Sexual anxiety can be a challenge for couples. But working past this can be a great way to strengthen your relationship and build trust.
Start by talking openly about your feelings about sex. And consider seeing a sex therapist together. They can help you identify some of the causes and solutions to sexual performance anxiety.
The key to sexual pleasure is relaxation. If you’re feeling too much stress or anxiety, you won’t be able to relax and your nervous thoughts will get in the way of enjoying sex. Try some deep breathing or meditation before your sexual experience to help calm yourself and relax. It can also be helpful to pick a private place where you feel comfortable and safe.
If you feel comfortable talking about your nervous feelings with your partner, or even with friends, that can be very beneficial. Talking about how you’re feeling can normalize the feeling and make it less likely that those swirling thoughts will hijack your sexual experience.
Another great tip is to work on your foreplay. This will not only warm you up for sex, but it can be a very pleasurable experience on its own. Foreplay can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be, and it’s a great way to take some of the pressure off if you feel nervous before sex.
If your nerves are preventing you from having fun, remember that it’s always OK to slow down or stop if it’s not enjoyable. It’s important to communicate with your sexual partner and read their body language to ensure that they are feeling the same thing you are.
2. Be prepared
Having sex for the first time is new territory, no matter what you’ve seen in movies or heard from your friends. It’s natural to feel nervous, but it can also be dangerous if you rush into it before you’re ready or don’t take steps to ensure your safety.
Overthinking about how it’s “supposed to go” can make you anxious and make the experience less enjoyable. Think about what makes you orgasm and learn how to communicate with your partner about it. This will help you be more in the moment and let them know if something isn’t quite right for you, or if you’re not enjoying it.
If you’re nervous because of performance anxiety, try some deep breathing exercises or a mindfulness practice. You can also focus on exploring erogenous zones on your own through masturbation to learn what feels good and what doesn’t.
You can also be more prepared by choosing the right partner and setting up a safe environment to have sex. Taking things slowly can give you the chance to really get to know your partner and build trust. It can also help you work out your nonverbal communication, which is often a problem in this area. Practicing safe sex is also important to prevent unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections. Try using barrier methods, like condoms, diaphragms or caps, or hormone-based methods, such as the pill or ring.
3. Have fun
Like many firsts in life, the first time you have sex can be nerve-wracking. Whether you’re worried about your physical performance (such as erectile dysfunction, vaginal dryness, or sexual pain), or the possibility that you won’t reach orgasm, these anxieties can ruin your mood and take away the enjoyment of this intimate act. Similarly, problems with your self-esteem and feelings of shame can also make sex less fun for you.
The problem is that this kind of anxiety takes the fun out of sexual experience, especially for women who are concerned they will not get orgasm and men who are worried about ejaculation. For these reasons, it is important to communicate with your partner about your sexual anxieties and find ways to overcome them.
This may mean slowing down and taking your time, so that you can enjoy each sensation without worrying about what will happen next. It is also important to communicate with your partner throughout the experience, so that you can both feel comfortable. Lastly, it’s helpful to write about your anxieties and the results of your practice sessions in a journal. This can help you to identify patterns and triggers that you can then work to overcome. This can make a big difference in how much pleasure you get out of sex, as well as your ability to trust your partner.
4. Don’t worry
Sexual anxiety is a fear-based response to intimacy, and it can hijack a person psychologically, physiologically, and emotionally. This type of anxiety can cause a person to worry about their performance in the bedroom, concerns over pleasing a partner or issues with arousal. These concerns may be the result of a trauma or past experience, and they can grow if they go unresolved.
To combat these feelings, it’s important to communicate openly and frequently with your partner. Sharing your concerns in a non-accusatory manner will allow you to work together to find solutions. It’s also helpful to keep a journal so you can track the triggers of your anxiety and determine why you’re feeling this way. For example, your anxieties might stem from a bad day at work or from a negative relationship memory.
Finally, remember that sex is not the end all be all of a relationship. In fact, it’s often better to focus on other forms of intimacy that do not include penetration, such as hand holding, kisses, and hugs.
When you’re ready to start overcoming sexual anxiety, be patient and work on one step at a time. The more you practice, the better you’ll get at connecting with your partner and enjoying intimacy. And even if it doesn’t quite go to plan, it’s always okay to laugh about it afterwards!