Category Archives: Performance Anxiety

Sobriety & Sex

Name: Gregg
Gender: Male
Age: 40
Location: Seattle
Since getting sober now almost 8 years ago I am very tense about sex and I feel as though I have lost my mojo. I am unable to relax and be intimate with a man and I am thinking I need an intimacy coach or sex coach, or something. Perhaps someone with tantra training who can help me find a comfort level with my body again and being touched and touching another.

Hey, thanks for your interesting question. Sadly, yours is not an uncommon concern. In fact, I just finished an 8-week group for men in recovery who were dealing with similar intimacy issues. A lot of the work we did together was helping one another reestablish a sense of trust.

legs & bootsSo many of us gay men start out our sexual lives with alcohol and/or drugs to help us overcome our inhibitions as well as a means of dulling some of the anti-gay messaging that comes to us from the world around us. Sometimes, the substances take hold of us and instead of we being in control the substances are in control. There was one guy in the group I just mentioned who is in his 5o’s, and he confessed to the group that before he got clean and sober, a couple years ago, he had never had sex sober. And he had been sexually active since his early twenties.

Substance abuse can rob us of more than just our dignity. It often effects our sexual response cycle in ways that diminish our ability to enjoy our sexuality. Men often report erection problems and women report arousal phase problems when they come off booze and or drugs. This, as you suggest, impacts on our comfort level in all intimate situations. If our parts aren’t working like we would want them to, we’d rather avoid intimate contact rather than be embarrassed. So, in other words, when we rid ourselves of the substances that once enabled us, we often need to relearn how to be ourselves, particularly in intimate situations.

Learning to trust others enough to open ourselves to others, even with our “brokenness,” is the key to regaining our sense of sexual self. We need to learn how to overcome our shame, which often gets in the way of reaching out to others. And if some of our shame is unresolved internalized homophobia, well then, we really have some work to do.tit bite

I think you’ve hit upon the perfect solution to your pressing problem. Working with a sex coach or intimacy coach is definitely one way to go. For those challenged, as you are, verbal therapy is great. But there is no substitute for actual hands-on therapy.

I know several people who have been helped by a surrogate partner or a sexual healer. I applaud you for thinking so creatively. Of course, finding the right person to work with will be a challenge. And I should mention that other helping professionals, even some sexologists, do not always look upon these kinds of interventions as legitimate. That’s a pity, but what are ya gonna do.

As you know, there are loads of sex workers out there. Unfortunately, very few have the training needed to provide surrogate partner therapy, or understand the delicate issues that a trained sexual healer must deal with. I hope you find what you are looking for.

If you need someone to discuss this with further, give me a shout. You’ll find my contact information on either the ABOUT page or the THERAPY AVAILABLE page in the header above.

Good luck

Bum Rap

Name: Skye
Gender: Female
Age:
Location:
The reason I am writing is because my boyfriend and I have been together for about a year, and we’ve been having some problems with sex. The problem is that I have difficulty getting to a climax. The problem with this is that my boyfriend feels like he has not accomplished anything if he can’t get me off (which generally nobody is able to do). The only way that I am able to climax is during anal sex and my boyfriend does not want that all the time and has become skittish about doing it at all because of some difficulties with this earlier in the relationship (I am not very experienced).
This issue is starting to drive a wedge between us, and neither of us wants to break up over this. So we are asking for some advice as to what we can do, or what we can try. One thought that I have had is that maybe I am nervous when I’m with other people because while I have difficulty climaxing when I’m with somebody, I have no difficulty at all when I’m alone.
Please give us any advice you can, or point us to somebody who might be able to help us.
~Skye

Ok, let’s take this apart piece by piece, shall we? You’re unable to cum through partnered sex, despite the willingness of your BF to try and please you as much as humanly possible, right? But you are orgasmic; I mean you can cum when you are by yourself, right? This suggests to me that you are suffering from performance anxiety. a150455_xlf

While performance anxiety is mostly talked about in terms of men and their erection problems, they don’t have a monopoly on the annoying issue. It’s an arousal phase concern and we all have an arousal phase regardless of our gender.

