Romantic films and books typically depict the bedroom as a paradise where pleasure is limitless and sky rockets take off, wrote LiveStrong.com.
Reality is often quite different. Both men and women (but especially men), suffer from sexual performance anxiety.
According to HowStuffWorks.com performance anxiety is a common sexual problem in which anxiety about engaging in sexual activity becomes an overriding block to the spontaneous flow of sexual feelings and thoughts.
When you're constantly wondering, "Am I doing this right?", "Is my partner enjoying this?" or "Do I look fat?" you become too preoccupied to enjoy sex, said WebMD.
When suffering from performance anxiety, men can’t obtain or maintain an erection. Women often worry they aren’t producing enough lubrication or feel inadequate if they don’t achieve orgasm, reported LiveStrong.com.
Performance anxiety can have very real physical consequences, wrote AskMen.com. When someone becomes anxious, their body releases stress hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine into the blood stream.
In men, one of the effects of stress hormones is to constrict blood vessels. Less blood flowing into the penis makes it more difficult to obtain or maintain an erection, said WebMD.
Even men who normally don't have trouble getting excited can become unable to get an erection when they're overcome by performance anxiety.
There are steps that can be taken to help overcome sexual performance anxiety.
Communicate with your partner, wrote AskMen.com. It'll take your mind off your temporary drawback.
Get intimate in other ways, said WebMD. Give your partner a sensual massage or take a bath together. Take turns pleasing each other with masturbation so you don't feel pressured to perform sexually.
Focus on enjoying foreplay. Make a pact with your partner that the goal at this time will strictly be the pleasure of being close together, instead of achieving penetration or having an orgasm suggested LiveStrong.com.
Take a three week long break from any sexual activity advised LiveStrong.com. Time away will relieve the pressure and anxiety associated with performance and makes you eager for the next time, you become intimate.
If you've got sexual performance anxiety, see a doctor, recommended WebMD. A doctor can perform tests to ensure a health condition or medication isn't causing sexual performance issues.
Consider taking a prescribed medication for issues regarding obtaining and maintaining an erection, said LiveStrong.com.
Talk to a therapist. Therapy can help couples overcome performance anxiety.
Finally, don't beat yourself up about your appearance or ability in bed wrote WebMD. Get help for sexual performance anxiety so you can get back to having a healthy sex life.