Psychology Sex

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Psychological and emotional factors are very important in sexual performance. The main factors that can affect sexual performance are anxiety, low self-esteem and relationship problems.

 Anxiety and fear

 Anxiety is one of the main causes of sexual dysfunction and poor performance. But thinking too much about sexual performance can itself cause considerable anxiety and that will in turn produce poor sexual performance. It will go on like a disastrous loop until someone or something breaks it. This is much more common in males and it is called performance anxiety.

 Due to childhood learning, some believe that the sex is a bad thing. It is especially common in conservative societies. Some women believe sex can be painful or dangerous as well. These beliefs can result in vaginal muscle spasms and pain during the sexual intercourse. Fear and pain also result in less vaginal lubrication during the sex.

The fear of pregnancy is another probably a rational psychological fear. It has in fact spoiled many sexual relationships than any other factor, even though there are modern contraceptive methds.

 Sometimes fear of venereal diseases, cause sexual relationship problems. Even though it is a rational fear some people can develop phobias around that theme. It can become an obstacle to any satisfactory sexual relationship.

 Low self-esteem, depression and psychiatric problems

 Low self-esteem is another factor affecting sexual performance. A man who is experiencing difficulties in his job may feel less active, less potent as a man and this will affect his sexual relationship with his wife/girlfriend. Same thing could also happen to women.

 Sometimes low self-esteem may be a manifestation of an underlying depressive illness. Depression and other psychiatric diseases are known to cause considerable sexual problems.

 Relationship problems

Two main problems in a relationship that can wreak havoc are resentment and insecurity. There are increased numbers of women who resent what is traditionally expected of them. I.e. before marriage, sex was an expression of love, but after marriage it is a contract.

In current society, women have to play several roles such as a homemaker,  a mother and as a career woman. This increases the stress level in the family and can strain relationships.

 Finally, sexual encounters cannot succeed in unsuitable circumstances such as lack of privacy, intimacy and warmth. This is common, especially in busy career couples, who do not have enough time even to have a good night's sleep.  

More about this author: Dr. Manura Nanayakkara

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