How to Cope: Overcoming Sexual Performance Anxiety

From premature ejaculation to performance, the pressure on guys in the bedroom can be underestimated. But it is not just men who suffer from sexual performance anxiety, women experience it too, making it difficult for them to enjoy sex.

Take some comfort in knowing that not only are these common concerns, they’re also very treatable problems. If your anxiety levels are overshadowing your amorous night in, take a deep breath and read on.

Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety

For men, sexual performance anxiety can come from a number of avenues. It could be something as small as reading an article about modern-day sexual practices and thinking you’re not doing it right, to changes in your body as you grow older.

Other causes of sexual performance anxiety for men include:

  • alcohol, smoking, illegal drugs, and some prescription medicines;
  • recovery from illness or surgery;
  • aging;
  • stress and anxiety.

So it’s worth bearing in mind if you know any of these might be an issue. In some circumstances, erectile problems can be the first symptom of other medical conditions, so it’s best to get checked out by a doctor to establish whether there is an underlying cause.

For a woman, anxiety can cause tension and a reduction in lubrication, which, by nature makes it more physically difficult to have sex. Anxiety may also affect a woman’s desire to make love and make it more difficult to achieve an orgasm. Lubricants are a great option if dryness is an issue, and for some people can actually heighten the sexual experience.

Society’s view of what constitutes a good body changes from year to year, and as you get older you might start to worry that your body isn’t as great as it once was. People can worry about everything from their beer belly to whether their penis is big enough.

There are also issues that can arise from problems in your relationship. Whether you’ve been with the same partner for years and are worried things are getting a bit stale, to someone starting out in a new relationship becoming stressed over whether they can please their new partner – relationships can be the cause, as well as the solution, to performance anxiety.

Exercise to Improve Performance Anxiety

Often, sexual performance anxiety stems from worries not about being able to do it, but about how you look while you’re doing it. As people get older they can get out of shape. The same applies to people who have had major surgery.

However, when you’re fit enough to do so you should consider starting an exercise routine. Improving your body can boost your confidence as you’ll be in a better physical shape. This matters because exercise pumps blood around the body, not only releasing endorphins, which improve your mood and reduce stress, but also making all your muscles perform better.

If you haven’t done much exercise in a while, you should take it slowly at first, and speak to a doctor before embarking on an exercise regime.

How can I overcome performance anxiety?

There are a number of ways you could go about tackling sexual performance anxiety. We’ll take a look at a few here:


Like therapy, talking your problems through with your partner often means that you take a big weight off your mind. A lot of your anxieties could well be unfounded and when you start to talk them through you may find that your partner is very understanding. It may be that you’re worrying about nothing at all and you’ll look back in a month or so and wonder what the problem was in the first place.

You might be able to come up with solutions together. If you’re out of shape and worried about that, you could come up with a sexual routine that is less physically intensive, like side-by-side or extended foreplay. Or, if you’re worried you’re not pleasing her, you could find out ways to do exactly that.

Considering Treatment

At our clinic, we are happy to provide a great variety of treatment options for your sexual dysfunction. Before prescribing the treatment, we provide a full diagnostics and lab evaluation to determine the true cause of your disorder and then advise the suitable therapy based on the individually customized treatment plan created by a qualified medical expert.

Try Something New

If you’re worried that your sex life has become stale, trying something new in the bedroom is a great place to start. You don’t even need to have penetrative sex. Try extended foreplay, massages, or a bit of role-playing. Take a risk. If you’re experiencing premature ejaculation, maybe take things slow and avoid contact with your penis – focus on her for longer.


If you’re having problems getting an erection, medication for ED can be effective from a physical perspective, but it can also help reduce the mental stress of performance anxiety. Some men find that simply having the option of “the little blue pill” in a drawer nearby is enough to help reduce their anxiety and enjoy healthy sex life.


Some people may also like to talk to a professional and have some sexual performance anxiety therapy. Whether it’s by yourself or as a couple, therapy can help you overcome your concerns and anxiety about your performance. Not only will a therapist help you relieve some of the burdens by talking it through, but they can also teach you techniques that can help with your performance. therapy for erectile problems is something that can be accessed through some doctors or privately.

Realistic Expectations

With sexual advertising, sex scenes in mainstream TV, and internet porn at your fingertips, you might start to develop an unrealistic view of what sex is, or should be. In reality, it’s nothing like any of these. While it’s difficult to avoid in-your-face advertising, as it might unexpectedly appear in a TV show, you can avoid porn. Even if you only use it occasionally, you’re still filling your mind not only with positions and scenarios that are unrealistic but with bodies of both men and women that are not normal.

Concentrate on Yourself

In an internet age, there’s more and more pressure put on us all to look a certain way. It’s easy to look at an image in the media and feel inadequate, but it’s important to remember that these images are not ‘real’ and are very likely to have been photo-shopped. In reality, we all come in different shapes and sizes and find different things attractive in a partner.

Try to let go of your preconceived ideas and embrace your unique beauty. Talk to your partner about your insecurities – if they are someone you love and trust then they are likely to be understanding. You may even discover they like the bits you were worried about.

Happy and healthy sex life is something to be enjoyed by everyone, right through into your twilight years.

If you’ve got any additional concerns or questions, please contact us here and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

16 February 2021 Sexual Health
About Dr. Nil Hoppins

Dr. Nil Hoppins is a consultant dermatologist and professor of medical dermatology specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders, treatment of severe scarring, and photodermatology. He has a strong background in translational research, and expertise in genetic skin disorders.

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