Spectatoring and Performance Anxiety in Men 

"I have to feel like it and get excited right away", "I don't have to show any uncertainties", "I have to give pleasure", "I can't do it anyway", "Will I get an erection?" : here are some of the thoughts that can go through your head as soon as the possibility of sexual intercourse looms. A non-functional behavior that accompanies these thoughts is the so-called spectatoring, or observing one's "performance" as if we were an external judge (it is a phenomenon that happens beyond gender!). 

All this energy in the direction of this bodily abstraction involves a departure from the authentic dimension of excitement and from that imaginary composed of sexual fantasies and emotions that are an integral part of the sexual experience. 

Are there any remedies for performance anxiety? 

It is clear that what has just been described can lead to psychological and relational consequences, such as phobias and sexual blocks or couple conflicts that can extend beyond the sexual sphere. 

For the psychological and personal aspect, it would therefore be important to ask yourself questions and analyze your beliefs about the topic of virility, as well as those about your own pleasure and that of the other person. 

For the relational aspect, couple communication is essential: whoever we have next to can be an ally in easing the problem, can give us reassurance and can explore sexuality with us in a non-judgmental way. There should be no shame in feeling an intimacy difficulty, and if it does, it would be nice to have someone who can help us accommodate that feeling. 

In many cases, all this is not enough and it is necessary to turn to professionals who are experts in the field of sexuality, to work in a more structured and profound way on the subject. 


Article by Dania Piras - Expert in Typical and Atypical Sexuality 

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