ROBERT J. FILEWICH, PhD: Performance anxiety, in
sexual terms and with sexual problems, is where a person has an anticipation
of some sort of problem occurring in the sexual act. As a consequence
of that, they develop a sense of anxiety which translates into an inability
to become erect or an inability to go ahead and have sex for a certain
duration before they actually achieve orgasm, or premature ejaculation.
DAVID FOLK THOMAS: Dr. Rosenberg, your turn.
KEN ROSENBERG, MD: Performance anxiety refers to
just what Dr. Filewich said. It's more of a popular term than a medical
term. You can't really find "performance anxiety" in a medical book.
It's the common term for erectile dysfunction or impotence. It also
can lead to premature ejaculation in some. We were not made to be
anxious and have sex at the same time. When we're anxious, we're
running away from dinosaurs, we're not ready to have intercourse.
So our plumbing does not work when we become anxious, and therefore when
we're extremely anxious we just can't perform very well sexually.
ROBERT J. FILEWICH, PhD: And the anxiety is usually
fear-based. It's the sense of fear of being rejected, fear of performing
in a certain way where you're partner's going to be disappointed.
DAVID FOLK THOMAS: Does that happen with couples?
Does it happen when you're just meeting somebody for the first time, or
does it matter?