Situational performance anxiety

Are there any specific situations that make you so anxious you can’t get an erection or you lose your erection?

Transitioning from foreplay to intercourse is where I sense the spectatoring begin. I have competing thoughts around should I take the lead or let my partner in effort to keep my mind focused on the moment. I try to pre plan everything making even the slightest variation of the plan a trigger for that negative monolgue to ruin the day.


I definitely associate condoms with an “erection killer” and can struggle to look past it, that obviously becomes a problem when your partner wants you to wear one as you feel you then can’t have sex or maybe you have to talk them into why you shouldn’t use it.


I almost always have to masturbate to get hard enough to penetrate (itself an issue), and usually have to combine this with some other stimulus - usually my partner vocally enjoying something I’m doing, e.g. with my other hand. If these stimuli aren’t in place and my partner wants me to go right ahead and penetrate them, it completely puts me in a panic because the only set of situations which seem to give me any confidence aren’t in place. I also worry about different positions, mainly because my erections are never that hard and some positions feel beyond my capability - making me feel like a poor lover. All of the above ruins any sense of confidence/spontaneity - the two are linked, right?


When my erections do happen, I feel like I’m on a tightrope and any slight loss of focus or deviation from what I know works will kill them. That leaves very little room for spontaneity, and it means I put a ton of pressure on myself to stay focused, which obviously makes everything more difficult and tenuous. Going into any and all intimate situations I get anxious that I won’t be able to get hard. It’s a constant thing that feels like it follows me around. And more than anything it takes this activity that is supposed to be fun and help bring you closer together with another person and does the opposite.


Putting on the condom or applying lube is a situation which causes some anxiety for me. This is a moment when I begin to spectate and wonder if I will last long enough for her, which leads to some performance anxiety as we begin penetration.


Lots of confidence masturbating erect but come the event feel anxious as partner is there

Any woman expecting great sex.

My partner and I are swingers. I sometimes cannot get an erection when with a new woman.


The break in time when I go to put a condom on is definitely a trigger for me. It interrupts the flow, it takes you out of the moment, and it’s definitely when I begin spectatoring. I also struggled before with finding condoms that fit, and as an uncircumcised guy, I especially don’t like the way they interfere with how things feel. So it can be a real frustration.

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A few things I’ve noticed

  • For me, it’s all about the set-up (negative chit chat starts the moment I’m getting intimate with my partner)

  • Using the gap between foreplay/intercourse as a bit of fun.

  • Initiating (for me) and being curious has helped

By no means does this always work but when I have maintained an erection I’ve found the above 3 have helped.

I can’t get hard anymore. I for some reason, have never been able to “insert” it inside her, so I’ve never had sex. And because of that, I fear that every time I get hard, it won’t go in. So my body has stopped getting hard for for sexual intimacy. It only gets hard during masturbation. Has anyone else experienced this?


I have the same issue. I was hard for the first we tried to have sex. I didn’t use lube or condom but I didn’t know where to penetrate and tried some spot but couldn’t penetrate. Ever since I get anxious and lose my erection as I feel that I won’t be able to penetrate.
Also I need to masturbate to get the erection in the first place to try penetration. Which again is frustrating.
Have you tried anything that helped?

I think for me the condom thing is just part of a bigger issue that is ‘right, I’m hard, let’s get to it quickly before it goes down again’ , so any sort of delay will take me out of the moment and get me into my head again.


I’ve definitely experienced the condom anxiety. That was actually the first time I every experienced erection issues. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to put the condom on quickly enough before my erection would go down. I still have that to some extent, but I now also have anxiety about erections in general, so I can sometimes not get hard even during foreplay because I’m so in my head. I’d also say that for me getting with hotter girls makes me more anxious, as I’m much more worried what they’ll think and how they’ll react if I have any erection issues. I definitely think of sex with hotter girls as being more of a performance, like I really have to impress them.

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I, like many commenters, have struggled with condoms. I think the “rushing” element definitely takes me to a place where I feel immediate extra pressure to grab the condom, get it on, and penetrate, if anything so that I can be able to say that we at least had “some sex” if things were to go poorly afterwards. There are a couple other situations which give me performance anxiety, one of which being the very beginning of foreplay. I feel pressure to get somewhat aroused, because I am self conscious of my penis size. So I feel like I get hit with a double whammy of pressure and thinking. That, if my penis is already on the smaller side, that I want to get some blood flow going and “look” or “feel” better if she touches me or sees me. So if I’m not getting aroused in the very beginning, when we are kissing, rubbing against each other, grabbing each other etc., I am worried both about not getting hard already and about the fact that she will have to see or touch me completely soft. One last situation that I get anxiety about is foreplay with the woman on top of me. Sometimes it feels good when she gyrates/bounces on me, but other times I feel like the weight and pressure can actually prevent an erection or make it harder to achieve one. So this situation, during foreplay, has come to give me some anxiety

I do have condom anxiety as well. Putting the condom on ignites the fact that sex is happening now and it’s important now to perform and to remain hard. This Performance anxiety spikes right at the point when I have to put the condom on. It puts me out of the erotic situation completely and there is only one thought: don’t lose your erection now and get inside her as fast as possible. A trick which helped me is to get the condom out of the package beforehand and to ensure the right direction, so you just have to put it on, when penetration is about to happen. Furthermore I do have struggles with the cow girl Position. This is due to bad experiences with my erection in the past with this position. Because somehow I think that my blood flows out of my penis when it’s upright.

I’ve been married for over 13 years and there has always been some disfunction in my sex life. There have been so many sexual encounters with my wife where she just isn’t that into it that it has developed into some kind of anxiety on whether it will be a fun experience or not. More recently in the last 3 years I will sometimes have erectile issues. Part of the problem is I don’t feel that attracted to my wife for various reasons and combined with the other anxiety it is causing problems. There isn’t one specific situation causing erectile issues, its more about how smoothly and naturally the encounter develops. If it feels forced whether I’m not so in the mood or she isn’t so in the mood it can be a real problem

Putting on the condom or changing positions can incur this anxiety for me as worried won’t be hard enough so rush these things so can try avoid getting soft

Whenever I’m performing oral sex, after a while, I start to spectate and then things start to go away for me. Sometimes when I’m going from oral or even missionary to the bottom, the transition drives my anxiety up if its not smooth or fast enough