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What causes sexual performance anxiety?

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Sex is more than just a physical response. Your emotions have something to do with it, too. When your mind is too stressed out to focus on sex, your body can't get excited, either.

Lots of different worries can lead to the problem:

These things may lead your body to release stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine.

  • Fear that you won't perform well in bed and satisfy your partner sexually
  • Poor body image, including concern over your weight
  • Problems in your relationship
  • Worry that your penis won't "measure up"
  • Concern about ejaculating too early or taking too long to reach orgasm
  • Anxiety about not being able to have an orgasm or enjoy the sexual experience

From: Sexual Performance Anxiety WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

McCabe, M.P. , November 2005. International Journal of Stress Management

Hale, V.E. , 1990. Archives of Sexual Behavior

Kandeel, F.R. , CRC Press, 2007. Male Sexual Dysfunction: Pathophysiology and Treatment

Porst, H. , Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. Standard Practice in Sexual Medicine

Corretti, G. , August 2007. Psychiatric Times

Phillips, N.A. , July 2010. American Family Physician

Jacobsen, J.L. 2nd ed., Hanley & Belfus, 2001. Psychiatric Secrets,

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on November 25, 2017

SOURCES:

McCabe, M.P. , November 2005. International Journal of Stress Management

Hale, V.E. , 1990. Archives of Sexual Behavior

Kandeel, F.R. , CRC Press, 2007. Male Sexual Dysfunction: Pathophysiology and Treatment

Porst, H. , Wiley-Blackwell, 2006. Standard Practice in Sexual Medicine

Corretti, G. , August 2007. Psychiatric Times

Phillips, N.A. , July 2010. American Family Physician

Jacobsen, J.L. 2nd ed., Hanley & Belfus, 2001. Psychiatric Secrets,

Reviewed by Neha Pathak on November 25, 2017

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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