Orgasm Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming it

Sexual pleasure is a natural and important aspect of life, but for many individuals, experiencing orgasm can be a source of anxiety and stress. This condition is commonly known as orgasm anxiety or sexual performance anxiety. It is prevalent in both men and women and can cause significant distress in relationships.

What is Orgasm Anxiety?

Orgasm anxiety is the fear or apprehension of not being able to achieve orgasm during sexual activity. Individuals with this condition become preoccupied with their performance and may feel intense anxiety, which can hinder their ability to experience sexual pleasure. The pressure to perform sexually can result in further anxiety and can impact the overall enjoyment of sexual activity.

The experience of orgasm anxiety is not uncommon, and it can affect individuals of any age. This condition can arise from a range of factors, including negative self-image, past sexual trauma, relationship problems, and certain medical conditions.

Symptoms of Orgasm Anxiety

The symptoms of orgasm anxiety can manifest differently in each individual. However, the condition typically presents with the following signs:

  • Difficulty relaxing during sexual activity
  • Fear of not being able to orgasm
  • Preoccupation with sexual performance
  • Doubts about sexual attraction and desirability
  • Felt pressure to perform sexually

These symptoms can be severe and can negatively impact the individual’s ability to enjoy sexual activity.

Causes of Orgasm Anxiety

Orgasm anxiety can arise from a range of factors, including physical, psychological, and emotional issues. Some of the common causes of orgasm anxiety are:

Negative self-image

Individuals who feel insecure about their bodies or sexual abilities can experience anxiety about their sexual performance.

Past Sexual Trauma

Individuals who have experienced sexual abuse or trauma can develop a heightened sense of anxiety or fear during sexual activity.

Relationship Problems

Conflict or tension within a relationship can cause an individual to feel anxious about intimacy and sexual activity.

Medical Conditions

Medical conditions such as erectile dysfunction, premature ejaculation, or vaginismus can cause an individual to feel anxious about sexual performance.

How to Overcome Orgasm Anxiety

Overcoming orgasm anxiety requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to experiment with different approaches. Here are some tips for individuals seeking to overcome orgasm anxiety:

Relaxation Techniques

Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can help reduce anxiety during sexual activity.

Positive Self-Talk

Replacing negative thoughts with positive affirmations can improve an individual’s sense of self-worth and confidence during sexual activity.

Talk to a Therapist

Engaging in talk therapy with a qualified therapist can provide an individual with a space to explore the underlying factors contributing to their orgasm anxiety and develop coping mechanisms to manage anxiety during sexual activity.

Experiment with Different Sexual Activities

Trying new sexual activities or different techniques can help alleviate the pressure to perform in a specific way and open up avenues for pleasure.


Orgasm anxiety can be a significant source of distress in relationships and can hinder an individual’s ability to experience sexual pleasure. However, with the right tools and support, individuals can overcome this condition and enjoy healthy and fulfilling sexual experiences. Seeking help from a qualified therapist and practicing relaxation techniques and positive self-talk are effective ways of dealing with orgasm anxiety.


FAQs about Orgasm Anxiety

What is orgasm anxiety?

Orgasm anxiety is when an individual experiences worry or concern about their ability to achieve orgasm, or they feel distressed during or after orgasm. It can lead to a loss of sexual desire, difficulty achieving orgasm or abstaining from sexual activities altogether.

What causes orgasm anxiety?

Orgasm anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors including past sexual experiences, relationship issues, anxiety, depression or other mental health disorders, and even physical issues such as hormonal imbalances. It may also stem from cultural or societal pressures around sexual performance.

How can I overcome orgasm anxiety?

Overcoming orgasm anxiety involves identifying the root cause and seeking professional help. This may involve therapy to address underlying mental health issues or relationship concerns. It may also involve changes in lifestyle habits or incorporating relaxation techniques such as mindfulness or meditation. Open communication with sexual partners and a willingness to experiment with different forms of sexual activity can also lead to greater sexual satisfaction and reduce anxiety.


1. Cooper, A. (2019). Orgasm anxiety: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Sex Research, 56(5), 667-675. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2019.1560597

2. Holmgren, M. R. (2017). Orgasm anxiety and sexual satisfaction in women: The mediating role of sexual self-esteem. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 46(2), 457-467. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-0996-7

3. Hart, T. A., Noor, S. W., & Boffin, N. (2018). Perfectionism and sexual satisfaction: The mediating role of orgasm anxiety. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 44(7), 678-688. doi: 10.1080/0092623X.2018.1449776