Sexual performance anxiety is a silent struggle many men grapple with, yet few discuss openly. The fears and shame associated with premature ejaculation or experiencing erectile dysfunction can crush a man’s spirit and cast a dark shadow over intimate moments. However, the principles of conscious masculinity allow men to approach this challenge with mindfulness, understanding, and actionable strategies. If you’ve ever wondered how to overcome sexual performance anxiety and enhance your endurance in bed, this guide is for you.
Let’s start by defining sexual performance anxiety. It’s the worry associated with one’s ability to perform in the bedroom. It’s often linked to fears of premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or lovemaking not going the way we might hope it to.
As a man who has struggled with his fair share of performance anxiety due to my lifetime battle with premature ejaculation and occasional bouts of erectile dysfunction, this is a pain I know all too well.
The Physical vs. Psychological: While there are physiological factors that can contribute to a man’s intimate experiences, much of sexual performance anxiety is rooted in the psychological components.
Root Causes of Anxiety in Men
The root causes of our performance anxiety could be understood as our need for attachment. We learned from an early age that to get abandoned or rejected by our caregivers would threaten our lives.
So when that potential fear of rejection is triggered by feelings of guilt, shame, embarrassment or humiliation, it often puts our body into a fight or flight response. It’s well known that when we approach intimate relationships, we carry the burden of these early wounds and patterns with us. This means that feminine disapproval can easily trigger our nervous systems flight or fight response.
As men our psychology is set up to win. When we fail, we feel ashamed and depressed which is normal in such circumstances. However, if we never let ourselves process that shame, it doesn’t go away. It lurks under the surface and festers inside us like a cancer, slowly poisoning us from the inside. And because we as men tend to be quite adept at suppressing our emotions, this is often what happens.
For example, a one-off ‘negative’ incidents can often condition a man to anticipate failure in the future, which amplifies over time and creates a vicious downward spiral.
Let’s imagine you’ve jumped into bed with a gorgeous girl you’ve been courting for some time. You’re so excited that your fantasy is finally playing out when her hand slides down your pants and she’s pressing her half naked body onto yours, you get so excited, your body contracts and you lose control in a matter of minutes (or fail to get it up)
You’re shocked, this hasn’t happened before and she’s got an amused or disappointed look on her face. Things get awkward as you try to play it cool, but there’s no hiding what just happened.
All the thoughts about what she’s going to tell her friends start running through your mind and you just want to exit the scene and move to a different country.
All of this anxiety gets stored inside you, unprocessed and connected to the trauma of the embarrassment you felt and the reaction of your nervous system. Ready to get triggered again, the next time you jump into bed with a hot girl.
If men never learn to label what they’re feeling and sit in uncomfortable emotions, this stuff can build up over years or decades. Unfortunately, just like cancer, time doesn’t make it go away.
Erectile Dysfunction and Performance Anxiety
One of the most common effects of performance anxiety on a man’s anatomy is erectile dysfunction. Here the threat to our ego of being humiliated is literally strong enough to cut off the supply of our sexual energy.
In these moments, your mind is far more focussed on your social survival than making love. So the wisdom of your cock is acting like an alarm signal that is trying to get your attention. It’s basically saying “Mate, We can’t make love right now! Attend to your emotional state first and create safety”
Unless you attend to your triggered nervous system, that alarm will not switch off. The best thing to do in this situation is to own your experience and share it with your lover. Ideally you can lay the right expectations before you get your clothes off. Something like..
“Hey, I find you incredibly beautiful and I want to get more intimate with you, but I want to be open and real with you.. I’m feeling a bit anxious and I don’t want to disappoint. This is something I’m working on, do you mind if we take it slow?”
Chances are that she’ll love this and appreciate your openness and delight in the process of deep intimacy that just got created by your truthful owning and leadership of the situation.
Premature Ejaculation and Performance Anxiety
On the other end of the spectrum, the anxiety that we feel can cause a lot of tension and bracing internally for us men. This creates an environment in which ejaculation can be triggered very easily.
We need to learn how to alleviate the tension and pressure in our pelvic floor and regulate our nervous system. Again, sharing your experience is a great place to start and getting your lover on board will reduce a lot of the anxiety that you feel.
If this is your issue, make sure to check out my guides and resources on this topic.
Societal Pressure and Performance Anxiety
Men often feel pressured to fit a societal mould, where endurance and prowess are equated with masculinity. Traits like vulnerability are frowned upon and even outrightly judged as making a man weak. We’re conditioned as men to be strong, stoic and confident, but what happens when we do not feel that way?
In order to maintain the facade of strength we are basically taught to fake it or suppress what we truly feel. In doing so one of our other core needs, self expression, gets suppressed.
When we suppress self expression we start being and feeling inauthentic, which boxes us in even further. The implications of this are simple. When we cannot express the difficult emotions that we’re feeling, all of it gets pushed inside and bottled up. Which ain’t good at all!
