Is Trying to Conceive Giving You Performance Anxiety?

The show must go on! (Courtesy Unsplash)

You’ve recently stopped using contraception. She has the timing of her cycle down and knows when she’s most fertile every month. Welcome to baby making time!

At first glance, this seems straightforward enough: All those years practicing the art means that you know exactly what to do. Now it’s just a question of stepping up to the plate. And so you try… but to your unfortunate surprise, it’s not going all that well. Sometimes there’s trouble getting an erection. At other times, it just won’t stay up. Funny thing is, it’s never happened before. Seems like all of a sudden the penis has a mind of its own. Maybe for the first time in your life, you have just experienced performance anxiety.

Houston, We Have a Problem

I’ve had men call me urgently saying that they need to see me that day, as their erection has failed them for the first time. Certainly, I’ll check them out and make sure all systems are a go. But then, I usually welcome them to humanity, filled with all manner of vicissitude and stress.

Bottom line is that for many men, scheduled sex is stressful. Maybe they’re tired, worried, worn out, sleepless, hung over or unwound with COVID fatigue. Regardless, these physiologic “stressors” on our lizard brain stimulate a “fight or flight” response, similar to running from a woolly mammoth. Who wants an erection when you are running for your life?

Rocket Restored

So, performance anxiety is neither a disease nor your destiny. It can be relieved with stress reduction, but that’s no easy task for the constantly-connected-and running-hard among us. In the words of Sara in LA Story: “Let your mind go and your body will follow.” On a more practical level, here are some tips to keep things up:

  • Stay as relaxed as you can during her fertile period. Exercise more, get good sleep, simplify your schedule, don’t travel. Breathe. Be in the moment for her.
  • Reintroduce some romance to sex. Candles, satin sheets, oysters, silk PJs and jazz can work wonders.
  • Get some help from modern medicine. Viagra and its compadres are safe and very effective in getting and keeping things running hard. Think of them as coffee for the penis.

In a word, the key to shedding stress is to let go. Heed the words of author Bassam Tarazi: “The only thing that you really can control is how to react to things that are out of your control.”