This is a short video answering the question: “How do I stop worrying and overthinking during sex so that way I don’t experience ED (or erectile dysfunction)?"
Practice mindfulness as a skill as opposed to only something you do during sex.
Penetration is not the end-all be-all to sex and sexual experiences.
Explore pleasure with a flaccid penis.
Explore pleasure outside of the genitals.
Here are a few things to check out:
See the transcript below:
00:04 - Hello. Welcome back to another Q&A and we're going to hop right on into this month's question, which is:
00:12 - How do I stop worrying and overthinking during sex so that way I don't experience ED (or erectile dysfunction)?
00:24 - So first I just want to say thank you so much for submitting this question because there are so many people who do have shame, embarrassment, confusion, frustration, annoyance, all these critical emotions toward the body that then have a negative impact on the way that the body performs during sex.
00:43 - And also I'll just add in general we know that having critical self talk and also putting a lot of pressure on ourselves may not always lead to the results that we are hoping for. So that's one thing.
00:57 - Another thing I just wanted to say is that this is a really common experience because we live in a society in which pornography exists, in which sexy, steamy sex scenes are in movies, Rom Coms exist, and they oftentimes portray this image of sex as being really easy.
01:18 - Two people are sexually aroused at the same perfect time together. They have sex, everything works with no problem. They orgasm at the same time, right? Unless it is a Rom Com, then maybe there's going to be a couple of things that don't go right, but it's like comedic relief type of situation and it brings them to this moment of either connection or they don't talk to each other again. But generally, we have this perfect image of a sexual experience being easy, straight to the point, fun, pleasurable, orgasmic, every single time.
01:54 - And, you know, we're humans, not robots, and our bodies don't function like that all the time. And also there's just a lot of factors, internal and external, that can impact the way that our body, mind and another person's body and mind is being impacted by the environment and how that is going to show up in someone's sex life. So that's that.
02:19 - I'll also just wanted to say that ED or erectile dysfunction is a common condition that affects millions upon millions of people over the age of 20.
02:32 - So I just wanted to emphasize that because oftentimes when we're talking about ED, we see like an older person maybe, well, I would say typically. Because you know, everyone's definition of older is different, right? Some people automatically think 60 plus, some people think 50 plus, some people think maybe mid-40s is when you should start experiencing the situation. But for many people, it can happen and at a younger age, and it can be due to stress and anxiety, not being present in the body.
03:08 - And we have a lot of reasons in our society while we're not present in the moment. So it's not just an experience that people only have at an older age.
03:19 - So I'm not sure how old you are the person who submitted the question, but please know that having trouble maintaining an erection or becoming erect isn't always related to age. And it doesn't have to be a huge...I was gonna say, "It doesn't have to be a boner."
03:38 - I don't know if that's a pun intended type of situation, but you know, it could be something that happens.
03:44 - And then you and your partners can pivot into other sexual behaviors, activities and experiences that can be just as satisfying.
03:53 - But before we get into that train of thought, let's go back to this piece around worrying, anxiety and overthinking.
04:04 - So increased stress and anxiety can increase the risk of ED. Because when the body is in an anxious or stress response, we are having shifts in our blood flow, right? Our blood tends to move to areas of the body that prepares us for safety, for protecting ourselves, for fleeing, running, right? Think of those type of things.
04:30 - So blood going to the genitals is not a priority in that moment if our mind is like, "Oh, we need to be safe. We need to be pumping to run!" So keep that in mind, right? Now the other thing to also keep in mind is when it comes to our society and generation as it is today, that a lot of people have stress and anxiety that's not related to immediate safety, right? So when we are learning about the brain and the body and how anxiety is a very useful tool for survival, you know, you usually get that image of running from a Saber tooth tiger.
05:10 - Or you know, trying to protect yourself from another community who may be trying to get your land and your crops and property and things like that.
05:22 - But we have so many other things to be anxious about now, right? Like we're anxious about our relationships, we're anxious about what we're wearing, how we look, if we said the right thing, how much money we have or don't have right. And when we are, or our bodies, at least, are used to being in states like that, it can cause so many other bodily systems and processes to function in a way that we don't think is the most ideal. And going back to the experience of ED, when we are wanting to have penetrative sex specifically and our blood vessels are constricting in a way to send blood to all the other parts of our body except for our genitals...then that can be frustrating and feel like a huge disruption.
06:15 - So, first, I ask you to think about practicing mindfulness.
06:22 - You can practice mindfulness during sexual experiences, but you have to think about being present in the moment and practicing mindfulness as a skill that you develop consistently over time.
06:39 - So it's not really going to be enough to say OK, I'm having sex now I'm getting ready to have sex and a couple of minutes or a couple of hours. So let me meditate and Zen instead.
06:50 - You want to notate how present am I in a day-to-day experience? Am I learning how to be present and mindful in my environment or in my body every single day? How am I connecting with myself and with my breathing daily?
