Erection Problems? - We Can Help!
No blue pills, no awful side effects, just long lasting results. Your Initial Consultation and First Treatment are COMPLETELY FREE

The Differences Between Sexual Performance Anxiety and Erectile Dysfunction

differences sexual performance anxiety vs erectile dysfunction ED

It’s easy to confuse sexual performance anxiety with erectile dysfunction (ED), as both have the same effect on men. However, that is where most of their similarities end because they are not the same.

Therefore, if you want to improve your sexual health, you must first correctly identify your sexual dysfunction.

This post digs into the differences between sexual performance anxiety vs. erectile dysfunction — their meaning, causes, and treatment. In the end, you should have all the information you need in order to ask a doctor for help.

Understanding and Defining Both Sexual Dysfunctions

To begin, let us define what constitutes sexual performance anxiety and ED. From here, we can identify the immediate difference between the two.

  • Definition of Sexual Performance Anxiety: Sexual performance anxiety deals with the worries regarding sexual function and whether or not his partner will be satisfied with his performance. Due to the many thoughts creeping his head, he cannot achieve an erection as a result. This disorder affects 9-25% men according to the National Library of Medicine.
  • Definition of Erectile Dysfunction: Erectile dysfunction refers to the inability of men to get an erection due to physical and medical conditions, which we will discuss later. Roughly half of all men above 40 years old will report having erectile dysfunction at one point in their lives.

Not all men who suffer from performance anxiety have ED. However, men with sexual performance anxiety can develop ED due to the constant stress caused by worrying about sexual activity.

The stress hormones could narrow the blood vessels of the penis, causing them to limit their ability to get an erection fully. In this case, what was once all in the mind (performance anxiety) has manifested itself physically (ED).

Common Causes of Performance Anxiety and Erection Issues

There are psychological factors at play that lead to sexual performance anxiety among men. Much of it stems from their inability to meet the expectations they have set for themselves.

If you are into pornography, you have the highest chance of developing sexual anxiety disorders. You compare what you see in adult films and expectations to real-life experiences, which triggers feelings of disappointment and inadequacy.

For example, your penis is not as big or takes less time to ejaculate than the men in the adult videos you have seen. Or you do not find your partner as physically attractive as the ones in the adult films.

The often unrealistic portrait adult films paint about sex has tainted your view of it in reality, often leading to sexual performance anxiety. You begin questioning your ability to satisfy your partner in bed, or your partner does not compare to the people in the films you have seen. As a result, you find it very difficult to get an erection.

Unlike performance anxiety, the cause of ED is physical. Due to the narrow blood vessels preventing blood from flowing through your penis, you find it extremely hard to get an erection that is good enough for sex.

There are many causes of the fatty deposits in the blood vessels. Below are some of the more popular ones:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • High cholesterol
  • Nerve damage
  • Smoking

Therefore, even if they want to get erect, it’s physically difficult for them due to the lack of blood flowing to the penis.

Treatments for Erectile Dysfunction and Sexual Anxiety When Feeling Stressed or Nervous

psychological and physiological treatments ED performance anxiety

As mentioned, sexual performance anxiety is triggered by psychological factors, while erectile dysfunction is the physical response of the body when its penis is not receiving any blood. This distinction between the two, therefore, means they require different treatment.

To begin, however, you must talk to your doctor to determine if you are suffering from either or both. From here, you can get the right professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment regarding your erectile problems.

To give you an idea of what to expect when diagnosed with sexual performance anxiety, below are some of its common treatments.

  1. Talk to a sex therapist: Through sessions with sex therapy, you will be able to work through your body image and self-esteem issues and build other health improvements such as reducing your alcohol intake. These help you overcome the mental health conditions causing your ED and gain more control over your erection.
  2. Communicate with your partner correctly: From your therapy sessions, you will also learn communication techniques that you can apply in your sex life. The key here is to be open with your partner about your intimate feelings so they are not felt left out when you cannot get an erection.
  3. Build intimacy without the sex: If the thought of sex pressures you, you can still find ways to sync with your partner. You can engage in sensual activities like taking a warm bath together or giving each other body massages.

For people with erectile dysfunction, methods to curb sexual performance anxiety may not work here because the problem stems from the lack of blood flow or other physiological root causes. In this case, it’s recommended to receive a diagnosis from an erectile dysfunction professional to understand how to safely increase blood flow on their penis.

Anxiety Reduction Techniques to Improve Sex Life

anxiety reduction techniques sexual health

As seen above, sexual performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction have different causes and require different treatment. At the same, many men confuse one for the other because they share a root cause: stress.

