Advice on recent experience with performance anxiety

So, my girlfriend and I can rarely find time when we can really be intimate, and one of those times was just now. I could not get hard and instead came twice trying to get hard, and I feel like she took it very personally. I feel quite pathetic… I feel like this is doomed to happen again and again because I THOUGHT I was better, but apparently not! because I just ruined my chance. What do I do? How can I make myself not feel like an absolute failure and that this is just gonna be the case the whole time?

My brother, I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. It’s devastating and really destroys one’s sense of manhood and value. I’m here to tell you it’s going to be ok. Things WILL get better, just persevere. You’re exactly the man the universe needs you to be.

Something that seems to be working for me is taking the Mono exercise on dealing with negative thoughts and turning it into a bullet journal exercise. I took the steps from the exercise and made them into headers under which I put a few bullet points. It has REALLY empowered me to reframe the negative thoughts that feed the inner critic.

Why not try it?

Here’s the template I created:

  • Background
  • Scenario
  • Negative thoughts during the interaction and their categories
  • Fact checking these thoughts
  • Logical thoughts to replace the distortions

An example of an exercise:
-Background: I hooked up with someone at the bathhouse.
-Scenario: I connected with someone I thought I liked and then all his sex talk became about being penetrated. It really evoked performance anxiety and the inner critic was loud.
-Negative thoughts and their categories: I’m not going to get hard and he will be disappointed and I’ll feel shame. (Fortune telling)
-Fact checking: I don’t know what will happen and in the end he is responsible for his own satisfaction. I can meet him with where I am and see what happens. Sex is about more than just penetration.
-Logical thoughts to replace: I can choose to be in this scenario or not. If I choose it I can also choose to pay attention to all the physical pleasures that are happening, not just focus on one. And if the situation doesn’t feel right for me I can disengage with no shame.

Good luck.

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Thank you for your comments – that’s definitely a wise path to take, and good luck to you on your journey to a better sex life as well! I’m sure you will also keep improving.

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