The Link Between Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction (and How to Break It)

Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction The Link Between Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction (and How to Break It)

“Performance anxiety” is a term that a lot of web journals use to tell men that their erectile dysfunction is mental rather than physical. The idea of it being “all in your head” doesn’t really help though, since mental issues are often just as hard to treat as physical ones (or harder). By obsessing over it being your fault, your brain’s failure, or your inability to accept your “sexual duty” as a man, your erectile function will not get better. Worry will make it worse.

This is why you need a clean slate. No more “all in your head.” No more “just relax.” By explaining the exact link between what we call anxiety, where that anxiety comes from, and the difficulties men have with erectile dysfunction, we want to help you break the cycle of stress that’s causing the mental (and physical) reactions that are preventing you from having the best sex you can.

Why is Sex a “Performance?”

Performing is stressful. If you’ve ever been through a recital, band audition, a big game, a speech, etc., you know that. You know that your tailbone tucks, your fingers sweat, your heart beats faster, or you just feel agitated and nervous. It’s all perfectly normal. When we care about something, like our music or sport, we get anxiety when it’s time to put that care to the test.

While both men and women can experience feelings of performance during sex, men shoulder the burden of the anxiety differently. And this anxiety leads to erectile dysfunction.

Sexual dysfunction can happen to anyone, but it’s more likely to occur due to “a man’s attitude towards sex, conflict in [his] relationship, and performance anxiety,” according to a study conducted for the International Journal of Stress Management. This means not only that there’s a clear link between performance anxiety and ED, but also that how men think about sex and their relationship is the key to dysfunction caused by anxiety.

When considering how men, even young men, can become anxious before or during sex, look at how our culture shapes their attitude towards it. Think of all the movies where a woman jokes about sex not being long enough, or that the man sleeps afterward, that she didn’t get enough orgasms, or that it wasn’t satisfying. This reduced, Hollywoodized version of relationships shows a very small aspect of the real experience of people who love each other, who can often satisfy each other without needing a “better performance.”

Yet, the media portrayal of how the man needs to “perform” ironically may be partly causing the attitude shift that makes him least likely to be able to do so. By making men feel like something is expected of them, their nerves make it more difficult to get (and give) the pleasure they should.

It’s well-known in the 21st century that advertising unattainable standards of beauty in movies, TV, and magazines can make women feel insecure about their looks. The media surrounding male sexual performance, its own kind of “unattainable standard,” may have a comparable effect on men’s insecurities when it’s time to “perform” in bed.

Since we know that how men view themselves and their relationship is the lynchpin of performance anxiety, it’s important to ask why sex is even considered a “performance” in the first place.

The Effects of Performance Anxiety

Whether influenced by cultural standards, our upbringing, or the challenges in our current relationships, performance anxiety comes with a host of nasty effects related to erectile dysfunction. Men can lose the ability to orgasm, their libido can tank in response to not enjoying sex, and they can even develop premature ejaculation due to their anxiety.

These effects come in cycles and it’s important to realize that if you’ve been evaluated for physical issues, or you have no reason to believe there’s anything else wrong, then the effects of anxiety are not permanent. There’s nothing wrong with you, your penis, or your manliness.

This article won’t obsess over the symptoms because you shouldn’t either. If you’re having trouble with erections, you know it, and obsessing over symptoms by using Dr. Google as a replacement for real help is part of the problem.

What you need is a step-by-step plan of how to break this cycle. Now that you know that it’s not your fault and that you can get your mojo back, follow these tips to overcome your anxiety and bring your erections back (with a vengeance).

Breaking the Cycle of Anxiety: A Three-Step Guide

Performance Anxiety and Sex The Link Between Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction (and How to Break It)

Before we get into the steps, understand that you can’t fix hard-wired anxiety instantly. If you’ve been having this trouble for years, it may take a lot of work to get back in the saddle, so to speak. And if it’s only happened once and you’re worried that it could become a pattern, you can still use this advice. Just realize that everyone has bad sexual experiences sometimes. Both men and women experience anxiety, lose the mood, can’t orgasm, or can’t satisfy their partner all the time.

