Situational performance anxiety

I think what makes me anxious is just the attention to my penis, the expectation from my partner, the feeling of “its my turn”

When i am not in control during foreplay. It’s almost impossible for me to get hard if I don’t do it myself. Transitioning to intercourse has happened as well. It’s kind of like I have 1 shot to get it up and if that moment passes then I am basically out of luck for the night.

I for sure begin spectatoring when I am putting on a condom. It is a trigger

Putting the condom on is always where things go south. It’s as if it’s automatically inducing the pressure

I can usually get a good erection during foreplay. It’s at the moment of penetration when the anxiety goes to the roof.

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I have noticed myself inventing all sorts of rules for when, and why, I won’t be able to either get an erection or keep one, like:

  • standing up or just switching positions
  • using condoms
  • certain time of night
  • if I lose it once, it’s harder to come back

and whenever any one of these situational aspects occur within the same time that the erection loss occurs, or flaccidity begins, I immediately confirm the story I’m telling myself, turning what is an evidence-less hypothesis into a solidified theory. Even rejecting the theory, it’s like I’m digging in my heels into the mud and saying No, No, No. Still, I’m sending it energy.

And yet when things do go right with a partner or alone - when I’ve had positive sexual experiences, or I masturbate slowly, sensuously, and I can do whatever the hell I want because my own value is not in question, and I’m not spectating at all - my mind does not confirm that as telling another story, one of hope, of health, and trust in my body.

This was a way I first came to know, to trust, that this wasn’t some odd, invisible physical ailment.

It is a story. And with each unpleasant sexual experience, I was adding to it.

My tending to losing my erection while in intercourse is embarrassing. So I resulted in having quickly sex to get off. Unfortunately leaves my partner unsatisfied and unfulfilled. The pressure to perform seems to be too much so I do not try anymore. Now less stress now. So masterbate on occassion to make sure it still works. Watching porn doesn’t help watching guys having amazing stamina. Loosing ones erection during sex is a big letdown for me for sure. Once the seed of doubt comes in, it’s game over!

Since having problems with anxiety from a very young age (gay, Latino, and raised catholic) any situation that is important, or depends on my performance creates anxiety. Walking to a guy’s house, by the time we make out, my anxiety and inner critic go off!

Switching positions can become a death sentence for me. So when we go to switch, I start thinking about what has happened before.

any breaks, or I’ll get distracted for a moment,

Condoms, too drunk, pillow talk that makes me feel expectations are too high

We’re trying for a baby and I let the pressure of we must have sex at this time…and the constant reminder from my partner of how things have happened before with ED and how it’s all my fault get the better of me and then I make stupid excuses like feigning injury to my penis or otherwise.

Condoms are definitely an issue. Moving from foreplay to sex

As soon as I start to get an erection I worry I will lose it. If it seems soft, I will think about it and lose it. If I have one and then we stop anything physical, I will lose it in seconds. This could include putting on a condom or her having to just take off her clothes.

Just am constantly worried about it. Once I get hard I instantly say it’s not going to last long and wait for it. Sometimes when we move from the shower to the bedroom it starts, or when I get distracted with something else it’s gone.

It just starts with the whole act itself as if it is a task to be done and not something to be enjoyed. I believe I want to again have that desire to be intimate.


I can be rock hard with foreplay until it’s time for sex, sometimes it gets soft so fast and I struggle to get it in her, then I go hard and fast to regain erection and sometimes can’t back out of that and finish early.

The only specific situation are the thoughts that go through my head. Before sex, my brain can’t focus on just one thing and that’s the sexual experience with my wife, it goes to things such as my job today, my job tomorrow, even right down to worrying about stuff that’s a month from now. I never had an issue with this before but for the past three months my brain has become my worse enemy.

Then that’s when the spectatoring starts, it switches from worry to thinking complete failure in bed someone’s hours before we start.

I’m totally in the moment with foreplay and it is enjoyable. When we transition to being fully naked and ready for sex the pressure builds and it then becomes spectatoring when I’m on a fine line to monitor if I’m still hard enough for sex and judging how she reacts to it.