However, focusing on sexual performance can lead to anxiety. A set of simple lifestyle changes can help to:
- reduce anxiety
- improve erectile dysfunction
- enhance relationships with sexual partners
- increase stamina
These changes can make sex more enjoyable and satisfying for everyone involved.
It is important to note that worrying about getting and maintaining erections is often a key factor in performance anxiety.
Thirteen ways to improve sexual performance
The following methods can help to reduce erectile dysfunction, increase stamina, and improve the overall quality of sex:
1. Focus on foreplay
Some men believe that penetration is the most important, even the defining part of sex.
However, many who experience erectile dysfunction may be heartened to learn that they do not need an erection to please their partners. In fact, erectile dysfunction can even be an incentive to try new strategies that work better for their partner.
Foreplay can include touching, kissing, and oral sex. Making foreplay last can improve the sexual experience for everyone involved.
Foreplay may be especially important for women. A 2017 study found that very few women — around 18 percent — experience an orgasm from intercourse alone. According to the same findings, 36.6 percent of women said that clitoral stimulation was necessary for orgasm during intercourse.
2. Try the start-stop technique
Men who want to last longer during intercourse can try the start-stop technique.
To use this technique, stop sexual activity every time ejaculation feels imminent. Breathe deeply and start again slowly, then stop to delay ejaculation for as long as desirable.
This method can train the body to hold off ejaculation and help a man to feel more comfortable with not ejaculating, even during intense sexual activity.
3. Try something new
Sexual pleasure thrives in an environment of passion and excitement.
If a person has been with one partner for a long time, sex can begin to feel routine, and it may seem increasingly difficult to feel excited, remain focused, or please the partner.
It may help to try a new sexual activity or position or to have sex in a different location. Also, talking about sexual fantasies can make sex more exciting.
In addition, it can help to do something new with a partner outside the bedroom, such as:
- cooking together
- kayaking or hiking
- going to a museum
- seeing a new band
- trying a new sport
This can help people to feel more connected, and the excitement of the new activity can carry into the bedroom.
Being physically active can reduce risk factors for heart conditions and improve sexual function and overall health.
Conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes can damage nerves and change the amount of blood that flows to the penis. This can make it more difficult to get or maintain erections.
In addition, some men find that regular exercise improves their mental health, reducing anxiety and helping them to feel better about their bodies.
Men can also benefit from exercising the muscles involved in arousal and ejaculation. The following exercise may help:
- While urinating, stop the flow of urine. Repeat several times and learn to identify the muscles involved.
- When not urinating, try to contract these muscles for 10 seconds. Relax them for 10 seconds, then contract them for another 10 seconds.
- Repeat this cycle of contracting and relaxing 10 times each day.
Several medications can help with sexual function, including popular drugs, such as Viagra and Cialis.
Medication can be the most rapid treatment option for some men. If a man taking medication for erectile dysfunction also makes lifestyle changes and participates in therapy, they may eventually be able to stop taking the drugs.
A handful of medications can affect sexual satisfaction, libido, and the ability to have or maintain erections.
Antidepressants, for example, may change the way a man ejaculates and reduce sexual desire. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, may be especially likely to cause sexual dysfunction.
A man who takes drugs with sexual side effects should discuss changing the medication, stopping the treatment, or lowering the dosage with a doctor.
13. Manage chronic health problems
Erectile dysfunction can be an early warning sign of health issues. It is important to take good care of the body by eating a balanced diet, remaining physically active, and managing stress.
Treating chronic health issues, such as diabetes and heart disease, is also essential. Take medications as recommended and try lifestyle changes that can improve overall health.
If symptoms of these conditions worsen, seek medical care.
Sexual dysfunction can be concerning and embarrassing, but these types of issues are common and treatable.
A person can come to feel good about their sexuality by working with a certified sex therapist, communicating openly with partners, and trying different lifestyle changes.
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