In either case, the culprit is likely our obsession with self-monitoring our performance and being critical of ourselves. This leads to anxiety, which leads to ED. Instead of monitoring yourself, you should be focused on the moment. Instead of being locked in the thoughts in your head, you should be feeling the sensations of your body. This is what you have to do to break the cycle.

Step 1: Change your attitude

It’s hard to break a mental cycle without realizing that you need to shift the way you think about the problem first. Cognitive-behavioral therapy offers pretty good advice on how to do this. Here’s a simplified version of it.

First, tell yourself the belief that is causing your problem. Maybe it’s something like, “I’m worried that she’ll leave me if I can’t have better sex.” Or, “I’m worried I’ll ejaculate too soon and we won’t enjoy sex.” Then, write down an alternative that’s way better. It could be something like, “We can enjoy being sexual together no matter what happens with my penis.” Or, “I know she loves me, no matter what happens in bed.”

Do this often: identify your anxiety and write down alternatives. What you’re doing is reinforcing the alternative and making the anxiety seem less inevitable. This will give you more mental room to accept the possibility that everything’s okay.

Step 2: Masturbate better

For many men that experience performance anxiety, masturbation is the only time they enjoy their erections and have orgasms. Masturbating better can actually help you defeat the anxiety.

First, you need to be mindful. This means that you should focus on the sensations of your body, the relaxation and movement of muscles, and imagine being sexual with a partner without obsessing over any other thoughts. Spend a lot of time pleasuring yourself without rushing or thinking that you “have” to climax. Enjoy the affection you can have for yourself when you don’t care what happens.

If you do this regularly, you can improve your performance anxiety. You can demystify your pleasure, making it easier to attain, and easier to give.

Step 3: Involve your partner

Many men feel that performance anxiety is a solo problem. However, if you have a partner, the chances are that they want to help you and to know what’s going on in your head. Voicing your concerns can help you dispel them. More than that, if they know what’s going on, they’ll know to support you, be uncritical, and help you focus on your pleasure.

Most people want their partners to be happy. Communication can help you recruit the person you love most to your team. Anxiety is way easier to fight together.

The Takeaway for Men

Performance anxiety can feel like a male-only problem and it can also feel very lonely. Neither of these things is true. However, the way our media treats men, often portraying them as responsible for the quality of sex while women stoically judge the results, encourages the culture of performance that leads a lot of men down the cycle of anxiety that, eventually, can cause ED.

The good news is that by acknowledging where anxiety comes from, it becomes way easier to dispel. Being mindful of your pleasure, masturbating with plenty of time and self-attention, and communicating with your partner all make the problem much easier to solve. Performance anxiety is not unsolvable. Like any cycle, it just has to be broken.

For more on how to overcome sexual performance anxiety and achieve harder erections on command, see here: Guide to Overcoming Psychological ED

Have a good one!

-David Carreras aka Mr. Manpower
Mr. Manpower’s Guide to
Overall Manhood Enhancement

the ultimate sex guide for men… “male potency without drugs”

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Beyond Kegels: How the Pelvic Floor Leads to Better Sexual Health

Pelvic Floor Muscles and Sexual Health Beyond Kegels: How the Pelvic Floor Leads to Better Sexual Health

Sexual health preoccupies all of us, especially as we get older. A quick internet search will tell you all about kegels and how men should do them to get stronger “down below.” Muscles commonly known as the PC (pubococcygeus) and BC (bulbocavernosus) can get a workout using kegels to make erections stronger, help you last longer during sex, and have more pleasurable orgasms. Sounds amazing!

However, many men aren’t doing their kegels right. They and their pelvic floors could be in for a rude awakening.

