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Sexual Performance Anxiety & Tips to Overcome It

by The Promescent Team

The Promescent Team
The Promescent Team


Sex should be a way to release stress and tension, not a source of it.

And yet, for some guys, sex causes them nothing but anxiety, self-doubt, embarrassment, and even shame.

Men who suffer the worst of these sex-related symptoms often resort to avoiding sexual encounters altogether. But by completely stopping intercourse, these sufferers can wind up feeling depressed, alone, and too shy to seek out help to deal with their condition.

That is no way to live.

If you feel this way, the good news is that you're not alone. Most men suffer from similar complaints at some point in their lives.

There is hope. The condition is known as sexual performance anxiety (SPA), and you can overcome it.

What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?

There is not a universally accepted medical diagnosis for sexual performanceanxiety. Yet, it is one of the most common sex-related complaints among men.

And although sexual performance anxiety is psychological in nature, one of the largest mental disorder guides (DSM-5) does not even recognize it as a disorder.

This lack of a precise medical diagnosis or a least a mention in medical texts can make getting help harder for men who suffer from the symptoms.

 But, if you had to define sexual performance anxiety, you could generalize it as the condition of being anxious before, during, and after sex. That covers a lot of ground.

After all, who isn't worried about measuring up to a new lover's past boyfriends from time to time?

While the factors contributing to sexual performance anxiety are mostly attributed to psychological causes, it can create physical problems such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation.

In fact, research shows that performance anxiety may be one of the leading risk factors in developing these conditions.

The most insidious aspect of SPA is that it is easy to fall into a self-feeding cycle. When you have a little apprehension before sex, it can be the reason anxiety comes from anticipating a sexual encounter.

This can lead to difficulty getting it up, prematurely ejaculating, and lack of enjoyment­ which ultimately stimulates more anxiety and worry during that encounter and the next one

This slight disappointment will tend to increase your stress levels during the next sexual encounter leading to great disappointments. And so on and on, turning a minor problem into a huge one. (Chris G. McMahon,1 Emmanuele A. Jannini,2 Ege C. Serefoglu,3 and Wayne J. G. Hellstrom4)

Now, let's take a look at how sexual performance anxiety can start.

What Are the Causes of Performance Anxiety in Men?


There are indeed a lot of reasons why you may experience male performance anxiety.

All of them stem from the mistaken belief that you will somehow do something, or not be able to do something that will disappoint your partner.

Sex is not a show that needs a review, and turning it into one is just about the quickest way to make anyone avoid wanting to participate.

Even the most confident guy is bound to be a bit nervous if he thinks his partner is overly critical of his sexual prowess.

Let's take a quick look at five of the common reasons guys may experience performance anxiety.

A poor self-image

People want to feel good about who they are.

Yet, all of us have certain aspects of ourselves, especially our bodies, that we don't particularly like. Lots of guys fear that by being intimate with another person, they may unexpectedly expose some of these flaws.

And as a result, the other person will reject them. Typically, guys have the most negative thoughts about their penis size and their weight.

Worrying that your penis won’t work the way it should?

So much depends on your penis, and a lot can go wrong with it.

A properly behaved penis is a huge concern for most men. Questions like, will it get hard enough? Will I climax too early? And will I be able to reach orgasm at all?

These uncertainties can weigh heavily on your mind and contribute to sexual performance anxiety, leading to severe issues like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction.

General relationship problems with your partner

Even for guys with the most active sex lives, actual intercourse makes up only a tiny fraction of the daily interactions you have with your lover. A poor relationship outside the bedroom can increase performance anxiety between the sheets.

Men who have trouble communicating openly and honestly with their significant other often fall into this category.

A new relationship or lack of previous sexual experience

New and different things can be scary. That is true in sex, as well.

Guys who don't have much experience with sex in general or those who are expanding their horizons by trying different sexual activities tend to be more nervous before sex.

The same feelings of uneasiness can quickly overtake the most skilled lover when he is making love with a person for the first time.

Worrying about your inability to satisfy your partner

Whether you are having sex with someone for the first time, or with your wife of ten years, the desire to please your lover can really rattle your nerves.

This is particularly true immediately following a sex session that did not work out as well as you might have liked.

Whatever is causing you to feel intimidated when it comes to having sex, you need to know that male performance anxiety solutions exist. Yes, even you can actually enjoy having sex again.

If It Is All in My Mind, Is It All My Fault?


Nope. Stop your negative thinking.

Male performance anxiety should not rest on your shoulders alone.

There are things you can do to reduce the severity of the symptoms. These four simple tips can help you get past the thoughts that are screwing with your head, so you can get back in bed with more confidence.

1. Show yourself that it works

If it works when you masturbate you know your equipment is working from a physical perspective.

 Understanding your sexual response by practicing when you are by yourself is a good way to reinforce that there is nothing wrong with you.

2. Change your attitude and trust your body and your partner

Fix your thoughts that something won't happen, and just let nature take over.

Are you fearful that your penis won't rise to the occasion, or that even if it does, it won't be as impressive to your partner as you hope?

Those are things you don't have control over, so instead of stressing out, have confidence that whatever does, or doesn't happen is fine.

And you know what? With the right mindset and the right partner, it will be.

3. Get out of your head and get into the mood

Shifting the focus off of yourself and onto pleasing your partner will not only take the pressure off you to perform, but it will also enhance your partner’s pleasure.

Live in the moment and think about the journey as a whole instead of just the destination.

