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How to Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety With New Partner?

How to Overcome Sexual Performance Anxiety with New Partner
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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Regardless of your gender or level of experience in sex, you have probably had sexual anxiety when with a new partner. The truth is, this anxiety can be a real mood killer. One minute you’re good to go. Next, you’re overcome with fear.

For most people, this first-time sex anxiety is short-lived and occurs briefly in the wake of a new sexual encounter. However, for some, it entirely affects every sexual encounter they have with a new partner. It even makes it impossible and awkward to have sex..

So, what can you do to overcome performance anxiety with a new partner? Keep reading to find out!

Learn to communicate about anxiety during sex. Click below to book an appointment.

What is Sexual Performance Anxiety?

There is more to sex than just a physical response. It involves your emotions and mind, which play a major role in determining your partner’s experience. When too anxious for whatever reason, it negatively affects your body’s response, affecting your sexual performance. Sexual performance anxiety is feeling nervous before and during sex. It leads to you being overcome with fear and making you unable to perform during or before sex. Though it can happen at any time, it is very common when having sex with a new partner. Research has it that 9% to 25% of men are affected by sexual performance anxiety, and 6% to 16% of women are affected by it.

What Are the Signs of Sexual Performance Anxiety With New Partner?

Most symptoms of sexual anxiety when with new partners cut across both genders. However, others are unique for both men and women. The table below will help you understand these symptoms better.

Common Signs in Men and Women

Signs in Men

Signs in Women

Inability to climax during sex

Erectile dysfunction

Vaginal dryness

Increased heart rate


Pain during sex

Decreased interest in sex


Unsettled stomach



Sexual Performance Anxiety

What Causes Sexual Performance Anxiety With a New Partner?

Though the reasons for being anxious when having sex with a new partner varies from one person to another, the most common ones are:

  • Fear that you may not have enough experience to satisfy your partner
  • Low body confidence and self-esteem
  • Embarrassment from previous sexual experiences
  • Stress from non-sexual areas of your life like work
  • The idea of becoming too intimate a new person

How Do You Overcome Performance Anxiety With a New Partner?

There are many strategies that you can use to overcome sexual performance anxiety when with a new partner. Below are a few of them which can help you enjoy sex even when with a new person.

Appreciate Your Body

One of the main reasons you may feel anxious when or during sex with someone new is negative body image. This self-consciousness keeps you worried about whether or not your partner finds you attractive, affecting your performance. To help you get comfortable in your skin, take time to acknowledge everything you like about your body repeatedly. With time, you will get comfortable with your body and won’t feel anxious about it when having sex with a new partner.

Take Your Time

Whether it is your first or hundredth time, sex is about your pleasure and that of your partner. It is, therefore, helpful to focus on pleasuring your partner rather than worrying about your climaxing or erection. One way of taking things slow is having more foreplay and less rushing. Remember, sex, especially with a new partner, is about pleasure, not competition.


Your new partner may not know what you like or enjoy. Sharing your needs in bed with your new partner and letting them know what you are thinking will help you remain calm and not get performance anxiety. For example, if you take medication like Viagra [1*] due to performance anxiety, let your partner know. This openly communication takes the sexual anxiety away, leaving you and your new partner to enjoy your first sexual encounter.

Educate Yourself About Sex

Educate Yourself About Sex

One factor that commonly contributes to performance anxiety is the lack of sex education. Educating yourself on various issues regarding sex boosts your confidence when having sex with a new partner. Also, it takes away any worries that you may be having, thinking that your sexual needs or those of your partner aren’t “normal.”

To fully equip yourself, talk to a healthcare provider who will answer any questions that you may have. You can also speak to sex educators or even read books that address issues to do with sex. Also, it would help to educate yourself by exploring your own body and understanding what gives you pleasure and what turns you. This way, you can confidently communicate to your new partner what you like, preventing performance anxiety.


Performance anxiety with a new partner is more common than you realize, and it can happen to anyone. However, by following the tips given above, you can prevent it. Also, it would help to speak to a sex expert. Contact MEDvidi and get practical and tested advice on overcoming sexual performance anxiety with a new partner.


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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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Evidence Based

This article is based on scientific evidence, written by experts and fact checked by experts.

Our team of experts strive to be objective, unbiased, honest and to present both sides of the argument.

This article contains scientific references. The numbers
in the parentheses (1, 2, 3) are clickable links to peer-reviewed scientific papers.