Do NOT do kegels without reading this guide first. This is your walkthrough of the pelvic floor, kegeling, and how to improve your sexual health. Kegels aren’t just for women anymore. But you still have to do them correctly.

A Pelvic Floor Crash Course

Your pelvic floor is like a “hammock” of soft muscles slung under your seat. There are a lot of them (we’re not going through them all here). Just know that like any muscle, the pelvic floor can be strengthened through a “workout.”

However, unlike your biceps, quads, or pecs, the pelvic floor is never “off.” If it ever totally relaxed, we’d wet every pair of pants we own; sex would last .01 seconds and we’d have no orgasm. We wouldn’t be able to control anything down there.

This means that since the muscles are never truly relaxed, they also never recover from a workout like other muscles do.

Imagine doing a bicep curl. You can feel the burn in your muscle, the arousing tingle of muscle fibers breaking down so that they can be rebuilt beefier and more beautiful. When you give your bicep a day to rest, you know that you’ll have a stronger bicep as a result.

Now imagine doing a bicep curl and holding it for 45 years. You can’t expect your bicep to get bigger and stronger if it never rests. It will just tire out, hurt, and probably stop working. What does this have to do with the pelvic floor? When men get it in their heads to start kegeling for strength, it has everything to do with it.

Kegels: The Infinite Pelvic Floor Curl

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Kegels are a common prescription for postpartum women to strengthen their pelvic floors after the trauma of childbirth. Today, however, both men and women can easily find advice on why they should do kegels regularly for sexual health. The online kegeling guides all say the same thing. Here’s an excerpt from the Mayo Clinic:

“Tighten your pelvic floor muscles, hold the contraction for three seconds, and then relax for three seconds. Try it a few times in a row. When your muscles get stronger, try doing Kegel exercises while sitting, standing or walking … Repeat 3 times a day. Aim for at least three sets of 10 repetitions a day.”

This is sound advice for how to perform kegels, but only for people with very specific conditions, such as those who have had their prostate removed. For most normal men who just want to improve their sexual health, this advice can lead to disaster without some essential extra information.

For most men, a kegel routine includes squeezing to find the muscles and then repeatedly flexing and contracting them until they feel tired. Like the Mayo Clinic says, you can hold it for three seconds, ten times a day. That’s thirty seconds a day that your pelvic floor is held in a screaming corkscrew of sustained contraction. Here’s the problem with that (there are two).

The first problem is that you have to give muscles time to relax. But again, the pelvic floor doesn’t relax like normal muscles do – it has to remain contracted to protect our pant seats and orgasms. Without consciously relaxing the pelvic floor, kegels can increase tension down there without building any strength. This is where the second problem comes in.

Many sites like the Mayo Clinic and even many doctors don’t understand the difference between a tight pelvic floor and a strong one. Pelvic anatomy and health is relatively new because humans didn’t have nearly as many problems with it in the past. Why not?

The pelvic floor muscles are all connected to the muscles in your back and legs like your hamstrings and adductors and hip flexors (oh my). The more civilized we are, the more we sit. And the more we sit, the more those muscles shorten and become restricted. This creates more tension that gets loaded onto our pelvic floors.

So what do we do? We kegel, kegel, kegel. Three seconds, ten times a day, maybe even more because we want results. A results-driven mindset makes kegels dangerous. Lacking the knowledge of how to relax those muscles can cause kegels to do more harm to many men (and women) than good. They achieve the opposite of the results they wanted.

Beyond Kegels: How to REALLY Work Out Your Sex Muscles

If all you do is contract muscles that are already contracted by nature, you can cause them to develop tension, to become shorter, or even to go into spasm. This will lead to more difficulty maintaining erections, less pleasure, and less control. In the pursuit of sexual health, many men give themselves sexual hindrances. And they may not even know they’re doing it.

