The sexual performance anxiety epidemic

While there may not be a verifiable “epidemic” of performance anxiety, many people are unhappy in their sexual lives because they worry that they are not doing it right. They feel inadequate and unsure of themselves, and somehow sex isn’t so much fun anymore. (note: we’re speaking here primarily of heterosexual sexuality, though the basic approach also applies to same-sex lovemaking)

In fact, while worrying about whether your sexual performance is satisfactory, meeting up with your lover for sex can come to seem like just another household chore, or perhaps some kind of final exam, which you could flunk!

This pervasive sense of doubt about your sexual performance has a further insidious effect: it makes your performance worse. When you are worrying about how you are doing, you’re not in the moment. You’re not enjoying your partner’s touch or the pleasures of touching him or her. The thoughts are whirring around in your head: will I keep my erection? Can I get turned on enough for him? Am I moving OK? What is he thinking about my body (OMG I’m fat)? Can I make him (her) come?

These thoughts are highly distressing, and distract you from the pleasures of the moment. Just a reminder: sex is (supposed to be) fun and pleasurable. Making love should be much more like play than work.Being a great lover does not depend upon hitting some kind of performance targets.

Part of what makes this so difficult is our cultural myopia about sexuality and making love. We partake of these cultural notions through osmosis, from media depictions of sexuality, overheard conversations and adolescent fantasies. Unfortunately, much of it is not accurate!

These cultural assumptions are simplistic, condensing the rich tapestry of adult sexual possibility to a few bullet points:

  • Sex equals  penis-in-vagina intercourse;
  • This necessarily requires an erection for the male, and automatic lubrication for the female; and
  • It doesn’t really count unless both partners experience an orgasm.

Note that each of these steps indicates an expectation for the targeted behavior: this is where performance anxiety begins. What if I can’t have sex because of pain? What if I can’t keep an erection? What if I can’t make my partner have an orgasm? What if I don’t have an orgasm?

This is a tangled web. These expectations lead to worry about performance, which degrades performance and stifles enjoyment, resulting in unhappy lovers who don’t feel good about themselves.

There’s a better way to find satisfying, enjoyable and exciting sex with your Beloved. It begins with an honest acknowledgement that things aren’t going well, and a strong affirmation that you want to work together to create a more satisfying sexual relationship.

Since these cultural expectations about sex have contributed to the performance anxiety, you’re going to need a new framework so you can explore and express your sexual desires together without going to the anxious place.

Rather than stress about whether you are achieving the “milestones” of erection/lubrication, intercourse and orgasm it changes everything if you limit your focus to the giving and receiving of pleasure. Pleasure is a sensory experience, denoted by sensations of deliciousness in taste; good feelings in the nerve endings that sense pleasurable touch; the sweetness of special smells; the experience of harmony or melodiousness in sounds; the perception of visual beauty.

Pleasure is what making love is about.

You don’t have to think about whether a particular sensation is pleasurable or not – you know it, in the bodily experience of a favorite food, sensual touch, a beloved song, an encounter with beauty. So it’s simply a matter of trusting your perceptions. If it feels good, it’s pleasurable. Our bodies are set up to perceive pleasure, with millions of specialized nerve endings devoted to this mission.

Making love consists primarily of giving and receiving pleasure – through word and gesture, through sound and sight and taste and touch. When you let go of the performance hurdles and deadlines and relax into playing together with pleasure, it is easy to relax into the moments which blur into timelessness.

But wait! What about orgasm/intercourse/getting off! I don’t want to miss anything!

Arousal, desire and direct sexual stimulation which may lead to the explosive pleasure of orgasm – all can be yours easily and directly, through this relaxed approach. Rather than straining to try to achieve orgasm, holding your breath and tensing all your muscles to try to make it happen, why not relax and allow your body to experience the natural progression of pleasure?

It takes practice to let go of a habitual anxious approach to sex. The desire for a quick fix is just another expression of performance anxiety, just another deadline you’re not going to make.

Optimal sexual experience occurs when partners care for each other, communicate about what they are doing together, and when they are relaxed. Relaxation is the foundation of healthy sex. Give yourself and your partner the gift of relaxing as you make love. Allow yourself to simply pay attention to and luxuriate in the pleasurable sensations you are experiencing, without attempting to go anywhere. Let delight wash over you; play with your partner, gently pleasuring him or her. Be curious and playful as you explore the erotic playground of your loving connection.

READ MORE Articles from David Yarian at Joy of Making Love

Honor Your Depth

Honor Your Depth~“Let’s go down by the river where we can be alone and enjoy the stars. I have a blanket in the back of my truck.” Says a young man of 16 to his new girlfriend.

A sweet flirtatious smile crosses her lips as she agrees.

Cuddling, kissing, and playful touching of each other. The lapping of the water along the shore line and the crickets chirping in the cool night air. Two young lovers adventure off to explore the great landscape of each other’s flesh. Without much consciousness the energy whirls around them, haste and excitement of the moment and possibility overcome both. Hands are moving quickly, kissing becomes more passionate. A braw is removed or pushed to the side. Jeans are unzipped. The boy’s hand squeezes its way down the front, between panties and flesh of the princess that lies beside him. Clumsily he tries to arouse her. Flicking here and there, unsure as to what he is to do. It feels strangely good but not what she had dreamed of. Becoming frustrated with the ever expanding bulge in his own pants and the lack of creativity in his skills he makes the move to remove her jeans.

Once revealing herself in the cold night air she now begins to question her longings, her feelings and his. Yet she adores this young man and wants to please him. She wants him to like her. To stay with her and she wants to experience life and her own body as well. She tugs at his pants, loosening them; he helps her and slips them down to his ankles. Giving an okaying pull she welcomes him to come between her legs now. He is overly excited, feeling his passion through a hard throbbing in his erection. He kisses her again on the lips, wanting her to welcome him farther along this joint venture. She kisses him back openly, giggles some and encourages him to take the next step.

