Beyond Sex: Performance Anxiety Has Many Causes and Effects

When we hear the words “performance anxiety” we often think of men first. After all, one of the most common types of performance anxiety occurs in men, but in reality the fear of being able to perform can affect men and women in a variety of situations.

The most familiar type of performance anxiety occurs when an individual fears that they will be unable to participate in sex with their partner. This fear can block spontaneous acts of sexual expression. Many men will avoid any type of sexual encounter, in order to not feel inadequate. Often this leads to more self-esteem and problems within the relationship.

The mere thought of a sexual encounter can cause an individual to become preoccupied with their ability to perform. It is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy, in that the focus on performance failure, actually brings about that very failure.

Because of this fixation on performance, the man may focus on very minute details of the sexual encounter that actually have yet to transpire. The lack of spontaneity may ruin any enjoyment of the act itself.

What are the causes of performance anxiety?

Well, there are many underlying reasons that must be explored by your physician. Your doctor first must rule out any physiological reasons for performance anxiety. There are a whole host of diseases that can be affecting the individual’s ability to perform sexually.

Unfortunately, cancer could be one of the underlying physical problems for performance anxiety. As this diagnosis is an extremely serious one, early detection is essential.

It’s Not Just Sex: More Types of Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety is not just in the sexual realm, however. In the sports world, for example, performance anxiety issues are very common. Whether it is the basketball player trying hard not to choke on his free throw, or the batter trying to a hit home run, or the soccer player trying to score a penalty kick, all have some type of performance anxiety related issues.

In fact, a whole science is devoted to improving performance in sports. It is called sport psychology. Again, the whole focus is on increasing performance while decreasing anxiety related to each task.

Musicians, also suffer from performance anxiety issues. Many are fearful that they will freeze and not be able to sing or play their instruments prior to each show. In this manner, they are really no different than the individual who is an athlete or a man who has sexual performance anxiety issues. Each suffers from anxiety related to a specific task or issue.

Whether you’re suffering from performance anxiety that is related to sexual performance, sports performance or as a musician, it is important to seek medical assistance in dealing with this overwhelming anxiety. The first step is to be evaluated by your family physician. He can then make further recommendations as to treatments and or further evaluations by medical specialists that deal with performance anxiety.

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