Sex. The word alone is enough to make even adults giggle.
Yet sex is no laughing matter when you’re not satisfied with your performance. It can cause crippling self-confidence issues and even end relationships. But what is sexual performance, and how do you get better at bedroom activities? With over a third of people not happy with their sex life, it’s clearly a question that needs an answer.
Here’s our guide to sexual performance in the bedroom, including how to improve your sexual performance.
What is Sexual Performance?
Back up: what do we even mean by sexual performance?
When you think about it, it’s kind of a creepy term. Who are we performing for, exactly? “Your partner” is the obvious answer, but many people who aren’t happy with their sexual performance haven’t even discussed it with their partner.
To understand sexual performance, it helps to define sexual performance by its opposite: sexual dysfunction. That helps us get away from the idea that some kind of sex auditor watches what you get up to.
So, think of sexual performance as the opposite of common sexual dysfunctions like:
- Low libido
- Erectile dysfunction
- Premature ejaculation
- Delayed or absent orgasm
More generally, you can think of anything that gets in the way of your enjoyment of sex is a dysfunction. Likewise, we can define “good” sexual performance by contrast. So the ability to achieve orgasm at the appropriate pace, a healthy desire for sex, lasting longer in bed, and everything working down below are all indicators of sexual performance.
What Can Effect Sexual Performance?
With sexual performance defined, we can start to understand what affects sexual performance by the factors that lead to sexual dysfunction.
Modern science has demonstrated that sex is a complicated physical and emotional scenario (yes, even for men!) Like many health topics, we’re starting to understand that nothing about the body works in isolation. Sexual dysfunction can be a systemic problem—the sum total of a collection of physical and mental barriers.
Here are a few common causes behind sexual dysfunction.
We’re slowly discovering what a toll modern life takes on us. Guess what? Sex suffers too when you’re stressed out.
Stress has a way of dragging the whole body down, physically and mentally. With so many of us sleeping poorly, enduring financial stress, and just generally struggling to keep up with the rat race, it’s no wonder that sex lives suffer.
Consider making changes to your life to manage your stress levels. It may surprise you to see what a change it makes in the bedroom. Easier said than done, but there are lifestyle changes you can make to manage stress levels that don’t demand you overhaul your life.
A lack of self-confidence can hurt your performance in the bedroom. As a wise man once said, if you’re using half your concentration to look normal, then you’re only half paying attention to whatever else you’re doing (it was Magneto, by the way).
Focusing too much on your own performance or your body issues can take your focus away from sex and leave you wilting or struggling to orgasm. Of course, this creates a feedback loop, so it’s essential you tackle these confidence issues head-on. Speaking to a therapist and/or your partner can help you work through issues like these.
While science has moved away from a sole focus on the physical causes of sexual dysfunction, we can’t count them out. There are many conditions that can secondarily affect life in the bedroom. Likewise, taking medication for another condition could be impacting your sex life, so you’ll need to rule this out.
In general, being in poor physical health can take the enjoyment out of sex. Sex is hard work! If you’re out of shape or suffering from another health problem, it can make sex that much more taxing. The more taxing you find sex, the easier it is to lose focus and, with it, your arousal.
Improving Sexual Performance
With these causes of sexual dysfunction laid out, we can start to understand how to improve sexual performance.
Of course, it’s rare that you can improve your sexual performance overnight and you may need to look at combining these solutions.
Speak to Your Partner
Communication is sexy. Sounds weird, but it’s true: partners who can talk about intimate things have better sex lives. You might even find that your partner has never even noticed the things you think are huge problems.
Even if that idyllic scenario doesn’t come to pass, talking will help. You can discuss things to make changes in the bedroom and, if needed, you can seek professional help—but this stuff is only possible if you can talk about it.
See a Sex Therapist
Therapists might just be the unsung heroes of modern living. A therapist can help you get to the root of your problems in the bedroom and guide you to revelations.
You should be sure to discuss sex therapy with your partner and attend it together if possible. What you learn about yourselves and the tools you pick up to help in the bedroom will benefit you both.
Speak to Your Doctor
While not every sexual dysfunction has a physical source, some do. Don’t let shyness keep you from a better sex life. Your doctor will help you diagnose any conditions that could be getting in the way, which could even include the likes of medication you’re already taking for other conditions.
If you’re wondering how to increase sex time, getting healthy could hold the answer. Our bodies are complicated systems and many factors feed into our sexual performance. Improving your health could improve your stamina, reduce your background stress level, and boost your self-control—all great ways of improving sexual performance.
Sexual Performance: 8/10
Overcoming sexual dysfunction to improve your sexual performance can be a long and hard journey. With this guide, you should understand some of the steps needed to get there. Most of all, don’t make this journey alone. Sex is nothing without a partner, and resolving sexual dysfunction can take a surprising amount of teamwork. It isn’t a competition.
Looking for more healthy living tips? Make sure to check our Health section often for more.