Sexual Performance

Information on sexual performance anxiety and sexual disorders.

Select a Topic

  1. What is Sexual Performance?
  2. Diagnosing Sexual Performance Problems
  3. What Causes Sexual Performance Problems?
  4. Help for Sexual Performance Problems
  5. More Information on Sexual Performance

What is Sexual Performance?

Having a good, satisfying sex life, for both men and women, is often seen as the hallmark of a full, enriching lifestyle. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Research has shown that more and more couples are not finding sexual fulfillment in their relationships.

For men, in particular, a poor sexual performance can be very stressful. In today’s society, men are singled out as the more sexually active gender and sexual performance is often seen as an indicator of their manhood or virility. Anxiety about performance can negatively impact on performance, which in turn can compound the problem.

Diagnosing Sexual Performance Problems

When sexual problems occur, it can affect any phase of the sexual response cycle that then prevents the individual or couple from experiencing satisfaction from sexual activity. The sexual response consists of four phases- excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Medical science has a variety of ways to treat problems with sexual performance, depending on the underlying cause. If an underlying medical condition is the cause for poor sexual performance, it should be treated first.

What Causes Sexual Performance Problems?

Poor or impaired sexual performance can be a result of a physical or psychological problem or a combination of both.

Physical causes

Various physical factors and medical conditions can cause problems with sexual function and they include:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart and vascular disease
  • Neurological disorders
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Kidney or liver failure
  • Aging
  • Alcoholism
  • Drug abuse
  • Obesity

In addition, the side effects of certain medications such as antidepressants can reduce sex drive and desire and result in a low libido.

Psychological causes

  • Work-related stress and anxiety
  • Marital or relationship problems
  • Financial problems as a result of unemployment or retrenchment
  • Depression
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Concerns about sexual performance
  • Effects of a past sexual trauma

Help for Sexual Performance Problems

Medications such as Viagra, Cialis or Levitra can help to increase blood flow to the penis thus improving sexual function however these medications can have side effects. Hormone supplementation or testosterone replacement therapy will also be beneficial for men with low levels of testosterone. In addition, mechanical aids such as penile implants and vacuum devices may help men with erectile dysfunction.

Psychological help for sexual problems - Psychological or sex therapy will also help individuals or couples deal more effectively with sexual function and expression. Communication is also very important in a relationship. Talking to your partner about your needs and concerns will help to overcome the barriers of sexual compatibility. In addition, relaxation techniques (such as a calming meditation CD) and anti-stress exercises can also go a long way in helping to relax the body and mind so that natural sexual desire can flourish.


More Information on Sexual Performance Problems

Tips to Enhance Sexual Performance
  • As sexual functioning is part of normal body functioning, it stands to reason that the healthier and fitter you are, the more you will be able to enjoy your sex life.
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Exercise at least 30 minutes of the day to improve circulation and release ‘feel good’ chemicals to the brain
  • Make changes to your sex routine such as trying a new sexual position, or changing the time of day when you have sex
  • Try touching as an alternative to sex – holding each other, sensual massage, masturbation or oral sex. Too much focus on orgasm may create tension and anxiety which will affect performance
  • Communicate with your partner by talking about your sexual preferences, what you like and what you do not
  • Avoid alcohol as excessive use can decrease sexual function in both men and women. Men should avoid drinking too much beer as beer contains phyto-estrogens which can reduce male sexual desire
  • Stop smoking naturally; not only do cigarettes make your breathe smell bad, but they also affect circulation and are detrimental for your health!
  • Avoid illegal drugs such as cocaine as they impair sexual function
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