The truth about kegels is that most of us don’t have pelvic floors that are too relaxed or weak unless we’re very old, have continence issues, or have had our prostate removed. Most men need a pelvic floor that’s stronger, but all they’re doing is making it tighter. Which leads to weakness, dysfunction, and even pain.

Here’s what to do instead.

After you’ve figured out which muscles are the pelvic floor, deeply breathe into your belly. This will make the muscles “push” out and down, sort of like passing gas. Don’t push too hard. Especially if you do a few kegels during the day, which is okay if you don’t overdo them, this is how you can help those muscles relax. 

Perform this breath in a squat as well. Proper squats reinforce the muscles that give your pelvic floor its strength, especially the glutes. They’re your best friend if you want to work out your sex muscles for better performance in bed.

Realize that the pelvic floor is connected directly to nervous system functions, which is a fancy way of saying that it tightens automatically when you’re stressed and can be consciously controlled when you’re relaxed. You know how a dog pulls its tail between its legs? That’s what you’re doing for most of the day and it makes you weaker down there.

To undo this pattern, seek help for your stress issues, especially related to sex. Talk with your partner about your misgivings and give yourself some slack. Many men have the world on their shoulders when it comes to their partner’s pleasure. But the odds are that your partner is much more understanding about it than you are with yourself.

The Takeaway for Men Looking to Improve Their Overall Sexual Health

For many men, sexual health is a problem they want to “fix.” Results-driven thinking leads them to research blogs and even reputable medical sites with a goal in mind. With incomplete information, they begin squeezing the living hell from their pelvic floors, praying that it will make their erections stronger. They may achieve the opposite.

For these muscles, tight means weak and relaxed means strong. Imagine a hinge that’s screwed in so tight it looks like it’s about to break and approaching the problem by finding new ways to make it even tighter. All the sitting, stressing, and clenching you do literally holds these muscles back from their true potential.

Letting go of that tension, breathing deeply, and doing squats can give you the strength you need. Resisting the urge to power through spasms of delicate muscles in the hopes of more stamina in bed will be the best “kegel” you’ve ever done.

For more information on directly strengthening the PC muscles for sexual health, see here:

Have a good one!

-David Carreras aka Mr. Manpower
Mr. Manpower’s Guide to
Overall Manhood Enhancement

the ultimate sex guide for men… “male potency without drugs”

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How Masturbation Increases Sex Drive

Masturbation increase sex drive How Masturbation Increases Sex Drive

Men of all ages often wonder if masturbation increases sex drive, or does it actually harm it? We’ve done some research here in order to get to the bottom of the age-old question, and we’ve found that masturbation helps — rather than hurts — your sex drive, and for all the following reasons.

What Masturbation Actually Does To Our Body, and How That Affects Our Sex Drive

Since our early adolescence, we’ve all learned that masturbating makes us feel good, eliminates the “horniness”, and usually leaves us tired.

Masturbating actually has several effects on your body. One of the biggest is the release of a several hormones from your endocrine system, including oxytocin, the “love hormone” that is also released during cuddling or sex. Yes, oxytocin relaxes you—it lowers your heart rate and blood pressure, but it also lowers cortisol, the stress hormone… and cortisol has an inverse relationship with testosterone… meaning the lower cortisol, the higher the testosterone… and testosterone improves sex drive, so in this way masturbation boosts sex drive in the long run.

Masturbating also release endorphins, the same hormones released after exercise. You may not get runner’s high after masturbating, but you’ll likely have an improved mood, just like after a good workout. These endorphins are also conducive to increased focus and concentration, which is why many people opt to work out, or get it on, in the morning before the workday.

How Does Masturbation Affect Testosterone?

One study analyzed the concentrations of hormones, including testosterone, before and after masturbation. They found that masturbating significantly boosted testosterone, along with several other hormones important to the male sex drive. To be fair, masturbation is not the only thing that does this: certain foods, Vitamin D, and exercise can all raise your testosterone levels. However, knowledge is power, and the combination of masturbation along with exercising and Vitamin D supplementation can only improve your sex drive further.

