Leone Centre Glossary

Performance Anxiety in Psychosexual Therapy

Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety, a common issue within psychosexual therapy, involves intense fear or worry related to sexual performance. This anxiety can significantly impact an individual’s emotional well-being and intimate relationships, often leading to feelings of inadequacy and distress.

Common challenges

Individuals experiencing performance anxiety often face several challenges, including:

  1. Emotional distress: Feelings of nervousness, fear, or panic before or during sexual activity.
  2. Relationship strain: Difficulties in intimate relationships due to the pressure to perform sexually.
  3. Reduced self-esteem: Diminished self-perception and diminished confidence in one’s sexual abilities.

Exploring performance anxiety

Performance anxiety in a psychosexual context refers to the overwhelming apprehension that can occur before or during sexual activity. It is often rooted in concerns about sexual adequacy, fear of failure, or past experiences. This form of anxiety can manifest physically, such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, and difficulty maintaining arousal.

Therapeutic benefits

Psychosexual therapy offers a supportive environment for individuals to explore and address the underlying causes of their performance anxiety. Through therapy, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their anxiety, develop healthier attitudes towards sex, and learn ways to manage and reduce anxiety during sexual activity. This process can lead to improved emotional well-being and more fulfilling intimate relationships.

Flexibility & convenience

The adaptable nature of psychosexual therapy means that sessions can be adapted to fit individual needs and schedules, providing a personalised approach to overcoming performance anxiety.


What causes performance anxiety?
Performance anxiety can be caused by various factors, including fear of failure, past sexual experiences, relationship issues, and societal pressures related to sexual performance.
How can psychosexual therapy help?
Psychosexual therapy can help by providing a safe space to explore the underlying causes of anxiety, offering tools to manage anxiety, and developing a healthier attitude towards sex and intimate relationships.
What should I expect in a therapy session?
During a therapy session, you can expect to discuss your experiences and feelings related to performance anxiety. The therapist will work with you to identify triggers and develop ways to manage anxiety, adapted to your specific needs.


  1. Performance Anxiety in Psychosexual Therapy – National Center for Biotechnology Information
  2. Understanding Performance Anxiety – Verywell Mind
  3. Psychosexual Therapy – Psychology Today
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This glossary provides definitions of various counselling terms and approaches for informational purposes only, without implying endorsement or service provision