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Erectile Dysfunction Performance Anxiety

erectile dysfunction performance anxiety


Most men have had some type of sexual problem in their lives. The most common issues include performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction (ED). Performance anxiety happens when you feel stress about your body image or your ability to please your partner. It can lead to ED. Men dealing with ED have a hard time getting and keeping an erection.

Read on to learn more about the connection between performance anxiety and ED.

Performance anxiety and ED

Some research has shown a link between performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. A 2005 study found that performance anxiety can cause and maintain sexual dysfunction among both men and women. A more recent study from 2015 found a connection between depression and performance anxiety and noted that there may be a link between performance anxiety and ED. However, the study recommended more research be done.


Performance anxiety is caused primarily by negative thoughts. These thoughts can be related to sex or issues in your daily life. Men can feel pressured to please their partners or feel insecure about their ability to perform sexually. Fear and anxiety about penis size and body image could also play a role in performance anxiety. Other causes of performance anxiety may include stress about:

  • work
  • relationships
  • kids or other family members
  • finances

Male and female performance anxiety - how to overcome it

It's important to remember that no two human beings will respond to sexual stimulus in the same way. Everyone will have different feelings, levels of arousal or responses to foreplay. Not getting an erection or not reaching an earth-shattering climax are not the problems you may feel they are.

Too many people are made to feel inadequate by the depiction of sex and sexual performance in the media. In real life, sexual experiences vary and communication is the key to a good sex life, not the size of your genitalia, how your body looks, how long you last or if/when you climax.

The most important step to overcoming performance anxiety is speaking to your partner and discussing your worries. Building up each other's self-confidence and the feeling of being loved and cared for will help you enjoy sex together.

How does it affect sex?

In men, performance anxiety may be fear of having erection problems or fear of premature ejaculation. In women, it can be fear that they are incapable of reaching orgasm or satisfying their partner. However, it is this preoccupation with performance that often prevents people from relaxing and enjoying a satisfying relationship.

Anxiety about performance (Will I or won't I?) will often stop you enjoying the sensation and signals from your partner which indicate that there is no real issue. By focusing on your fears of performance, you are not focusing on your partner. Whether the question is "Will I get an erection?" or "Will I be able to orgasm?", both men and women suffer the same kind of anxiety which can prevent them enjoying their sexual relationship

How to stop performance anxiety

Often people will resort to "Dutch courage" in the hope that this will improve their performance in bed and give them more confidence. Unfortunately, alcohol has an adverse effect on men, as it impacts their ability to get an erection.

If you suffer from anxiety, the most important thing to do is speak to your partner about it. Discuss your worries, expectations, possible techniques for relaxation and foreplay, and enjoy each other until you feel comfortable enough to have sex.

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