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Image by Louis Smith
  • Expectations​ of the Self or Partner

  • Body shame or concerns about measuring up.

  • Worry about sexual ability or pleasing

  • Difficulty in arousal or lubrication

  • Premature, Early or Delayed Ejaculation

Cognitive and Emotional factors can significantly affect our sex lives and lead to chronic issues for both men and women.

Treatment for Sexual Performance Anxiety 

Sex is supposed to be pleasurable. However, it's tough to enjoy sex if you're constantly worried about your performance, feeling pressured to perform, or anxious instead of being present to your partner and the experience itself. Sexual performance anxiety is the state of being anxious before, during, and/or after sex. Individuals may become overly preoccupied with sex, their partner, or how they judge themselves or sex. This anxiety can range from worrying about our own physical abilities to worrying about meeting our expectations. Some individuals will carry concerns about revealing their bodies to others or worry that their parts may not “measure up.” Body related anxieties can include feelings of shame and affect an individual’s comfort and self-esteem. Others may feel that their inexperience in the bedroom may cause others to perceive them negatively or that their performance will fall below their expectations. Individuals may fear that they may be letting their partners down or feel overly concerned about what sex should include or entail. Some may worry that the physical sensations or lack thereof, may influence their ability to orgasm or attain a pleasurable sexual experience.

When sexual performance anxiety does not get treated it can escalate to a number of other side effects for both men and women.

Challenges to sex, including how their bodies may physiologically perform are often rooted in our emotional and cognitive factors.

Image by Alexandra Gorn

Over time, sexual performance anxiety can decrease the way an individual feels in their dating life or in their relationship. They may also prefer to withdraw from sex, masturbate on their own, or simply create distance between them and their partner. Fearing that physical or emotional closeness may lead to uncomfortable situations, a couple’s intimate connection can greatly suffer. The stress surrounding either sex or the expectations, can also cause significant problems at a physical level. This can lead to hormonal changes and the narrowing of blood vessels which can affect the body's ability to respond, which in turn may create even more anxiety causing a continuous cycle of stress, anxiety, and sexual worry.


Start your sexual intimacy healing journey and make an appointment with one of our psychotherapists today. Still unsure about how we can help? Call us at 305-605-LOVE for a free consultation. We are here to support you.

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