3 Research-Backed Tips to Control Sexual Performance Anxiety

Performance Anxiety Research

You may have experienced unwanted thoughts popping into your head when things start to get sexual:

“What if I don’t get an erection?”
“What if I’m not good and she tells her friends?”
“She’s probably been with guys that are bigger and better than me.”
“What if I go soft when I go to put the condom on?”

Well, you’re not the only one. Most guys will experience performance anxiety at some point in their lives.

So how do we STOP these thoughts from running havoc on our sex lives?  For starters, it helps to learn about the brain and the factors that can compound sexual anxiety. Continue Reading

How To Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety: The Most Important Tool

Overcome Performance Anxiety

I get a lot of emails asking about how I overcame sexual performance anxiety. And I’ve found a few tried and true strategies that have helped guys that I’ve been coaching , so I want to share them.

First off, let’s figure out if it’s actually performance anxiety that we’re dealing with.

How do I know if I have performance anxiety?

A lot of guys out there think that they are dealing with porn-induced ED, when in fact they are dealing with sexual performance anxiety.

Here is a test that you can do to find out:

  1. Do you have trouble getting an erection when you’re alone with a woman, but you can get an erection by touching yourself (without porn) in the comfort of your home?
  2. Do you sometimes lose your erection when you’re with a woman – especially your first or second time with her?
  3. Do you find yourself worried about whether you’ll be able to get an erection when the time comes?
  4. Do you avoid sexual encounters because you worry that you might not be able to perform?

If you answered ‘yes’ to some or all of these questions, then you likely are suffering from sexual performance anxiety.

(Note: With porn-induced ED, the erections you get by yourself without porn just aren’t as strong as the erections with porn.  Or in extreme cases, you can’t get an erection at all without porn.)

Now let me ask you this:

  • Do you wish you could have great sex every time, and not have to worry?
  • Do you wish that you could freely have one-night stands without having to worry about whether your penis would work or not?
  • Do you wish that you weren’t dealing with this?

I’ll tell you: I feel for you, because I’ve been there.  But I’ll also say that it is 100% possible to overcome this.  I did it, and you can too.

Continue Reading

How to Masturbate Correctly for Men, Part 2: Relax and Take it Slow

Masturbation tips for men

Recap from Part 1

In Part 1 of How To Masturbate Correctly, we looked at why the widespread availability of high-speed internet porn has been creating problems for young men. Namely, why the way most of us masturbate with porn leads to unrealistic expectations, negative self-talk and performance anxiety. In other words, why the way you’re likely doing it can be bad for your erections and performance during REAL sex.

Now, I know there’s plenty of guys out there who have no problems surrounding masturbation and sex. But if you’re reading this blog or searching for “how to masturbate correctly”, chances are you are experiencing some sort of problem.

So now that we’ve looked at what’s wrong with the way most of us masturbate and the associated problems, let’s look at what we can do to fix this.Continue Reading

How To Get Over Performance Anxiety: A Hypnotherapist Shares His Best 3 Tips


This week I’ve got another great guest post, this time from Mark Tyrrell, a hypnotherapist since 1995 and co-founder of hypnosisdownloads.com.

In this article Mark talks about three things you can do right now to help get rid of performance anxiety.


Sex can feel like a threat. Even the prospect that it might happen can get some men feeling on edge. Like they might have to “perform!” And what if they can’t!

Worrying about performance, wanting to “perform” can block the very performance we want.

Seeing sex as a test as something to pass or fail, like a deadline or chore saps the energy, fun and intimacy from it.

When sex stops feeling like a performance, like meeting some standard or passing some test  it becomes again what it should be, a most wonderful, exciting, body and mind focussing part of life and maybe the time when you and the one you’re with can feel most alive.

After two decades treating, amongst many other things, sexual performance anxiety in both men and women here are my top three tips:

Continue Reading

The Effects of Internet Porn on Male Sexual Performance


This is a guest post by Larry O’Connor, a Marriage and Family Therapist with offices in San Fransisco and Palo Alto.

Many men view internet porn sites, but for some there are risks: becoming habituated, seeking more explicit material, diminishing their ability to connect with partners, achieve arousal, and maintain an erection.

Whether or not an addiction, the habitual viewing of porn is a process of learning how to respond to a specific stimulus which, in turn, progressively increases repetition. This is because the brain, having plasticity, is designed to learn by responding to pleasurable or rewarding experiences, which results in creating new, and preferential neural pathways, so these experiences are quicker and easier to retrieve in the future.

Continue Reading

How To Overcome Performance Anxiety In Bed (Plus: A Woman’s Perspective)

Performance Anxiety In Bed

You may be a pretty confident man over-all. There’s nothing wrong with your techniques and delivery, and you’ve been with girls who’ve gushed about your sexual prowess.For some reason though, things are just not going your way, and when I say your way, I mean, things are just not looking up for you, in the least bit.

Living with performance anxiety is not easy.

It’s something that can tear away at your confidence little by little, making it harder to face sexual activities each and every time. Most importantly, it can put a lot of strain on otherwise happy and fulfilled relationships.

The first thing to know is that it’s actually pretty common. No, you’re not broken and yes, you can overcome this terrible development.

ED (erectile dysfunction), PE (premature ejaculation), and DE (delayed ejaculation) are all common sexual anxiety related issues and often have psychological origins.

It’s always a good idea to check out your lifestyle too, though, as this could be a factor in your performance anxiety. Things like stress, lack of exercise, body weight and even a bad diet can make a huge difference and add or detract from your sexual performance. However, far and above the rest, it seems that sexual performance anxiety stems pretty much directly from a concern related to sexual intimacy.

Continue Reading

Can Viagra and Cialis Help with Performance Anxiety? A Case Study, Advice and Alternatives

Viagra performance anxiety

“I have performance anxiety. Should I take Viagra or Cialis to help my erections?

