Reader's QuestionsSex TipsSexual Health

How Do I Deal with Sexual Performance Anxiety? 15 Ways to Help

performance anxiety

This week, I’m combining two reader questions, as they both deal with the dreaded performance anxiety.

How do you deal with anxiety? I mean disabling severe anxiety… especially before sex. I’m afraid of being judged and it really plays on my mind. There is also this fear that I may not please her enough. How do you suggest that I combat this?

I recently lost my virginity, but wasn’t able to perform well, can you help me perform better, please?

So, first things first. Thank you, gentleman, for asking your questions. Know that you’re not alone and you’re not abnormal. Lots of men (and women) worry about their sexual performance to the point that it causes anxiety. The particular problem with performance anxiety (and anxiety in general) is that it creates a downward spiral. You’re worried about how you’re going to perform, and because of that worry, it causes you to perform poorly. Or, perhaps even worse, not perform at all.

But take a deep breath and let it out, nice and slow. And let that shit go. I’ve got some advice that I hope will help.couple problems

What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?

When it comes to sex, performance anxiety occurs when an individual becomes so anxious, it interferes with their performance. They may be anxious about how they’ll perform, what their lover will think of their genitals, or any number of other things. Performance anxiety can result from worrying too much and lack of body confidence, but it can also arise from inexperience, after a bed sexual experience, or from thinking that they won’t be able to attract partners. And if your relationship is in the dump, yeah, that can also impact how you perform. And some research even links porn to sexual anxiety (thisĀ  mostly results when one learns about sex through porn and sets unrealistic expectations).

When folks experience performance anxiety, it can affect them in different ways:

  • Vaginal dryness
  • Inability to get an erection (impotence)
  • Premature ejaculation
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED)
  • Inability to reach orgasm
  • Decrease in libido
  • Significant distraction

Without trying to nerd out too much, I want to explain how anxiety actually impacts the body and how that causes performance issues. When you experience anxiety, it releases a range of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. One of the side effects of these hormones is a narrowing of blood vessels. Well guess what? When your blood vessels narrow, you get less blood in your cock or vulva. And when there’s less blood reaching your junk, it doesn’t respond as normal. So women don’t get wet and men struggle to maintain an erection.

Your anxiety is literally being a cock block.

Ed and sexual performance15 Ways to Deal with Sexual Performance Anxiety

Set realistic expectations.

Make an effort to understand what real sex is like between two real people. It’s not what you see in porn and it’s not what you read in romance novels. The average length of intercourse isn’t 45 minutes. It’s seven. The average penis size isn’t eight inches. It’s five and half erect. Lots of women have inner labia that reach beyond their outer lips and an estimated 82% of us can get off from penetration alone.

Know these things so that you’re not setting these unachievable goals for yourself. Know that you are normal. And it’s okay to have a quickie. And you don’t have to be hung like Don Johnson to be able to get her off. Knowing these things can significantly reduce the stress and pressure that can cause performance anxiety.

Get her off first.

If you only take one thing away from this post, please let it be that. Make her cum before you put your dick in her. Hell, make her cum a bunch of times before you fuck her. Then if you only last five minutes, she’s not going to care. She’ll already be sated.

Not only that, but you won’t feel as much pressure to perform, you’ll already have been the star of show. Just knowing that you don’t have to last a certain length of time or completely focus on her pleasure should allow you to relax a little bit and find the fun in your love making.

If you’re unsure of how to get her off without having sex, check these out:

Improve your self-talk.

Don’t talk bad about yourself to yourself. Don’t think of yourself as a two-pump chump or tell yourself you’re a horrible lover. Those are self-defeating behavior that do absolutely no good to anyone, ever.

Instead, remind yourself that you are more than your penis. Let go of unrealistic expectations. And stop telling yourself you can’t get it up or you can’t last long. Because the longer you say it, the more likely it is to become true.

sexual performance anxiety couple in bedTalk to your partner.

Open up and tell your partner about your problem. Although you may be like, “No way, Molly. Uh-huh. Not doing it,” I’m telling you, letting her (or him) know about the issue is probably one of the easiest ways to address the issue.

First, because they now. If you struggle to maintain an erection or cum in less than a minute, then you don’t have to offer an awkward response when it happens. Second, they can help when things get too arousing. Plus, they can offer you support and help you find other ways to give them pleasure.

Increase foreplay.

Just aboutĀ  everyone can use a little more play in their life so don’t rush through foreplay with your partner. As a matter of fact, draw it out. Make it last as long as you can. The more aroused your partner is, the quicker they’ll climax as well.

Plus, the longer you play, the longer you delay penetrative sex. And the longer you delay penetrative sex, the better the chance that you’re going to get your partner off.

Engage in non-penetrative sex.

Break away from the idea that sex is only penis in vagina intercourse. It is definitely not. And I’m not even talking about anal sex and oral sex here, although they’re both completely valid forms of sex, too. I’m talking about passionate play. I’m talking about mutual masturbation. And I’m talking about fucking each other with our bodies and minds, not just our dicks and pussies.

