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

Circumsizing the Heart

Recently I experienced truly being made love to. A deep penetration and opening into a transformative healing bliss.  It has been years since I felt anything remotely close to this event and if I am completely honest with myself I believe that I perhaps have never been touched so deeply by such pureness before.

I read once in a David Deida book (uncertain which one) that a woman will stay in love with a man even though they are no longer physically together until another man can penetrate her deeper with his love then the prior. Deida is NOT referring to the size of a man’s cock here; he is referring to the ability to open a woman into love. Sometimes a man will use all his tools to do this but the most important one is his heart.  Connecting heart chakra to heart chakra he breathes’s into his woman. Causing her to be breathless and surrender into something deeper than a physical connection. Sex is not always needed for this depth of loving. Matter a fact, as I am about to share my tale with you, the connection and trust building, unconditional loving that happens without the sexual union is profound and very Tantric.

“Being of curious nature and having my soul cry out for me to follow my heart and explore what I already knew was there but was having trouble logically explaining I decided to be daring and have lunch with a young man who had captivated me from the first time we met. This was not our first lunch. It was obvious that we had shared feelings toward each other; yet I am curious with caution. We ate, we enjoyed conversation, we looked into each other’s eyes and we laughed at each other’s silliness and imperfect joke telling skills. Nerves a wreck for both parties. As the time went by the sexual energy heated up between us without physical connection or words to help guide it. It just was there. Not long later, I found myself feeling alive; it was an incredible energetic vibration of life force that took over my whole being, stronger than any energy that I experience in my session work even. There I lay, on my back, breathless from his kisses. Wanting him to take me, wanting to be fucked wide open by this man. Wanting him to heal my wounds with his love. To penetrate me in ALL ways. And scared out of my mind of what that could mean. Each kiss brought with it more depth, more connection. His hands on my face, in my hair, touching my neck. His body leaning on mine as he braced himself over me. I could feel all of him wanting to be with me physically. His arousal at that level was only elevating my own.

Time seemed to stop. The world and all that it would have us long to achieve no longer mattered. As he pressed himself into me withhis heart chakra I felt myself.  I have been birthing myself for some time now, but in this moment with his presence and ability to hold space and give powerful love I truly discovered a deep abiding love. It has always been in there, it is there for each of us. As the tears swelled in my eyes, and gently slid down my cheeks I could feel soft rain drops from his eyes cascading down on me as well. I opened my eyes to look into his. A smile on his face, his chest hot from the energy passing between us. I could feel the protective shields of my heart being circumcised and my nakedness of soul as Rumi would poetically title it being revealed. Was I revealing myself in total vulnerability to him in this moment? Yes. But more importantly I was seeing myself for the first time in a long while. There we were two physically separate beings yet I felt as though I had remembered and returned home to the deep being that I already was. I was united with this man, with the world and all her peoples. It was unity of soul. Each beat of my heart stripping away the clothes of my stories.

The pain in my chest was almost unbearable in this moment. I could feel my heart literally bursting in the light of love. I could feel him connected and his heart reacting similar. My chest soft, my lips slightly open. This bliss, this pain of circumcision that was healing, cleansing my core being was divine. It was pure and it was unconditional loving. Our souls seeing themselves in another and entwining in this dance, loving us wide open if we were willing to allow it.”

The depth of intensity and love found between us in this moment exceeded what our world is taught to believe love is. The physical act of sexing was not needed.  We were experiencing oneness, a deep caring and seeing ourselves within each other. Through this reunification of ours souls we each sailed in new waters,
discovering that the waves of love we felt toward each other were always
harbored within ourselves.  The truth of this love was revealed in this moment because we could each step outside of our selfish natures of ego and love penetratingly without the need for sexual release.

99.9% of our world believes that they are in love when in fact they are in desperate need. This is because we have been lead to believe that love is all about us and our needs. When in fact need is the exact opposite of actual true love. They could not contradict each other anymore. When we try and fulfill our own needs instead of find love we search for love in all the wrong places, find ourselves attracted to all the wrong people, unhappy and unfulfilled within our relationships. Our hunt to satisfy our needs masked by the beautiful thought of love causes our destruction; it is the root to divorce and break ups; pain and anger.

