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P.E And Anxiety

“I came to your website because I seek help and advice regarding premature ejaculation. I faced it once during a relationship in the past and it destroyed my sexual desire and my confidence. Now I am in a relationship again and it started out pretty well and beautiful in the beginning. We talked about our desires, and one sexual encounter we had really made me feel not good enough and since then I am suffering from premature ejaculation again. It really hurts me and I just don’t know what to do, since I feel there is not really helpful advice out there regarding this topic. For anything, I would be really grateful.”

I received this distressing message from a man sometime back. What is important to note here is this man faced premature ejaculation once in his sexual relationship, but the impact was distressing enough to shake his confidence in his sexual function. I had another client who was 25 years old and came with the same issue. He attempted sex with a partner and ended up ejaculating early, to worsen the experience, his female partner mocked and criticized him in the bed. Since then, he is living in acute fear and it’s been a year since that incident but he is unable to approach a woman intimately because of this constant fear. Yes! a vast majority of premature ejaculation cases in men are because of performance pressure and resultant mental anxiety.


Let Us First Understand Why This Negative Thought Process Is Affecting Your Ability To Hold Erections?

Your state of mind has a big impact on your ability to sustain an erection. If you have anticipatory anxiety (worry before the actual intimate encounter) about whether you'll be able to sexually satisfy your partner with a good hard-on, it can make it nearly impossible for you to do that. When our body is under stress, our brain releases stress hormones.

One of the effects of released stress hormones is that they narrow blood vessels. When less blood flows into your penis, it becomes difficult to have an erection. Even men who usually don't have any trouble getting an erection during masturbation (I have seen several cases where men have an easy, quick, and lasting erection during self-pleasuring) might not get an erection when they're fraught by sexual performance anxiety.

If you are dealing with premature ejaculation, having a beneficial thought process is important in your fight against PE. As I discussed, there is an undeniable psychological component in PE that men suffering from the condition should address and improve. Unfortunately, many men jump to take medications, try unproven home remedies, or buy dubious products advertised on adult video sites. If you wish to enjoy your sex life with your partner, you need mind soothing as well because anxiety is an erection killer!

The Cognitive-Behavioral-Emotional model is quite helpful in developing a positive, realistic thought process in your healing from PE

Cognition refers to all conscious and unconscious processes by which knowledge is accumulated. It includes processes such as perceiving, recognizing, conceiving, and reasoning. Ideas, beliefs, assumptions, and standards also come under this umbrella term. Behaviour is our decision to act or not act based upon our thoughts and feelings. Emotion or feelings are "motivators" that prompt, penalize, or reward action. This includes sadness, happiness, anger, anxiety, shame, guilt, etc. These three components influence each other and are almost often intertwined.

Many men are nervous during their first time, and they begin to suffer from performance anxiety in the bedroom. The mindset that men need to perform extremely well to please their partner and failing to do so means a stain of their manhood is quite prevalent. This way of thinking usually causes anxiety and frustration in the person that could lead to worse performance in bed. This brings about negative feelings like shame and resentment, which might make the person avoid sex altogether. A vicious cycle could take life from here.

There is also the matter of the rigid gender roles in the bedroom that contributes to the poor quality of one's sex life. Women are given passive roles in the bedroom while men are given active roles. This inaccurate perception of sex leads to even more mental pressure on the male partner's part. If the male partner in a heterosexual relationship is uncomfortable with or is new to initiating sex, things take a turn for the worse. This manner of thinking causes both partners to miss out on what should have been a happier sex life.

Thus, replacing detrimental cognition (thoughts) with beneficial cognition becomes important.


What Can You Do

I am citing a few examples that you can read, understand, and practice out speaking as part of developing positive and realistic affirmative beliefs:

Detrimental Cognition: Good sex means staying erect for an entire hour. I cannot do it, so I am bad at sex.

  • Beneficial Cognition: Penetrative sex is not the only way to please my partner. I can try various things in the bedroom to make sure my partner feels pleasure.

Detrimental Cognition: If I do something my partner doesn't like, they will think less of me.

  • Beneficial Cognition: I can ask my partner to tell me their likes and dislikes and allow her to guide me.

Detrimental Cognition: I have PE, so I should stay away from sex with my partner.

  • Beneficial Cognition: I need to communicate with my partner about my condition and ask for their help and understanding during these rocky times in our relationship.

These beneficial cognitions can take you a long way towards recovery. It makes you more open to the treatments and drives most of the unnecessary anxiety that obstructs your healing away. When it comes to PE, a lot of your obstructions exist only in the mind. But that does not mean they are easy to solve. Give yourself the time, effort, and patience to untie your mental knots before you jump on to taking that magical pill in the market (after consulting a certified medical practitioner specialized in male sexual dysfunction). Doing so will be more effective and healthier for you in the long run.


About The Author

Pallavi Barnwal is a certified sexuality coach and founder of sex-positive platform GetIntimacy. She has been featured in leading international and national media as a sexpert - Huffington Post, India Today, Vogue, The Hindu, Dainik Bhaskar, Indian Express, TimesOfIndia, BBC, Deccan Chronicle, Femina, Mint, Vice and more. Pallavi has conducted over a thousand sessions helping hundreds of people in their intimate and sexual issues by providing them with the right tools and knowledge.


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