As to further proof that testosterone increases sex drive, in this 2016 study, researchers looked at about 715 guys who were producing lower-than-normal levels of testosterone. They injected them with a solution of testosterone, and then examined their energy levels and sex drive. The results showed that testosterone significantly increased their sex drive.

Note: Too much of anything is a bad thing, though! Before considering anything like testosterone replacement therapy to increase testosterone production, know that having higher than average testosterone production has been shown to correlate with excessive aggression and risk-taking behavior. Some studies have shown that higher levels of testosterone may be linked to higher rates of criminal behavior, infidelity and divorce, and reckless financial decisions

Masturbation Helps You Exercise Your “Freaky Side”, and Keeps You “Ready”

All of us have a sex muscle that we can work out (not talking about our penis, mean more the mental aspect of our sex drive). The more we accustom ourselves to becoming aroused and ejaculating, the more our mind craves that state and satisfaction. Masturbating increases sex drive by keeping us both mentally and physically ready for sexual stimulation.

Masturbation Increases Sex Drive – So Don’t Hold Back!

Masturbation increases sex drive How Masturbation Increases Sex Drive

Taking all of these studies and observations into consideration, you can see that while there may be an initial satiety and fatigue following masturbation, the longer term affects of increasing your testosterone production and exploring more about what turns you on is how masturbation increases sex drive. 

Unless you have severe guilt towards masturbating and self-pleasure — which can occur in more religiously-raised men (and if it is the case, you should examine this false guilt and attempt to move past it) — you should not feel about about exercising this option for increasing sex drive.

All in all, masturbation has been found to be quite healthy, and there’s no harm in seeing for yourself how masturbation affects your sex drive over time…

…As if we needed another excuse to masturbate 😉 

For more ways to naturally increase your sex drive, as well as achieve stronger erections, last-longer during sex and more, see here! Mr. Manpower’s Guide to Overall Manhood Enhancement

Have a good one!

-David Carreras aka Mr. Manpower
Mr. Manpower’s Guide to
Overall Manhood Enhancement

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How to Get An Erection When Nervous Before Sex

How to get an erection when nervous 1 e1595290135838 How to Get An Erection When Nervous Before Sex

All of us get nervous before sex… men and women alike.

Difference for women, though, is that they can get nervous and it’s no big deal. What’s the worst that happens; they don’t get wet? Synthetic lubricant will take care of that, or the lubrication on a condom.

On the other hand, as men, if we get overly nervous before sex, then we can’t get an erection… and then the failure of both parties to have sex all falls on our shoulders.

(We have a lot of responsibility as men when it comes to sex — we’re also expected to last long enough to make a woman orgasm, they have no such time limit!)

And the more we stress out about it, the less our chances of becoming erect!

So what do we do? If becoming nervous is part of sex, and becoming nervous kills our erection?

Heres’s how to get an erection when nervous.

It’s Okay To Get Nervous Before Sex — Accept Your Anxiety and Your Erection Will Be Better Off

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First thing lots of guys do when they can’t get an erection is they freak out… and now it’s even harder to get an erection…

Part of learning how to get an erection when nervous is to accept that you are nervous, not ignore it or try and push it away… know that it’s normal to feel this way, especially when having sex with someone new.

There’s no shame in this… there’s nothing inherently wrong with you.

I remember when I got hit with a bad case of “mental ED” in my late teens – I must have been about 19 years old. I was trying to have sex with this very sexy girl, and my erection just wouldn’t function. Made no kind of sense to me.

After trying time and time again to “force” myself to get hard (doesn’t work), we ended up having “sex” one day where I was able to achieve about a 50% erection and enter her. That’s the worst time to have sex, because not only does she not feel anything, but your penis isn’t “strong”… “fortified”… and is prone to getting “overwhelmed” by the amazing, engulfing feelings of her vagina… and you usually end up ejaculating sooner.

