Sexual performance anxiety is the most common sexual struggle for men. Almost all men experience sexual performance anxiety at one time or another, and many men suffer with it for years on end.
So what exactly is sexual performance anxiety, and why does it impact so many men?
What is sexual performance anxiety?
Anxiety is overwhelming fear or worry that hijacks your experience of life. It usually involves ruminating on negative thoughts, fears and perceived negative outcomes. For example, someone who has anxiety about flying will experience constant worry and fear about their plane crashing. Someone who has anxiety about heights will imagine themselves falling to their demise.
Sexual performance anxiety is the experience of anxiety about perceived failure to live up to an expectation of sexual performance.
Most often, sexual performance anxiety is triggered by lack or loss of an erection, early ejaculation, or delayed ejaculation. The anxiety is about perceived loss of masculinity, sexual status, humiliation or embarrassment in front of a loved partner, or a general sense of being not good enough to be worthy as a sexual being.
All of this anxiety can be traced back to the unrealistic expectations our culture puts on male sexuality.
Furthermore, stress and anxiety have the effect of shutting down erections. So the pressure to have an erection can in and of itself create the loss of an erection.
It is time to rethink the conversation about sexual performance anxiety, and liberate men from the overwhelming pressure to have an erection at all times.
The cultural myth is that men’s sexuality is simple, and given the opportunity to have sex guys should just be hard and ready at all times. Failure to perform causes deep shame and humiliation, female partners feel rejected and lash out, and a downward spiral sets in.
Performance anxiety is very much about attachment to a specific outcome and identifying with that outcome. The story goes something like this:
To be a real man, I must be able to get and stay hard. If I fail to do so, I myself am a failure and therefore not a real man.
Meanwhile, the female partner is thinking: to be a real woman, I must be desirable. If my partner finds me desirable, he will be erect. If he is not erect, I fail at being desirable.
This sexual script limits the erotic experience of men and women alike. It is time to understand that erection and arousal are not the same thing, and that the human sexual experience is so much bigger than penetrative intercourse.
In this podcast we introduce several key concepts that will help liberate you from the paradigm of sexual performance anxiety.
You will discover strategies to put into place both before and during sex, and how to change the culture of sexuality in your relationship, so you can have more satisfying sex more frequently.
For a complete guide on ending performance anxiety, we highly recommend checking out the courseThe Modern Man’s Guide To Conquering Performance Pressure , created by sex therapist Vanessa Marin. Click here to check out the online course.
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