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9 Ways Performance Anxiety Screws You in the Bedroom (And Our Top Tips to Flip It, Bend It and Reverse It)

If sex makes you anxious, you’re not alone – and we have the stats to prove it. A new study from Superdrug Online Doctor asked 1,022 sexually active adults in Britain and the United States about their uncomfortable sexual experiences and found that 7 out of 10 of its survey respondents experienced performance anxiety.

But just because it’s a common problem doesn’t mean it’s harmless. The survey also found that 42.3 percent of people had been in a relationship with someone who experienced performance anxiety – and 17.3 percent of them had broken up with that sexually anxious partner. So if you’re having issues in the bedroom, don’t sweep them under that IKEA rug. You need to address them – or risk the future of your relationship.

To help you out, we’ve compiled the top nine ways performance anxiety screws you in the bedroom – and offer up some tips to flip it, bend it, and reverse it. Let’s dive in!

Now you know what performance anxiety looks like. Before we can help you fix it, you need to understand where it comes from. According to the study, the top causes are: general anxiety, day-to-day stress, body images insecurities, self-confidence (or rather, lack thereof), relationship issues, negative sexual experiences, lack of experience, use of internet porn, and masturbation (just to name a few). Perceptions of virility, ideas about gender roles, and gender dysphoria can also contribute.

How do you get over it – so you can get it on? With a multi-pronged (ahem) approach. The methods most often used to reduce performance anxiety include: being open with your partner about your anxiety, making lifestyle changes like eating better and exercising more, reducing stress, avoiding alcohol and drugs, meditation, therapy (individual and/or couples), medication, focusing on other kinds of intimacy, and educating yourself about sex.

It’s a lot to process, we know, and setting yourself up for success between the sheets can seem daunting, but isn’t your sex life worth the work?

Cover Photo: fizkes (Getty Images)