Basically we get caught between a rock and a hard place. Pressured into looking like we’ve got it all together and afraid to show that we often don’t. All of which is playing off our deep attachment wounds around abandonment. It’s no wonder so many men get themselves stuck in the downward spirals of sexual performance anxiety.
The Influence of Relationship Dynamics on Performance Anxiety
Strained relationships or fear of not meeting a partner’s expectations can also certainly exacerbate anxiety. I’ve had numerous men approach me in a state of fear because their lover has threatened to leave them if they don’t improve their abilities in the bedroom.
When core needs aren’t getting met in a relationship this can be a major cause of conflict and anxiety. Obviously something as dramatic and high stakes as our partner walking out on us or finding sexual fulfilment elsewhere is a major cause for concern.
Unfortunately so many men don’t have the skills to navigate those difficult situations and inadvertently make things worse.
Women will often mirror a man’s state and energy. If you’re relaxed and chill about your body and it’s abilities, it’s likely she will be too. However, if you enter a panic the moment you’re dick doesn’t get hard or you bust too soon, she’ll likely pick up that energy and be influenced by it.
It’s essential for men to learn how to handle difficult emotions and navigate triggering topics with their lover. Without these skills, there is so much that can go wrong because in a relationship, communication is key. Without it, you simply can’t unlock all the doors.
How To Overcome Performance Anxiety
1. Embrace Conscious Masculinity:
Self-awareness: Recognise and accept your fears without judgement. Learn to communicate them openly, but from a position of grounded strength that doesn’t have you collapsing into a pathetic ball of mush. This can be a huge turnoff for women.
Emotional intelligence: Allow yourself to feel without suppression. Discuss your concerns with trusted friends, your men’s group or coaches and learn to bring up deep topics regularly with your beloved. Women always want to feel that a man is connected to his emotional side, but in a masculine way.
2. Communicate with Your Partner:
Honesty builds intimacy. Sharing your fears openly can often lighten the burden and a good partner wants to be there for you. This can often be an invitation for them to open up as well and reveal their fears or insecurities. In fact if it’s one sided, that’s a red flag that needs to be examined.
Conscious communication should lead the relationship, trust and intimacy to a deeper place in which the burdens of performance anxiety reduce significantly.
3. Limit Consumption of Alcohol and Drugs:
While some believe alcohol or drugs can enhance performance, they can often exacerbate problems, especially in excess. The major problem here being, that you’re using a substance to circumvent the problem instead of actually getting to the root cause.
By doing this you’re only pushing the problem down the line and let’s face it, you can’t get drunk every time you want to make love. Especially not when you’re in a long term relationship and things become more serious. At some point, you will have the face the music; and trust me, the volume only increases as time passes.
4. Prioritise Foreplay:
By focusing on prolonged foreplay, you can reduce performance pressures and heighten intimacy. The start is often the hardest part when there is all that tension and expectation. Learn to slow things right down and enjoy the process instead of ‘performing’ as if you need to reach a goal.
The best love making comes from the state between the two lovers. If it’s profoundly intimate and deeply connected, it will be extremely fulfilling for everyone involved regardless of how long you last or how hard you get.
5. Educate Yourself:
Understanding your body and the nature of sexual response can demystify fears. For instance, knowing the difference between the phases of erection can be empowering.
Remember, all men are different. Some of us are faster, some slower and we’ve all got our quirks and kinks. It’s normal to feel anxious or excited when you’re getting your clothes off with someone you find extremely sexy.
6. Practice Techniques for Endurance:
The stop-start methods can be useful for slowing things down during lovemaking. This involves getting close to climax and then pausing, focussing on the connection and your control before continuing.
Kegels and reverse kegels can also be immensely valuable for men, depending on their issues. They can offer a much higher degree of control, awareness and stamina with the sexual energy. You can read more about reverse kegels in particular here.
7. Consider Professional Help:
Therapists or coaches (such as myself) specialising in sexual health can offer strategies, perspective, and coping techniques. Find someone who has walked the path you’re on and made the transformations you’re seeking. Like this you can learn how to overcome sexual performance anxiety from an expert instead of struggling in despair alone by yourself.
8. Explore Natural Remedies and Supplements:
Aphrodisiacs can be novel and useful avenues of exploration that can open up some new doors into deeper intimacy and wild lovemaking.
When to Seek Medical Intervention
If you’ve tried multiple approaches and still struggle, it may
be time to consult with a urologist or sex therapist. They can provide medical interventions, therapies, or medications tailor
ed to your specific needs. Just note, you may wish to exhaust all other avenues before going that route.
In conclusion, there are many factors that cause a man to suffer from performance anxiety. This is an extremely common issue that most men on this planet deal with in some shape or form.
Embracing conscious masculinity means understanding and accepting oneself fully, including the challenges one faces in the bedroom. Owning the truth of your experience and limitations is always the best place to start. At least like this your lover is on the same page as you and can help to remove the burden of pressure you place on your shoulders.
If you truly want to learn how to overcome sexual performance anxiety, you may wish to consider joining The Legendary Lover. An online course and men’s community that is focussed on overcoming sexual challenges and developing deeply intimate and healthy relationships.