Beyond Performance Anxiety

Nastasia Clarke

beginnerhow to guide May 26, 2021

For those of you who don’t know, May is Mental Health Month. This month signifies a time in which you should ensure that your mental well-being is in pristine shape. When mental health is discussed, no one really talks about how it influences your sex life and vice versa. 

Anxiety, depression, sadness, stress, and more can easily influence performance in the bedroom. When you’re struggling mentally, everything from libido to arousal is negatively influenced. Keep reading to see how mental health can affect things in the bedroom:

Inability to reach orgasm

When experiencing mental health problems, it can be difficult to reach orgasm. This is especially true for those whose mental blocks stem from self-esteem and confidence issues. Instead of focusing on having sex, you’re more concerned with how your body looks. Stressing over insecurities when trying to have sex is a distraction that can easily stop you from experiencing the big-O, as reaching climax is just as much mental as it is physical. Sarah Murray, a sex researcher stated in an article for HuffPost that feeling insecure about your body is one of the biggest mental blocks that affect the ability to orgasm.

Low libido

If you aren’t feeling 100% like yourself, it can be difficult to get in the mood. Mental health conditions, like depression, affect everyone differently but some common symptoms are fatigue, unambition, and disinterest in things that you used to love; this includes sex. The lack of energy or enthusiasm that depression causes can make it hard for people to want to have sex, or if they do, they cannot fully enjoy it. Also, the chemical makeup in the brains of people who are experiencing depression often is altered and not functioning properly, therefore, affecting libido.

Erectile dysfunction

Mental health actually influences physical aspects of sex as well. Similar to how both women and men may have a hard time reaching orgasm, men, in particular, may have difficulty maintaining an erection. This is especially true for men who experience chronic anxiety. People who are highly anxious tend to be under higher amounts of stress. Stress can interrupt the signals being sent to your brain that are necessary to get an erection which can cause even further stress. If you’ve been struggling with performance issues, you may benefit from trying an ED medication like Cialis. This can help ease some of your stress and have a more enjoyable time in the bedroom.

Things you can do

See a therapist

Before you do anything, you should determine what is causing your mental unrest. Not everyone’s performance issues are related to mental health; however, it’ll be difficult to have a fulfilling sex life when you’re battling an unidentified mental health condition. Determining what’s causing you to be upset will allow you to easily relay the information to a therapist. Going to a therapist can be really helpful in situations like this as hearing a professional’s opinion can be an eye-opener. Not only that, but they can give you an unbiased medical opinion on how to deal with your situation.

Switch things up

Doing the same routine day in and day out can feel like just another monotonous part of your life when you’re going through a mental condition like depression or anxiety. That’s why if you’re in a mental rut, sometimes adopting a new routine can help bring some much-needed excitement back into your life. If you’re a top, maybe that means bottoming (or vice versa). Introduce sex (butt) toys into the bedroom. Or, if you’ve never had it before, maybe you give anal sex a go. When you indulge yourself in a fantasy or exploring something different, you may regain a sense of exhilaration. Whatever it is, make sure you’re comfortable before exploring things. Also, properly prep yourself beforehand when you’re switching your sex routine up for maximum comfort.

Prep beforehand

While it may be more extreme in people with mental conditions, anyone can suffer anxiety and stress over the most minute details of sex, like cleanliness or body image, potentially causing performance issues. To avoid that, being prepared for whatever sexual activity you decide to do will help to mitigate some of the anxiety and stress your feel before, during, and after sex.  For example, if you are deciding to try something like anal sex, make sure to have the necessary items. Having lube, an anal douche, and a towel handy will help reduce some of your fears regarding cleanliness. If you are introducing sex toys, know how to use them, and have any additional necessities nearby. This way you look like a pro when the time comes and don’t feel stressed or embarrassed.

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