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The Heartbreak of Male Performance Anxiety

I get a dozen or so messages a month on this topic. I’ve written about it in numerous postings and spoken about it in several podcasts, but still the email comes.

One of the real bugaboos for anyone, regardless of gender, is living up to our own expectations of sexual performance. So many things can get in the way, literally and figuratively, of fully enjoying ourselves and/or pleasuring our partners.

The arousal stage of our sexual response cycle is particularly vulnerable to a disruption. And when there’s trouble there, there’s no hiding it. A limp dick or a dry pussy can put the kibosh on all festivities that we may have hoped would follow.

However, performance anxiety can strike any of us, regardless of age, and at just about any point in our sexual response cycle. This is a particularly galling when it seems to come out of the blue. And regaining our composure can be more far more difficult than we imagine.

Today we will be focusing on male performance anxiety.  I’ll address female performance anxiety at a later date.

Here’s Bob, he’s 26:
Doc, this has never happened before. But I couldn’t get it up tonight, and this chick was H.O.T. 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, darlin’! And I don’t think you need to get “checked out” either…at least not right away. If you could back away from the situation a bit and stop freaking 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 slammer, you relied, as you say, on jerking off. Okay, cool. We all do what we gotta do. 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.

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

The anticipation of boning this H.O.T. chick—fueled by some predictable self-consciousness; what with just getting out of the big house 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 til that’s all you can think about. If you do, this proverbial molehill will become a mountain. You’ll then bring all this anxiety to your next encounter, setting yourself up for even more disappointment. You can see how this shit can snowball? 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. And your self-esteem will take a nosedive, too.

If you’re 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. Why not just relax into the whole sex thing and not try to prove your manhood with your pecker?

Then there’s Steve with a slightly different take on this meddlesome problem:

My partner and I have been together for just over 3 years now in a monogamous relationship. I am the top and he the bottom. Our problem is not premature ejaculation on his part, but his inability to have an orgasm at all. No matter what I try and even if he masturbates, sometimes it is impossible to get him to cum. Is this a medical issue? Have you ever heard of this?

Delayed ejaculation is the difficulty one has ejaculating even with a firm erection and sufficient sexual arousal and stimulation. This problem is not uncommon. For most men, delayed ejaculation occurs during partnered sex more frequently than while masturbating. In fact, 85% of men with delayed ejaculation can usually cum by jacking off. However, in partnered sex, the guy may be unable to ejaculate at all, or only after prolonged partnered stimulation. This problem can be very frustrating and cause distress for both partners involved, as you already know.

What causes delayed ejaculation? Well, it could be a number of things. It could be something as simple as performance anxiety, or inadequate stimulation, or there could be neurological damage.

I don’t want to be too reductionist here, but most of us experts believe that the majority of instances of delayed ejaculation aren’t physical in nature, but rather are the product of psychological concerns. Simply put, there’s a difference between the psychosexual response we have when we are alone and the one we experience with a partner. There’s probably nothing wrong with your partner’s unit. It’s all in his head…or his mind, to be more exact. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s got a real bad case of performance anxiety.

When I see this sort of thing in my private practice, I always begin the therapeutic intervention by calling a moratorium on fucking of any kind. This immediately takes the pressure off the couple. From there we begin to rebuild the partnered psychosexual response one step at a time. We begin with sensate focus training (Sensate Focus is a series of specific exercises for couples that encourage each partner to take turns paying increased attention to their own sensations. More about these helpful exercises in the weeks to come.), stress reduction and relaxation exercises. These applications are designed to reduce performance pressure and instead focus on pleasure. The idea is to get them to stay in the moment; absorb the pleasure present without worrying about what is “supposed” to happen.

Finally we address as frankly and openly as possible any fears or anxieties that they may have—as individuals or as a couple. I have the greatest confidence in this method; it succeeds over 90% of the time.

Ok, let’s recap shall we?

Overcoming sexual performance anxiety is dependent on five simple things.

  • First, a guy needs to be attuned to his sexual response cycle — arousal, plateau, orgasmic and resolution phases. He should know what kind of stimulation he needs at each phase to fully enjoy himself and satisfy his partner.
  • Second, the more worried a guy is about a performance issue, the more likely that problem will present itself. A bad experience in the past can often set the stage for its recurrence.
  • Third, don’t be afraid to talk this over with your partner. Withdrawing from your partner or shying away from sex altogether will only increase the likelihood that the problem will persist.
  • Forth, be proactive! Fearing the loss of your sexual prowess or feeling sorry for yourself is counterproductive. Confront the challenge head on. Employ sensate focus training stress reduction techniques and relaxation exercises to help you push past this temporarily impasse and regain your self-confidence.
  • Fifth, free yourself from the mindset that your dick is the center of the universe. Your manhood or your capacity to be a great lover does not reside in your genitals. Expand your sexual repertoire. Remember, pleasure centers abound in your body as well as your partner’s.

