Sexual performance anxiety happens when a man has negative and distracting thoughts that stop him from enjoying sex and make it difficult to have an erection or orgasm.
Mindfulness meditations focus on the present moment and non-judgment, which are opposite to the future-oriented judgment of anxiety.
In this article, we will talk about why mindfulness meditation can be a powerful tool for treating sexual performance anxiety and what research there is to back up this claim.
Can meditation really help with sexual performance anxiety?
Over the last several years, mindfulness and meditation have become an increasingly popular antidote to our fast-paced world. Many of us struggle with anxiety and depression, and research has shown that mindfulness-based therapies can help a lot of us feel and live better.
Research shows that mindfulness can help sexual performance anxiety by redirecting men’s thoughts from judgment and anxiety to present moment pleasure.
A 2018 study showed that four weeks of mindfulness-based sessions and psychotherapy increased men’s erectile function and sexual satisfaction while decreasing judgmental thoughts.
It can help anxiety-induced ED
Mindfulness can directly treat anxiety-induced erectile dysfunction (ED).
Men with performance anxiety can have a “fight or flight” response to sex. Rather than relaxing into sexual pleasure, they tense up and feel threatened because of worry that they won’t get hard or please their partner.
These feelings block arousal, decreasing blood flow to the penis and the chance of getting erect.
Anxiety-induced ED can become a vicious cycle when negative thoughts about past performance and constant worry about getting hard rob men of the ability to enjoy sex “in the moment” and make their worries a reality.
Mindfulness can block the cycle by stopping the fight or flight response in its tracks. When men are able to focus on the present moment – and the pleasure of sex – they free up space to enjoy what is happening so that an erection can naturally happen.
It can help anxiety-induced PE
Performance anxiety can also cause premature ejaculation (PE). Men with anxiety-induced PE find themselves in a recurring loop of worry about past and future performance.
Experiencing anxiety during sex creates a disconnect from the sensations and makes men lose touch with the sexual experience. When this happens, it can be challenging for men to pace themselves and control the rhythm of sex. This can often lead men to ejaculate prematurely.
For these men, mindfulness meditation can allow them to slow down and be present with their sexual arousal rather than becoming overwhelmed.
How can I meditate for sexual performance anxiety?
Luckily, there are many ways to begin to meditate. Meditations vary in the techniques that anchor you in the present moment. For example, men can focus on their breathing, scanning the body, visualizations, or repeating mantras.
If you’ve never meditated before, it can be helpful to start with a guided meditation that can get you more used to the practice. Meditations can be pre-recorded or accessed with a meditation teacher alone or in a group.
Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool to manage anxiety because it gets at the root cause of anxious thoughts and worry. For men with sexual performance anxiety, mindfulness meditation holds promise to help them become from worry and get back to enjoying sex.