According to the ancient spiritual technology of Kabbalah the mystery of love can be broken down within the word itself: LOVE

How?

Let’s look at the numbers. A.K.A  Numerology. Now I know that many of my
readers may not even believe in such a supposed hocus pocus thing as
numerology, but please just humor me here.

Have you ever taken a sip of distilled water? Distilled water is free of all impurities.  A process called distillation, which involves boiling the liquid and letting the steam condense into water again, filters out all contaminants. The end result is untainted, undeniably thirst-quenching H20.

This is the same as numerology. Through the process we can distill words down to their purest meanings.  Numerology teaches us that every word has a numeric value associated with it, based on the letters it contains. This value enables us to grasp and understand the inherent meaning of the word.

When we as humans try to define love, we do so through the lens of personal experience. The benefit of numerology is that it leaves nothing to interpretation.

In the ancient language of Aramaic, a pure and original root language the word love has the numerical value of thirteen. The word ONE has the same numerical value as well as the word CARE. Let’s look at these three words and what their essential bond is. “When we experience oneness – when we truly care for another as we care for ourselves – this is love.” (Kabbalah on love by Yehuda Berg) In order to do this we have to be willing to open ourselves. This means to become vulnerable and seen. We more importantly have to be willing to see the mirror image of our soul in another. This is the breaking down of the labeling of separateness that we have been programmed to see. The love we each hope and search for has never been anywhere outside of ourselves, but the way we can experience this great love of self is revealed in the mirror while we lay in the arms of our lover.

As we soul gaze and take in the light reflections in their eyes we see the twinkle of our light flashing back at us. Each time we place our hand on their chest and breathe deeply, feeling their heart beats and flesh we are actually feeling our own. We may each carry a heart in a physical form but we come to realize that we are not the sole owners of this beautiful powerhouse of energy and love as we give it away in a soul union kiss. The courage it takes for us to do this is far greater than any maiden forced to walk a plank on a pirate’s ship. The fear of rejection, the fear of loss, the fear that what we feel and are seeing in another could be stripped away in a moment with the loss of this being. What are we to do if we give our heart to another and they decide somewhere down the road we are walking on that they want to take a different path with someone else? What if they die? Certainly we too will die. It is in times like this that we find our strength in the acceptance of the reality that we cannot lose our heart, our love or our soul. We will never lose this other beautiful manifestation of the divine that we found ourselves captivated by and sharing this life with. We cannot because we are all ONE. Through the true unity of mankind to each other and to the universe around us we can experience even in great times of sorrow a greater depth of love. We see how each moment with this person significantly impacted our life and allowed us to meet ourselves at a level that we would have not if they had not helped us to circumcise our heart.

We only lose out on this perfect true love if we start building the walls of the prisons and installing soldiers to stand guard again at the fortress of our heart. Only then do we block ourselves from the purity of what has ALWAYS been with us. The purity and divinity of God’s love, OUR love, the love of our soul-mates.

Remaining open and willing to walk the path, no matter how scary it may be is the ONLY way to assure our resurrection of self, our ascension to a higher state of conscious loving while in our mortal physical realm.

Stop and take a moment today to look in the mirror and ask yourself: “Have I loved?”

Stop settling for the superficial Hollywood love. You want richness, intimacy, desire and fulfillment. You want to feel yourself loving and sexing. You want to feel yourself plunging deeper into your relationships and being embraced by the mirror of your soul, your lover.

It is time for man to connect his cock and heart and realize that to open a woman into love you have to touch her heart first. Connect there; breathe with her, look her in the eyes without expectation of sex. Go deeper. Press yourself into her with your soul and breathe. Leave your erection for playtime another day. Lead your woman with your masculine energy into her heart where she will open and embrace yours. As she opens here so will her body physically. She will pull you into her and ask you to dance in her universe. She will beg you to take her physically and she will weep in your arms in sheer bliss knowing that you loved her first with your heart and soul.