The Pressure of Performance: Erectile Dysfunction


A couple sits apart on their bed with their heads in their hands after the man has experience performance anxiety

Performance anxiety can lead to erectile dysfunction but there are ways to relieve it


Key takeaways:

  • Anxiety around sexually pleasing a partner can lead to erectile dysfunction in men.

  • Feelings of unworthiness, isolation, and helplessness often accompany sexual performance anxiety. These feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem often lead to physical symptoms, such as erectile Dysfunction.

  • Sex therapy can help men and couples navigate the cognitive and emotional factors that affect their intimate lives.

Some of the most important aspects of a healthy relationship are being present with your partner and enjoying your experiences together. Unfortunately, emotional issues such as anxiety can have real, physical effects that can damage your sexual relationship with your partner.


Emotional issues that surround sexual performance anxiety can sometimes lead to Erectile Dysfunction (ED) in men. Performance anxiety is completely normal and very treatable. We will talk about how it can sometimes lead to erectile dysfunction and what you can do about it.


What are factors that affect performance anxiety?


Going through a sexual problem at least once in their lives is common for men. Some of the most typical issues are performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction. Performance anxiety usually stems from an unhealthy body image or stress to please your partner. Common factors that contribute to performance pressure and in turn ED include:


- Anxiety


While anxiety may exist in your head, it can cause physical symptoms like an increased heart rate, blood pressure problems, and fatigue; these physical issues can disrupt your sexual performance. Anxiety is one of the most common emotional causes of ED, which is when a man has difficulty getting and keeping an erection. Concerns about a partner’s expectations and personal worries are contributing factors to sexual performance anxiety and ED.


- Stress


Stress about pleasing your partner can cause ED. Shifting the focus to the cause, instead of the symptoms, may help a person reduce the pressure they place on themselves to perform well every time, particularly during times of increased stress.