Dating can be a daunting prospect. You agonize over whether or not to ask someone out, if they accept you worry about what to do, what to wear, what if they won’t like you and so on. Even while you’re in a relationship, your anxieties will move in different directions i.e. sexual performance. Performance anxiety is something that everyone goes through and it can be worse while dating. Thankfully there are ways to deal with it. Here are ten ways to overcome performance anxiety while dating.
1. Avoid Comparisons
A rather common problem is a set of unrealistic expectations pertaining to the sexual experience. We get these ideas of what sex should be like and when it fails to meet those expectations we’re left disappointed. A major factor in this is a tendency to compare ourselves to other people. A specific comparison to avoid would be porn stars.
Yes, they get up to some seriously freaky shenanigans and apparently have frequent, wild sex BUT they’re actors. Something to keep in mind is that these people are being paid to act and put on a show. Comparison with your ex-partner is another problem because that just builds on a feeling of inadequacy in a relationship. With that in mind, comparing yourself to a porn star or to anyone else for that matter is a recipe for disaster.
2. Read a Guide
Let me ask you this: when did you learn about sex? Did your parents sit you down and tell you about it? Did you have a sex-ed class at school? However you learned about it; learning more is always a good idea. Reading a sex guide (yes, they exist) is a reasonably good way to start. They often talk about techniques, positions, foreplay, etc. which makes things more interesting in the bedroom.
3. Talk to your Partner
Talking to your partner is important in every aspect of a relationship – including sex. Discussing your likes and dislikes builds a sense of trust between the two of you. It also allows you to adapt and get creative in the bedroom.
Getting feedback also allows you to relax a little bit more because you’re not really looking for where you’re doing something wrong or unpleasant; instead you’re focused on how you can increase your partner’s pleasure and, by extension, your own. The most important part of this phase is to listen to your partner. Be attentive and listen to what they’re saying so that you can help them through it.
4. Stay Focused
Keep your attention on what you’re doing and what your partner’s doing. Don’t get too side-tracked wondering what’s going through their heads, if you want to know what they’re thinking: ask them. If you’re not focused on what’s going on you won’t be very receptive to feedback which can serve to worsen any pre-existing performance anxiety.
5. Don’t Rush Anything
This is true of all relationships but probably truer still for those who are in their first relationship ever or in a new relationship with a different person. Circling back to my earlier point for a moment, talk to your partner before you do anything and make sure that they are comfortable with what you want to try.
Let the foreplay lead into the more exotic stuff as opposed to just grabbing your partner and going wild. After all, the last thing you want to do is scare them off. By focusing on intimacy and keeping things slow and steady you can increase the anticipation and/or excitement without much difficulty and the more relaxed your partner is; the easier it will be to get them comfortable or vice versa.
6. Talk to other People
Talking to other people can be a great way to learn how to deal with or help others deal with sexual performance anxiety. Everyone goes through it at some stage so why not try learning from other people’s experiences as best you can? This can be an awkward thing to do – reaching out to others for advice – and it’s not exactly fool proof as everyone’s experiences are different BUT it may be worth a try.
Please note that when reaching out to others it’s likely a good idea to use extreme caution; not every piece of advice is going to work and you don’t want to make things worse.
7. Try being non-sexual
When I say ‘non-sexual’ it’s important to understand that I’m not saying “don’t have sex” and I’m not referring to foreplay. I AM referring to intimacy. Try being intimate with your partner without aiming for sex. Kissing, hugging/cuddling, massages, holding hands, these gestures are intimate but not always sexual. Being intimate can be as simple as snuggling up together for a movie on Friday nights or sitting down and talking.
8. Switch your Focus
I’m not saying don’t have fun yourself but if you’re feeling a bit self-conscious or anxious then maybe switch your focus to your partner for longer. You may find their reactions to the extended attention encouraging which will help you relax more easily.
9. Get Comfortable with Your Body
Performance anxiety may stem from a feeling of inadequacy or thoughts that one is generally unattractive. While researching this article I found a way to combat this particular problem: the mirror exercise. The idea is to stand in front of a full-length mirror every day getting increasingly naked as you progress and document things you like about your body. The thought process is that you find so much to like about your own body that you don’t feel self-conscious of it anymore.
Just a thought but you might want to be careful how you go about doing this exercise i.e. make sure nobody barges in on you while you’re going through it.
10. Use Medication
If all else fails, using a medicine to help male sexual performance can be the right solution for results and confidence boosting. Dapoxitine has been proven in studies to delay ejaculation in the majority of men and Sildenafil will improve blood flow and erection strength.
Jay is a men’s dating coach who has 10 years helping men reach their full potential.