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How Sexual Anxiety Can Severely Affect Your Sex Life & 3 Ways To Overcome It

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You know that feeling, where a certain kind of heaviness builds up in your chest and makes you feel like something is sinking? When an overwhelming feeling of restlessness takes over your body that you just can’t shake off, no matter how hard you try? When you feel scared and even something as natural as breathing starts taking effort? 

That right there is called anxiety. And, when we experience it in bed right before sex, it is called sexual anxiety. 

What Is Sexual Anxiety

What Is Sexual Anxiety © iStock

A commonly occurring phenomenon in men and women alike, sexual anxiety relates to the feeling of fear, self-doubt, shame and self-consciousness during sex. 

Also called ‘performance anxiety’, one of the main reasons for it to arise is when a person may feel under-confident and self-critical while ‘performing’, thinking of it as an act he may be judged upon.

Such insecurity can be triggered by anything, a previous bad experience where they felt belittled, fear of being critiqued, confusion about one’s sexuality or by simply feeling conscious of their body. 

In fact, the feeling is often brushed aside as mere ‘nervousness’, which ends up downplaying the gravity of the entire situation.

How Does It Affect You

How Does Sexual Performance Anxiety Affect You © T-Series

In the words of Claudia Six, a sex therapist, sexual anxiety can lead to difficulty in being aroused and in achieving an orgasm

She says, “In men, we know what it looks like — difficulty getting an erection, keeping an erection, or coming too soon. I put all that under the umbrella term of ‘sexual performance anxiety.'”

How To Overcome Sexual Anxiety

How To Overcome Sexual Anxiety © iStock

Just like anxiety, that ends up restricting us from enjoying anything, sexual anxiety too feels like it is holding us back from having a good time. 

And rather than powering through the emotion, hoping for it to simply vanish, because that's what men are taught to do about everything, it is always best to address it and take care of it, in a way that will last.

Here are 3 ways to help you overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety in bed:

1. Try Mindfulness

Try Mindfulness © iStock

Being mindful doesn’t mean to be more aware or conscious of yourself, but to be present at the moment and try to live it to the fullest, without letting your thoughts scatter elsewhere. 

Practising mindfulness will help you to absorb what is happening in the present without you worrying about other factors. It’s about being in the moment instead of in your head.

2. Take It Slow

Take It Slow © iStock

If you feel you get overwhelmed during sex, it is best to tread slowly and with feelings of love and care. 

In fact, it is often advised to bank on foreplay, giving you enough time to feel comfortable, get into the zone and then go ahead with penetrative sex. 

Feelings of rush often instil nervousness and a sense of pressure, one that can be alleviated by taking things nice and slow. 

3. Talk About It

Talk About Sexual Performance Anxiety © iStock

Experiencing sexual anxiety once or twice could probably just be nerves, but when you feel it’s started happening all too often, it is best to take it up with your partner and talk it out. 

Such anxiousness arises in the first place due to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, and talking to your partner about why you feel this way might just help put your mind at ease. 

It could be that simply addressing the topic with them and realising that they aren’t here to judge, is all that you need to overcome the feeling. 


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