(By Jason Brick)
A fear based erection problem is called “Anxiety ED,” otherwise know as anxiety erectile dysfunction and it can affect men as strongly as circulatory issues do.
It is a spectrum of issues with wide variety of causes, impacts and potential solutions. But most cases fall into one of three broad categories.
In social situations, this is sometimes called the “yips.”
It happens when you worry so much about failing at something that it actually causes you to fail.
How it works is that you end up focusing on your anxiety about your performance so much you take too much attention away from being stimulated by your partner.
The environmental triggers that normally tell your sex systems to fire up never get pushed. Your boner is weak or absent, and finishing is next to impossible.
FDR famously said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” which is true of anxiety erectile function, but doesn’t take into account how much damage fear can do.
It not only impacts your ability to perform in one moment, but each iterate failure can lead to more anxiety about the next time. The good news is this is fairly simple to solve for, if not entirely easy.
Three reliable methods for curing fear of failure anxiety ED include:
Stay On Mission — Put your focus on your partner instead of worrying about what will happen if you can’t perform. Go down on her, use all your tricks. Worry less about performing with that one part of your body and pay attention to pleasing her with all the others. You’ll find her excitement will get you through the distracting anxiety.
Take More Time — Women like foreplay. If you get tense about whether or not you can get it up right now, you’ll have trouble getting it up. You’re also more likely to give up on the whole thing prematurely. When you have an “evening in” planned, make it a whole evening. Give yourself time to warm up, and warm her up. Quickies can come later.
Get Zen With It — Meditation practice is in part about helping anxious thoughts pass through your mind without catching on anything. It’s also a proven stress reliever, which can fight some of the outside causes of your ED. Even five or ten minutes a day can have a significant impact on your mental health.
The “mental mechanics” of this work just like the performance anxiety we just talked about, though the anxiety behind it comes from a different source.
In this case, it comes from feeling bad about what you look like naked.
A study of 367 male military personnel run by the International Society for Sexual Medicine found significantly lower incidence of ED among young men with positive body image as compared to those with poor body image (source).
Bottom line: if you don’t like how you look naked, it can keep you from performing well when somebody sees you naked.
The solution to this one may be hard to swallow, but it’s a truth you shouldn’t convince yourself to ignore.
You have to make a decision, then take action to change what your body looks like.
This is simply a matter of what’s more important to you: that donut or your sex life. I know that sounds harsh (and there are a lot of people who want your money who might try to convince you of a less direct model), but it’s the truth.
The way to develop better body image is to develop a better body.
The great news here is new studies have shown that just starting a diet and exercise program aimed at improving your body will improve your body image well before you’ve made significant progress.
That commitment to improvement helps you feel better about yourself, and the initial sessions will give you more energy and focus — both of which can help you improve your performance and confidence in the sack.
This one’s less about your mindset and more about your behavior. Both sexual desire and sexual performance rely on dopamine.
It’s the hormone your body releases when it experiences sexual stimuli. In a “normal” system, you see something that excites you. Your body releases dopamine.
And this dopamine sets off a chain reaction that results in an erect penis.
But your body can develop a dopamine tolerance just like alcoholics develop an alcohol tolerance. Too much dopamine, too often, causes this.
Easy access to easy dopamine stimulators — porn, video games, long binge sessions on Netflix, aimless web surfing, and social media — can all contribute to dopamine tolerance.
And once this happens, the next time you get hit by a set of sexual stimuli, it might not cause you to uptake enough dopamine for a long, strong erection.
Like the other items on this list, the solution is simple if not entirely easy.
Just scale back on your accessing “cheap dopamine.” Turn off the Netflix and go out with friends. Stop using porn to get off. Stop wasting so much time on Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram.
Dopamine tolerance is reversible, and you reverse it by spending less time chasing the cheap stuff and more time going after clean dopamine.
And what is clean dopamine?
Pretty much any hobby or habit that gets you off the couch, away from electronics and in front of real live human beings qualifies as clean.
If…that hobby or habit makes you feel good inside once you’re finished.
Examples include, real sex, hiking, walking, competitive sports, making or repairing stuff, empire building, socializing, weight training or any hobby or activity that makes you feel productive once you’re finished.
People with legitimate physical problems hate hearing “it’s all in your head,” but in the case of anxiety ED it really is all in your head.
Anxiety ED is a matter of your mind playing tricks on you.
As I suggested for each cause of this threat to your sex life, the solution is to play tricks on your mind. Use meditation, directed attention, visualization and other exercises to practice getting it right.
And if one doesn’t work, push on and try something new.
And most importantly, go easy on yourself and don’t let things spiral out of control when you fail on occasion, because fear of failure is the primary cause of anxiety ED in men.