Since both disorders disable men from achieving an erection, they experience a tremendous amount of stress as a result. The stress can lead to high blood pressure, which adds a lot of pressure to your artery walls. Constant pressure then could lead to blockage in the artery and restrict the blood flow to the penis.

Aside from the stress, having ED increases the risk of depression among men by 192% according to The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

To prevent this from happening, you need to learn stress management. For example, developing an exercise program in line with your fitness level decreases the adverse effects of stress. It also releases endorphins, known as the feel-good neurotransmitters of the brain.

Another way to combat stress is to engage in meditation and relaxation techniques. You can perform these tasks while you are in deep stress to help you relax and refocus.

Applying different stress management techniques allows you to treat the anxiety disorder causing your sexual performance anxiety. They also boost your heart health, allowing the proper amount of blood to flow all over your body.

Consult an ED Specialist for a Customized Treatment

Ultimately, knowing the difference between ED and sexual performance anxiety allows you to get suitable treatment options. It’s one thing to confuse anxiety-induced ED for ED caused by lack of blood flow to the penis. It’s another to take the wrong treatment because you didn’t talk to your doctor.

That said, consulting your physician will help give you the right diagnosis and provide medical advice appropriate to your condition.

If you’re in need of erectile dysfunction treatment or another sexual dysfunction, call the team at Precise Men’s Medical Center in Cleveland now to schedule an appointment to have a consultation with their experienced and specially trained medical staff. We are one of Ohio’s leading men’s clinics providing ED therapy, PE therapy, Acoustic Wave therapy, hormone therapy, and much more to support men’s sexual health.

Is Chest Pain During Sex Something to Worry About?

Have you ever experienced a sudden ache in your chest while being intimate with your sexual partner? Are you worried about this pain persisting in future sessions of sexual activity? Even if the pain will eventually subside, the prospect of it happening again can…

Impotence vs Sterility: What’s the Difference?

Men’s sexual health is often perceived as a sensitive topic, but this perception can hinder our knowledge of common (and sometimes treatable) problems regarding the matter. For instance, not many men know or care to know the difference between infertility and impotence. Both these…

Which Blood Pressure Medications Do Not Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

In many circumstances, erectile dysfunction is negatively impacted by taking certain medications. For instance, men with high blood pressure-causing symptoms may be prescribed blood pressure medications to treat their health condition. However, this may unintentionally backfire—as there are quite several BP medications that have…

7 Foods to Eat Before Sex to Last Longer

The air is ripe for the nightly romp, and you’re looking to elevate that intimate moment with your partner with some pre-ritual snacking. However, memories flood back of your past sexual escapades—ejaculating too soon, a dissatisfied partner, and a precious moment in time cut…

Why Do Penises Curve?

In most cases, a slightly curved penis is absolutely normal. Penises can come in different sizes and shapes, and it’s completely natural for some penises to curve upwards, downwards, or sidewards ever so slightly. That said, there are some cases where penile curvature isn’t,…

Apomorphine for ED: How Effective Is It?

Erectile dysfunction can be a distressing diagnosis for the vast majority of men, but not all hope is lost. The fact of the matter is that there are many avenues for treatment. But what happens when altering your lifestyle and habits is insufficient in…

Can Anxiety Cause Erectile Dysfunction?

Imagine this: you’re about to get close and intimate with your sexual partner to-be, eager to please. The chemistry leading up to the moment has been smooth, and sparks are firing in all cylinders in the bedroom. The fun part is about to commence,…

How to Find the Best Urologist (For ED, PE & More)

Urologists are doctors that specialize in urinary tract issues for both men and women. However, they are also specialists when it comes to the male reproductive system. If you have concerns relating to your penis, prostate, or testes then you’ll want to consult with…

The 5 Most Common Types of Male Hormone Imbalances

Men go through many physical changes with the passage of time. While a good portion of these physical changes is deemed normal development for elderly men (i.e. graying hair), a few of these changes can underscore something potentially insidious happening in your body. For…

4 Powerful Ginseng Benefits for Erectile Dysfunction

Natural herbs and tonics are all the rage nowadays. From warding off illnesses to promoting therapeutic health benefits, many herbs and tonics are sought after for their wide array of uses. These natural remedies aren’t limited to physical benefits either. They can also be…

Top 7 Erogenous Zones to Improve Intimacy

From rifts in the relationship to conditions like erectile dysfunction, it can be very frustrating to not be able to pleasure your spouse as you once did. This is especially true if the spark is starting to flicker and dim over time. That said,…
Proudly Featured On
ESPN Radio logo
ABC News logo
Fox News Radio logo
CBS Sports Radio logo
NBC Sports Radio logo