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Anxiety During Sexual Relations

Anxiety during sexual relations occurs when worry exceeds pleasure during the intimate encounter. If it's not controlled in time, it can considerably affects a person's intimate life.
Anxiety During Sexual Relations

Last update: 23 October, 2021

Anxiety in sexual relations may be present when one partner feels greater concern than enjoyment during the intimate encounter.

In a normal context, all human beings need to live with a certain degree of anxiety. This is because it’s an emotion that allows us to be alert to any situation of threat or danger. In other words, it can function as an adaptive survival mechanism.

However, sometimes, it can be excessive, and, in some cases, the concern that precedes it isn’t real. This is when we begin to consider that something’s wrong.

If so, the intervention of a psychologist or mental health specialist may be necessary, as many times, a specific treatment is required so that its impact doesn’t reduce the quality of life.

Now, what happens when anxiety is transferred to the sexual sphere? At first, it may seem normal. However, if it’s not controlled promptly, it can paralyze the person.

Anxiety During Sexual Relations

Anxiety in sexual relations can take place just before the sexual encounter, or at the very moment. The truth is that it doesn’t allow the person to enjoy the moment with their partner.

Although it can occur during a person’s first sexual encounter, it can also take place at any age. This is especially true if they’ve had a change of partner or a period of abstinence.

For this reason, when treating anxiety in sexual relations, age isn’t the only relevant factor, but rather the analysis of multiple factors.

Many times, we fall into the belief that it’s the older partner who’s acquired more experience in the sexual field and feels more secure. But this isn’t always the way things work. Some’ve had unsatisfactory sexual experiences and, consequently, feel anxiety during intimacy.

A couple experiencing sexual frustration.
Anxiety during intimate encounters can arise from traumatic experiences or dissatisfaction.

Some studies suggest that high levels of anxiety inhibit the sufferer’s expression of sexual behavior. Because of this, many people, of different ages, seek the help of a sexologist.

In addition to affecting sexual performance itself, anxiety during sexual relations also harms the patient’s self-esteem and confidence. As a result, the patient, instead of finding pleasure, may reach the point of avoiding sex in order not to suffer from anxiety.

In general, a person with this type of anxiety may experience the following:

  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Anorgasmia
  • Lubrication problems
  • Difficulty maintaining an erection
  • Muscle tension
  • A choking sensation
  • Difficulty breathing

In the end, this type of situation ends up eroding the couple’s relationship, especially if there’s no mutual understanding and support, as the symptoms may occur, even at the mere idea of having a sexual encounter.

What’s the origin of this type of anxiety?

Some people decide to go to a sexologist or psychologist, as many factors may be hidden behind this form of anxiety. For example, the person who suffers from it may feel complexes of some kind, problems of self-confidence or self-assurance, low self-esteem, among others.

Some don’t feel good with the shape or size of their genitals, which also causes insecurity and, consequently, anxiety when having an encounter with a partner.

At the same time, there are cases in which the person who suffers from anxiety in sexual relations is afraid of not fulfilling the expectations of their partner or fear of showing their nudity.

Similarly, some patients may experience some sexual dysfunction, such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, delayed ejaculation, vaginismus, etc. Stress is also a factor to be considered when establishing a diagnosis and prescribing treatment.

A couple lying in bed with their backs to one another.
To establish an effective treatment, it¿s important to discover the origin of anxiety during sex.

Other possible causes

Communication problems or trust issues within the couple can also be the cause of anxiety. For this reason, specialists often study what the couple’s relationship is like, as well as their communication.

In the meantime, some people may feel bad at a certain moment, and not knowing how to manage their emotions can lead to these episodes of anxiety.

Anxiety during sexual relations: Asking for help is important

If anxiety is an obstacle to the enjoyment of sexual relations, this is a reason to consult a professional. Both psychologists and sexologists can provide treatment, depending on the cause. The important thing is to let go of the taboos surrounding the subject and be clear about what’s behind the problem.

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