As a Sex Hypnotherapist, one of the areas that men contact me for is sexual performance anxiety which has an enormous impact on their life, relationship and how they see themselves as a man. Sex for men is often a huge part of their male identity, masculinity and how they express themselves to the world which is why is can also cause high levels of performance anxiety.
Sex is a beautiful expression of relationships, pleasure, and connection. It's very hard to enjoy sex when sexual anxiety blocks the freedom to enjoy sex, connect with their partner and feel sexually complete. It can feel so isolating for a man during sex - he focusses on tying to keep it together sexually with his attention on his thoughts, anxiety and what his penis is doing and hiding this all from his partner.
I wanted to share with you the six reasons why men experience sexual performance anxiety. This article for both men and women alike. Men - know that you are not alone when you experience sexual anxiety. It may not be openly discussed, but it impacts many men and help is available to solve this. Women - it's so important you understand that men also have fears, anxiety and feel vulnerable with sex. Be supportive and give them the space they need to work through this without any pressure.
1. Sexual performance anxiety caused by sexual dysfunction
Working with hundreds of men over the years who experience delayed ejaculation, premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction, I have personally witnessed the impact sexual issues has on their lives, relationships, masculinity and even work performance. When a man is not able to perform due to sexual dysfunction it has a huge impact at the core of him, he feels deeply embarrassed, ashamed and even humiliated - this causes sexual performance anxiety which often dominates his thoughts constantly.
2. worrying about pleasing his partner
A man's identity is closed linked to his sexual identity and if men worry they are not able to sexually please their partner this will often cause high levels of anxiety. As a result, men put more pressure on themselves to perform better, and this causes the cycle of sexual anxiety that they are not good enough or worry their partner may leave them.
3. mindset and sexual anxiety
It's so very hard to enjoy sex when your thoughts and mindset get in the way. "Is my partner enjoying this", "Am I going to lose my erection?", or "Will I ejaculate too soon?" Often men who experience sexual anxiety have what we call a fixed, critical or judgement mindset. They focus on failing before it has even happened. When you are preoccupied with failing and focussed too much on your thoughts it is so very difficult to enjoy sex and be connected with your partner, and this causes more anxiety.
4. Penis size and shame
A man's penis is linked to his male identity and if he feels his penis isn't adequate to please his partner, or a new partner will laugh at his penis size this causes sexual anxiety. According to a 2008 study in the Journal of Health Psychology men's anxiety about penis size are top of their list alongside weight and height. The anxiety and shame about penis size can impact a man in many areas of his life - many will not even start a new relationship, worry they are not able to please their partners sexually, causes performance anxiety and how he sees himself as a man and impacts his confidence levels.
5. Men, sex and vulnerability
Sexual performance anxiety for men can be so isolating because he often will not discuss what he is feeling with his partner for fear of appearing weak or not a man. They are afraid to let their partner see this vulnerable side to them. Yet, the key to a deeper, intimate and more connected sex is in vulnerability.
6. Sex and a new partner
The first time a couple has sex together is often a very vulnerable experience for both of them. As they begin to open their hearts to each other it deepens and brings a new level of intimacy. However, for some men this can bring high levels of anxiety especially if they deeply care for their partner. They worry they will not please her or not able to perform. Even putting on a condom can be anxiety provoking. As the relationship continues and they begin to feel more secure in the relationship the anxiety naturally fades away.
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Linda Connors - Europe's Leading Sex Hypnotherapy and Confidence Coach - London Harley Street
For professional men, women and couples serious about creating an amazing life, improved sex life and relationship, Linda is their go-to Sex Hypnotherapist to discover how to make the necessary changes to live a life of freedom, joy and happiness.