Men have certain anxieties when it comes to their performance in bed. Expert Sex Therapist and Relationship Counsellor Dr Rajan Bhonsle tells us more about them…
Men might seem to be quite active and vocal, much more than women, especially when it comes to sexual matters. However, they are not too far from anxieties and fears when it comes to their sexuality. Here’s a list of the common sexual fears that men face and the reasons…
1. Fear of impotence:
‘Anxiety about impotence’ ranks first in the order of prevalence, in all the sexual fears that men bear. Ironically, the fear itself is the greatest cause of impotence. In 90 per cent cases of impotencies the cause is psychogenic. Only in 10 per cent of cases the cause is biological.
There is no possible way a man can ‘will’ to have an erection. We cannot will to have saliva or tears flow either. These things happen on their own in response to situations. One may involve oneself in foreplay, without spectatoring at the organ, and the erection happens on its own accord. Behind the fear of failure to get erection is a fundamental anxiety -the fear of being rejected. The partner’s understanding and cooperation plays a very important role in getting over the psychogenic impotence.
2. Fear of insatiable sexual demands:
The image of the ‘insatiable woman’ is a creation of contemporary literature and movies, plus much of the rhetoric accompanying the woman’s liberation movement. The truth is, that there is a wide variation of sexual needs among both women and men. One of the freedoms today’s women have achieved, is the knowledge that their bodies are their own, and they need not give in to a man’s sexual demands, if they don’t desire so. It will be equally relieving for men to know that they are under no such obligation either. As men and women learn to accept each other as equals and realise that each has individual sexual needs, this fear will certainly decrease.
3. Fear of losing self-control:
Many men who feel that they love their wives and care for their marital commitment, carry the fear of getting attracted to other women. It is physiological for a man to get attracted to some women who fit into his criterions of sex appeal. Many men carry the guilt for such secret infatuations and fantasies. Many others fear that they may not be able to control themselves if they happen to be in an inviting situation. They doubt their ability to be in charge of their sexual urges, if a tempting opportunity comes their way. The anxiety of losing their relationship with their wife haunts them every time they meet attractive women. It becomes a constant struggle to balance their libidinous urges and their commitment in the marriage. These husbands need to realise that they are relating at a very superficial level of understanding and commitment. Infidelity is invariably the result of insincere and irresponsible attitudes towards the marital bond.
4. Fear that the wife may become interested in someone else:
The domineering husband, who believes he owns his wife, does not want to lose her for anyone else. He constantly feels that her infidelity is just a matter of right opportunity. It is the wound of his own inadequacy that makes him suffer this fear. The feeling of possessiveness, so much a part of the male mentality, and the jealousy which proceeds inevitably from this feeling, have been the cause of endless suffering and aggression. It is necessary to change the perspective of this man. A wife who understands this and works silently to reassure him, has a better chance for a happy and lasting relationship than one who responds to his jealousy with anger, aggression and exasperation.
5. Fear of not being normal:
Many men want to know if they resemble other men in their sexual behavior and if whatever they do sexually is the accepted ‘normal’ way to have sex. What should matter is whether you are hurting yourself or your partner with your sexual behavior. If both partners enjoy equally the act is right.
6. Fear of ‘Premature Ejaculation’:
The cause of premature ejaculation is almost always psychogenic. This problem is seen in men of all ages, and anxiety over possible repetition often becomes another self-fulfilling prophecy. The brain gets the signal that release is imminent, but for various emotional reasons the normal inhibiting mechanism fails. Some men try to slow things down by using anesthetic applications, tranquilizers, elastic bands or double condoms, none of which help the anxiety, the overriding issue here. With the help of an understanding and cooperative partner it is possible to help oneself by analysing their difficulty, pinpointing the psychic element, and then learning to exercise control.
7. Fear of ‘small’ size of penis:
Large number of men carry the complex of small penile size. The size is invariably thought to be the parameter for one’s manliness and one’s ability to satisfy his partner. First of all, the woman’s satisfaction does not depend on the size of the penis. On the contrary, too big can be a problem, in that it could hurt the partner. The fact is, that only the outer 1/3rd of the woman’s vagina (approximately 3 to 5 cms) is sensitive to sexual stimuli. So, it doesn’t matter to a woman how deep one reaches during the intercourse. If an erect penis has a size of five inches, which everyone has, it is enough for him to satisfy his woman. It is not the size, but what you do with what you have, that truly counts.
A common, mistaken belief that a flaccid penis gains in size proportionately when it gets erect, causes this fear. The fact is, though all the penises are different in their flaccid state, become much more similar in size, when they get erect. Also, one tends to find his penis small as it is always seen from above, a wrong angle to judge the length; as against that of others, which is observed from one side or from the front.
Responding to such sexual fears with a mature self-understanding and cooperating partner, is the first and the most important step, and often nothing more may be required. If however, the fears persist, help of a professional ‘sex and relationship counsellor’ may be needed.