Link between sexual performance anxiety & impotence

Anxiety about impotence (inability to achieve an erection or orgasm in a man) is one of the most frequently deliberated sexual fears that many men have all over the world. Your angst and apprehension of having an erection difficulty may cause you to experience further difficulties.

Internet forums are flooded with chat threads on this issue with many a hoax product or bogus remedy capitalizing on this common and oft visited fear complex that so many men have. As a sexologist I hear about this problem practically every day in my clinical practice.

Paradoxically, the fear of not being able to get an erection – itself is the most common cause of impotence. In over ninety percentage of cases of erectile dysfunction, the cause is seen stemming from the mind (psychogenic). It is only in ten percentage of cases that the cause is organic or physical (biological).

Just as it is not possible to make tears, saliva and other digestive juices flow at will, there is similarly no possible way a man can ‘will’ himself to have an erection. These things happen ‘on their own’ in response to situations and circumstances. If you are worn down, stressed or tired, it is quite likely that you may have a problem getting and maintaining an erection. This is normal and common. However, if one involves oneself in a ‘relaxed’ foreplay, without ‘spectatoring’ your penis (waiting for the erection to happen), the erection will happen on its own accord.

Behind the fear of a failure to get an erection is a fundamental anxiety – the fear of being rejected. With women becoming increasingly vocal about their sexual preferences and disappointments, I have seen many cases where relationships have splintered when men have complained that their female partners were particularly harsh or nasty with them when they were unable to get erection perform sexually. Your partner’s patient understanding and co-operation plays a very important role in getting over what may very well be a psychogenic erectile dysfunction. It is most advisable to communicate and invest in special moments of intimacy with your partner and don’t rush things. It will help your body to know what to do.


Loknath Das