Every man wants to enjoy sex and wants his partner to enjoy it too. Whether your goal is to bolster a sex life that isn’t everything it used to be, or whether you’re looking to take your sex life from good to great, these tips will help.
Manage Stress and Anxiety
It isn’t uncommon for healthy men to occasionally struggle with their performance when they are anxious or stressed. Both of those emotions can make it difficult to get an erection or to keep one going for as long as you might want to. This is a vicious cycle – if you’re having sex and you’re too stressed out to perform at your best, you’ll become even more anxious and stressed about your performance. This just makes things worse. Sometimes, this can be a problem that affects all intimacy, not just sex. Therefore, it’s important to manage your stressors and find ways to relax.
Try doing some things like:
- Getting more exercise
- Making sure you get enough sleep
- Improving your relationships – the more comfortable you are with someone, the less you’ll worry
- Spending more time on your favorite hobby or hobbies
Finally, if you feel that stress and anxiety is a persistent problem in your life, don’t be afraid to seek help from a therapist or psychiatrist.
Mindfulness simply means intentionally focusing on your awareness of the moment. It’s a common type of meditation for beginners, partially because of its simplicity and accessibility. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Mindfulness can help improve or change negative attitudes regarding sex, improve your relationships with sexual partners, and help you enjoy sexual activity more fully. It can also help reduce stress, whether that stress is about sex itself or about something else.
Get More Exercise
I mentioned this earlier, but it’s important enough to go into a bit more detail. Physical activity reduces your chances of developing heart conditions, which can definitely put a damper on sexual activity. Diabetes, heart diseases, and even high blood pressure can damage nerves, as well as make it harder to get an erection by affecting the amount of blood that flows into the penis. Reducing the risk of encountering those issues is one of the benefits of exercise, but certainly not the only one. Exercise can also help with your mental health, anxiety, and body image.
You may also benefit from exercising the muscles that are directly involved in sex, found in the pelvic floor. If you aren’t sure what these muscles feel like, begin urinating and then stop the flow before you’ve finished. The muscles that allow you to do that are the same muscles contract during ejaculation. Kegel exercises and a strong core will help strengthen this muscle.
If You Smoke, Quit
Remember all those problems heart disease can cause? Smoking cigarettes can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure, so it’s definitely something to avoid. Aside from that, though, smoking has also been linked to erectile dysfunction. Quitting smoking frequently leads to better sexual performance. Anecdotal evidence also suggests that a smoker’s semen has a more unpleasant taste.
Give Herbal Remedies a Try
If you struggle with erectile dysfunction, some herbal remedies could help. Ginseng, for example, has been known to improve symptoms significantly, and the maca root may also be helpful. However, before you give any of these a try, it would be wise to talk to a doctor. Herbal supplements aren’t tightly regulated, so you should look into possible side effects and make sure the herbs won’t interact with any medications.
See a Doctor or Therapist
Speaking of doctors, it might be a good idea to talk to one even if you aren’t interested in herbal supplements. Some medicines can improve sexual function, but others can affect it negatively by reducing sexual sensation, libido, or the ability to get and maintain an erection. For example, antidepressants – especially SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) -- can reduce a man’s libido or contribute to premature ejaculation. Of course, if you suspect that this might be your problem, you shouldn’t just quit the medication. Talk to your doctor about changing the specific medication, lowering the dosage, and possibly stopping treatment.
On the other hand, there are medications that are created specifically to help with erectile dysfunction. These are often the quickest solution, and they don’t have to be permanent. If you make healthy lifestyle changes and start going to therapy, you may eventually stop needing the medication.
Sometimes erectile dysfunction is caused by a physical problem; other times, it’s due to psychological factors such as anxiety, depression, body image issues, issues resulting from past trauma, or mental health conditions. If you think that one of these might be the cause of your troubles, seek the help of a sex therapist.
Take Care of any Chronic Health Issues
Erectile dysfunction is a problem on its own, but it can also be a warning that points to other health issues. Take care of your body – manage stress, stay active, and eat healthy. If you have any chronic condition, such as diabetes or any form of heart disease, make sure you treat it with a healthy lifestyle and any medication you need.
Focus on the Foreplay
Penetration isn’t everything. In fact, many women might say that it isn’t even their favorite main course, as a study performed in 2017 showed that less than 20% of women can reach orgasm from penetrative sex alone. That same study showed that almost 40% of women required clitoral stimulation to orgasm.This is an important step, so don’t miss it! Your partner will enjoy it, and it’ll give you more time to relax and get into the right mindset.
Try to avoid goal-oriented sex. Don’t focus too much on you and your partner achieving orgasm. Instead, focus on all of the other sensations and the experience as a whole. Kiss, touch, and involve different parts of the body. Enjoy the foreplay and make it last. Both men and women have a lot of erogenous zones aside from the genitals – learn where they are and incorporate them into your sexual activity.
Train for Endurance
If you don’t last as long as you’d like to, there are a few techniques you can use to train your body to last longer. One of them is simply to stop sex when you are close to ejaculation. Take a minute to relax and sort of “reset your progress,” and then keep going.
Another technique is called edging. It’s a bit similar to the other technique, but instead of taking a break when you get close to ejaculation, you just slow down. Continue the stimulation, but make sure you don’t ejaculate. Take breaks that last a few seconds if you need to. This trains your body to stay on the “edge” of orgasm for longer. This will increase your sexual endurance, and may increase your pleasure as well. Since you are so close to the edge, the timing is tricky. As a result, this is usually easiest to do alone.
Break Free of the Routine
If you are in a long-term sexual relationship, it’s easy to fall into a routine. Sex may not be as interesting or exciting as it used to be, which can make it difficult to focus and to please yourself and your partner. So, do what you can to make sure it stays interesting and exciting!
You can try new sexual activities, new positions, read erotic fiction together, or move the sex to a new location. Watching some pornography together (if you are both comfortable with it) can be exciting, and it comes with the added benefit of potentially giving you some new ideas of things to try. You can also talk about your sexual fantasies together. You don’t necessarily have to put them into practice, but it can be exciting to daydream together – possibly while engaging in other activities as well.
All of the “newness” doesn’t have be purely sexual. General excitement about your partner and your life can easily translate into sexual excitement, so try new things outside of the bedroom too. For example:
- Go traveling
- Try a new sport or hobby
- Go somewhere close to home that you’ve never been
- Go to a concert
Don’t suffer alone. If you have anxiety about sex or stemming from something that happened in the bedroom, talk to your partner about it. You can work on a solution together, and your partner may be able to alleviate some of your fears.
If your sexual issues stem from problems in your relationship as a whole, it’s still worth talking about. If the way your partner treats you contributes to your anxiety, it needs to be addressed. Don’t place blame, though – just talk about your feelings and see if you can work things out. If you encounter difficulties, you might consider looking into couples’ therapy or sex therapy.
Poor sexual performance can be worrying and embarrassing, but don’t worry. These issues are common, and they can be fixed. Communicate openly, seek the help of professionals if you need it, and stay healthy, and you’ll be well on your way to a solution.