Sex and intimacy is what makes us human. Beyond the primal urges it is something that unites, connects and bonds two people together in ways other ways can't. Yet many, especially men, are plagued by sexual performance anxiety. They worry about their performance, if they are good enough, if they can match up to previous partners and worry about sexually pleasing their partner.
Sex between two people is raw, vulnerable, intimate, physical, heart-felt and for many spiritual as well. We meet each other in the rawness of our humanity. Many men and women are afraid of this. They are afraid to fully show up and allow the other to really see them. They experience sex from a place of fear and anxiety rather than a place of connection and love. Men focus on performance and failing and women are not able to fully let go on a physical and emotional level.
Here are 7 simple yet very powerful steps in learning how to move beyond sexual performance anxiety and into a place of connection, love, passion, and sexual enjoyment.
Step 1 - Acknowledging sexual performance anxiety
So many people try to fight sexual performance anxiety. They argue with it. Give in to it. Try to push it aside. They get stuck in their fixed, judgement and critical mindset. All of this action leads to more anxiety about sex. They focus on anxiety rather than the pleasure of sex or connection with their partner. The first step to dealing with sexual performance anxiety is simply acknowledging you are experiencing it. It may sound very simple but it is a very important step. By acknowledging the sexual anxiety you begin to let go of the energy to control it and push it away. You then have space within to focus on moving forward, resolving the sexual anxiety and the ability to enjoy sex once again
Step 2 - Focus on breathing
The second step is to focus on your breathing. This may feel mechanical at first, but keep going with it as it will soon feel natural and become an unconscious action. Focus on your in-breath and out-breath. Imagine you are breathing in calmness and letting go on the out-breath. Your breath is the anchor into calmness and being grounded. If your breath is shallow or too fast paced due to the anxiety this will only increase the level of anxiety you are feeling. The breath also helps you to get out of your mind and into your body.
Step 3 - Connect to mind, body and heart
Men and women both feel sexual performance anxious but it manifests in different ways which leads to a disconnection of mind, body and heart. Men and women tend to focus on four things when experiencing sexual anxiety:
This process disconnects the individual from their whole body. Men do not just experience sex with your mind and penis - it is a whole body experience of your mind, body and heart. When you learn how to connect with all of you the anxiety lessens and reduces as you are connected with all of your being rather than the aspects which are dysfunctional.
So many women are disconnected from their vagina - there is a lot of shame around this intimate part of them. When they learn to connect with all of their feminine body - mind, body and heart they begin to enjoy and be present with sex on a whole new connected level.
Being sexually connected to your mind, body and heart brings a new dimension of sexual enjoyment, pleasure and joy into the bedroom and sex life.
Step 4 - It's okay to be vulnerable
Many men and women fear being vulnerable. Men fear it because they think it will make them weak and they also fear rejection. Women fear it because they fear getting hurt and fear rejection. The gift of being vulnerable adds depth, strength and connection to relationships and sex. It allows the other to experience you as you are without any masks. Take smalls steps towards opening up with your vulnerability - allow your partner to see you in a new way and new light.
Step 5 - Communication is the key
To being vulnerable brings us to the power and key of communication. Men especially fear talking about their sexual insecurities and sexual performance anxiety. The lack of communication and open discussion brings more pressure to get it "right" and this simply adds to more anxiety. To be vulnerable also means to be open to communicate with your partner and share your fears and anxieties. This often leads to an inner relaxation and letting go of the inner pressures. Begin to open the door way to open and honest communication with your partner.
Step 6 - Sexual confidence
Many think that two opposite emotions and feelings can not exist together. So it is either sexual anxiety or sexual confidence. Sexual anxiety can co-exist with sexual confidence. So focus on confidence. Don't just think about confidence - begin to embody and feel it in your body and heart. Sexual confidence allows you to be comfortable in your own skin and to express yourself sexually in the way you want to. Focus on naturally building and developing your inner resources and sexual confidence and your sexual experiences will be enhanced.
Step 7 - Connection to sexual energy
Sexual energy is such an important part of your sexual life. Many men disconnect from their masculinity because of sexual anxiety or a sexual problem. They feel less of a man as they they worry they can't please their partner. Women often also disconnect from their sexual energy and feminine energy. Learning how to reconnect and bring forth this sexual energy brings a new level of intimacy, fun, passion and enjoyment in your sex life. It helps to remove the masks of fear and anxiety. it allows you to tap into your mind, body and heart in a powerful, natural and connected way.
Do you experience Sexual Performance Anxiety?
If you experience sexual performance anxiety rest assured you are not alone. It is a common fear for so many men and women. The steps above will support you to moving beyond sexual anxiety into sexual confidence - if you do want expert help please do contact me. My details are below.
If your partner or someone who you know experiences sexual performance anxiety please do share this article with them.
Linda Connors is a Sex Hypnotherapist specialising in sexual performance anxiety and sexual issues. She works with men,women and couples in London Harley Street and online Skype. To speak with Linda or to find out how you can work with her please call 075 3421 3557.