I’d be willing to guess that since you say you are not very experienced with sex, you may be creating a level of anxiety that short-circuits your pleasure. Sad to say, this often plagues younger women the most. Young women tend to have less self-esteem. And if they are new to sex, they may not know what they are doing, which can be not only frustrating, but also distracting.

So let me ask you a few questions. First and foremost, what’s going on in your mind when you are having sex with a partner? Are you focused on the pleasure you are giving and receiving? Or are you focused, like so many people on something other than that?

a96261_xlfIf your mind is busy with how you look, or how you smell, or if you are wondering if that birthmark of yours is too obvious. Or if you’re worried about how accomplished you are at performing a particular sex act; then you may have performance anxiety. If you anxious about what your partner thinks of you, if he’s turned on by you, or loves you, or is just bangin’ away at you like a side of beef; then you may have performance anxiety. If you’re afraid to let go and have a screamin’ meme of an orgasm, because it might not look lady-like, or you’re not sure you can trust the person who’s bumpin’ you enough to just relax and enjoy the ride; then you may have performance anxiety.

It also appears from what you say that your BF could also be developing a complex since he’s unable to pleasure you to climax. So let’s see if we can nip this in the bud before it gets to be a full-blown dysfunction.

Many women report that their partnered sex is not as satisfying as their solo sex, because they’re not able to stimulate themselves in the same fashion in partnered sex as they do when they’re jillin’ off. If you are self-conscious about showing your partner the particulars of gettin yourself off, or too intimidated to incorporate a vibrator in your love making, you might not be getting the kind of stimulation you need when you need it. Thus you might be aroused, but not to the point of lettin’ one loose…if ya catch my drift.a6402_xlf

I am also very curious about another thing you mention. You say; “The only way that I am able to climax is during anal sex and my boyfriend does not want that all the time and has become skittish about doing it at all because of some difficulties with this earlier in the relationship.” That’s downright amazing. Butt fuckin’ get you off, but not traditional, cock in cooch, sex? Holy cow! How did you come to be so well acquainted with anal sex when you claim you are not very experienced with sex in general? I’d be very interested in hearing more about that, don’t cha know.

Finally, may I suggest that you and the BF take advantage of Dr Dick’s How To Video Library. It is chock full of swell videos that you guys can watch together. This might be the very thing ya’ll need to break open a conversation about the kind of sex you are having as opposed the kind of sex you both desire.

a168705_xlfA lot of the videos in my library will teach you how to ask for what you need and want. How to shake things up and add some spice to your sex play. You’ll learn new ways of pleasuring one another. And, most importantly, how to relax and enjoy yourselves. Once you guys learn how to effectively communicate with one another about sex, you will have gone a great distance in clearing the air of unnecessary sexual anticipation. You’ll both be able to relax into the event itself and enjoy yourselves more. Here is just a tiny sampling of titles to look for:

Women’s Sexual Satisfaction
Personal Touch: Toying With Pleasure
Nina Hartley’s Guide To Couples Sexploration
Expert Guide To Female Orgasms
Guide To Bondage For Couples

In my How To Video Library you’ll be able to search by stars, like Nina Hartley or Tristan Taormino. You can search by Directors, like Michael Perry or Jamye Waxman. Or you can search by topic, like cunnilingus, toys or anal pleasure. And the best part is that this wealth of information is right there at your fingertips.

Good luck

What’s that you say?

Name: Scott
Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Kansas
I am a 20-year-old virgin who has never even had phone or cybersex. The reason for this is that when I am complimented in a sexual or sensual manner, for example “your voice is sexy” or “your intelligence is a major turn on” or even something as simple as “you’re cute or adorable or whatever” I get aroused but I also have a very negative reaction. I have a cold, sinking feeling in my stomach. I become slightly dizzy and even occasionally nauseous. I’ve been having these reactions since the 7th grade, which was the first time I was propositioned. When I find the woman of my dreams I want to be able to satisfy her every want and need, but I won’t be able to if I continue to have these reactions. Can you help me get rid of this or at least give me an idea of where it comes from or what is causing it?

