How To Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety

Breaking the cycle of sexual performance anxiety can be a difficult one, as the more you get in your head the more you can’t perform and so on and so forth.

Published Feb 15 2021 5 min read

Sex should be a release of stress and tension - not the source of it. But it’s an all too common occurrence that getting hot and heavy between the sheets can send your anxiety into overdrive. Stress and anxiety don’t have to be part of your norm - so pop the spice back into your love life, as you learn techniques to help you overcome sexual performance anxiety.

Sexual performance anxiety affects men and women of all ages and can cause sexual dysfunctions. Breaking the cycle of sexual performance anxiety can be a difficult one, as the more you get in your head the more you can’t perform and so on and so forth. 

If this is something that is affecting your sex life it is important to seek professional medical advice as it is for all sexual problems you may encounter in life. 

  • What is sexual performance anxiety?
  • Causes of sexual performance anxiety
  • Symptoms of sexual performance anxiety
  • How to overcome sexual performance anxiety

    What is sexual performance anxiety?

    Sexual performance anxiety can stop you from feeling aroused, enjoying sex and reaching orgasm due to the feelings of nervousness and anxiety before and during sex. One of the main side effects of sexual performance anxiety is that this psychological factor can become a physical issue such as erectile dysfunction (ED).


    Causes of sexual performance anxiety

    There are plenty of causes of sexual performance anxiety, but broadly anything that harms your mental health is usually a contributor. From feeling stressed at work to a lack of body confidence, all these worries can manifest themselves into performance anxiety and in turn to physical problems in the bedroom. 


    Feeling stressed can affect your sex life and sexual performance. If you are chronically stressed then your body produces too much cortisol, which lowers your sex drive. Your brain is often considered the biggest sex organ you have, which means preoccupying it with worries can make it a lot more difficult to feel sexual and engage in sexual activity. 

    Low confidence or self-esteem

    Self-esteem and body image are strongly linked to sexual desire. If you aren’t feeling good about yourself then sex is likely to be the last thing on your mind. Boosting your confidence can be a long road but will reap the rewards if you enter a journey of self-love and discovery. 

    Previous negative sexual experiences 

    Negative experiences or past sexual trauma can cause feelings of anxiousness during sex. This trauma can often leave you avoiding any sexual activity in fear of rousing uncomfortable thoughts and feelings.

    Concerned that you won’t be able to satisfy your partner

    When your mind is too concerned about satisfying your partner, you can end up in your head and not relaxing enough to enjoy yourself.

    Relationship problems

    If you are currently experiencing problems in your relationship your mind may not be in the right place to enjoy intimacy in the bedroom, especially if these issues are related to trust. Trust and sex are intertwined, so by improving trust, your sex life is guaranteed to get better.

    Concerns relating to orgasm

    Concerns over ejaculating too early, or not orgasming at all, can also leave you feeling worried in the bedroom. This problem is mainly at the forefront of goal-orientated sex, rather than those engaging in sex for the pleasure of all kinds. 


    Symptoms of sexual performance anxiety

    Your mind has a huge impact on your ability to enjoy sex and get aroused. Having a mind that’s preoccupied can entirely take you out of the moment and put you straight into your own head. The symptoms of sexual performance anxiety differ from person to person, from a distinct lack of interest to trouble achieving and maintaining an erection.

    Male symptoms

    • Erectile dysfunction including difficulty getting and maintaining an erection
    • Lack of interest in sex
    • Premature ejaculation
    • Inability to orgasm
    • Delayed or blocked ejaculation

    Female symptoms

    • Prevent women from producing lubrication
    • Inability to orgasm
    • Lack of interest in sex


    How to overcome sexual performance anxiety

    With sexual performance anxiety often stemming from psychological factors it is important to address why you are feeling this way, before looking at the physical factors that come from this.

    Communicate with your partner

    Speaking to your partner about any issues you may have especially regarding feelings of inadequacy in the bedroom can help you ease some of your worries. It is also important in making sure you and your partner are on the same page - discussing sexual performance issues can draw you closer and improve your relationship sexually.

    Talk to a therapist

    Therapy can bring to light why you are feeling these intrusive thoughts. Although this can be a long road, therapy can help you understand and solve your issues relating to sexual performance. 

    Try getting intimate in other ways

    If your sexual performance anxiety is so severe that you don’t want to engage in sex, then try getting intimate with your partner in other ways instead. Alleviate the pressure of sex by having a sexy shower together, playing naughty games and enjoying date nights.

    Talk to a doctor

    If you are struggling with the physical symptoms of sexual performance anxiety, such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation a doctor may be able to help you by providing you with treatment options.

    See a doctor you feel comfortable talking about your sex life too. They can guide you in your options and perhaps get to the bottom of what might be interfering with your sex life.

    Incorporating sex toys

    Sex toys can shift the focus away from your own performance and offer a helping hand in pleasing your partner. Male sex toys, such as Tenuto, are specifically designed to restrict blood flow for a stronger erection as well stimulating the penis to improve erectile response in men. With vibrating cock rings having a clitoral vibrator as well, you can alleviate the stress around helping your partner achieve orgasm.


    Exercise can improve your sex life by making you feel better about your body, improving your stamina in the bedroom and fight sexual dysfunction. Get moving a little every day to help improve your time in the bedroom.

    Distract yourself

    Take your mind off the act in question by distracting yourself with something sexy - listen to some romantic music, watch a sexy movie or porn to help you take your mind off your performance. Obviously, it is important to remain present in sex but by discussing this technique with your sexual partner you may find yourself able to enjoy sex again.

    Guided imagery 

    Guided imagery is a therapy technique that can help overcome sexual performance anxiety by practicing a script at home or visualizing a successful sex session. Focus on enjoying the sexual experience and the more you go over the process, the more your conscious mind will be able to overcome those feelings of anxiety.

    Mindful sex or meditative sex 

    Applying mindfulness to sex can help you focus on those intimate moments in the present and have great sex without being goal orientated. 

    It is important to seek professional medical advice if your sexual performance anxiety is causing you to suffer, but with a few tips and tricks to help get you started sparks will be flying in no time.

    Have better sex