Last updated:

October 27, 2023


 min read

How to Overcome Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction

Experiencing performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction? Learn everything about how to overcome performance anxiety and ED from expert doctors.

Reviewed by
Reyana D’Souza
Written by
Malvika Rathi

Performance Anxiety is a condition in which one is not able to get an erection because of the nervousness around sexual performance. The connection between erectile dysfunction and performance anxiety is intricate and frequently reciprocal; one can trigger the other. You will probably experience both of them simultaneously.

Erectile dysfunction can be caused by psychological factors, including anxiety and depression, however, the exact nature of these fears is less clear. These underlying causes can range from situational anxiety brought on by pressure from the relationship, expectations that must be met, low self-esteem, or even prior traumatic experiences that link intimacy with fear. 

Take a deep dive with us into understanding how performance anxiety affects your system and strategies to manage performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction effectively. 

How Performance Anxiety Affects Your System?

When you experience anxiety, your body's sympathetic nervous system is activated, which causes blood vessels to narrow and leads to higher production of stress hormones like cortisol, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. As a consequence, your blood pressure rises and less blood is flowing to your penis. 

This makes it considerably more difficult than usual to get and maintain an erection, which interferes with your ability to have sex with your partner. Simply explained, the psychological impacts of performance anxiety cause your body to react physically, which makes sex more strenuous.

This essentially means that even men who don't have any of the primary medical causes of erectile dysfunction (ED) may experience difficulty in erection if they experience anxiety before sex. 

Performance anxiety during sex can hinder one's ability to orgasm as it can be difficult to focus on the physical and emotional feelings experienced during sex. Further, it can have a lasting detrimental impact on a person's sexual life, including decreasing desire for sexual engagement. 

Performance Anxiety With A New Partner 

Just like how changing life circumstances or disruptions to the status quo are sources of anxiety, similarly, getting together with a new partner could also lead to performance anxiety. 

It might be even more challenging if this happens after getting out of a long-term relationship because there weren’t any sources of anxiety in the past. While novelty has its advantages, it can also be a performance trigger for someone whose nervousness occasionally extends into the bedroom.

If you are experiencing ED due to performance anxiety with a new partner, you have made the first step towards solving the problem by detecting the root cause.

Pornography And Performance Anxiety 

While there is nothing to be embarrassed about in watching porn, the problem arises when you start making comparisons to real life. There is a huge difference between the content shown in the video clips and what sex looks like in real life. Porn frequently leads to unrealistic expectations and also contributes to body image issues. These clubbed together can manifest in the form of performance anxiety. 

Strategies For Managing Performance Anxiety And ED

Talk to a therapist 

A mental health professional will provide you with a safe and judgement-free space to talk about nervousness during sexual intercourse. You can also discuss other feelings such as the fear of being inadequate or low self-esteem which is hampering your experience in the bedroom. 

There is a broad range of techniques used by professionals to help clients with sexual dysfunction. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is one such technique which is highly effective as it helps the individual recognise negative thought patterns and intrusive perspectives of oneself that are making it hard for you to experience intimacy with your partner and replace them with more uplifting and positive thought patterns. 

Consult a doctor 

If you are experiencing sexual dysfunction due to underlying physical reasons, the best advice would be to consult a doctor. They can provide you with the specialised support you need to manage ED. Although there are many possible ED treatments, doctors are likely to suggest evidence-based ED treatment options including medication for your physical symptoms.

After consulting with the doctor, if you decide to take medicine to manage your ED, a phosphodiesterase type 5 (PDE5) inhibitor will likely be recommended to you. These drugs include Cialis and Viagra. They increase the dilatation of the blood vessels in your penis, giving you more chances to get and stay stimulated, resulting in an erection with greater firmness.  

All of these drugs have potential adverse effects, so you should tell your doctor if you have a personal or family history of blood pressure or hypertension problems.

Guided imagery 

It is a form of meditation and entails applying mindfulness to one’s sexual experiences. With the help of mindful masturbation, you will discover how to reinterpret sex and be engaged in sexual circumstances without becoming worried.

You'll eliminate the pressure associated with sex, develop confidence in your erections, and learn how to avoid over-analyzing your sexual "performance" once you realise it's about the entire experience rather than just having an orgasm, how hard you are, and how long you can last.

There are numerous tutorials and videos available online to help you start the guided imagery practice from home.

Talk to your partner 

We know that having a conversation about performance anxiety is not easy at all, especially with your partner. However, if you have been avoiding engaging in sexual activity due to this reason, it could help to have an open and honest conversation with them. 

It might help you in reducing your anxiety and they can provide you with strong support to work through this together. Keep in mind that this conversation should take place in the right setting with the right frame of mind as it is sensitive and vulnerable. 

Final Word 

Sexual dysfunction can be tough to deal with due to the stigma associated with it. If you feel that you are experiencing troubles in the bedroom and need help getting a grip on what’s happening, visit our blog to learn more about sexual dysfunction. 

We’ve helped hundreds of people in India with performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction with our judgement-free consultation calls and discreet delivery of medication. If you need professional help to manage your performance anxiety and ED, look no further. Schedule a consultation call from the best doctors in India today.