Sounds to me, pup, like you got yourself a bad case of sexphobia; an irrational fear of sex. This is classic: “I am aroused but I also have a very negative reaction. I have a cold, sinking feeling in my stomach. I become slightly dizzy and even occasionally nauseous.” You should also know that phobias aren’t particularly uncommon.

sex-phobia-1There’s probably a good reason why you’re experiencing this phobia. If you and I were working together I’d want to take a look at the incident you report happened to you in the 7th grade. You said you were propositioned. What does that mean exactly? You were 12 and someone came on to you? A peer? Someone older? Was it someone inappropriate; a family member, a clergy person, a teacher? Why did you have such a negative response?

That being said, getting over a phobia, of whatever kind — fear of flying, snakes, spiders, public speaking, or sex — can be accomplished without dredging up the past. Here’s how you might begin:

  • Identify the specifics of your fear as they play themselves out in your life now. What precisely frightens you about sex and/or intimacy?
  • Create a plan to take the edge off your fear in small incremental steps. For example, start out with holding hands, move to embracing, then kissing. What behaviors push the panic button for you?
  • Address each and every thing that hampers your progress. For example, why does kissing push your buttons while holding hands and/or cuddling don’t?
  • Be firm in your resolve to push past your discomfort and stretch your limits. Sinking to the lowest common denominator will not do.
  • Address the emotional response you have to each aspect of your phobia before moving on to the next one. Build on your successes.

This is kinda hard to do on one’s own, but it’s not impossible. There are loads of books and programs on the market that can help an individual move through a phobia. You might want to do an online search, look for something like: overcoming a phobia.

Some people have success with visualization techniques, for others hypnotherapy works. Basically, it’s simply a matter of desensitization — defusing the feared thing, and doing it incrementally.

Good luck

Name: Afeisha
Gender: Female
Age: 21
Location: Pennsylvania
I usually have orgasms when I masturbate, but when I’m having sex with my partner it’s so hard to arrive at an orgasm, even when the sex is great?

Women suffer from performance anxiety too, ya know.

While performance anxiety is mostly talked about in terms of men and their erection problems, guys don’t have a monopoly on this annoying issue.No-Genitals

I’d be willing to guess that you, my dear, have got some performance anxiety goin’ on yourself, possibly even big time. Sad to say, this difficulty often plagues younger women the most. Young women tend to have less self-esteem. And if they are new to sex, they may feel like they don’t know what they are doing, which can be both disturbing and distracting. On the other hand, if a young woman is not a sexual novice and she appears too knowledgeable about sex, she runs the risk of being labeled a slut. So basically, young women can’t win for losing. It’s friggin’ regrettable, but there ya have it.

So let’s see if we can get to the bottom of this, as it were. Let me ask you a few questions. First and foremost, where is your mind when you are having sex with a partner? Is it on the pleasure you are giving and receiving? Or is it, like so many people, on something other than the pleasurable sensations?

  • If your mind is busy with how you look, or how you smell, or if you are wondering if that birthmark is too obvious. Or if you’re worried about how accomplished you are at performing a particular sex act, or if you’re concerned about your partner feelings for you. Then you may have performance anxiety.
  • If you’re anxious about what your partner is thinking of you; or if he/she is turned on by you; or loves you; or is just bangin’ away at you like a slab of beef. Then you may have performance anxiety.
  • If you’re afraid to let go and have a screamin’ meme of an orgasm, because it might not look lady-like; or you’re not sure you can trust the person who’s bumpin’ you enough to just relax and enjoy the ride. Then you may have performance anxiety.

