Understanding Sexual Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction (ED)

Medically Reviewed By Gerard Marroquin, MD

If you’re like most men, you’ve worried about whether your erection will be good enough for your partner. It can be a normal reaction if things aren’t working out the way you’d planned. In fact, almost every guy has experienced at least one episode of erectile dysfunction (ED) in his life. 

The difference between everyday performance anxiety and more serious (clinical) sexual dysfunction largely pertains to the pervasiveness and duration of the effects. In the case of ED, there’s a problem with a man’s ability to get or keep an erection fully hard enough to have sex that lasts longer than a few minutes and requires diagnosis and treatment.

If you’re experiencing erectile dysfunction and need help understanding ED along with sexual perfornace anxiety, you’ve come to the right place. Sexual performance anxiety can have several negative effects on men, such as erectile dysfunction (ED). This article looks at what sexual performance anxiety is and how it affects men.

It’s important to note for this article that the term “erectile dysfunction” previously referred exclusively to impotence in men — however, it is now more frequently used to describe both ED and the inability to achieve orgasm (anorgasmia). For simplicity purposes, we will use the term ED throughout this article.

What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?

There are many reasons why people may experience sexual performance anxiety (SPA,) including general anxiety. SPA is a feeling of sexual anxiety and nervousness before and during intercourse. When one experiences these feelings, often stress hormones such as adrenaline are released into the body, making it more challenging to relax and enjoy the moment. 

For many men, sexual performance anxiety can lead to ED, making any sexual activity much more difficult and less satisfying. In some people, performance anxiety will worsen because the trauma of bad experiences creates more anxiety and stress. 

SPA is one of the most common sexual complaints — affecting 9-25% of men and up to 16% of women. Sadly, the condition is often overlooked, and many do not seek treatment. 

Causes of Sexual Performance Anxiety

There are wide ranges of physical problems and phsychological factors that can contribute to sexual performance axiety. 

  • Prior negetive sexual experiences
  • Nervouness about intercourse or other sexual activity
  • Concern about sexual performance
  • Extreme worry about satisfaction
  • Self esteem issues
  • Body issues
  • Overweight
  • Worry about penis size
  • Stress about erectile dysfunction 
  • Relationship issues
  • Mental health disorders and illnesses 

Causes of Erectile Dysfunction

Sexual performance anxiety is actually quite common, and it is one of the main reasons men may be experiencing erectile dysfunction. Some of the most common reasons a man could be suffering from ED are:

  • Age – especially older men
  • Medications
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Lack of motivation
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Obesity
  • Traumatic injury 
  • Smoking
  • Low testosterone
  • Previous surgeries to the pelvic area
  • Prostate cancer – either past or current treatment
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Clogged blood vessels 
  • Vascular disease 
  • Kidney disorders

Symptoms of Erectile Dysfunction 

The following symptoms may be indicators of ED:

  • Reduced interest of intimacy
  • Reduction in sexual desire
  • Premature ejaculation 
  • Difficulties in reaching orgasm 
  • Difficulty keeping an erection
  • Difficulty getting an erection 

Overcoming SPA and ED

Communication will play a big part in the first steps of overcoming sexual performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. One must communicate with their partner so their partner can be understanding and open to the needs of the situation. There are also a few tips that can help alleviate some performance anxiety and hopefully improve intimacy. 

  1. Don’t focus on the past. While it can be difficult to not think about the past, it’s important to try and shift the focus on the positive — like your partner — instead of focusing on what you think could happen. 
  2. Focus on being in the moment. If one is not fully present in the intimate moment, it takes away from the sexual experience between you and your partner. If you are fully present, you won’t be distracted and focused on the bad stuff if you are fully present. 
  3. Make some lifestyle changes. Stress can often make ED worse. If you are experiencing stress from your relationship, children, job, or other outside influences, it’s best to seek out ways to battle stress, such as meditation or exercise.  

Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction

When sexual performance anxiety can contribute to ED, there are a few treatments which may help, depending on your medical history and severity of your condition. Men experiencing erectile dysfunction can often benefit from counseling and behavior therapy. Other options include performance enhancing prescriptions such as Viagra or Cialis, antidepressants, or anti anxiety medications. 

Other treatments include:

  • Penile injections
  • Penile suppositories
  • Penile prostheses
  • Vacuum devices
  • Penile implant surgery
  • Testosterone replacement
  • Blood vessel surgery 

Let Us Help You with a Non-Medical Option for Sexual Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction 

Sexual performance anxiety is a common problem that can affect anyone. SPA and erectile dysfunction do not have to be stressful experiences when trying to enjoy intimacy with your partner. We can help. 

NonMedErect is a new, innovative device for erectile dysfunction. We offer a non prescription option for those who have not had success with alternative medical treatments, do not want to try them, or do not wish to undergo surgery.

NonMedErect offers a wearable prosthetic device that offers a wholesome intimate and sexual experience. NonMedErect is a safe, non-medical solution that does not require a doctor’s prescription. For more information, and to speak with our highly confidential team, please contact us today.