Try to be present at every stage of the arousal process from foreplay to climax. If you or your partner get stuck somewhere along the way, it is alright.

Learn not only to accept it but learn to like it. Being intimate doesn't always have to end with an orgasm. A night of heavy petting may be just what you need to 'fix' your performance problems.

4. Know the facts

Who says that every time you are intimate with your woman that she must have an orgasm from vaginal penetration? If that is the way that you think, then you are bound to be disappointed.

The truth is that not all women can achieve a climax just through PIV intercourse. Less than 10 percent of women always have an orgasm during sex, and less than half usually do. Therefore, there is a good chance that if you can't get your lover off every time, it is not your fault.

These tips are great for men who suffer from moderate anxiety when it comes to their sexual performance.

But what about ways to help correct the more serious physical problems related to anxiety, such as erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation?

Don't worry, there are things you can do to reduce even these severe symptoms.

Erectile Dysfunction and Sexual Performance Anxiety

Erectile dysfunction is a health issue that affects a lot of guys. ED is extremely common in older gentlemen due to a variety of physical medical conditions.

About 50 percent of men in their 50s and 60s have moderate symptoms of ED, but younger men are not immune.

Most of the time, the men below 30 who suffer from cases of ED have no direct physical issues. These are the guys who are probably feeling the effects of sexual performance anxiety.


Although no one wants to have to deal with erectile dysfunction, there are ways to treat it. In addition to reducing or eliminating the causes of sexual anxiety, there are a number of medical and non-medical approaches you can use to tackle the symptoms of erectile dysfunction directly.

Four Ways to Help Relieve Erectile Dysfunction 

1. Take better care of yourself.Bad habits like smoking, excessive drinking, and a poor diet can contribute to ED. Getting in better shape especially building cardiovascular fitness and making sure that you have plenty of rest are great ways to solve your ED problem.

As a bonus, improving the way you look can go a long way in making you feel better about yourself in general. This can lead to a better self-image and can reduce or eliminate performance anxiety.

2. Relax, and things may get better.Stress is a huge erection killer. But in today's world, it can be almost impossible to avoid. You will need to learn how to manage it.

Many guys find that getting involved in meditation, yoga, or even circular breathing can help to calm themselves and allow excess stress and tension to melt away.

3. Lifting your spirits may help keep your erection, too.Depression can bring both you and your penis down. So, if you are feeling a little blue, talk to someone. Whether it is visiting your partner or a professional about what is bothering you, sharing the way you are feeling is a solid first step to conquering depression.

And it is an excellent move for getting your groove back in the bedroom.

4. Try medications, including Viagra.Sometimes a little blue pill is all it takes to get back your erection and regain confidence when it comes to sex. Viagra is probably the best-known erection jump-starter. Still, there are others, like Cialis or Stendra, which could be better in your personal situation.

Some men see the most benefits from non-oral medications, including injections and suppositories. Talk to your doctor to find the ED medication that will work best for you.

Premature Ejaculation and Sexual Performance Anxiety

Like erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation is a common condition.

Around a third of all men under the age of 60 have at least occasional issues with PE. Doctors define early ejaculation as regularly reaching orgasm within a minute after penetration during vaginal sex.

Less frequent incidents of PE are sometimes known as early ejaculation or premature climax. Whether you have chronic symptoms or ones that only occur from time to time, PE can increase the chance you will experience sexual performance anxiety.

As we mentioned previously, SPA can lead to PE which only increases your SPA. It can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. But there are solutions to help you overcome this critical health issue.

Four Ways to Help Relieve Premature Ejaculation 

1. Open up about PE.Premature ejaculation is a problem that causes most men to feel shame. It shouldn't. A good way to halt PE from happening is to talk to your partner about it.

This is particularly important if your ejaculations are making you completely avoid sex. Believe it or not, most women have dealt with a lover's early ejaculation in the past and are more than understanding. Sometimes that bit of reassurance is all you need for mild PE to go away.

2. Take the problem into your own hands.There are a number of manual approaches you can use to reduce the frequency of PE. Two of the best known are the stop and start method and the squeeze technique. Choose one and practice either by yourself or with your partner.

Some couples find these solutions can harm intimacy and prefer to try edging, a less intrusive method.

3. Start using a condom or choose a thicker one.Adding an extra barrier is a great way to reduce sensitivity leading to premature ejaculation. Look for condoms that are advertised as "Extra Strength" or "Extra Safe."

If you are using condoms for the first time with your partner, it is a good idea to stock up on lube to improve enjoyment and avoid causing pain.

4. Use a numbing spray or cream.For more immediate relief from premature ejaculation, you can use a topical medication which to help desensitize your penis.

There are a variety of OTC and prescription-only products on the market. One product, Promescent, is recommended by over 2,000 urologists and is well-reviewed by customers.





Sex is a beautiful experience. SPA can really put a damper on your sexual pleasure and intimacy with your partner.

Overcoming sexual performance anxiety is possible with the help of male performance anxiety solutions and an understanding partner.

Practice mindfulness, deep breathing techniques or jump in and get yourself a sexual enhancer like Promescent.

You may feel all alone on this, but you should know that most men at some point in their lives experience sexual performance anxiety issues just like you may have.

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The Promescent Team
The Promescent Team

Our team has over a decade of experience in the sexual wellness field and are experts in sexual dysfunctions, like premature ejaculation. We help couples and individuals better understand treatment options available for different types of sexual needs and educate the public on all things related to intimacy. All of our authored content is medically reviewed for accuracy and reliability.

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