This being said, performance anxiety is only one explanation for the problem you experience in partnered sex. Many women report that their partnered sex is not as satisfying as their solo sex, because they’re not able to stimulate themselves in the same fashion in partnered sex as you do when they’re jillin’ off on their own. If you are self-conscious about showing your partner the particulars of gettin yourself off, or too intimidated to incorporate a vibrator in your love making, you might not be getting the kind of stimulation you need when you need it. Thus you might be aroused, but not to the point of lettin’ one loose…if ya catch my drift.

Finally, one of the easiest solutions to this problem is to simply have a frank discussion with your partner(s) about what gets you off before the fuck-fest begins. That will clear the air of unnecessary anticipation and you both will be able to relax more into the event itself, rather than being distracted by the externals.

Good luck

Where went the wood?

Name: bob
Gender: Male
Age: 26
Location: pa
(Never happened before) But I couldn’t get it up tonight, and this chick was H OT. Now I’m not gay at all, but I haven’t had sex in about 3 years because I was locked up…so I masturbated pretty regularly about 3 or 4 times a week. But I can’t figure out why I was soft… the only thing I can think of is “I ate clams tonight and I’ve never had them before. Could it be that or should I get checked out?

It weren’t the clams, my friend! And I don’t think you need to get check out, either…at least not right away. If you could back away from the situation a little bit and stop freakin’ out. I think you’d discover the source of your problem all on your own.

Here’s the thing, while you were out of commission, there in the jailhouse, you relied on, as you say, jerkin’ off. Ok, cool. We all gotta get by somehow. Now the first time you try to score after your release; you go soft. This tells me you have a mild case of performance anxiety. We all get that from time to time.dessert

There’s probably nothing wrong with you or with your johnson. You just got the jitters first time you tried to get you some fine pussy after bein’ away, that’s all.

The anticipation of bonin’ this HOT chick, fueled by some predictable self-consciousness; what with just gettin out of the slammer and all, pulled the plug on your wood. No surprise there, right?

What I don’t want to see happen is for you to replay the incident over and over in your mind’s eye till that’s all I can think about. Hey, maybe that’s already happening. If it is, this proverbial molehill will, sure enough, become a mountain. You’ll then bring all this anxiety to your next encounter. Setting you up for even more disappointment. You can see how this shit can snowball, right?

If you interpret every less than satisfying encounter as a failure, your fears will become self-fulfilling. You’ll begin to avoid partnered sex and you’ll develop a full-blown sexual dysfunction. Your self-esteem will take a nosedive too.

If you are preoccupied with your performance, it’s less likely that you’ll be fully present during sex with a partner. This pretty much fucks up your sexual responsiveness and any hope for spontaneity. Don’t let this happen to you, Bob. Why not just relax into the whole sex thing and not try to prove your manhood or your sexual prowess with your pecker?

Good luck

SEX WISDOM With Mandy Traut — Podcast #364 — 02/20/13


Hello sex fans! Welcome back.

One of the things that makes my life so wonderful are opportunities, like this, to introduce you, my audience, to remarkable people you Image 1probably would never know otherwise. This is particularly true for this the SEX WISDOM series, which brings you interviews with the movers and shakers in the field of human sexuality. I generally chat with colleagues well established in our field, but today I want to introduce you to someone just beginning her career. And what an illustrious career it will be. I am delighted to welcome a new friend and fellow therapist, Mandy Traut.

Mandy is a psychotherapist here in the Emerald City. She has a wonderful and engaging philosophy and therapeutic style that underscores her commitment to the health and wellbeing of her clients. And I am looking forward to getting to know her better right along with you.

Mandy and I discuss:

  • The dehumanizing effect of the “disorder” designation;
  • Her sex-positive credo;
  • Her VISTA gig;
  • Coming out as kinky;
  • Body awareness and sexual health and wellbeing;
  • Mindfulness and being grounded;
  • Performance anxiety;
  • Kinky vs. vanilla
  • Meeting bendyogagirl;
  • Context is everything.

Mandy invites you to visit her on her site HERE! You can also find her on Facebook HERE! And she’s on Twitter HERE!

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s Dr Dick’s toll free podcast voicemail HOTLINE. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously. Just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

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