Sexual Performance Anxiety

Discussion in 'Rebooting in a Relationship' started by Atomicflea, Dec 6, 2019.

  1. Atomicflea

    Atomicflea Fapstronaut

    Hi everyone,

    My husband has been P free for a year and half now (since DDay) but lately he has developed sexual performance anxiety and struggles to initiate any form of intimacy and affection. He doesn’t have ED. Once he starts showing intimacy he is fine but he struggles in the pre-intimacy stages, if I’m making any sense. He doesn’t know what’s holding him back. He says he still loves me and desires me. We communicate a lot and have been seeing an EFT couples therapist for a year now. It just feels like a massive regression and has thrown me into a massive depression. It’s been over a month since we last had any form of intimacy. I found out last night that he hasn’t masturbated since DDay. I’m in shock but he says he struggles to overcome the feeling of shame and feels it’s unfair to pleasure himself while our relationship is falling apart from his lack of intimacy. I’m all for M and suggested he should do it obviously without P and definitely not at work where he used to do it in the hopes that maybe a bit of self-Love and reconnecting with his body will help ease his anxiety with me. I just want to gain insight from other men who have dealt with sexual performance anxiety issues and what has helped/didn’t help, causes, etc so that I can better understand my husband. thanks!
    +TenPercent likes this.
  2. kropo82

    kropo82 Fapstronaut

    I wonder if he's being too goal oriented, i.e. affection -> intimacy -> sex -> performance anxiety. Maybe set aside some time for kissing, cuddling, and just chatting where you agree it will not progress to sex?

    I haven't masturbated for ages too, though for different reasons. I am not ashamed, but I am afraid it would lead me back to porn. I wouldn't worry too much about him not masturbating, it is not a human need. Another idea …
    have you thought about some more perfunctory sessions where you just give him a hand job? It might reconnect him with his own sexual pleasure and remind him that you do not see his sexual pleasure as wrong, quite the contrary.

    I'm just trying to think of ways of tackling the two problems separately:
    1. Any innocent intimacy leads him to anxiety about his sexual performance, and
    2. His sexual pleasure has become synonymous in his mind with shame.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
    +TenPercent and Atomicflea like this.
  3. Atomicflea

    Atomicflea Fapstronaut

    Thank you so much Kropo! That was really helpful.

    He tentatively suggested to do M together as he doesn’t want to associate M with something to only be done in isolation. I suppose because M in isolation reminds him too much of his P-days. Thanks for your suggestion about doing some perfunctory sessions. I think that will help and honestly would give me pleasure to be doing something together.

    I think you may be right with him being too goal oriented and seeing it more as a performance rather than a way to connect. He says he puts a lot of pressure on himself but has admitted that seeing me down, frustrated, etc doesn’t help although he understands my emotions and doesn’t want me to bottle them up just to make it easier for him. I also track when we have sex on my period tracker, not to keep a track on him, but just in case we get pregnant. However, that seems to be fueling his anxiety too. I’ve always been the initiator and have a higher libido than him (we are in our early 30s) so I think his anxiety also comes from him not feeling adequate enough to meet my needs.

    I’ll bring up your points to him tonight and see what he thinks.

    I hope you are doing well on your recovery and again thanks for taking the time to answer my post.
    +TenPercent and kropo82 like this.
  4. Poland

    Poland Fapstronaut

    For what it's worth, I just turned 51 and I'm only now capable of dealing w/ my own feelings of shame, guilt, and regret. My wife didn't even know that I had a porn addiction or that my ED is porn-related because I hid it so well from her for so long.

    I believe the core issue is: most guys struggle to communicate w/ their SO about PIED, PMO, DE, etc. (where I grew up, guys were taught to be tough, don't show/express emotion, never show weakness -- stupid but true).

    One possible recommendation @Atomicflea, read this article on HuffPost about de-stressing w/ your partner (but it's really about re-connecting and re-creating intimacy).

    In this article, there's a link to a PDF w/ 30 days of bonding/de-stressing/intimacy activities you can do w/ your SO (and it's super chill stuff, nothing crazy). My wife and I are working through the list and it's been a real boost for us and we're more comfortable w/ touching and engaging on a deeper level now!
    Wugazi32 and +TenPercent like this.
  5. Atomicflea

    Atomicflea Fapstronaut

    Thanks Poland! The article and PDF are fantastic.
    Poland and +TenPercent like this.

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