Anxiety in the bedroom
Premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction are not pleasant experiences so, they’re not the kind of thing a man wants to talk about. Instead, they try to push it to the backs of the minds, focusing on tips and tricks that help them last longer in bed.
Unfortunately, once it does happen, men worry it’ll happen again, and the thought haunts them. Sadly, the more you think about it, the more likely it’ll happen again. And the most common causes of bedroom problems are psychological. It’s how our brains are wired.
Bedroom-related anxiety – and anxiety in general – is the enemy of intimacy. How so? Consider your typical anxiety symptoms. Your skin gets pale and clammy because your blood flow is restricted. Meaning blood flow to your genitals is affected as well, which makes it difficult to gain and maintain your erection, resulting in either ED or early ejaculation.
Anxiety also makes you doubt yourself, both in terms of bedroom performance and overall attractiveness. You start to worry your partner no longer wants to be with you, or that they’ve stopped seeing you as ‘a real man’. This might make you avoid your partner out of fear, which in turn makes her think you’re no longer attracted to her. So she starts avoiding you as well.
You may still be in a relationship. You might even live in the same house. But this mutual tension and suspicion isn’t doing your sex life any favours. And once you do get past the caution and attempt sex again, the fear of premature ejaculation increases the chances of it recurring.
In that sense, it’s a bit like a gag reflex, or throwing up in general. The more it’s on your mind, the more likely it’ll happen. That’s why the best approach is to seek treatment for your anxiety. But sometimes, this becomes a problem too. Anxiety medicine has certain side effects, and they include a decrease in libido, which could make the problem worse.
It’s not just bedroom anxiety than can affect your sex life. General worries about work, relationships, stress, or family problems can influence your performance in the bedroom. Worrying is a mental activity, but it’s often physically exhausting. It can literally leave you too tired to have sex with your partner. And they probably won’t believe you’re worried about work.
They’re more likely to think they’ve done something wrong. Then they’ll respond by being sulky and distant, or by lashing out, which makes things between you even more tense. One suggestion is to seek help for anxiety together. This might involve joint meditation. It helps you both relax, and that level of shared vulnerability can bring you closer, making you feel intimate.
Talk therapy is helpful as well. Work with a trained couples’ counsellor. They can help you find the roots and triggers of your anxiety attacks. You’ll learn techniques to de-escalate panic attacks when they occur in the bedroom. These include breathing exercises and grounding tips.