(310) 600-9912 drmoali@oasis2care.com

Sexual anxiety, and especially performance anxiety, is often associated with penis owners, but the truth is that it can affect people of any gender. Being nervous about your partner’s experience starts as a caring, thoughtful mindset that shows that you want them to enjoy sex with you as much as you enjoy sex with them. But it can become detrimental, making the experience less enjoyable for you both. Let’s talk about some of the different categories that comprise sexual anxiety and how to overcome them.

 

Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety can be a self-perpetuating cycle, especially for penis owners. You may conjure the very situation you are trying to avoid by experiencing extreme nervousness during sex and not being able to get as hard as you would like. But performance anxiety doesn’t just affect those with penises. 

 

While penis owners often feel insecure about how long they can last, on the opposite end of the spectrum, vulva owners may feel self-doubt about how long it takes them to reach climax or about how their vulva looks, smells, or feels. These insecurities may make orgasming unlikely. People of all genders may feel uncomfortable with how long it takes to orgasm, whether it’s too long or too short, making it a common experience for people with sexual anxiety. 

 

Body-Image Struggles

Escaping body-image issues is difficult in our image-obsessed culture. Penis owners might be concerned about whether their size is enough for their partner. Vulva owners are often conditioned to be concerned about their entire body’s size. People of any gender may worry about how they look during sex or have shame around a certain body part, skin condition, amount of hair, smell, etc. We tend to focus so much on how sex looks rather than how sex feels, which can destroy its connection to pleasure. Finding ways to redirect your focus is crucial.

 

Life Stress

If you spend all day stressed out about your work, job, children, or relationship, shifting into a carefree sexual mindset at the end of the day is nearly impossible. Life stress is bound to seep into your sex life unless you can deal with it before having sex. Managing stress and reducing it when possible is essential for your mental health and the ability to reclaim your pleasure.

 

Overcoming Sex Anxiety

It’s true: the more you communicate about your feelings, the easier the problem of sexuality anxiety will be to solve. For starters, it will help your partner understand what’s going on. When sexual anxiety rears its ugly head, your partner will likely notice that something is up, and they may jump to the worst-case scenario unless you clear the air. Give them a heads-up that certain aspects of sex send you into an anxiety spiral, and you’ll likely save yourself a future argument.

 

Next, cultivating a mindfulness practice can be a lifesaver if you have anxiety about sex. Pausing to breathe deeply and refocus on the activity at hand keeps your attention on your body and the pleasure it feels rather than the anxiety in your mind. To increase the intensity, try making eye contact with your partner during the deep breathing or placing your hands on each other’s hearts and matching your breath’s rhythm. 

 

Taking care of your mind is important, and so is taking care of your body. Yoga, stretching, or even a hot bath are all ways to help our bodies release stress and create space between the tension you may have felt all day. 

 

Another way to help bring calm to your sex life is to identify thoughts of shame surrounding sex and replace them with empowering thoughts. If you were raised with the idea that masturbation was wrong, sex was dirty, or that your body was sinful, it’s hard to feel sexually empowered when getting intimate with your partner. Noticing and correcting these thoughts with ideas that make you feel pleasure-centered can reduce your anxiety during sex. 

 

Get a Curated Plan

Fast-tracking your sex life towards calmness and pleasure and away from stress and anxiety is as simple as working with a professional who can tailor a plan to your relationship. Contact me for a free consultation today.

 

 

Bio: Dr. Nazanin Moali is a clinical psychologist and sex therapist in the Los Angeles area. She works with various individuals to understand and improve their sexuality. Dr. Moali conducts personal consultation sessions in her Torrance and Hermosa Beach offices, or via a secure, online video-counseling platform.  Click here to take the sex quiz for women.

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