07:10 - Because when you are building that skill then you are more likely to use it, incorporate it in other situations, and it will be more seamless in those moments, so think about that in your day-to-day, what is your mindfulness practice or how mindful are you in your moment?
07:34 - OK, if you can kind of respond to that and know, you know, I'm really multitasking all of the time. I'm usually feeling really stressed and anxious about deadlines and meetings and conversations I have to have with the kids and all these other type of things.
07:52 - Then you might want to look into maybe downloading some apps or getting on YouTube to search meditations and incorporating that every single day.
08:03 - There are some meditations and breathing activities that take no more than 5 minutes.
08:09 - And you can do that a couple times a day, right? And so being able to kind of know what your body is experiencing on a day-to-day and how to disrupt some of those critical thoughts, some of those patterns around being mindless or not present so that we can kind of start pivoting in a way that is more in the line with being centered and being grounded. So check that out.
08:37 - The other thing that I really want to say is that penetration is not the end all be all to sex and sexual experiences. And I want to say this because erectile dysfunction can happen and it will happen. But because it's happened doesn't mean that sex is now off of the table for that moment, for the next 30 moments. Or for the rest of your sexual life, right? But being able to take the dick out of its primary role, and being open to exploring your entire body and exploring that of your partners is essential. Okay.
09:21 - And if you are a partner? Or if you are someone who is partnered with the person with the penis, I want you to be mindful of that as well.
09:31 - OK, how do we create more space for understanding, for compassion, but also curiosity, playfulness, and thinking outside of the box when it comes to sex.
09:45 - So just like earlier when I was saying, you know, watch all these things and we get this idea that sex should be Wham, bam, easy, straight to the point.
09:56 - We also have an idea of what sex is supposed to include, and if you find that you are kind of putting yourself in a box there when you do experience erectile dysfunction or your partner does, it can feel very frustrating.
10:11 - But remember that these are body parts and these body parts are also attached to people who have feelings and emotions, and who have received a lot of messages about what it means to have ED.
10:24 -And so being able to say, "We can do other things, you know, I don't think less of you. I am not holding you up to some type of standard where I'm considering your body to be a robot that works on demand all of the time can be an act that brings you closer together, right? Could be deeply intimate to connect in that regard.
10:48 - So think about that in the long run today and as you age, and more than likely your body will begin to function in a way that just feels really frustrating to you because it's not just as easy as it used to be.
11:03 - You can be in that position where it's like what I have been exploring, sex more and outside of penetration. That now makes me feel like when it does happen, if and when it does happen, we're not distraught because I know that I have a full body of erogenous zones that I've already explored, that I'm willing to continue exploring and playing with sensations and temperatures and textures and pressures. And all of that on all parts of my body.
11:39 - And I'll even also include that even though a penis is not fully erect, doesn't mean that it can't feel sensation that it can't experience pleasure.
11:54 - And so I think sometimes it can feel like, OK. That's a whole other thought process I have to wrap my mind around is what does it mean to have a partner or myself? Playing with fondling, stimulating, sucking, pulling, tugging, whatever it is that you may enjoy, doing all those things to a non erect penis. And being OK with that.
12:22 - And so being able to think outside of both of those boxes of, "Well, I can't use the penis at all if it's not erect." To we can do a lot of fun, interesting curious things with the non erect penis. To also we don't even need that right now.
12:37 - We have toes, we have crevices, we have the nape of the neck, we have ears, we have no we know we have the full body to explore.
12:48 - And so I encourage you to maybe look into body mapping. If you're not familiar with that, I do have in my guide to sexual self-care, there is a body mapping activity in there, so you can definitely check that out. To just see what have I been missing out my whole life, potentially, I know on my body during different moments, different moods, different seasons, I experience a lot of different sensations differently based on those things.
13:22 - And so I'm always really curious, like, OK, last month just going like this was really sensational. And maybe next month it's like, well, it's nice, but it's not really doing it like it was last month, maybe the next month is this little slight part of my ear. Maybe the next week it could be another part of my body.
13:39 - So how do we maintain this fun curiosity that takes pressure off, sex being one thing all the time? And if not, that means something is wrong with me or my partner and instead, I have an entire body to explore and enjoy. Because remember the biggest, largest, most inviting organs of our body that can be used for sexual purposes that aren't generally considered sexual organs...the brain and our skin. Right?
14:18 - So with the brain alone, we can have so much fun and use curiosity to dive deeper into what sex means and do some work to challenge what we've been taught.
14:29 - And then the skin, there's so many nerves and nerve endings that can be teased and stimulated that are just yearning for your exploration. So, I hope that was helpful.
14:44 - I hope that that helps you think outside of the box, or at least be an invitation for you to begin thinking outside of the box. The box being your Dick and being open to exploring more.
14:59 - So thank you for tuning in, until next time, take care and have fun.
15:05 - Bye.