Feeling nervous before sex is completely normal. But if you let your nerves control the show, it can be frustrating for both parties.
Stewart says that a major step toward easing anxiety is removing the pressure to have “the best sex ever.” That means viewing sexual intimacy as fun, not an erection-fest.
1. Breathe Deeply
A common reason that people feel nervous before sex is the fear of not being able to maintain an erection. While this is a normal concern to have, it is actually much more important to focus on sexual pleasure than an erection.
A great way to overcome this is by breathing deeply. Try inhaling and exhaling for a count of seven breaths, with your inhales being longer than your exhales. This will help bring you back into your body and increase pleasure.
Another strategy is to practice mindfulness training, which involves focusing on your body and noticing the sensations that are happening. This will also help you stay in the moment and not let your thoughts get ahead of you, which is a common cause of performance anxiety.
Finally, it is a good idea to talk with your partner about any concerns you may have before you begin to ensure that they are comfortable as well. Communication is always a great thing, but it is particularly useful for couples who are working through any added pressures or anxieties.
Ultimately, it is important to remember that sexual jitters are a completely normal part of the process and can actually be a sign of arousal. As soon as you can begin to accept that sex will be uncomfortable for some, it will become easier to overcome these feelings of tension and anxiety.
2. Stay Focused on the Pleasure
The key to overcoming sexual anxiety is to practice relaxation and mindful focus on pleasurable sensations and emotions. This can be done alone or with a partner, and it’s important to talk about it with your partner so they know what you need.
Oftentimes, sexual anxiety is caused by expectations about what sex should feel like or how to get aroused. The problem with this is that it takes us out of the body and into our minds, which can interfere with our ability to connect with our partners and have orgasms.
For this reason, it’s important to make a list of your personal pleasure cues, like skin sensations and smells, as well as things that are external, such as a view of the skyline or sounds that are calming. The more you practice this in daily life, the better able you will be to bring yourself back into the moment when your mind wanders during sexual activity.
Another great way to practice this is to do a sensual touch exercise with your partner. Spend a few minutes in a quiet space, where you won’t be disturbed, and caress each other sensually. This can be anything from rubbing the backs of hands to kissing and hugging. Focus on the texture, temperature, stroke, and pressure of the touch as you breathe deeply together.
3. Be Honest About Your Feelings
Anxiety around sex can be caused by many different reasons. You may be feeling pressure from your partner or family to get intimate or you might not feel physically ready. Regardless of the reason, your feelings are valid and you don’t need to apologise for them. In fact, your partner is likely to be a lot more receptive if they are aware of the anxiety you’re experiencing and are willing to work through it together.
If you’re struggling with sexual anxiety, it’s important to talk about it with your partner so they can help you overcome it. If you’re unsure where to start, try to find a time where both of you are calm and focused. It’s also a good idea to make sure you have enough privacy so your conversation doesn’t become heated or uncomfortable.
Some of the most common causes of sexual anxiety include erectile dysfunction, difficulty achieving orgasm, masturbation, or internalized feelings of shame. Oftentimes these issues are linked to underlying trauma or stressors in your life, so tackling those is a crucial part of the process. You can also use techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, and exploring self-touch to ease these tensions. If you’re still struggling with sexual anxiety, or if it has become more severe, consider talking to a therapist about your concerns.
4. Talk About It
Having a conversation about sex and sexuality with a new partner may feel awkward, but it’s essential to creating a satisfying relationship. Having open communication will help to ensure that both partners have safe sex, which can prevent sexual harm and increase erotically charged pleasure. Many people have difficulty talking about sex due to sexual shame and discomfort, communication barriers, and lack of cultural messaging. However, if you are willing to be honest and take the time to practice, you can master this crucial skill.
During sex talk, it’s important to communicate your likes and dislikes about sex and what your expectations are. This will allow your partner to tailor their experience to you and make sure that the sex is as enjoyable as possible. It’s also helpful to discuss things such as your kinks and preferred lube in advance.
To avoid awkwardness, try to have this conversation when you are both in a relaxed state. This will ensure that you are both in a good mood and can focus on the topic at hand without distractions. It’s also a good idea to have this discussion multiple times over the course of your relationship. As your bodies change and your needs evolve, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open. Try to make sex talk a regular part of your relationship.