So don’t get too caught up in “doing the act.” There is no right and wrong way. If you cum during foreplay, it doesn’t have to end there. You can still finger her. You can still go down on her. You can still give her plenty of orgasms and make her soak the sheets. Don’t limit yourself by your definition of sex and what it means.

Slow the fuck down.

Slow down in your foreplay. Slow down in your fucking. Remember, for men, orgasm is often a release. For women, it’s a build-up. Slowing down the pace increases her chance of getting off, but it also makes it less likely for you to struggle with performance issues.

And I get that you’re worried about getting it up and into your partner’s orifice. So once it starts to rise, you may want to get it in there as quickly as possible. But don’t. Take a deep breath and see if you can wait another 10 minutes.

Practice how you play.

Yes, it’s an old sport adage, but it’s true. If you masturbate quickly, and allow yourself to cum as soon as the urge hits, that’s what’s going to happen when you fuck. You need to train your body to slow the orgasmic response and the best way to do that is through masturbation.

So when you rub one down, keep it slow. When things start to feel too arousing, back off. Stop touching your cock all together if you need to. Then start again. And when you get close, back off. Again and again and again, until it’s your norm.

Also, it’s important to apply this same principle to sex (and why it’s better to talk to your partner about your performance issues instead of leaving them in the dark). As you feel your orgasm approach, even if it’s right after you enter her, stop. Pull out if you have to. And work to gain control.

Over time (be patient, as your body is conditioned to get off quickly), you should find this easier to accomplish and soon you’ll be able to apply these same principles without much thought. But for that to happen, you must practice!

couple with bedroom troubleUse some aids.

If you’re struggling with maintaining an erection or cumming too soon, consider wearing a cock ring. If you’re experiencing premature ejaculation, desensitizing cream may help.

When you’re suffering from vaginal dryness, don’t be afraid to reach for some lube. Or if can’t cum from penetration alone, then grab a vibrator and give yourself a little assistance.

The point is, don’t be afraid to bring in sexual aids. Lots of people use them and they can, by their very nature, enhance your sex life.

Spice things up.

Whether it’s by reading some erotica together, wearing sexy lingerie, or engaging in dirty talk, spicing things up can do a lot for sexual performance anxiety. First, it engages more of your senses (and you should focus on those senses, it can help with the anxiety). Second, it pulls your attention away from your anxiety and onto what’s in front of you.

For those who’s performance anxiety manifests in a drop in libido, spicing things up can bring that back. When we break up the mundane, when we experience something that is not the norm, it’s more likely to spark a bit of desire in us.

Keep fucking.

The worst thing you can do for performance anxiety is letting it stop you from having sex. Because then next time you have sex, whether that’s in a week, a year, or a decade from now, you’ll be more anxious about it and, chances are, it could impact your performance in more ways.

Instead, work on it. Keep fucking, but do the things I’ve mentioned. And don’t give up!!

Reduce other stresses.

A lot of us have extreme amounts of stress. Work stress. Financial stress. Relationship stress. And all that stress adds up. And when we’re stressed out about all the things, it can easily reach over into our sexual performance. What I’m saying is that sometimes, it’s all the other stresses in our life that come to a head in performance anxiety. And that if you can reduce some of these outside stressors, it can improve your sexual performance.

So start doing some yoga. Every. Damn. Day. Do deep breathing exercises. Guided meditation. Learn to let shit go. And do whatever it is that helps you get your Zen on and you may just start to see some improvements in your sex life.

Improve your health.

Exercise, exercise, exercise. And eat wholesome, healthy foods. Research shows when people eat right and engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise at least three days a week, they reduce their stress levels. And those who suffer from performance anxiety are also likely to see an increase in sexual performance.

Get some sex education.

Learn about sex. Learn about orgasmic response. Do some research and grow your sexual abilities. Knowing more about sex and the body and intimacy boosts your confidence and gives you more knowhow in the sex department. And when you’re confident about your abilities, you’re less likely to experience anxiety about it.

So learn. In whatever way is best for you. But don’t learn through porn (they’re actors and it’s directed). Instead, talk to your partner about their likes and dislikes. Follow sex experts on YouTube and Twitter. Subscribe to my newsletter (I had to squeeze a plug in there). Read as many books on sex and sexuality as you can (I’ve got some recommendations coming soon!).

seek professional helpSeek professional help.

If none of these work, and you struggle with performance anxiety for more than three months, please seek professional help. You can reach out to a relationship counselor, a sex therapist, or simply talk to your doctor.

I get it feels awkward. But I can promise, it only feels that way to you. Your doctor is used to people talking to them about their problems and you definitely won’t be the first person to bring up sexual dysfunction. A physician can ensure that there’s not a medical reason, physical condition, or medication causing your performance anxiety.

And they can also help you find a solution that works for you.


Well, that’s all for today folks! Hope it was helpful! If you have a question about sex or relationships, feel free to email me at molly@yourbestsexualself.com. If I think I can help, it may become the reader question of the week!

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