Ever feel anxious around the prospect of having sex, even with someone you love? Sex is a natural part of the human experience, but when something that’s supposed to be fun and feel great leads to a serious bout of anxiety, it can cause distress that goes far beyond the bedroom. Sex anxiety can be caused by a number of different factors including self-esteem to tightening of the pelvic muscles. Let’s take a look at what sex anxiety is all about and what you can do about it.
What is Sexual Anxiety?
While there’s a lot of research and writings about sexual and performance anxiety, it can be a bit more difficult to define for women. That’s because women don’t require an erection for sexual activity. “For women, sexual performance anxiety may show as a lack of interest in sex , having difficulty getting excited, or having difficulty reaching orgasm after ample sexual stimulation,” explains Martina Paglia, founder of The International Psychology Clinic. “In men it can show in a number of ways too — such as difficulty with having an erection, holding an erection, or as a tendency to ejaculate too quickly.”
However, there are a few things women can look for to help identify symptoms of sexual anxiety that include:
- Tightening of the pelvic muscles can make penetration difficult.
- Feeling less pleasure (this could be due to nervousness, or even avoiding activities like sex because it triggers anxiety).
- Reduced libido.
- Inability to be in the moment (or trouble concentrating).
What Causes Sexual Anxiety?
Similar to other types of anxiety, there are multiple reasons that can cause sexual anxiety. A few of them are:
- Hormone imbalances. Women can and do become affected by hormone imbalances. This can include testosterone or other female hormones such as estrogen.
- Self Esteem. Although there are many reasons why one might lack self-esteem, it can certainly impact your sex life.
- Thyroid problems. Anxiety can stem from thyroid disorders, including sexual anxiety.
- Stress about Orgasms. It can be common for women to worry about achieving orgasms which can dampen the desire and prompt sexual anxiety.
- Past Experiences. Previous toxic relationships, abuse, or assault can lead to present-day sexual anxiety.
Can you alleviate sexual nervousness?
For those with hormone imbalances or thyroid disease, it is recommended to consult your doctor or a healthcare professional for treatment. For those who have nervousness that stems from other causes, there are other options. Foria makes an Awaken Arousal Oil that’s made of 9 plant-based aphrodisiacs and that attempts to support sexual wellness for women and people with vulvas – solo or with a partner. If you are planning to share the evening with someone special and start to feel nervous try reaching for Mr. Moxey’s CALM peppermints. These hemp-infused mints are made with herbs that work together to bring the mind and body back into balance and leave you with minty fresh breath!