about, “Am I going to orgasm too quickly?”, so I think it just really all comes back to anxiety experienced in different ways.
Chris Rose: What is the word anxiety mean specifically? Like we think about social anxiety, anxiety around flying. How do you define anxiety here?
Vanessa Marin: Oh, that’s a really good question. I actually remember a teacher of mine when I was in grad school describing anxiety as excitement without breath.
Chris Rose: Yes.
Vanessa Marin: I really loved that description. It definitely felt like it fit a lot of different circumstances in my own life, but, yeah, I think anxiety is definitely a sense of there’s a heightened experience that you’re having, there can be a discomfort with it, and I think going along with it, a lot of us lose our contact to ourselves. We lose the sense of grounding, which breath can definitely play a huge role in just helping us feel that connection and feel that grounding, but it can feel extremely uncomfortable for a lot of people. A lot of people can feel like they have to do something. They want to try to get rid of it or fix it or address it, but there’s also this feeling of paralysis or confusion that goes along with it.
Chris Rose: It’s so interesting to really unpack the idea that excitement and anxiety are adjacent and that the excitement we rely on for arousal can quickly flip into an anxiety that shuts it down.
Vanessa Marin: Absolutely. Yeah. I thought it was such a great description, and also a reminder that breath is just one of the best things that we can do whenever we’re feeling anxiety, really just to improve our sexual experience or our life experience. I mean, breathing sounds like, I mean, it is the most fundamental activity that we do as humans, but far too often, we lose our contact to it and we can really experience a lot of different kind of side effects as a result, but breathing is one of the best ways. If you’re in the moment, you’re starting to feel anxious, you’re starting to worry about your performance, all of that. Being able to come back in your body and just take slow, deep, measured breaths is one of the most effective ways to really decrease any sort of issues from going on.
Chris Rose: You are talking to a breath evangelical here.
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. It’s really funny, a lot of times, I’ll have a session with a client and I’ll start talking about breath, and I can kind of see their eyes start to glaze over, or sometimes people will tell me, “It’s just not the sexiest suggestion.”
Chris Rose: Yeah.
Vanessa Marin: A lot of times, people are looking for me to give them some magical technique like, “Okay. Well, here’s what you do. You tap your right knee with your middle finger three times, and then all your problems are solved.” I know that breathing doesn’t sound very exciting or very sexy, but far too often, it ends up being really the most successful technique that you can employ.
Chris Rose: Then, when people try it, they realize how magical it is.
Vanessa Marin: Yup.
Chris Rose: It’s so deceptive and how simple it is.
Vanessa Marin: Yeah.
Chris Rose: We teach erotic breathwork in our Mindful Sex course, and I know you include Mindfulness in your course. What do you see as the correlation between mindfulness and sexuality?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I think mindfulness is just a really great way for us to practice coming more into our bodies and just getting more grounded and more connected to ourselves. I think pretty much every single person that you talk to has had the experience of their brain feeling like it’s racing, their thoughts feeling kind of out of control, and not knowing how to sort of settle that all back down and come back into themselves and feel more grounded, more present in the moment. Mindfulness to me is a way to practice, practice that slowing down, and to really be conscious and purposeful about trying to train yourself to be that way, recognizing that we’re basically training ourselves all day every day to be very distracted, and scattered, and multitasking, and all of this stuff, and that it’s really important for us to balance that out with making a conscious effort to come back into ourselves, into our bodies and into our breath.
Chris Rose: Then, the piece of bringing non-judgment to our sexualities is the work of a lifetime.
Vanessa Marin: Oh, yeah.
Chris Rose: I think one of the things that we don’t talk about a lot with male sexuality is histories of sexual trauma, and I’m wondering how often this surfaces in your sessions where when you start unpacking the root causes of performance pressure, you start uncovering traumatic experiences that men have not had the opportunity to work through. Is this something you see?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. It is something that I see, and I think it’s not something that we talk about very often as a society, so that can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety for men who have had those kinds of experiences, that when we talk about sexual trauma and sexual abuse, we talk about women, and so a lot of men feel very left out of this conversation and like their experiences aren’t validated or aren’t real even in a sense.
Chris Rose: Yeah.
Vanessa Marin: I’ve definitely worked with a good number of sexual abuse survivors who are male, and they all talk about that same sort of feeling like, “I feel like I’m the only person who’s experienced this. I feel like such an outcast or such a freak in a way”, so I think it’s just so harmful and really unfortunate that we don’t give that more attention and more awareness because sexual abuse, we know regardless of the gender of the person that it’s perpetrated against is incredibly harmful, so it’s definitely something that we need to talk more about, that we need to have more resources about and more awareness about.
Chris Rose: Yeah. Yeah, I just am constantly fighting this idea that men sexuality is simple and easy for men, because those of us kind of behind the curtain see such complexity and such depth of emotion behind sex, that we don’t often give men the benefit of the doubt that they have. What do you want people to know from all of your years of working with men, with women, with couples?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah.
