The first night
It all started one evening when Vicky was about to take off his clothes and lie next to his now-wife Isha. To his surprise, he found himself facing an unexpected challenge: he could not get an erection in his penis. He took his time, focused on foreplay and enjoying the moment but he was too nervous for sex. Even after fifteen minutes of kissing and making out, Vicky did not get an erection. He felt embarrassed and just made an excuse that he was tired of all the festivities of marriage, turned around and slept.
After all, they had been planning for this special night for weeks and talking about it on the phone almost every day.
The other day he masturbated thinking about Isha and his erection was fine, but today, just when he needs his penis to be up, it won't listen to him at all! His mind raced with thoughts about disappointing Isha.
What exactly happened?
Just like Vicky, many individuals find themselves in this situation, also known as performance anxiety, due to various reasons. Performance anxiety during sex is a common experience that can affect both men and women. The feeling of nervousness, fear, or self-doubt can arise when we're about to engage in sexual activity.
Why does it happen?
- High expectations: Society and even Bollywood, often portray sexual experiences as perfect - the hero lifts the ghoonghat, the heroine gets coy and they have sex! It is all flawless and effortless, leading individuals to set high standards for themselves. But is reality the same? Not always!
- Fear of judgment: The fear of being judged by our partner or comparing ourselves to unrealistic standards can trigger anxiety. Vicky was scared how would Isha react if he was not able to have good sex? But he forgot the fact that it was not just Isha’s first time - but his first time too. It’s not meant to be perfect!
- Pressure to perform: The pressure to satisfy our partner and the belief that sexual performance defines our worth can contribute to anxiety.
- Body image concerns: Insecurities about one's body ( my thighs are so thin, my breasts are so small, my colour is so dark etc etc.) can interfere with feeling comfortable and confident during sex.
The unwelcome effects
Performance anxiety can lead to a variety of physical and emotional reactions. In men, it often shows up as difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection, like in Vicky's case. For women, it can lead to difficulties with lubrication in the vagina and decreased sexual desire. These effects, in turn, can create a cycle of worry, as the fear of encountering these issues again only exacerbates the problem.
Breaking the cycle:
The good news is that performance anxiety doesn't have to be a barrier to good sex. Here's how you can work through it:
- Open communication: Vicky's experience could have been different if he and Isha openly communicated their feelings. All he had to say was - ‘Hey Isha, it’s my first time for sex. I am nervous!’ Honest conversations about fears, expectations, and insecurities can help both partners understand each other better.
- Realistic expectations: Understanding that no one is perfect and that every intimate encounter is unique can help remove the pressure to perform flawlessly.
- Focus on connection: Shifting the focus from performance to emotional connection and pleasure can reduce anxiety and create a more fulfilling experience. Vicky and Isha could have talked about each other, explored their bodies and just lay next to each other rather than have sex.
- Self-acceptance: Practice self-love and accept your body the way it is! Your skin, your small your height, your build - you gotta own it. If you are born with a skin colour you are made to believe is not good, or wish your breasts were more prominent, or feel you could be a bit taller, instead of cribbing about it or criticizing it - focus on your other positives - you may have gorgeous hair or a wonderful smile or big bright eyes or a melodious voice. Focus on what can make you feel happier and accept what you can’t change because no one is born perfect.
- Professional help: If performance anxiety persists and affects the quality of your intimate life, seeking guidance from a therapist or healthcare provider is a valuable step.
Vicky and Isha's journey
Performance anxiety during sex is a common hurdle, but it's one that can be overcome through open communication.
Vicky shared his worries with Isha eventually and they began their life by understanding and accepting each other. Isha made Vicky feel better by telling him that their bond was stronger than any temporary problem. They decided to go easy on sex and focus more on spending quality time with each other.
As they spent more time talking, Vicky started feeling less worried. Isha was there for him, and he realized that being open could bring them closer. They found out that real closeness doesn't come from being perfect, but from being there for each other and understanding each other. And in a couple of weeks, Vicky’s erection was as strong as his love for Esha.
To protect the identity, the person in the picture is a model and names have been changed.
Any questions on this topic? You can find solutions to your problems by calling the Udaan Helpline toll-free number at 18002580001.