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Anticipatory anxiety, otherwise known as performance anxiety, is when individuals have sexual problems because they anticipate that they will have sexual problems during a sexual act. For example, a man who is nervous that he will be unable to maintain an erection during sex will get anxious during the sexual act. This can lead to premature ejaculations, problems becoming erect, and a lack of desire to have sex. Anticipatory anxiety is often rooted in other insecurities such as fearing rejection, worrying about disappointing the partner, or concern over performance and erection quality. Anticipatory anxiety can also occur in women who are concerned about not being able to orgasm during sex.
Anticipatory anxiety is often deep-rooted in many emotional and psychological experiences and insecurities. Often, the best way to prevent or help a person with anticipatory anxiety is by remaining compassionate, talking about the anxiety, and finding ways to manage it. Many sex therapists specialize in this common issue. Removing stressors or expectations on your partner will help them which may lead to a more enjoyable sex life.