Chris Rose: What do you want men to know about their sexuality?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. I think you started talking about it right there, is that it’s just as complex and nuanced as female sexuality is, that it’s okay for men to have their own struggles, their own challenges, their own insecurities and anxieties, and it’s important to recognize those things and to give yourself the time and the space to work through them, because the more that you pressure yourself to have this performance perfectionism and to behave in these ways that you think are expected of you, the more you cut out the entirety of your experience, and cutting off parts of yourself, not allowing certain parts of yourself to be expressed, and there’s really so much to explore. There’s so much to sexuality beyond having a rock-hard penis or a perfectly timed orgasm.
Chris Rose: That kind of is the question like, why not just take Viagra? Wouldn’t that solve everything? Like how do you relate to Viagra as a tool rather than a solution?
Vanessa Marin: I think that Viagra is fantastic for men who have purely physiological reasons why they’re not able to get hard, so it’s a great drug and I know there are a lot of men whose lives have been changed by it. The problem is that we are prescribing it to men who don’t have purely physiological reasons for their erectile issues, and Viagra doesn’t work in those circumstances. Not only that, but I’ve worked with a fair number of men who have taken Viagra, thinking it’s this sure thing. It’s a guaranteed erection, and then when it doesn’t work for them, it creates even more anxiety and more fear, so I think it’s just it’s really important for us to recognize when it’s actually supposed to be used and recognizing that it doesn’t apply to probably a vast majority of the situations of erectile issues, that there are lots of other reasons that men might experience problems with that, with his his erection, and Viagra is not going to be the cure for all of those.
Chris Rose: Doing this deeper work, from the people you’ve worked with that have done this journey who have worked through the course and made these kind of attitudinal shifts, what are some of the outcomes you’re seeing beyond, “I’m able to get erect more frequently?” What are the reports from the field?
Vanessa Marin: Yeah. The reports are really talking about a widening experience of what sexuality can really be, of what sex can really be. A lot of men will come back to me and say, “I had such a narrow view of what sex could be for me and of what I was capable of. I was so focused on these very specific aspects of it”, so really, this just kind of the whole horizon opens up of recognizing that there’s so much more, and not only are these other expressions of sexuality. These are not second best, like if you can’t get hard, you can do this stuff.
Vanessa Marin: If you can’t orgasm at the right time, you can do this stuff, but that it’s actually much more meaningful, much more pleasurable. That always excites me to hear that, and I think a lot of men also tell me that they developed a different kind of relationship with their body, that they felt like previously, it felt like they were always fighting with their body. On totally different teams, they were opponents, and now that they felt like they had more connection to their own bodies, a deeper understanding of their own bodies, and that really permeated through a lot of different parts of their lives. I’ve had a lot of clients talk to me about even physical pain issues, that once they learned this different way of relating to their body, they were also able to address the pain in a different way, so it goes beyond sex, which is really awesome and exciting to hear.
Chris Rose: Thank you so much for putting together this course. It’s so nice to have a resource to recommend to our community who are struggling with these issues, and it’s just beautifully comprehensive and I really highly recommend it, and I am excited to talk to you about your other offerings down the road.
Vanessa Marin: Great. Yeah, thank you so much.
Chris Rose: We will link up to the course in the show notes page and over at PleasureMechanics.com. Vanessa Marin, thank you so much for being with us.
Vanessa Marin: Thank you for having me.
Chris Rose: All right. I hope you enjoyed that conversation with Vanessa. Please remember to check out her course. The link is on the show notes page over at PleasureMechanics.com. If you have any questions about performance anxiety or want to share your story of how it shows up for you and your experience of it, please get in touch with us.
Chris Rose: We will be recording a follow-up episode next week where Charlotte and I will continue this conversation, so get us your questions about performance anxiety, and the best way to do that is to join the community at Patreon.com/PleasureMechanics. P-A-T-R-E-O-N.com/PleasureMechanics. This is where we are kind of creating the Pleasure Mechanics online community, and you can be in touch with us and ask questions, and get kind of first dibs at our email box because the truth is as the show has grown, I get hundreds and hundreds of emails a day, and so sometimes, it can take me months to respond to them if I ever get around to them at all, and I’m sorry if I have not responded to your email, but those of you who show your support for this show, even with a dollar a month, we appreciate it. Join our Patreon community and you have direct access to us, and we can respond to those questions and comments and ideas right away. Come on over to Patreon.com/PleasureMechanics, and join us there.
Chris Rose: We will be back with you next week to continue this conversation about conquering performance anxiety, which I think is a cultural project and a personal one. It has to operate on both levels. I hope today’s episode shed some light on your experience, and I would love to hear from you. We’ll be back with you next week with another episode of the Speaking Of Sex with Pleasure Mechanics Podcast. I’m Chris from PleasureMechanics.com. Cheers.