Imagine Health

Sexual Anxiety

It is amazing how the human mind tends to ruminate and find reasons and explanations for just about anything. At times, when we make decisions, doubt creeps in and the brain would look for ways to prove that our decisions could be wrong. This can result to anxiety, which may either be helpful or disruptive.


What is Sexual Anxiety?

Anxiety distracts both men and women from the mindset required to have sex. When the focus is on how you will perform, then the emotional connection that is meant to be enjoyed is overshadowed. Sexual anxiety occurs when a person becomes overly worried about how he or she will perform during a sexual encounter or about why his sexual perceptions towards somebody might be different from others. Anxiety Care UK found this to be more common in men than women, as the former seem to equate a good sexual performance with manhood.

If a man does not sexually perform well, then he believes there is something wrong inside him, thus losing confidence and may even begin to doubt his sexual orientation. A man could be ruminating about sexual arousal or maintaining erection or attaining orgasm that his partner’s needs are ignored. He can become too consumed with his own performance that he is no longer in touch with the emotional intimacy that is meant to be shared.


Any sexual difficulties present when someone partakes in sex will result in the intercourse not being as pleasant as it should be for either party. If one is obsessed with reaching his own goals and satisfying his own needs while having sex, this self-absorption will “ruin the moment” leading to further dissatisfaction when orgasm wasn’t reached or when the performance wasn’t as envisaged. Having sexual anxieties take away one’s attention to the more erotic thoughts and responses that typically accompany successful sexual relating. Thus, instead of thinking erotically, he or she may start deliberating about how awful it would be if performance was bad, how this could reflect on his manhood or her femininity, and what the partner will think of him or her.


How to deal with it:

As with other types of anxieties, one must confront his or her negative beliefs. Not being able to have an erection doesn’t mean something is wrong with your penis (unless you have erectile dysfunction of physiological aetiology). Not reaching an orgasm does not mean your vagina is malfunctioning. Self-worth is not dependent on whether or not a climax was reached. You need to have self-respect and acknowledge that sometimes, external factors can come into play that can interfere with performance like being tired from work or being distracted by problems.


In addition to this, you must stop dwelling on what others think or might think of you. This is something beyond our control. However, you can have some control over your sexual experience. You can think erotic thoughts, touch and feel, and respond to your partner’s reactions. There are therapists or counsellors who are experienced in dealing with sexual problems. They can help you become more comfortable with your own sexuality and take on the issues that are causing your anxiety. More importantly, talk to your partner. This can help ease some of your worries and either confirm or disprove the negative thoughts you have been ruminating about. Together, you can reach a solution which might bring you closer as a couple and improve your sexual relationship.


Sherwyn Padilla