Good luck!

Pump It Up

Name: Celia
Gender: female
Age: 22
Location: Chico
I think my clit is too small. I rarely have an orgasm through oral stimulation and never through intercourse. Is there anything I could do to make my clit bigger? Do they make “penis pumps” for women?

I never did hear of a too small of a clit, darlin’. Listen, there’s way more to your clitoris than what meets the eye. While it is clitoral anatomytrue that those adorable little pleasure buttons come in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. What is externally visible is only the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. Wanna know more? Use the Google, why don’t cha? Search for “clitoral anatomy.” You’ll be amazed at what you find. Did you know that your clit has a hood, head, and a shaft? The whole complex looks like this winged alien creature. And did you know that your clit’s only purpose is pleasure. Men don’t have anything that even faintly resembles this astonishing thing. And the head of your clit has 8,000 nerve endings? That’s double what a guy has in his much larger dickhead. Pretty gal-darn amazing, huh? So to my mind, clitoral size is not an issue.

During sexual arousal your clit, as well as your whole pussy, engorge with blood and change color, just like a guy’s cock does. The more the engorgement, the more sensitive the area becomes, just like for a guy. Thus, the more aroused you are; the more pleasure you will receive, just like a guy. clitProblem is, few women are afforded the time necessary to become fully aroused. Imagine if a guy was expected to perform sexually before he was fully aroused. He’d be trying to fuck with a limp dick. And you know how successful an event that would be.

Conquering a limp dick is precisely the genesis of the fabled penis pump you mention in your question. The Austrian inventor Otto Ledever reasoned that if a stiffy was all about blood flow then maybe he could come up with a device that would draw blood into a cock creating an erection where there wasn’t one before. In 1917, our hero patented an airtight cylinder topped by a bulb that created a vacuum within the chamber. Insert a limp dick — pump, pump, pump and tada! — An impressive erection resulted.

Well then, since girl parts are pretty much like boy parts, at least in terms of the whole blood flow thing; the same principle will indeed work for your parts, Celia, just as well as it would work for a dude’s parts. Which gets me to my answer to your question. Yes, my dear, there are “penis pumps” for women only they are called a Clitoral Suction Cylinder or a Vagina Suction Cylinder.

The purpose of the suction is to increase blood flow making your clit, and/or your whole pussy, more sensitive to the touch. And again, my point from above, the more sensitivity in the area, the more pleasure you will have from your own touch or that of a partner.

I invite you to visit Dr Dick’s Stockroom and take a look around.  You’ll see, in the left hand sidebar, a list of product categories. Under the main heading, Sex Toys, there is a subcategory titled, “Suction.”  Click on it. There you will find two more headings, one of which is “Nipple And Body.”  Click on it. There you will find loads of things that will make your clit sit up and take notice. Here’s a tip, most all the nipple suction devices will also work on your clit. And if you want to pump up your whole pussy, you can do that too. How fun!

Clitoral Suction Cylinder  Clitoral enlargement system

Now if you want to be all primed, so to speak, for an upcoming fuck fest with the BF, or whomever, do your pumping before the event begins. This will get you all engorged, sensitive and loaded for pleasure before your partner joins in the fun. In fact, if you get the hang of the whole pumping thing on your own first, you’ll be able to show your partner the ropes, as it were; so that he or she will be able to incorporate the pump-job into the sex play next time you’re together.

Good luck

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Quickies

Name: r68tool
Gender: Male
Age: 52
Location: Montana
Doc, I have been an insulin-dependent diabetic for 25 years. I’m also a post-operative kidney transplant recipient. I have not been able to achieve nor maintain any kind of erection for the past 19 years. I have visited several urologists, but they have been useless. I am able to manipulate my cock to have a semi-hard erection by tying a leather string around my scrotum and cock. I can sometimes get very erect. But when I orgasm, I NEVER ejaculate sperm. I’m convinced that there must be blockage to prevent an erection and semen flow. Any suggestions? Do I need surgery?

