Sexual Performance Anxiety: Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

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The desire for sex is inherent in our DNA. Sex should be enjoyed, improve the bond between sexual partners, and offer them a recreational feeling. 

It’s tough to have fun if you’re constantly worried about your performance in bed. To sparkle and revive your love life, you need to understand the causes of sexual performance anxiety and tips to improve sexual performance.

What is sexual performance anxiety?

Sexual performance anxiety is the worry and fear that is involved with sexual activities. This is the fear that overwhelms people about their capability to satisfy their partner, and get or keep an erection. 

Sexual performance anxiety happens during or before sex. It’s important to understand that sexual performance anxiety is different from Erectile Dysfunction. These are two different conditions although sometimes sexual performance can cause erectile dysfunction. 

Erectile dysfunction is the physical inability to get or keep an erection. 

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Performance anxiety is highly influenced by the state of your mind. This symptoms are observed on both men and women. Some of the symptoms are similar to both gender while some are different.

Symptoms of sexual performance anxiety can either be expressed physically or mentally.

These symptoms include:

  • Worrying about whether you will be able to please your partner during sexual activity.
  • Having prolonged negative thoughts before or during sexual activity.
  • When you start experiencing strong negative feelings toward sex.
  • Having premature ejaculation for the men.
  • Having delayed ejaculation for the men.
  • Men may experience Erectile dysfunction.
  • Performance anxiety may be observed when one is worried or in fear when thinking about sex.
  • Experiencing worry and fear before or during sex.
  • Women may experience vaginal dryness.
  • Women may experience pain during sex.
  • When one experiences a decreased interest in sex.
  • One may experience an increased heart rate.
  • Inability to reach organism during sex
  • Sweating.


Sex is an activity that needs both physical and emotional investment. When your mind is stressed out about the sex performance, your body can’t get excited even if you’re with someone who you find sexually appealing. 

The following worries are the biggest contributors to performance anxiety:

Body image insecurities.
Some people may be concerned about their body image insecurities such as weight or their physical disabilities.


The fear one won’t give a good performance in bed and satisfy their partner's sexual appetites.

Relationship conflicts 
Problems in your relationship may cause the performance anxiety.

Premature or lack of ejaculation
When one develops concerns about ejaculating too early or taking too long to reach the orgasm.

Sexual expectations 
When you are worried that your penis will not measure up to your partner's expectations.

Having anxiety about not being able to have an orgasm or to enjoy the sex.

Previous relationship problems 
Having previous negative sexual experiences or relationship challenges can be a cause.

General stress
General stress or anxiety, and societal and other pressure to perform are also possible causes.

Treatments and solutions.

Sexual performance anxiety can be treated. Some of the common treatments include medication and physiotherapy.

Oral pills such as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, penile injections, and intraurethral medications are some of the treatments used to treat performance anxiety.

Priligy 30mg-Stop Premature ejaculation is an effective treatment used to treat premature ejaculation in men. The treatment works by delaying ejaculation for around 4 minutes. You should take it 3 hours before engaging in sex with your partner. Priligy 30mg is reliable and effective since it lasts for 24 hours.

The issue of low libido and low testosterone levels can be treated using testosterone replacement therapy that is administered by use of gels and injections.

Psychotherapy, or talk therapy is commonly considered as the primary treatment for sexual performance anxiety.

There are three different forms of psychotherapy they include:

  • Exposure therapy.

Exposure therapy is used to help patients with sexual performance anxiety reduce the feelings of fear related to sex. Exposure therapy is a process that allows the person with sexual performance anxiety to face the fear in a safe and controlled setting.

  • Systematic desensitization. 

Systematic desensitization is a process that involves both relaxation and gradual exposure for the patient to learn how to overcome the fear.

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy.

Cognitive behavioral therapy is the most common method used to deal with sexual performance anxiety. Cognitive behavioral therapy has a positive approach it helps in dealing with overwhelming problems by breaking them down into smaller parts.

You’re shown how to change these negative patterns of anxiety to improve the way you feel.

There are other ways of treating sexual performance anxiety beyond treatment and psychotherapy. One of the ways to improve your confidence is by using mindfulness meditation, yoga, and talking with partners.  

Mindfulness Meditation.
Research indicates that a large number of people experience anxiety and depression globally but they can live a better life through mindfulness-based therapies.

According to research, men's thoughts about sexual performance concerns can be redirected from judgment and anxiety to present-moment enjoyment through practicing mindfulness.

There is evidence that yoga may be useful for controlling early ejaculation and enhancing general sexual function, despite the limited number of research on the subject. If your performance anxiety is caused by a psychological problem, such as stress, yoga might be worth a try. Yoga is unlikely to help with a medical problem like erectile dysfunction.

Having a conversation with your partner can help you reduce and cope with sexual performance anxiety. Conversations facilitate the understanding between sexual partners affected by performance anxiety challenges. It also helps them build stronger relationships, and help in the formulation of practical solutions.

Communication also encourages openness where partners can express their feelings and create solutions. For example, a couple can discuss their sexual performance problems and develop clear strategies that may help improve sexual confidence.

Self distraction.
One way of distracting yourself and your partner to overcome sex fears is to put on some romantic music or romantic movies. Think about something that turns you on. Taking your mind off your sexual performance can remove the worries that stop you from getting excited.

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What is the best therapy for sexual performance anxiety?

The best therapies for sexual performance anxiety are psychotherapy, talk therapy, and exposure therapy.

Can Viagra treat sexual performance anxiety?

No, Viagra cannot be used to treat sexual performance anxiety

Why does my erection go away very fast?

Your erection may go away very fast if the blood vessels around your penis are not functioning normally.

What causes performance anxiety in men?

Performance anxiety in men is caused by having negative thoughts on the ability to perform and satisfy their partners in bed.

How can I build my sexual confidence?

You can build your sexual confidence by appreciating your body image. The moment you appreciate your body image you can address any issue concerning it. Secondly, ensure that you get treated for any sex problems such as erectile dysfunction.

How can I give my partner sexual confidence?

You can give your partner sexual confidence by openly communicating with them and attending therapies together. This serves as a way of supporting them and showing that you are ready to help them cope with sexual performance anxiety.

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Sexual performance anxiety is a disorder that affects sexual relationships. This type of anxiety is mind-dependent affecting how one feels about his performance either before or during sexual activities. 

The causes of this anxiety are fear and worry about the performance in bed. One gets griped with fear of whether they can satisfy their partners sexually. Other people are affected by their physical images and previous negative relationships. 

Sexual performance anxiety is treatable with medications and changes in lifestyle habits such as practicing yoga, meditation, and helpful communication.

If you are experiencing sexual performance anxiety or erectile dysfunction, reach out to your healthcare provider. Your provider will help you get to the bottom of your performance anxiety and choose a suitable treatment plan.

 Reviewed by

Name Mr Suhail Jamil
Role Superintendent Pharmacist 

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