One in three men report being affected by premature ejaculation. Despite being such a common issue, many men feel as though there are no good resources available to help them. The most common medical treatment from a doctor for premature ejaculation is prescribing an antidepressant because one of the side effects of antidepressants is delayed ejaculation. This is only a temporary solution, however, and does not address the root causes. Plus, it doesn’t work for everyone.
The feeling that you might be underperforming can lead to all sorts of negative beliefs, ideas and feelings about oneself. In my office, one of the ways I have seen this feeling manifest in men is shame. Men place so much pressure on themselves that when they suffer from premature ejaculation it can be difficult for them to find any enjoyment in sex. This self-defeating vortex can create performance anxiety.
Performance anxiety is the pressure that a person puts on themselves during sex that takes them away from what is actually happening and puts them in their heads, thinking about what is happening instead of feeling the sensations of what is going on. One cause of performance anxiety is the expectation that a man should get hard on demand and stay hard for a long time. For someone who tends to ejaculate before they want to, this can be a huge problem because they detach from the feelings of arousal in their body, and before they know it, they are already at climax.
Some men feel stress that goes back to an experience of masturbating as a young boy. Maybe you got caught masturbating as a young child – mom or dad or someone walked in or you, and you needed to hide or quickly “finish.” If you have experienced some variation of this, opening up can feel humiliating and scary or you might have the unconscious sense that arousal will be followed by punishment. You may have learned that this type of pleasure is meant only for extreme privacy and sharing it is inappropriate.
Another psychological factor, is a deep fear of being seen fully, or being vulnerable. We are our most vulnerable when we are in a state of arousal, physically naked and emotionally open. This fear of vulnerability – mixed with the reality of vulnerability that sex puts you in, can unleash unconscious psychological fears.
For men who struggle with premature ejaculation, tension often builds in the legs, chest or arms. This tension is the “fight or flight” response. The stress, which often accompanies arousal, convinces the body that something is wrong. So as arousal is building the legs activate and tighten, trying to get you out of where you are (flight).
In my practice, I require clients to listen to my Premature Ejaculation Audio Course before we start directly addressing this issue in session. This audio course outlines the basic psychological and physiological blocks that get in the way of ejaculation control as well as explains in depth my unique 5-step strategy that will allow you to slow down and get control over your arousal. I also walk you through how to use your breath to overcome that tension so your body can relax while arousal is building.
The best way to start practicing being present and connected in your body is when you’re masturbating. Often times, trying to change this pattern when your partner is present can be too much added stress. I will teach you how to stay present, connected and aware of what is happening in your body so you can reduce anxiety and stress as your arousal builds. Over time and with practice your confidence will grow and allow you to be a better lover and get more enjoyment from sex. I hope you check out the course!
Related posts on performance anxiety here.