Do you ABSOLUTELY need to ejaculate when you orgasm? Lots of guys with medical issues, like yours, don’t. There are also many men who practice ejaculation control as part of Tantric sex.cock,schlong, dong

I don’t believe you have a blockage of any sort. The glands that produce the bulk of your ejaculate may have atrophied due to the diabetes. This is not uncommon. If this is the case, no surgery is gonna fix that.

That being said; I have a tip for you. If you are self-conscious about not having an ejaculate when you cum, check out Spunk Lube. It’s the lube that looks and feels just like jizz.

Good luck

Name: Emily
Gender: Female
Age: 26
Location: Ohio
I have been having sex with this guy I met for a week now and he’s only cum once. We have foreplay and then we have sex… We try all positions but then his dick goes limp. Is it because of me? He says he likes to have sex with me but I’m confused, why isn’t he cumming? We usually have sex for hours at a time… I squirt and keep my pussy moist so what’s the problem here?

Performance anxiety causing delayed ejaculation. That would be my guess.

Use the search function at the top of the sidebar to your right, type in performance anxiety and you’ll be presented with a load of information about this issue and how to handle it.

Here’s a little taste of what you will find:

Most of us experts believe that the majority of delayed ejaculation concerns are not physical in nature, but rather they are the product of psychological problems. Perhaps your friend would benefit from a professional evaluation.

cordially invitedGenerally, the object of a sexological intervention is to diffuse the guy’s sexual anxieties so that he can comfortably cum with his partner without difficulty.

When I see this issue in my therapy practice, I offer my clients a series of homework assignments that are designed to reduce performance pressure and focus on pleasure. These are relaxation exercises and sensate focus exercises.

I call a moratorium on fucking for a limited period of time, so the couple can learn other means of sexually pleasuring one another. I try to get my clients to stay in the moment; absorb the pleasure that is present without worrying about what is “supposed to” happen. I encourage my clients to create a relaxed, sexy atmosphere, free of pressure to perform in one-way or another. Finally, we address as frankly and openly as possible any and all fears or anxieties they may have as individuals or as a couple. The most common are a fear of intimacy, of being gay, of being in a relationship or of disease.

Some guys report success with hypnosis. But I don’t practice that myself, so I have no first hand knowledge of its efficacy.

However, I do encourage you guys to get to the bottom of this, so to speak, ASAP. To leave this unaddressed will only cause greater difficulties later on. Just remember, you cannot will a sexual response, just like you cannot will yourself to go to sleep or enjoy something you don’t. And the harder you try to have a certain response, the more inhibited you become.

Good luck

Hi,
I am a male and I am interested in having another man give me oral sex. My question is can I get any STDs by allowing another man to perform oral sex on me? Can you direct me to some information regarding this topic? Thanks!

Ya know, that Google thing really works, my friend! Search for “STD (or STI) and oral sex” and presto! You’ll get a shit-load of info.need a good fuck

Here’s what you will learn: Oral sex is considered a lower risk activity for STDs (or as we prefer to call them, STIs Sexually Transmitted Infections) than are anal and vaginal sex. Even so, it is still possible to get an STD/STI whether you are giving or getting oral sex. Blowjobs can put you at risk for infections like herpes and gonorrhea. If you don’t know where your partner’s mouth has been, and you want to extra protection, use a condom.

Good luck

Hi. I was hoping that maybe you could help me out with this problem.
I really only have minimal experience giving oral sex to a man.
I read your bit about the gag reflex and thank you. I will work on that. I want to talk about teeth. My mouth is not that big, and it is hard for me to keep from scraping my man’s cock with them. My partner wants to fuck my throat. We try, but that seems to always cause problems. I was wondering if you knew of any devices out there that are designed to cover the teeth while only reducing the oral cavity size minimally.

Ya know your jaw is a remarkable thing. With just a little exercise, it can be stretched so that your mouth will open wider. Many people never see the need to stretch their jaw and so the gape of their mouth never increases.

The wider your mouth opens the less your teeth will get in the way of whatever you are inserting in your mouth. It just stands to reason.

Start by doing some simple stretching exercises. Open your mouth as wide as you can and hold it for a count of 5. Do a set of 10 stretches like this at least 3 times a day. You will find that in no time your gape will be larger. You can employ the use of a cock shaped vegetable like a cucumber to aid you in your stretching. Just so you know, this is how the experts (porn stars) ready themselves for the really big ones.

You can get teeth guards as well. But I don’t think the problem lies with your teeth.

Practice these exercises and let me know how you make out, so to speak.

