Sex is a natural – and pretty terrific – function of life. But for many men, sex can lead to feelings of anxiety, which can ultimately lead to erectile dysfunction (ED).
The Link Between Performance Anxiety and ED
Research suggests there is a clear link between a man’s mental state and his ability to perform sexually. Performance anxiety is usually caused by negative thoughts about a man’s ability to perform “well enough” during sexual activity. A man may not feel confident about his body, penis size, or his ability to please his partner.
But other things can lead to a man’s inability to perform well during sex. For example, if he is dealing with a lot of stress at work, at home, or is having financial difficulties, this mental stress can and does contribute to performance anxiety.
Together with this mental stress, and the effect it has on a man’s ability to perform can ultimately lead to erectile dysfunction (ED), where a man has trouble getting or maintaining an erection.
Beyond the mental stress, how a man deals with that stress can also affect his ability to get or maintain an erection. For instance, if a man deals with the stress in his life by smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or abusing other kinds of drugs, these lifestyle factors can all contribute to ED.
How Therapy Can Help
Many men suffering from ED decide to get a prescription for Viagra or some other medication. The problem with this is twofold: one, they are not getting to the root of the problem, that is the stress in their life, and two, many prescription medications can come with unwanted side effects.
A much better approach is to eliminate the stress and anxiety in your life. This will help your sexual performance as well as your overall health and well-being.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) has been shown to be very effective in helping men regain a happy and fulfilling sex life. A therapist can help a male client discover what is bothering him and offer coping tools to help him healthily navigate his emotions.
CBT can be conducted one-on-one or used as part of relationship therapy, depending on the needs and preferences of the client.
If you are suffering from performance anxiety and/or erectile dysfunction and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help.