Not knowing or even most likely realizing that his girlfriends yoni is not fully aroused yet he pushes clumsily forward. Pressing himself against her, separating the lips of her yoni with his fingers and then guiding himself inside her. Never pausing just moving at a quickening speed forward to the conquest of this young flower. He is inside her warmth, her velvety tight softness. His mind is no longer in his head, nor is it in his heart feeling her. He only feels with his cock in this moment.

The initial stretching and wrapping feeling within her as he glides back and forth in this friction sex feels good, not intensely good but good. There is a certain comfort in this feeling. His warm breath cascading down on her with his movement. His grunts. His words of love as he presses himself deeper, deeper…. Just like he has seen in some porno on line. He thrusts harder thinking that she will enjoy that like the girls in the movies do, he has to admit it feels insanely good to his genitals but, she is not moaning. She lets out a soft whimper. Nervous to speak of the pain she just felt. Repeatedly he bumps up against her young cervix. A heated sensation rising in her belly, a tightening in her yoni, her body is attempting to offset the damage. Trying to protect itself.

The feeling is too much for him to control, as her body contracts with burst of pain and then softens when he is in more pleasurable zones makes him cum. Forcing him to press deep again, against her cervix, this time as he shakes from his orgasm the tip of his cock penetrates through her delicate cervix, tearing it slightly. She feels a strange sensation inside her body but now the moment is ending. He quickly retreats from her body. Seeing blood on his cock.  Not certain as to what has happened he questions her is she alright? Does she have her period? Was she a virgin, (grin on his face)?

She has not her period nor is a virgin. She says she is fine but is scared to admit that she is unsure. They dress again and go home. ~

This story is adapted from a recent tale that was shared with me by my very own daughter. Worried about her friend who had experienced this, who was still after a few days bleeding. Scared to death of what had happened to her body she had nowhere to even turn. You would hope that at least she could turn to her parents or mother, but what if in admittance of the loss of her virginity she would be kicked to the curb? Yes, the human act of exploring our sexuality in our youth can lead to early flight from the nest for many.

What is not shared in this tale is that the young man shared his 11 inch shaft with this petite young woman. Neither intended on it to be a painful event. Yet because of the limited openness between the girl and her parents and her vague experience with a few other boys she had no way of knowing what her depth was. She had no guidance from a woman in her life to share with her about the importance of taking things slow in sex. She did not know how to speak up for what she was feeling. And above all else she did not know how to honor her depth!

The young man, proud of his eleven inch lingam (penis) had only similar knowledge through a few sexual encounters with other girls who most likely suffered from the same restrictive education as this one. He most likely watched a few movies and seeing these adult males with their 9-13 inch lingams pounding their cocks into women who “appeared” to enjoy each plunge of the anaconda thought he was doing everything right. It was her who had issues, not knowing how to receive the pleasure he was sharing. If he had a male role model in his life that was open about sex with him, he could have been told anything from, “you get in there and get it done son, “ or “always make sure she comes first,” or “youth is for exploration, don’t tie yourself down with just one girl, taste all the flavors you can.”

Never did someone share with him that like men’s lingams, women’s yonis are all built differently. Not only are the petals of her flower unique but so are the roots. The depth of her cervix is unique. Exact location of her G-spot is unique. The shape and size, hood cover of her clitoris is unique. All as perfect as the next but when a man and a women come together and do not honor her depth, then his depth can either be too much and cause a possible life-long energetic injury or physical injury and on the reverse leave him feeling inadequate because he is in his eye’s not big enough. Weather a lingam is 4 inches erect or 11 inches erect, they are each perfect.  Size is not a representation of skill, feeling or ability to love. It is not a sign post for, “Damn this guy is going to give me the best Orgasm EVER!”

If young men and women were openly taught to learn about their bodies, what their depth was and where their pleasure spots were then they could learn to move slower into sexual expression with a partner, they could also learn to feel each other and to realize that friction sex is only 1/1000th of the pleasure pie. They would realize that 11 inches is very unique but so are the women that can have the depth to accommodate. If a man with such a lingam chooses to peruse a woman who can only handle the depth of 6 inches then he needs to be aware that he will never be able to enter her fully. Yes she can open to him and allow him in expanding her yoni; and as her cervix softens he may even be able to penetrate through it intensifying pleasure without any pain or bloodshed, but more than likely the reverse will happen. The same is true of a woman with greater depth. If she is longing for the intensity of a cervical orgasm and has the depth to accommodate a 8-9 inch lingam but finds herself in a sexual encounter with a man who has a lingam of 6 inches then she needs to know that he will not be able to rub the cervix softly for the 40 minutes it will take to open her to this intense and healing orgasm. Sex can still be love making and it can still be extremely pleasurable for both, but if they are unconscious as our society supports us to be then falling prey to friction sex and to the constant sabotage of ill behavior and thoughts of what an ideal penis or vagina looks like will be the beginning to a repetitive destructive sexual life. Men will continue to physically and energetically damage the women in their lives as well as themselves. Women will close down to pleasure, to themselves, to sex in general and to their men.

The end of this tale is sad if Tantra is not introduced. This young girl and boy who we started our blog venture with will grow up and slowly shut down. They will limit their own expansion in all areas of life and learn to just accept what little enjoyment life offers. They most likely will marry someone along their path, feel love brush their shoulders for a few years, bring an angel or two into this world and then realize that something is still missing. They will long for fulfillment. They will long for pleasure, for passion for their depth to be felt. Never realizing that they first have to honor their depth, learn to open to love at all cost and expand their souls unions through the allowance of self healing and the healing of their lovers.