That’s what happened to me with this particular girl.

However, something interesting occurred that made me feel much better, and showed me I wasn’t alone with this.

I visited a friend’s house, and one of his friends was there, a guy who was known in the neighborhood as a “cool guy” and had his way with girls…

Thing about this guy was he was actually cool… didn’t try, nothing phony about him. If anything, he was very honest, in a refreshing sort of way.

And somehow the topic of sex came up, and out of nowhere he opened up about not being able to get an erection with a girl he was with… sharing all the same frustrations and negative feelings I was going through.

Then my friend opened up… he too had experienced the problem before.

This was pre-internet forum days… real life forum. And these guys (two high-school football players, manly tough guys) opened up about having issues getting it up before sex due to nerves.

We all shared, and I felt so much better after this conversation… and over the years, can’t count how many times I’ve overheard guys discussing similar issues. It happens to everyone… at least at some point in their lives…

Anxiety before sex happens… so.. you just need to learn how to get past it.

So how does all of this tie into how to get an erection when nervous? Accepting that it is normal to feel anxiety before sex actually weakens that very same anxiety’s “choking grip” on your arousal, and allows the “highway of horniness” to open up once again between your mind and your penis.

Build Up Your Arousal While Keeping Your Anxiety In Check In Order to Get an Erection When Nervous

Admitting that you are anxious not only weakens the anxiety, but it allows you to see the anxiety clearly and work through it.

To get an erection when nervous, you want to concentrate on becoming as mentally aroused as possible… Build up that arousal power until the anxiety no longer holds it back and your erection has no choice but to show up. Concentrate on what arouses you the most… and in layman’s terms, “get as horny as possible”.

“Use her”, to become aroused… believe it or not, she will like this. While you’re working on building up your arousal, she’ll be getting turned on and super wet. It’s a win-win.

Accept the anxiety, build up the arousal, and let your erection happen on its own. It knows what to do, no need to tell it.

Take Your Time and Have Fun – Sex is Not A Life Or Death Situation

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Sex is supposed to be fun, but we quite often take it too seriously.

Either we’re new to sex and don’t want to be exposed… or it’s been a while since we’ve had sex… or we’re really trying to impress a new woman…

I’ve been in each of these situations throughout my life, so I can relate.

And one thing I can say is, sex is not that serious… now, if you’re in a long-term relationship, and your girlfriend has never had an orgasm, that is a problem that should be taken care, but for a quickie with a new girl, there’s no need to take things so seriously. You have time to improve your technique later.

Joke about things… laugh… have fun… then when your erection is up and at attention, and you’re already inside and going to town, then you can go into “beast mode” if you’d like…

And slooowwwww down… there’s no rush. No rush to get an erection, no rush to keep an erection.

We incorrectly assume that once we lose an erection during sex, we’ll have trouble regaining it… as long as we keep our cool for the most part, we can lose and regain our erection as many times as we’d like. So remove this anxiety from your mind. And enjoy the build up of your arousal.

Don’t take yourself or the situation too seriously… and slow down, rushing won’t help anything… and that will relieve some pressure helping you to achieve and keep erections more naturally.

Physically Strengthen Your Erections for More Confidence in Your Machinery – And Better Understand the Mind / Erection Connection

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Performing cardio, strengthening your PC muscle, and keeping your vitamin D levels in a healthy range are all natural, yet scientifically-backed ways of improving your erection strength, regardless of age.

Improve your erection quality so you feel more confidence in your physical abilities. For more in-depth exercises to develop physically harder, longer-lasting erections, see here!

And while this is a good intro to what is needed to overcome mental blocks to achieving an erection, for more in-depth methods to get an erection when nervous, see here.

Have a good one!

-David Carreras aka Mr. Manpower
Mr. Manpower’s Guide to
Overall Manhood Enhancement

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