Struggling With Orgasm Anxiety? Here’s How To Fix It
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problem in the U.S., affecting over 40 million Americans over the age of 18. And even if your anxiety isn’t chronic, you likely know this unpleasant, sneaky feeling all too well.
Anxiety doesn’t care what you’re doing, who you’re with or how good you were feeling the day before. It can hit you out of nowhere and seems to show up at the most inopportune times.
If you’ve ever experienced anxiety during sex… We’re sure you can relate.
There’s tons of reasons why anxiety may rear its ugly little head during sex. Body image issues, performance anxiety, lack of trust in your partner, old purity culture programming and literally anything else. Because sex is such an intimate act, it can bring up all sorts of unexpected emotional triggers.
Orgasm anxiety is when you hyperfocus on trying to achieve orgasm or feel anxiety about not being able to orgasm, and it’s super common. So how can you navigate orgasm anxiety and get out of your head and into your pleasure? Here’s some tips on how to get started…
Stop Putting Orgasms On A Pedestal
The reason orgasm anxiety is so prevalent is because of how much pressure people feel around orgasms. And the way we view sex as a society is entirely to blame.
We are often fed the messaging that we NEED to experience orgasm to have good sex. Or, on the flip side, if your partner isn’t giving you orgasms, they are bad in bed.
Neither of these statements are true.
Orgasms are great, don’t get us wrong, but they are NOT the end all, be all of sexual pleasure.
Placing orgasms on a pedestal makes it even harder to achieve them. When your mind is so caught up in whether or not you’re going to be able to reach the orgasmic peak, it can’t relax and enjoy itself…and shouldn’t enjoyment be the REAL goal of sex?
Have More Solo Sex
If you don’t (physically) love yourself, how in the hell are you going to (physically) love someone else?
Whether or not your goal is to have partnered sex, masturbating is a great way to get to know your pleasure.
When you learn the patterns and rhythms of your pleasure and/or orgasm, it becomes more familiar to you. You’ll start to notice the physical signs of your orgasmic peak or your most intense moments of pleasure and they will feel more accessible during partnered sex, should you choose to have it.
Many people have an easier time orgasming privately than they do with a partner because the ‘performance’ aspect of sex is taken away or because they know how to better pleasure themselves than a partner would.
The better you know the rhythms of your own sexual pleasure, the easier it will be to communicate your needs and to let go of the need to ‘perform.’ Focus on your pleasure first.
Communicate With Partners
One of the most comforting things you can do to alleviate anxiety is to talk about it. And while it may not always eliminate your anxious feelings, communicating gives your partner a better idea of how they can support you.
So if you’re feeling orgasmic anxiety with a partner… talk it out.
If you know this is something that comes up for you regularly, talk before you have sex. You can even come up with some ways they can support you while you’re intimate.
For example, asking them to close their eyes, to tell you you’re safe, to tell you they don’t care if you orgasm or that you’re not allowed to orgasm (this can be a fun powerplay game as well). Whatever you feel would help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.
Take Orgasm Off the Table
If orgasms give you anxiety…no more orgasms allowed!
Before you pick up your pitchforks, let us explain.
As we mentioned before, orgasms are not a necessary part of sex. Pleasure should be the ultimate goal of any sexual encounter. And by removing the possibility of orgasm from sexual activity, it can really take the pressure off.
Making a ‘no orgasms allowed’ policy for yourself or for you and your partner, means that you have to be a bit more creative with how you enjoy sex. It means more exploration. It means taking your time. It means more focus on pleasure. And it means there’s no reason to hurry toward an invisible finish line.
Of course…if you do happen to orgasm…that’s ok too. 😉
With all the pressure to be a perfect, performing, orgasm giving machine in the bedroom, orgasm anxiety is inevitable.
When you redefine what sex and pleasure look like to you, it removes the scoreboard and allows you to focus on what’s important. PLEASURE.
So, explore, play, ask your partners what they like, tell your partners what you’re into and find new ways to connect that rely on pleasure over performance.
Meet the author...
Jennifer Doan is a Confidence Coach, writer and orgasmic activist. She is on a life-long mission to help feminists own their sexual confidence by amplifying pleasure and giving less fucks. She believes virginity and gender are social constructs, sexuality is as fluid as her iced coffee and that EVERYONE deserves to feel empowered by sex.