I get this question a lot in blog comments and emails.  My own opinions on this are mixed. People always want a magic bullet or an easy fix — which is why Viagra and Cialis are such huge cash cows.  But often the guys emailing me have porn problems (porn-induced ED, addiction, etc.), so giving up porn (“rebooting”) is a necessary and important part of the solution.

Oftentimes when a guy experiences an ED episode with a woman – even if it’s the first time in his life — he loses confidence and gets caught in a cycle of anxiety and poor performance.  I recognize that there are some circumstances where taking Viagra or Cialis can help you overcome this performance anxiety.

This is a controversial topic in the reboot community.  Some men recovering from porn induced ED report that it is helpful to use small doses of Viagra or Cialis to reduce anxiety when starting to be sexual again with a real partner.  Other guys say it’s a cop-out and doesn’t address the real issues behind the problem, such as porn-use and learning how to deal with stress and anxiety.   We’ll look at both of these POVs (see what I did there?) below, with a real case study.

Jay’s Case Study

The following is a guest post from a guy we’ll call Jay (not his real name), who emailed me about his experience taking Cialis and Viagra to help with his performance anxiety.  He covers a lot of important topics that are helpful to know if you decide to go this route.

Enter Jay.


My Story

I was 21 and single. I had read The Game and was spending a lot of time with my buddies at the bar practicing ridiculous conversation “openers”. And to my surprise sometimes they worked.  Looking back, I think it was the confidence that I had in the memorized stories that made me attractive.  (I should say that nowadays I don’t believe in memorizing lines or lying to create interest from women, but I am grateful to the ‘pickup’ community for the introduction it gave me to self-development.)

I had a handful of one-night stands that year, usually with women who were a little older and had their own apartments (I was living at home while going to Uni). I was often a bit drunk those nights, and it was a pretty great time in my life. There were even a few girls who wanted to see me again.

Anyway, one night I went home with an older woman who pretty much said “let’s go to my place” before I was even finished my first drink.  She seemed to me really experienced and like it was just ‘business’ to her. Basically, she wanted to have sex, and I happened to be the guy that night.  She was really attractive, but I think the way that she acted really intimidated me. Neither of us were drunk and by the time we were in her bedroom taking off our clothes I was super nervous.

Continue Reading

How to Masturbate Correctly for Men, Part 1: You’re Probably Doing it Wrong


This is part one of a two-part series about healthy masturbation, an important topic that doesn’t get nearly enough attention.

(Here is Part 2!)

A Short History of Masturbation

Before the internet age, masturbation was something that had stayed essentially the same for the preceding 100 years.

But the advent of high-speed internet access and essentially unlimited, free porn, has changed the way we masturbate.  And this has created serious challenges and problems for young men growing up in this new environment.

So before I tell you how to masturbate correctly, first I want to tell you why there’s a good chance that you’re doing it wrong.

Continue Reading

Sexual Performance Anxiety: The Complete Guide With 15 Actionable Tips

performance anxiety with a new partner

Performance Anxiety

Most guys will experience a period of ED from performance anxiety in their lives.

For some guys, it will be a short phase, maybe it happens a few times and then as he gets his confidence back, and for others it can be a crippling cycle of shame, worry and completely avoiding sex.

A study in 2003 found that about one third of men experienced erectile dysfunction at least once a year.  It can feel like you’re alone in going through this because it’s not talked about, but rest assured that other guys have overcome it and so can you.

Simon’s story

Meet Simon. He’s a pretty average guy. A third year college student, relatively sporty and plays guitar in his free time. Up till now, Simon has had two serious girlfriends and a handful of one-night stands.

One night at the campus bar, Simon meets Amanda. She’s very beautiful – in fact, way out of his league, he thinks. But somehow he says the right things at the right things at the right time. And it turns out they have a lot of the same friends in common.

They toss flirty comments back and forth. She’s actually into me – I might have a chance!  Don’t screw it up!

After talking for an hour at a table in the corner of the bar, Amanda says, “I’m tired. Could you walk me home?”   It’s so on, thinks Simon. The two walk out arm in arm and walk back to her place, where it turns out, she’s not so tired.

But as they start kissing and undressing, thoughts start to creep into the back of his head. This girl is so hot. She’s way to good for me. What if I’m not as good in bed as what she’s used to?  What if she thinks my penis is small?  She knows some of my friends – what if she tells them about how I am in bed?

Amanda pulls off his pants and puts her hand on his boxers. Simon’s penis is completely limp.  She looks up at him. “What’s wrong?”

Continue Reading

How to Overcome Performance Anxiety: What Really Worked For Me

anxiety induced ed

Performance Anxiety

My personal experience with sexual anxiety is not uncommon among young men recently. This is what happened:

1. I experienced a time when I could not achieve an erection with a girl who I was attracted to.

2. I felt guilt and shame because I had “failed” in bed.  I felt emasculated.

3. It preoccupied my mind and I worried that it would happen again.

4. I thought about it so much that it slowly became a belief. I started to believe I couldn’t perform.

5. The next time I had sex, because I had rehearsed failure so often in my brain, I couldn’t perform.

6. The cycle continued and my anxiety induced ED got worse as time went on — as I gathered more and more reference experiences that confirmed I couldn’t perform.

This literally ruined relationships for me and caused me to become depressed.  I honestly worried that I would never be able to have normal sex again.  I was only 25 years old.

You Can Overcome Performance Anxiety

If you read the above and saw some of yourself, I want you to know that you can heal and overcome this.  I did.  I now have an amazing, fulfilling sex life.  Since recovering, I have had numerous girlfriends, flings, even one-night stands — which in the past, because of my sexual anxiety, I was always terrified of.

Continue Reading