sexual anxiety cure

Educational Tool for Sexual Anxiety

Low body image and sexual performance anxiety are common, yet unlikely topics of discussion. And not talking about them only adds to these issues. 

If you experience sexual anxiety and have body image issues know that you’re not alone. Around 16% of women and 25% of men experience sexual performance anxiety. According to experts, around 90% of women and 20 to 40% of men also report body dissatisfaction.

Let’s talk about body confidence, sexual anxiety, how it can affect your sexual satisfaction, and how you can have a great sex life despite it. 

The Relationship Between Body Confidence, Sexual Anxiety, and Sexual Satisfaction

Body Confidence and Sexual Satisfaction

Body image has a huge impact on our day-to-day lives, including sex. People with body confidence issues might feel ashamed of their bodies and avoid undressing in front of their partner, as well as engaging in intimate activities. Or, sometimes people who have low body image might feel like their bodies are not worth protecting, which prompts them to engage in reckless sexual activities

One recent study found that women who are dissatisfied with their bodies assume that their partners are also less attracted to them, despite that being not true. Having these assumptions lowers their relationship and sexual satisfaction. 

Not only does poor body image decrease sexual satisfaction for women, but it also negatively impacts their sexual desire, increases sexual avoidance, and decreases sexual assertiveness. Men who have a negative relationship with their appearance also report having erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, and avoidance of sexual activities. 

While sex isn’t everything, it is an important way to experience intimacy for many people. So, not having a satisfying sex life can seriously affect the satisfaction of relationships and even life in general. 

Sexual Performance Anxiety and Sexual Satisfaction

Sexual performance anxiety can also have a huge impact on our sexual satisfaction. The International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) describes it as “fear, worry, or anxiety related to sexual activity.” All people experience it, but it manifests differently.

For women, sexual performance anxiety might include:

  • Being distracted during sex
  • Low sexual desire
  • Difficulty having an orgasm

While for men, it often manifests as:

  • Having difficulty getting and maintaining an erection
  • Ejaculating too soon 

These can all be incredibly uncomfortable things to deal with during partnered sex, and people who have performance anxiety can start to avoid sexual activities with their partners. Avoidance doesn’t help eliminate the anxiety, but further fuels it and overall relationship dissatisfaction. 

Sexual performance anxiety often overlaps with having low body confidence and body dissatisfaction issues. When people don’t feel great about their bodies, they can have anxiety about engaging in sexual activities with their partner. 

The solution

In severe cases of body dissatisfaction and sexual performance anxiety, seeking therapy can be helpful for many people. Working with a couples’ therapist or doing individual therapy can help you develop tools for dealing with negative thoughts. 

Educational content about sex can also help people improve their sexual satisfaction and inspire exploration with their partner. The educational context can also create an environment where couples communicate their sexual needs and boundaries outside of the intense emotional and physical context of sex.

Choosing Educational Content 

So, what exactly is educational content? Sadly, many countries around the world lack proper sex education in schools, which forces adolescents to seek out mainstream porn as their only form of educational content. Most porn sets unrealistic expectations of pleasure and how sexual encounters manifest.

However, there are many places where to find good quality educational content that can help you improve your body image, and find ways to deal with sexual anxiety. 

  • Find sex educators on social media who share valuable, actionable advice on sex and relationships.
  • Read sex education blogs to find valuable, yet easy-to-consume sex education.
  • Check out subscription-based platforms with explicit tutorials that can be useful for visual learners.
  • Play sex conversation card games, like “Where Should We Begin.”

Gamifying sex ed and sexual communication can remove a lot of stress and anxiety that comes with it, especially if you struggle with low body image and sexual performance anxiety. Instead of putting the focus on “being better” and “doing better” which can be a trigger, it’s more about spending quality time with your partner and enjoying the process of connecting with them without expectations. 

There are so many more different types of educational content you can choose from – from podcasts and YouTube videos to books about sex. With a little bit of research and curiosity, you can find something that you feel comfortable with and that suits you and your partner best.