Good luck

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I like to watch…

Name: Jim
Gender: Male
Age: 67
Location: Jacksonville, FL
My question…I like to watch my girlfriend have sex with other men. This particular time she had sex, she told the guy she was going to give him or leave her “love mark” on him and she proceeded to bite his inner thigh. She and he laughed afterwards. Should I be concerned that that she may have feelings for this guy (a total stranger) we found on the internet. Also should she be caressing, fondling, and massaging him, and deep kissing him? She said she was angry with me because I questioned why she went so far. I have been bothered by this but she says there was nothing but acting on her part. Please get me out of my misery.

You’re a cuckold, Jim! Enjoy the torment you pervert! And thanks for presenting me this opportunity to tell everyone in our audience about this delightful fetish.a171827_xlf

So I suppose ya’ll know that the traditional definition of a cuckold is a married man whose wife cheats on him behind his back. However, there is such a thing as a cuckold fetishist. In fact, this is one of the most popular and fastest growing fetishes around these days. The cuckold fetishist not only knows about his wife’s dalliances, but also often enjoys the humiliation of being forced to watch. Witness poor Jim here.

In this fetish the woman is dominant and she takes on additional partners, while the male takes on (or is forced into) the submissive role. Hot, hot, hot, right? You betcha! The wife enjoys multiple partners, but the husband is made to remain sexually exclusive with her alone. This fetish can take on all kinds of permutations. Check out Dr Dick’s How To Video Library for a load of videos on this very topic. Look for the VOD tab in the header above. All you have to do is search for CUCKOLD. http://theater.aebn.net/dispatcher/fts?userQuery=CUCKOLDs&theaterId=42740&genreId=101&targetSearchMode=basic&isSearchCriteriaReset=true&searchType=movie&locale=en

a118951_xlfWhat makes a guy enjoy being cuckold? Sometimes this is part of a sexual fantasy, one of being humiliated. The guy may also just get off on watching his wife fuck other guys. I even know some guys who love this because they like watching another guy or other guys have sex. Others like being “forced” to service the other guy. You can see where this would be a freakin’ paradise for a bi or closeted gay guy, huh?

The wife and her other partners, on the other hand, no doubt get off on the scenario too. This is one way for a woman to enjoy multiple partners while controlling the sexual outlet of her husband. It’s kinda like forced chastity; another very popular fetish these days, don’t cha know. The cuckold fetish is also a common kink for the guy who is more absorbed with his wife’s pleasure than his own. I know, it’s hard to believe; but there are guys like that out there. Our friend, Jim, here is probably one of them.

Good Luck

Do you like this posting? Your one-time $10 donation will help support this sex positive effort. With your help we can continue to enrich, inform, and educate all who visit here. Join us and help make a difference!

Hot Or Not

Name: Zoey
Gender: Female
Age: 40
Location: Seattle
Hello
I was surprised when my husband said our sex was just ok. I was skipping along thinking it was great. Now I feel stupid. I asked what I could do to make it better, but he didn’t give me any suggestion. Can you help me understand what I am doing wrong. How can I figure this out on my own? Classes? Lectures? Palm reading. I’m at a loss and at my age I want to have a great sex life but not just me enjoying it.
Thanks so much for your time.

I have lots to say about this topic. And most all of it has to do with the notion of mutuality and reciprocity; ya know giving to get, mutual satisfaction, and all of that.hot in the sack

I encourage you to look around my site for all the help you need. Check out the CATEGORIES pull-down menu in the sidebar to your right. You will find a wealth of sexual enrichment topics there. In fact there’s even a specific category named precisely that. Under the main category: ENRICHMENT, there is a subcategory called — Sexual Enrichment.  There’s another subcategory just below that labeled — Spicing Up Your Sex Life.  Or you can simply use the search feature by typing in the key words: sexual enrichment. I’ve made it that easy! And everything in the pull-down menu is alphabetized for your convenience.

Regardless on how you get there, you will find posting and podcasts aplenty on an array of topics.

Be sure to check out my Product Reviews site, Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews for great toy suggestions and other fun stuff to liven up a ho-hum sex life.

Don’t miss Dr Dick’s Stockroom.

Another great resource is Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.  The mind boggles at all the stuff you could learn there. And you’ll be learning from the pros too.

Finally, a word of advice to you. If you think you’re having hot sex, you probably are. If your partner or partners don’t think so; its up to them to work out a plan, with you, that will satisfy them more fully. Anyone who tells you that sex with you is merely OK, but won’t volunteer suggestions on how to make it better; is fuckin’ with your head.

Great partnered sex is the responsibility of both partners.

Good luck

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