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By Dhanashree Padhye

MA (Psychology)

30 September 2022
Medically reviewed by
Dhanashree Padhye
MA (Psychology)
Dating a Guy with Performance Anxiety
Table of Contents

Performance Anxiety is a fear about one's ability to perform a particular task. People with performance Anxiety will always worry about failing a job. They always feel that they have to face humiliation or rejection. As we all know, performance Anxiety is experienced while performing any task; a person may also experience Anxiety related to sex.

Performance anxiety may lead to Erectile Dysfunction (ED), and when that happens, you may start feeling stressed about your body image and ability to please your partner. It is hard to deal with ED for men.

Sex therapists have debated about Anxiety being the primary psychological mechanism which controls the intrusion of sexual arousal. Many studies have found that sexual arousal may be unaffected, disrupted or even promoted by 

Anxiety. (Hale, V.E., Strassberg, D.S.19)

Sexual Performance Anxiety

It is difficult to have fun if you constantly worry about how well you're doing while having sex, as it is supposed to be enjoyable. Anxiety may withdraw you from the right mindset for sex. When you focus on performing well, you will not be able to settle. You may get aroused but will get distracted while reaching orgasm.

Sexual performance anxiety will lead to a series of troubles. 

For, e.g. Someone might get so anxious while thinking about sex that he might not be able to perform, which will cause more sexual performance Anxiety.

The onset of sexual dysfunction is determined in the majority of patients. Depression and Anxiety affect men with sexual dysfunction. Men with comorbid depression showed significantly important rates of suicidal ideation or behaviour related to their sexual dysfunction and reported a lack of libido. 

Dating is not like driving a car; it is a part of life that evolves as we grow older with the changing culture around us. There are many reasons why dating is complicated. Men may find it frustrating, annoying and uncertain if things don't go as expected. A lot of men don't know how to date a woman and have suffered a painful, lonely life for a long time. Some men enjoy dating and know what to do in every situation. They have the looks, personality, and smile that draw women toward them without deliberate effort.

Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety

Sex is not only a physical response. It also includes your emotions, and when you are stressed, you don't get excited while performing sexual activity.

causes of sexual performance anxiety

  •  Body image and self-esteem issues: People who constantly think about their height, weight, and appearance of particular body parts are more likely to experience SPA while engaging in sexual activities.
  • Feeling emotionally disconnected:  You may feel emotionally disconnected from your partner. Sometimes Sexual Performance Anxiety can result from emotional issues you and your partner might be experiencing.
  • Mental health conditions: Men anxious during sexual intercourse are worried about sexual adequacy. The anxious thoughts may distract their attention from the sexual sensations while having sexual intercourse. Depression and Anxiety are significant illnesses which may cause SPA.
  • A lack of sexual experience: Not everyone has sexual experience, and it may cause performance Anxiety if Someone is having sex for the first time. A great way to deal with performance Anxiety is by searching out blogs, articles, or books written by people who have experienced similar things. Knowing that others feel the same way helps us handle our situation better. 
  • Feeling stressed: Stress will impact every part of life, including our sex life. When you are experiencing stress due to work or other reasons, it may lead to SPA. In times of stress, you may need Someone to care for you and make you feel safe.

Treatment for Sexual Performance Anxiety 

Generally, a combination of medication and psychotherapy is used to treat the symptoms of SPA. Treatment will depend on what causes Anxiety in an individual.

Treatment For sexual performance anxiety

  • Psychotherapy: Cognitive-behavioural therapy is recommended for the treatment of SPA. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is the most accepted form of talk therapy used to treat sexual performance Anxiety in men and women. 
  • Medication: Viagra and Cialis are sometimes suggested to treat erectile dysfunction and SPA. These medicines include oral pills. Testosterone replacement therapy is advisable when an issue with low libido and testosterone levels occurs.
  • Guided Imagery: Guided imagery is a specific treatment for male sexual performance anxiety. Guided imagery can be performed with or without the help of a therapist. The therapist will help you with visualizations similar to athletic training in guided imagery. Men can write these visualizations or can even record them. Guided imagery teaches us to train our minds and bodies from the beginning to the end of this technique.

How to Cope With Sexual Performace Anxiety 

Sexual performance Anxiety goes away with time, mainly when there is a new sexual partner or when you have purposefully resolved issues with your partner. 

Some of these tips may help you to deal with SPA:

  • Meditate: Meditation isn't about fixing our sex life, thoughts, or mind. It is a fact that we can't control distractions, but we can use meditation to let them go.Being in the present moment and learning to become more aware of what's happening in our minds and body is the key to receiving pleasure. Meditation will help you calm your mind and will lessen the anxious thoughts. It will encourage us to keep an open mind about what we desire and listen to our partner without judgement.
  • Masturbate: Some people benefit from masturbation, while others may feel guilty and addicted in some cases. Masturbation may help you relax, release sexual tension, reduce stress, boost your mood, improve sleep, help you have better sex, and help you feel greater pleasure. It will be beneficial in enhancing your physical relationship with your partner
  • Get out of your head: Don't keep thinking about what can go wrong. Instead of worrying, go with the flow and be present whenever you are having sex. Sex may vary from day to day and from very good to mediocre or dysfunctional as well. When you have fair expectations from your partner, it will be easier to experience sexual satisfaction.
  • Accept that sex isn't always perfect: It is possible that on some days, you may not just feel like having sex, which has nothing to do with your physical ability. In daily life, we have responsibilities, stresses, and conflicts – which allow us to experience sexual interactions in a cautious yet distinctively personalized and enhanced manner. Sex is often experienced as pleasure, stress relief, and mature playfulness.

The link Between Anxiety and Sex

The complex relationship between anxiety disorders and desire disorders was clarified in the medical literature. The prevalence of panic disorder in patients affected by sexual aversion disorder was 25%.

Anxiety can be generated through various stressors. It can divert us from sexual stimuli and decrease our sexual arousal, which results in poor erections in males. 

Traumatic events, like sexual Abuse or sexual assault, can set off an alarm about sex. Chronic pain, a change in hormones and even a lack of quality sex Education may lead to poor sexual performance.

There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to sex. Most people create stigma and shame, which significantly impacts children and adolescents. It is expected that Sex Education will focus only on pregnancy and will completely ignore the importance of sexual pleasure. 

Some Tips For Dating A Man With SPA 

  • It is always good to talk about the things that please you and to address their worries about performance. 
  • When you try to have extensive conversations about sex while you're in the bedroom, emotions can run high. People might feel like they must respond immediately or in a certain way or feel extra self-conscious. So, plan for this conversation to happen outside of the bedroom. That can include getting snuggly on the couch and drinking a glass of wine or tea, or it might mean going for a picnic in your favourite park. 
  • Reframing what you consider to "count" as sex may be very helpful. There is a false belief that the only valid type of sex is penetrative sex, but that's not true. 
  • Take some time to think about the sex acts that bring each of you pleasure.
  • Sex is a mutual experience, which means communicating about what you like, trying new things, and working together to create fun.  

Last Words From PAS

It may be challenging to date a man with Sexual Performance Anxiety since there can be times when he may not be able to share his feelings, may feel shy and can be disturbing to women. But if women try to understand the reasons behind men's behaviour, it can solve many problems.

There are events like childhood Abuse, traumatic events, stressful lifestyle, and some myths about sex that may develop a wrong mindset about sex in men. Hence if there is a healthy conversation about Anxiety or other issues related to sexual concerns, it will improve the quality of the physical relationship between men and women.

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