Reduce Your Anxiety!

The Cause and Effects of Anxiety

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For women: Anxiety when trying to achieve sexual climax

Women who find it difficult to achieve climax usually find the problem is the result of a combination of lack of stimulation and physical anxiety, and possibly also too much effort and an expectation of failure.

Female arousal is a product of the parasympathetic nervous system, and so if it is to be achieved, a woman must be both mentally and physically relaxed -- that's an observation which almost anybody who enjoys sexual relationships will know already!

Therefore excessive anxiety about intercourse, or any kind of stimulation which causes women to feel irritated or puts excessive demands and expectations on her will produce sympathetic nervous system arousal and very probably an anxiety response -- exactly the opposite of the parasympathetic state that she needs to be relaxed enough to achieve sexual pleasure.

Sexual climax itself is a sympathetic nervous system response of which the main  characteristics are deeper and faster breathing, an increased heart rate and some degree of sweating.

It's a paradox that this sympathetic nervous system state needs to be reached via an adequate period of parasympathetic arousal, one which lasts long enough to allow the women to let go of inhibitions and stress,  and allow her arousal to drive progress toward climax to take over.

For a woman who is having difficulty in achieving sexual climax there are strategies that can be applied to reduce anxiety. First and foremost, of course, it's important for women to be in an anxiety free state so that she is actually able to become sexually aroused (and that includes self stimulation as well as partner stimulation).

She therefore needs to be able to relax for a few minutes (or longer) either during the early stages of intimate relations, or before sex starts, so that any anxiety which she has developed will dissipate. She can use quick relaxation methods for this -- these will be especially effective if her partner is sympathetic and offers light massage to the nonsexual parts of her body as she tries to relax.

The second part of the strategy for achieving climax more easily is to use a process which can be called "passive concentration". What this means is that instead of trying to force herself to reach climax, or indeed assuming a negative expectation about her chance of reaching climax, a woman can simply accept whatever she is feeling and allow herself to be enveloped by whatever stimulation and sensations she feels while enjoying during sexual interaction with her partner.

It's a kind of focused attention that allows a level of arousal to build up; in essence, it involves transferring her full attention to what is happening and how she feels in her body.

Bringing her awareness to her body and what she's feeling requires a degree of "passive concentration", but it certainly assists the process of becoming aroused.

However, it can be very difficult for a woman who finds it difficult to stop the rush of thoughts through her mind, or who has already been disappointed in her ability to achieve climax. In the latter case, it is necessary to just keep practicing the process of passive concentration until a shift occurs which allows her to spend more time focusing on the stimulation she is receiving and how pleasurable it feels rather than anything else that may act as a distraction.

(Of course, it's worth remembering that distractions which come into the mind apparently unprompted can be a psychological defence mechanism against anxiety produced by sexual activity. In these cases, perhaps slightly more in-depth therapy might be a good idea.)

Another thing that can be really helpful is the co-operation and understanding of her partner, especially if she's able to disclose how she's feeling at any point during sexual activity. If she can disclose this it will certainly reduce anxiety.

 The key is that her partner must be accepting and non-judgmental, which is quite a skill, and one which may in itself require considerable to practice to develop.

If self-disclosure of thoughts and feelings proves difficult, or her partner is not sufficiently receptive or understanding, then a good way for a woman to learn how to reach a climax is to enjoy masturbation. This can be a much less threatening and anxiety provoking activity, not least because there is no partner involved, and also because a woman has complete control of her body and knows what is most likely to arouse it.

For those who don't know, it's also vitally import to get the right physical stimulation, which for women is focused on and around the clitoris and labia.

It's certainly true that the opening and outer part of the vagina can be very sensitive to stimulation as well, but it is extremely rare for women to reach climax through stimulation of the vagina alone -- the implication being that there is little chance of reaching the height of sexual pleasure during intercourse without additional stimulation to the clit.

It's also clear that individual women appreciate stimulation in different ways and  different combinations: so, for example, one woman might prefer the sides of the clitoral shaft to be stimulated through the labia, while another may prefer the very gentlest of touches on the clitoris.

Overall stimulation should include the labia, the clitoris, possibly the anus, certainly her abdomen, and very possibly the vagina and buttocks.

Even so, for all women, the centre of arousal is always the clitoris. It's a very useful and beneficial experience for women to develop familiarity and comfort with her own body, and possibly to learn how to achieve orgasm without their partner  present, if the presence of a partner is anxiety provoking. You can read about a way to offer women sensual massage.

During sexual intercourse there are many ways the clitoris can be stimulated. As the man thrusts, he may be able to press his pubic bone against the clitoris -- a certain amount of lubrication on the pubic mound can be helpful here; or alternatively the woman herself can reach down and massage her clit with her fingers; or the man can do this in certain sexual positions when he is able to reach the clitoris with his fingers.

One point worth making is that many women who haven't been able to achieve climax in any other way find that a vibrator can be extremely helpful in doing this.

This can be used alone during "practice" or with a partner once anxiety levels have reduced to a point with which the woman is comfortable.

By the way, the final stage of the female orgasm is actually one of the most interesting and important: it's the phase in which a woman moves from the  parasympathetic nervous system state of being more and more aroused and relaxed into the sympathetic nervous system state in which her body reaches orgasm.

This is a switch which the woman actually has to consciously allow -- in other words, rather than forcing her body towards climax, she should simply relax and let go into it.

The switch occurs at the point of maximum arousal, but letting go in this way seems to be very difficulty for many women: many women find it difficult to let themselves go because they are afraid of losing control or perhaps because it all seems too intense.

Anxiety about loss of control in this way is a major cause of sexual dysfunction - see - problems for women, and the best way to overcome them is to use the same strategy of passive concentration that we've mentioned before, where increasing levels of arousal are allowed to flood over the woman without her feeling she needs to control or evaluate them; she can accept they are happening and enjoyable.

This does in itself depend on the woman's ability to relax and let go of her need to be in control, which may in turn depend on how safe she feels in her environment with her partner. That can be managed - for example by choosing a place where there will be no disturbances - to increase the chances of her reaching climax.

At the point where a woman feels that she's about to go into orgasm, she may wish for her partner to alter the type, pressure, or speed of stimulation. It's important that she actually manages to convey her needs to him at this point, otherwise the chance of reaching climax may be reduced.

She can always guide his hands or his pelvic thrusting with here own hands; if he's pleasuring her orally she can guide his head with her hands -- or indeed she can tell him what she wants if she is still able to speak.

Another strategy that helps women to achieve climax more easily is for them to encourage the sympathetic nervous system features of orgasm -- which you might recall include increased respiration, muscular tension and an increase in heart rate -- by deliberately breathing deeply and holding her breath for a moment, or by tensing her muscles, which, if she does this just at the point where she feels she must "let go" to achieve orgasm, may trigger off orgasm spontaneously.

In practical terms, just at the moment where a woman should let go she often thinks, "No, I can't do it, I can't make it," gives up and relaxes so much that she loses the move through that elusive "switch" into her climax. If she actually tenses her body, breaths harder and faster (things that happen in orgasm) she may well facilitate her achievement of climax.

Finally it's worthwhile observing that it may be necessary to practice this passive concentration approach to the final stage of orgasm several times before it becomes second nature and climax is easily achieved.

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[ Dealing with anxiety caused by sexual dysfunction like premature ejaculation ]