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Sex is a big part of a gay man’s life. Activists, past and present, have shed blood and tears to ensure gay men enjoy the freedom to express themselves freely without discrimination. But what if you are unable to explore your sexual identity? Not because gay sex is illegal or immoral but because your body cannot rise to the occasion during sex. You start questioning your manliness, sexual masculinity, and the food you are eating or even blame your partner. This is common with Performance Anxiety Sex.

performance-anxiety sex

You want sex, but there is a disconnect between your desires and your body’s response. Sexual performance anxiety can have a devastating effect on a man’s mental and physical health. From depression, weight loss, and feelings of shame and self-loathing to having low self-esteem, sexual performance anxiety can ruin a man’s life.

In this article, we will define sexual performance anxiety, its causes, how it affects gay men, and tips you can use to overcome it.

What is performance anxiety sex?

Whether you are single or in a relationship, sex is a significant part of a gay man’s life. From helping you build physical and emotional intimacy and experiencing sexual pleasure to enhancing your mental health, sex plays a vital role in ensuring humans have satisfactory lives.

Unfortunately, not every gay man is lucky enough to experience the joys of sex. Sexual performance anxiety can inhibit sexual exploration by triggering sexual distress that prevents gay men from enjoying sexual activities.

So, what exactly is sexual performance anxiety?

performance-anxiety sex?

Sexual performance anxiety is an umbrella term describing a wide range of negative thoughts that lead to sexual dysfunction. While performance anxiety during sex is a personal experience, it has a similar end goal of the ability to have or enjoy sex.

If you have experienced a bad sexual experience in the past, have low self-esteem, or have a deliberating fear that you can’t satisfy your partner sexually, there is a high chance that you might suffer from sexual performance anxiety.

While being nervous during sex is normal, worrying until you can’t perform is a bit extreme. If your sexual anxiety causes you to suffer from stress, panic attacks, or erectile dysfunction preventing you from engaging in sex, consider seeking professional help.

What are the causes of sexual performance anxiety?

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Does the thought of sex send your mind on overdrive and increase your heart’s palpitations? Not because you are excited to have sex but because you are scared something will go wrong. Maybe you worry that your penis is small or unnatural, that your penis won’t rise to the occasion, or worse, deflates when you are in the middle of pleasuring your partner.

Some major triggers of sexual performance anxiety include:

●              Personalized homophobia


How can you enjoy sex if you believe your actions are disgusting or sinful? If you genuinely believe being gay is shameful, you can’t enjoy any homoerotic intimacy. Internalized homophobia results in self-loathing that can make you lose your worth as a man, which makes it hard to find sexual pleasure with other men.

Even when you really want to have sex, internalized homophobia can prevent you from attaining or maintaining a hard-on, leading to sexual performance anxiety.

●              Loss and Failure


Loss makes men feel like failures, triggering mental health conditions, including panic attacks, stress, and depression. For human beings, wealth, jobs, money, kids, friends, or sexual partners hold significant sentimental, social, and economic value.

Losing material things or a loved one can destabilize an individual’s mental well-being, making them lose interest in life’s pleasures, including sex.

●              Sexual inexperience


Exploring gay sex for the first time can be a scary experience. What if you do it wrong, get hurt, or underperform? What if you do too much and look desperate or too little, and your partner dumps you?

If you overthink sex, you can develop a performance that can ruin a sexual experience. You can also develop sexual performance anxiety if you are going to have sex with a more experienced partner.

●              One bad experience snowball effect


The one bad experience snowball effect is when one bad anxiety-ridden sexual experience triggers other sexual mishaps, causing you to have a negative attitude towards sex. After the first time experiencing erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, you will always fear that it’s going to happen again, which causes you to have performance anxiety.

How does sexual performance anxiety affect gay men?

sexual performance sex

In a world where men have statistically higher chances of developing sexual performance complications, it’s not surprising that a considerable number of gay men have varying degrees of performance anxiety during sex.

Unfortunately, because of the close link between masculinity and male virility, sexual performance anxiety and erectile dysfunction are rarely discussed in public or mainstream media.

