Paul, age 26
Paul shares his story of losing his erections [commonly known as ‘erectile dysfunction’] and the performance anxiety that goes with it for men that are currently experiencing this – to show that you are not alone and that it is possible to overcome this:
“I first discovered I had sexual anxiety when I was 17 after I did not get hard on on one occasion. I panicked and this became a regular worry and occurrence when ever I got into the bedroom with a girl.I was confused, worried, embarrassed and thought I was the only one for this to happened to. I blanked it out the best I could for years thinking there was no way to deal with this. I had sex a couple of times after many attempts with the same girl however this could only happen after a drink when I was relaxed and only when I felt comfortable with her. It is only now that I realise how important it is to feel comfortable with your partner which I will come back onto.
I tried everything from Viagra to Hypnotherapy and neither worked for me. Firstly the viagra did not because it was never a physical problem and the hypnotherapy for me just did not do it. I heard of sexual therapy on TV and thought I would google it. This is how I found Sarah. I used to always envisage a magical quick fix with my problem but when I realised that was not the case I tried to be a bit more realistic with it and I have come on leaps and bounds since.
Sarah and I spoke via email and on the phone and then we organised for me to go round for a bit more of a discussion in which she gave me practical advice and I got a bit more of a better feel for what was going on with me. I was first nervous about meeting Sarah but she made me feel very welcome and was very easy to talk to. Sarah helped break down each problem I said I had and gave me very good explanations for why each problem happened and practical ways to tackle them.
I started to do a lot of research into sexual anxiety and the problem is much easier to fix once you understand why it happens and how much of a common thing it actually is. You would be surprised how many of your mates actually have currently got this too or have had this at some point in their lives. Do not ever feel alone on this. Trust me 90% of girls have been with someone who this has happened to and it is a much much bigger deal in your head than it is in theirs.
After Sarah’s advice and help I fully understood what caused my problem, what I needed to do to tackle it and also how much of a common problem it was for men. The truth is also with this you need to risk a little as well to reap the rewards. You have to put yourself in the situation you fear to get the rewards out of it. You can not succeed if you do not try in the first place. I am not saying try and have sex with loads of random girls – I am just saying try it with a girl who you think is mature enough and decent enough to help you with this should it happen again.
It is going to be a bit of a bumpy ride. It is like learning to ride a bike again. At the moment you have your stabilizers on and you may fall off a few times on your way to learning to ride your bike but chose a girl who will help you back on your bike and help you learn (basically not an immature girl, if the girl likes you trust me she wont freak out if it does not go to plan straight away. She will only be bothered if you freak out. Stay calm, reassure her its because you like her so much and do other stuff. It will all come once you are comfortable with her totally…trust me!).
In my case I could not get turned on at the point of sex because I got scared and worried about what would happen but I was fully committed to facing my problem and trying my hardest to battle through it. I was scared to try it but the thought of not being with anyone ever again massively out weighed this scared feeling, so it was a no brainer. I was going to try again and again and not give up until I succeeded with it.
I was not turned on because I was not comfortable and not relaxed. You are much more likely to get and maintain an erection if you are relaxed. If you are panicked, any sexual feeling are suppressed by this and to be honest your head just is not in the game. Why do you think you wake up hard some mornings!? It is because you are relaxed and you body can work as normal. I am in a relationship now and trust me I would of laughed at you if you told me I would be saying this three months ago.
I first had sex with her drunk and made excuses that I may not be able to have sex with her because I do not know where I stand with another girl (which was a total lie but it took the pressure of me). She was happy to kiss and do other stuff and because I knew nothing was expected of me I got hard. I just got lost in the intimacy. Just close your eyes, kiss her, feel her do other stuff.
Shift the focus on just having sex and it will all come (me telling her I did not know where I stood with another girl was perhaps not the best thing to say but you get my point. It shifted the expectancy of me. Say anything. Say you took a knock at footie and your sore so you will just do stuff to her. Say anything if you feel this will help….it just totally dispelled any anxiety for me and I was able to have sex). So once I had had sex with her at night I knew I could do it then but I had been there before, just having sex drunk and I wanted to have sex sober with her so I could prove to myself I could do it in that state also.
So back to the relaxed thing – this is when you are most likely to get an erection (relaxed and turned on of course). So I thought the best way to have sex sober and relaxed is when you wake up in the morning after a nice sleep. Use your morning glory. Do not even think about it. Just start messing around with her and ask her to get on top. This worked for me. I had sex sober and drunk with her so proved to myself that I could do it, so using this and Sarah’s advice along with my determination, I beat my anxiety.
I have been going out with her for a month now and I feel NO anxiety with her because I am totally comfortable with her now. This just shows what can be done. If I can do it and you are true to your cause like I am you can too! And do not be disheartened by set backs. With this same girl I had a couple of times when I was sober where I completely froze up but it was just because I was not comfortable with her. I made excuses and took the blame off myself but needless to say when I did freeze up she did not care at all and wanted to see me again.
So do not for one minute think that they will be put off you if you do “not perform” as long as you do not freak out or get upset they won’t care. I am now surprising myself at how high my sex drive is around her. It is like this weight has been lifted as there is no panic and I function as normal with her. I used to need a drink to try but now sober I am totally fine with her and this is because I feel at ease with her.
Use your determination, do your research, listen to what Sarah tells you and take risks!
If you need any of this explaining a little bit better or have questions about any parts of this, ask Sarah who will ask me and I would be more than happy to help you with this.
Paul sent this email a few months later:“Hi Sarah,
Everything is fine on the sex front. I don’t even think about anxiety now. Who would of thought! I’m having the best sex of my life. Moved into my girlfriends and booked a holiday for Crete for this year 🙂
So happy, thanks for all your help