Many men are troubled by sexual performance anxiety. The good news is that there are solutions that help address the anxiety.
Sexual performance anxiety is one of the most common sexual issues men deal with. Feeling pressure and stress because you want to impress your partner, or having concerns about your body image is completely normal.
When stress turns into anxiety though, a man can suffer from sexual dysfunctions even if he is physically healthy. Performance anxiety usually leads to erectile dysfunction but it can also be the cause for premature ejaculation, delayed or blocked ejaculation and loss of libido.
The good news is that there are things you can do to stop your sexual performance anxiety!
What causes sexual performance anxiety?
Negative sex-related thoughts are usually the cause for sexual performance anxiety. In the western society there are cultural and social pressures on men to perform sexually.
When you take these pressures, worries about relationships, kids, work, financial issues and the competitive environment we live in into account, it is really no wonder so many men suffer from performance anxiety.
Have you ever had the following thoughts?
- What if she thinks I’m too small?
- What if I can’t make her orgasm?
- What if I ejaculate early?
- What if she doesn’t like my body?
- What if she tells others about her bad experience?
If these kind of thoughts runs through your head when you are about to have sex you are on the path to sexual performance anxiety.
How can I know if my sexual issue is stress-related?
Performance anxiety affects men differently. The most common effect is psychological erectile dysfunction. When the body becomes stressed blood flow to the penis, which is required for an erection, can decrease.
To know if your erectile dysfunction is stress-related, answer to following question: “ Are you able to perform sexually when you are not stressed?” If you have morning erections and are able to control your erection while masturbating, then your problem is probably stress-related.
Could this happen to me too?
The popular belief is that performance anxiety is a young men issue, but that is far from being true. In fact even elderly men can suffer from performance anxiety. In a relationship and married men can also develop performance anxiety, even after years of marriage. The day to day stresses can impact your sexual performance and after one or two bad experiences you can fall into the sexual performance anxiety cycle.
The sexual performance anxiety cycle
Men often fall into the vicious sexual performance anxiety cycle, after the first “bad” sexual experience. It is completely normal to not be able to achieve an erection, have an orgasm, or ejaculate prematurely once in a while. After all we are not machines and our sexual performance is influenced by many outer factors. The question is “How do you deal with this first sexual failure?” In many sexual anxiety cases, the man starts to be preoccupied by negative thoughts, that leads to more failures that further increase the anxiety and the cycle is created!
It is commonly believed that up to 20% of all erectile dysfunction cases are psychological.
Guided Imagery and Sexual Performance Anxiety
Guided Imagery is a gentle yet powerful technique in which you listen to simple instructions given in a specific, descriptive language, intended to make you imagine a scenario to help your body overcome psychological and physical problems.
The unconscious mind can’t tell the difference between something you really experience and something you vividly imagine. So by using a light, trance-like state, we can speak directly to the unconscious mind.
During each guided imagery session, you visualize a successful sexual experience, learning how to stay hard and enjoy wonderful sex, knowing that your partner is also enjoying fantastic sex with you. So your unconscious mind reacts as though this has really happened. And because you have had such a successful sexual experience, you’re far less likely to have problems when you next have a genuine sexual experience.
The more you practice, the more your unconscious mind will think that you have now had many successful sexual experiences. As a result, it will automatically assume that future sexual experiences will also be successful. Your anxiety will reduce, and your ability to enjoy sex will increase too. It’s as simple as that.
Has this been proven to work?
Guided Imagery is actually a well-known therapeutic technique. It has proven to be effective for dealing with anxiety, lower blood pressure and help with other stress related issues.
Research published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology in August 1982 concluded that guided imagery “may be an effective procedure for helping cancer patients cope with the adverse effects of their chemotherapy”. The research showed that patients who received guided imagery therapy:
- Reported feeling significantly less anxious and nauseated during chemotherapy;
- Showed significantly less physiological arousal and less anxiety and depression immediately after chemotherapy; and
- Reported significantly less severe and less protracted nausea at home following chemotherapy.
Another research, conducted by Professor K. Kuruvilla in 1984, found that most men who are treated with sexual re-education and guided imagery succeeded in overcoming their psychological erectile dysfunction, and were able to achieve erection whenever they wanted to.
Professor Kuruvilla was the Head of the Department of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College in Vellore, India. He conducted several research studies on this particular treatment. He noted that the long-term results of those who completed the treatment were especially encouraging.
Where can I get guided imagery treatment?
The first option is to write your own guided imagery script and record it, but guided imagery is most effective when it is created in a professional way.
There are many guided imagery scripts and recording for stress and anxiety around the internet which you can use as a starting point.
You can also try the Mental Impotence Healer program which was created specifically for sexual performance anxiety.