Because of the significant role sex plays in a gay man’s life, sexual performance anxiety can have a devastating effect on his sexual, physical, and mental well-being. Different ways sexual performance anxiety affects gay men include:

●              Fear of sex and intimacy


Have you ever wondered what it feels like to dread getting intimate with someone? Endlessly worrying about your bedroom skills can make you anxious, resulting in performance anxiety that can make it difficult to have sex.

As a gay man, performance anxiety can push you to avoid intimate relationships with other men because you are scared you won’t be able to satisfy them sexually. Fear of sexual intimacy can manifest in several ways, including dreading sexual activities, sweating, panic attacks, feeling sick, or q trembling voice and hands.

●              Inability to get aroused


Sexual performance anxiety is closely interlinked with erectile dysfunction in men. Being too nervous or anxious during sex can produce stress hormones that make it difficult to relax and enjoy sexual intimacy. Performance anxiety, especially over an extended period, can lower your sex drive, making it hard for you to get aroused.

The inability to have sexual arousal can devastate a man psychologically. If you have difficulty attaining sexual arousal, especially with a long-term partner, the shame from that one single interaction can trigger performance anxiety.

●              Mental health problems


No man wants to be famous for his inability to perform during sex. Think about it. Teenage boys can have sex like there is no tomorrow; older men do it like they are forever 22, while you, at your prime, can’t even get an erection, let alone maintain a hard-on without ejaculating prematurely.

Perceived failure at an activity every other man can effortlessly perform can mess up your mental well-being. Not meeting your partner’s sexual needs can trigger mental health concerns such as stress, anxiety, and depression.

●              Low self-esteem


Sexual performance anxiety does not discriminate whether you are single or in a relationship. If you are single, performance anxiety can make you feel inadequate and self-conscious. Such will make you hesitant to approach potential sex partners.

In a relationship, performance anxiety can make you question your attractiveness and self-worth. This situation can create friction in the relationship that leads to less sex.

●              Premature ejaculation


Sex is supposed to be fun, carefree, and pressure-driven and should leave you refreshed and feeling good about yourself. While no one expects you to set a world record for prolonged sexual activity, lasting 10, 20, or 45 seconds in bed won’t endear you to anyone, especially in the gay community.

Most gay men love sex, and not just any sex, but explosive sex.

If you are the type to orgasm the moment when you insert your dick into a warm moist area, you will have a hard time finding someone to put up with you. Sexual performance anxiety is one of the major factors contributing to premature ejaculation.

Worrying about your sexual performance can trigger stress hormones. This can make you unable to relax during sex, causing premature ejaculation.

●              Difficulty maintaining relationships


It’s virtually impossible for a gay man suffering from sexual performance anxiety to maintain a healthy relationship. The insecurities and negative emotions that come with sexual performance anxiety make it virtually impossible for a man to build a relationship successfully.

Tips to help you overcome performance anxiety during sex

performance anxiety sex

While sexual performance anxiety is pretty common in gay men, it’s rarely discussed because of the stigma associated with sexual dysfunction. So, what do you do if you have sexual performance anxiety?

Here are tips you can use to overcome performance anxiety during sex:

●              Talk to a sex therapist


Sexual performance anxiety can be caused by psychological factors that you can overcome with the help of a therapist. You can find a sex therapist who can help you identify specific triggers for your sexual performance anxiety and symptoms.

You can also get actionable tips to help you overcome the condition.

●              Medication

Medication perrformance anxiety sex

With the right prescription, you can overcome performance anxiety symptoms, including erectile dysfunction, panic attacks, and anxiety. Ensure you get medications from a qualified doctor to ensure you don’t abuse drugs.


Sexual performance is pretty common among gay men. Whether it’s or 50th time you are having sex, you can experience performance anxiety because of psychological and biological factors. Performance anxiety can manifest in several ways, including severe sweating, panic attacks, stress, premature ejaculation, and erectile dysfunction.

You can use medication and therapy treatments to enhance your sexual experience by managing your performance anxiety symptoms.