Did you know that having anxiety affects your ability to orgasm?
This is not just “orgasm anxiety,” but having a general anxiety disorder. It can be difficult to be aroused.
People, especially vulva owners, who struggle with anxiety have shown to more likely experience sexual dysfunction.
“Anxiety creates a lot of busy thoughts that are distracting from feelings of arousal,” psychologist and sex therapist Stephanie Buehler told Healthline.com.
“Sex therapists often talk to people who have ‘performance anxiety,’ in which they’re so worried about how good they are as a lover that they can’t get turned on.”
Recent research also revealed that the most common type of sexual pain, genital penetration pain disorder (PVD), is ten times more common in people with vulvas who have previous diagnoses of anxiety disorder.
It could even lead to pain during types of penetrative sex due to symptoms such as tensed or clenched muscles, rapid breathing and light-headedness.
All of these symptoms can be also fairly distracting in terms of reaching an orgasm.
Having sex when you’re feeling anxious is also basically like asking your mind to multitask, which is hard to do.
Sex therapists recommend a technique called sensate focus to help get people remove themselves from their thoughts and become more in touch with the moment.
This is touching (and being touched) without any particular outcome or expectation in mind. You can do this with a partner or on your own, and for however long you want.
It’s not about foreplay or arousal, but just being in touch with your own and someone else’s body.
The point is not to think too much about what’s happening and just experience what’s happening.
Open discussions about sex and your anxiety
If you have a partner, talking openly about your sex life can seem awkward, but it can help with anxiety because you are becoming more comfortable speaking about the topic.
Learn about what you enjoy in sex and talk about this with your partner. They will appreciate this just as much as you do.
In order to learn what you like with someone else, you need to learn what you like on your own. There should be no guilt surrounding masturbation and finding out what pleasures you. Experimenting and using sex toys is always a bonus.
Masturbation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, boost concentration and improve partnered sex.
Edited by Ramona Gabriela Toderascu